Ready for Takeoff – RDO Equipment Co. Flies High at Drone Focus Conference
On May 31, drone users, UAS enthusiasts, and those brand-new to the industry gathered in Fargo, ND for the third-annual Drone Focus Conference. The two-day event brought together hobbyists and professionals to learn, share ideas, and connect.
RDO Equipment Co. welcomed two speakers to Drone Focus, Jason Barton of Agribotix and Nathan Stein of senseFly. Both spoke about UAS in agriculture, with Jason discussing opportunities of implementing precision ag technology, drones included, but also the challenge of technology adaption by farmers.
Nate Dorsey, Agronomist, added insight to Jason’s message, “We find, while most farmers know and use the basics, the majority aren’t aware how capable their machines really are and how much functionality they have. We’re trying to help our customers understand all the technology offered.”
In his presentation, Nathan [Stein] touched on the effects of UAS technology on agronomy, saying, “Agronomy and the way plants grow isn’t going to change. But by fusing agronomy with the information we’re gathering from drones, that’s when good decisions can be made.”
Nate [Dorsey] agreed, explaining the data is key in detecting problems early. “We provide customers, and the agronomists they work with, the data to help make decisions that can prevent problems and yield loss,” he said.
Jason and Nathan joined a lineup of notable speakers that included U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, U.S. Senator (R-ND) John Hoeven, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. All three leaders had a similar message in the rapid evolution of technology and the industry, and that the future of autonomy is headed beyond drones.
Bill Edmonson, UAV Product Specialist in Billings, hosted a workshop that demonstrated opportunities with swarming – operating more than one drone simultaneously. This was important message for Drone Focus attendees, who, throughout the event, heard about several areas of opportunity for swarming in areas like agriculture, pipeline, and search and rescue missions.
Swarming offers major advantages, with two, three, or even ten drones working together able to cover more area, and cover it faster, than one. Bill highlighted the RDO Equipment Co. team’s experience in swarming from an event last October – a fully-coordinated, planned mission of ten senseFly eBee drones flying simultaneously.
The first Drone Focus Conference was all about possibilities, while last year presenters began sharing initial experiences. This year, the industry’s maturity was even more evident, with several UAS-specific companies discussing services and expertise, as well as a greater number of seasoned experts sharing their knowledge.
Three of these experts, RDO Equipment Co. customers, participated in a panel discussion. Ryan Otis, Otis Farms and Ryan Rustan, Blattner Energy, are both professionals who have successfully implemented drones into their business, while Joey Schmit of Flight Pros is a provider of UAS technology services.
The panel cited data management as the biggest challenge in the industry. To help manage it and expectations, all agreed that it’s important to first understand the goals of the data, then work back to base a plan on achieving them.
“The info shared by our customers provided great value to attendees,” Kelly Gress, Vice President of the RDO Integrated Controls division, said. “Thank you to Joey, Ryan, and Ryan for taking the time to share their unique insights and experiences with drones in their businesses.”
A final message from the panel was one that came up in other presentations throughout the conference: Drones can’t and won’t ever fully replace traditional methods. They’re a great tool to have in the toolbox but people are still needed to understand them, operate them, and turn the data they produce into actions.
If this year’s event proved one thing it’s that autonomous technology isn’t going away, and the RDO Equipment Co. team continues to lead in delivering the UAS solutions customers are and will be demanding.
Contact the RDO Equipment Co. team to learn how we can help you implement UAS technology to your business and bring the benefits to your bottom line.
5 Most Popular RDOIC Blogs
As we head into the busy summer season, we’re taking a moment look back at our most popular blogs from the year so far.
Whether you’re interested in bringing drone technology to your company or would like to get a jumpstart on planning for the first snowfall of the winter season, these top blogs have the info and insight you need.
5 Benefits of Snow Plow Lasers:From better vision to enabling quick adjustments to versatility, five reasons a snow plow laser might be the next tool you’ll want in the toolbox.
5 Reasons Drone Focus Should Be On Your Radar: If your near-future goals include implementing UAS technology into your business or you’d like to connect with others in the industry, Drone Focus is an event you won’t want to miss.
Agriculture. Surveying. Construction. Inspection. What do these industries have in common? UAS technology is making an impact across them all, and offering professionals new opportunities to work more economically, efficiently, and effectively.
For the third year, Drone Focus Conference is being held in Fargo, North Dakota to bring together drone professionals, enthusiasts, and others interested in the world of unmanned aerial systems. The event takes place May 31-June 1 and is led by Emerging Prairie, a nonprofit organization in Fargo.
As a supporter and key curriculum contributor, RDO Equipment Co. is offering a variety of sessions and touching on multiple areas of UAS throughout the two-day event. Learn more about presenters and topics from the RDO Integrated Controls team at RDO Equipment Co.
Workshop Overview – Wednesday, May 31
Last October, RDO Integrated Controls brought together a dozen customers from various industries to be part of a unique event – a fully-coordinated, planned mission of 10 senseFly eBee drones flying simultaneously. This experiment, eBee10, demonstrated scalability and the power drones have when flying together.
Bill Edmonson, UAV Product Specialist for RDO Integrated Controls, will detail the impact and opportunities of operating more than one drone simultaneously. He will also talk about workflow management and regulations operators need to be aware of to execute a multi-drone flight. Bill has 15 years of experience as a drone operator and data analyst, so you won’t want to miss his workshop on Wednesday, May 31.
Focused Lunch – Wednesday, May 31
Ryan Otis, Farm Manager at Otis Farms, has successfully implemented UAS technology into his business, using it for field survey, drainage construction, and assessing crop health. On the other end of the industry spectrum, Ryan Rustan, Engineer at Blattner Energy, uses drones for all-things energy, such as solar and thermal work, survey, and transmission line inspection.
Ryan and Ryan are RDO’s featured guests for Wednesday’s Focused Lunch at the Toasted Frog restaurant. Both longtime and successful drone users, they will answer questions about the real business impact of UAS technology, including how drones have changed workflow and seeing ROI. To attend this session, add on the Focused Lunch when registering for Drone Focus.
Speaker Presentations – Thursday, June 1
RDO Equipment Co. is pleased to welcome Jason Barton, VP of Sales from Agribotix, and Nathan Stein, Application Engineer from senseFly, as speakers on Thursday, June 1.
Both experts in the agriculture industry, Nathan will talk about UAS use in the field, while Jason’s discussion is focused on cloud processing and the data side of drones for precision agriculture.
If your near-future goals include implementing drone technology into your business, expanding your UAS knowledge, or connecting with other drone professinals, join our team at Drone Focus May 31 and June 1.
Those in the asphalt paving business know that dated technology and old methods aren’t ideal. Not only can antiquated practices waste valuable time, the end results may suffer in overall quality, both hitting the business where it hurts most – the bottom line.
Thanks to the work and advancements offered by trusted manufacturers, most major pavers now have several options for products designed to enhance the quality of pavement being laid down and the efficiency of crews doing the work.
From intelligent compaction to GNSS paving solutions to its exclusive P-32 Paver System, Topcon is one company that has and continues to offer new opportunities to the paving industry. For example, last fall, Topcon introduced an upgrade to its sonic averaging system (SAS), Smoothtrac. The upgrade featured enhancements designed to save time – during initial setup, changing applications, and transport – as well as option to upgrade existing trackers or screens.
But even before this upgrade, the Smoothtrac system offered advantages to asphalt paving professionals, especially when combined with its P-32 Paver System. Here’s how the systems work and the unique, key values they offer the paving industry.
P-32 Paver System
Featuring the GC-35 control box, the Sonic Tracker II sensor, 9130 laser receiver, and a slope sensor, P-32 is a premier grade automation system. The combination of which and how many components are used is dependent on the paving job, so the system is designed for easy configuration to best match the project at hand.
By offering control over aspects like sonic elevation and slope control, and combined with its easy configuration setup, the P-32 Paver System is designed to work for numerous applications including road paving, airport runways and parking lots, and maintenance or widening projects.
2. Precision and Production
The system offers the ability to calculate, to degrees of extreme accuracy, compaction and number of lifts required to reach desired mat thickness. Not only does this ensure a quality finish, it provides users the opportunity for best material control.
And thanks to the level of accuracy and reliability of the system, crews can work at greater speeds, as well as reduce starts and stops, for increased production rates.
Smoothtrac was designed as a better option over a traditional mechanical ski. When adding Smoothtrac to the P-32 Paver System, the setup still includes GC-35 control boxes, a slope sensor, and Sonic Tracker II sensors, but adds more sensors and in different areas, and also includes the Sonic Averaging ski.
1. Mat Quality
Smoothtrac features four Sonic Tracker II sensors on the ski and one additional on the opposite side of the paver. Working in unison, the five sensors continuously measure elevation and take an average of high and low points, then adjust the screen to a mid-point. This constant and automatic adjustment smooths bumps and dips in a mat surface and ultimately offers the best averaging results.
Smoothtrac is a non-contacting system, allowing a paver equipped with it to be backed up, turned around, and pass over obstacles without having to lift or remove. Furthermore, the Sonic Tracker II sensors easily fold up and stay out of the way when needed for the paver to maneuver in tight areas or around curves.
In the event the Smoothtrac needs to be removed to navigate especially challenging areas, it easily removes and reattaches.
Cohesive and Compatible
Not only are these systems ideally suited to work together, they’re designed to integrate with numerous other Topcon products. Both can be upgraded with the latest technology available in the industry, offering even more opportunities.
As equipment and methods continue to advance, contractors are in better position to do quality work, on time and with a better impact on the bottom line.
The third-annual Drone Focus Conference is May 31-June 1 in Fargo, North Dakota. Organized by Emerging Prairie, a nonprofit organization in Fargo, this all-drones event is all about the latest in the UAS industry.
For the third year, RDO Integrated Controls is participating in a big way, both as a supporter and as part of the curriculum.
If your near-future goals include implementing drone technology into your business, expanding your UAS knowledge, or connecting with other drone enthusiasts, here are 5 reasons Drone Focus is an event you won’t want to miss.
Drone Focus includes a lineup of speakers who are experts in all areas of UAS. Notable speakers include Senator (R-ND) John Hoeven, Nicholas Flom of Northern Plains UAS Test Site, and Ed Waggoner of NASA.
Hear ideas about the future of UAS from the future of UAS. Students are invited to form a team and create a project, the only criteria that it must be an innovation in the drone or unmanned systems industry. Each team will present its idea with a 3-5 minute pitch, and participate in a Q&A session with judges. The program is designed and led by Innovation Fellows at North Dakota State University’s Research and Tech Park.
As with any conference, some of the most valuable learning is gained outside of the seminars. Drone Focus 2017 will feature Drone Focus Fest, an afternoon of drone races, autonomous vehicle and tractor shows, and new consumer product launches.
Part 107 Training Course
Those interested in obtaining Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification are invited to attend a special one-day course designed to help in preparation for the Unmanned Aircraft General (UAG) written exam. The course takes place May 30 at the Fargo Jet Center and a UAG written exam will be offered on June 2. Learn more about Part 107.
The rumors are true and word’s getting out – Fargo is a pretty cool city. Not only has North Dakota gained national notoriety as a leader in UAS technology and business implementation, the city of Fargo is home of the original “Drone Focus Meetup” a monthly gathering where educators and students, drone professionals and enthusiasts meet and discuss regulations, technology, and business opportunities for drones. It was these meetups that evolved into the first full-day Drone Focus event in 2015.
What You Want to Know About FAA Part 107 and Drones
On June 21, 2016, the FAA announced that Part 107 Rules for UAS (Drone) Operations in the National Airspace had been finalized.
The new rules went into effect on August 29, 2016, opening a door for many potential pilots interested in commercial activities using UAVs. With the new rules, there are many opportunities for the use of UAVs in agriculture, civil engineering, aggregate, and mining industries. It will now be easier for companies to become compliant to fly commercial UAVs.
Here are highlights and updates from the Part 107 ruling since it was originally announced:
Getting the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for non-FAA Pilots
To become certified you simply need to take and pass a 60-question Knowledge Test at an FAA testing center with a minimum score of 70%. There is no flight test required to obtain your Remote Pilot Certificate.
The FAA has several online resources, including a study guide, the actual ruling known as 14 CFR Part 107, and many other information manuals.
RDO Integrated Controls offers a regulatory training package to help you prepare for your Part 107 exam and comply with federal regulations when operating your UAV.
After the exam, all information is submitted through the FAAs Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA), where they conduct a background investigation, evaluate your test score, and either approve or deny the application.
Getting Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for current FAA Pilots
Part 61 Pilots are not required to take the Knowledge Test at a testing center, but must complete an online training course, called "Part 107 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) ALC-451"
Current pilots then need to complete and submit Form 8710-13 (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for a remote pilot certificate).
Current 333 Exemption Holders
Your FAA Pilot must complete the online Remote Pilot Certification training online before the implementation of Part 107.
Your 333 Exemption is still valid per the time period stated on it.
Pending 333 Exemptions
You will be notified by the FAA that you are in one of three tiers and be given options to continue or transfer to Part 107
You will be required to be approved and vetted by the FAA through its IACRA system before being issued your Remote Pilot Certificate. This process can take several months to complete because of the amount of time required to complete a background investigation, evaluate your application and test scores, and officially approve your request.
What are the final rules?
A summary and a complete overview of the final rules, known as 14 CFR Part 107, are available on the FAA website.
Bring UAV Technology to the Jobsite
The team at RDO Integrated Controls is offering special rates and a one-year warranty on select drones from its loaner/demo fleet. Contact the team at RDO Integrated Controls to find out more about complete UAV products available or to learn more about our exclusive FAA Compliance package, including best practices, tips, and training on topics related to FAA compliance.
This blog was originally posted on June 21, 2016 and updated March 15, 2017.
An Ever-Changing UAV Industry and its Customers
Not long ago, UAVs were a new technology – admired by many and successfully used by few. Fast forward to today, drones have found their way onto numerous jobsites, and are successfully being used for numerous applications. However, the story doesn’t end here. In fact, the story of UAV technology on the jobsite likely won’t ever end; instead, it will continue to grow, change, and evolve.
Because of this, RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Integrated Controls have continued to make significant moves in the UAV space. Our teams strive to make the technology and products accessible to more customers, and have expanded offerings to provide more choices.
The agriculture industry has been a major focus, with the additions of the senseFly eBee SQ and Sentera DJI Phantom drones. Another major area of focus is the construction industry, particularly, using UAV technology for surveying and mapping.
Last year, RDO Integrated Controls expanded its UAV offerings with the addition of the new senseFly albris drone. One of the albris’ biggest advantages is its ability to switch between capturing video, still, and thermal imagery, all during the same flight.
The team at RDO Integrated Controls is also offering the senseFly eBee RTK drone. Designed to be a survey-grade mapping drone, the eBee RTK is compatible with most base stations and can provide accuracy down to 3 cm with no need for ground control points.
Meeting the changing needs of customers and an ever-evolving product line doesn’t come without foresight. And looking ahead, our team sees surveying and mapping as major areas of potential for integration of drones on construction jobsites.
For those interested in putting UAV technology to work on the jobsite, RDO Integrated Controls is offering special rates and a one-year warranty on its loaner/demo fleet of albris drones. Contact the team at RDO Integrated Controls to find out more.
This blog was originally posted on January 5, 2017 and updated March 1, 2017.
Your Ultimate Guide to CONEXPO – CON/AGG 2017
It comes only once every three years and takes the construction industry by storm. CONEXPO – CON/AGG is March 7-11 in Las Vegas and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to connect with customers and manufacturing partners, meet new professionals, and learn about new challenges, solutions, and opportunities for our industry.
With more than 2,500 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in equipment, products, and services, plus 150 educational seminars, it’s no wonder the country’s biggest construction show sees attendees from nearly all segments of the industry – and also why exhibitors plan their show strategy months, sometimes years, in advance.
We’re here to help you plan your show experience and ensure you get the most value out of attending CONEXPO – CON/AGG, with expert advice from three veteran attendees:
Josh Price, General Manager, RDO Integrated Controls
Mark Rieckhoff, Sales Manager, RDO Vermeer
Will Risinger, Sales Manager, RDO Equipment Co.
From optimizing your time to what you can expect from our manufacturing partners, here are our teams Top 10 tips for making your CONEXPO – CON/AGG experience a success.
1. Plan of Attack
CONEXPO is among the biggest tradeshows in the world. Especially for first-time attendees, the miles of booths, products, companies, and events can be overwhelming. All our experts suggest taking the time to plan out a show strategy.
“This is too large a show to just ‘hope’ you have time to see it all,” Rieckhoff says. He suggests reviewing the CONEXPO – CON/AGG interactive exhibitor maps to help plan a route.
Closely tied to planning a show strategy, a key piece in scheduling time is to prioritize it.
Price suggests taking the time to write down your goals for the show, “What companies you want to visit, what products you want to see, and any seminars or events you need to attend,” then planning time accordingly to ensure you can fit it all in.
3. Account for More Than Booths
Remember, this show is large – as you plan your time, don’t forget to account for walking to and from the show, and between booths and exhibit halls.
Risinger recommends taking advantage of the Las Vegas Monorail to and from the convention center, saying, “It’s the fastest way to get back and forth.”
On the flip side, keep in mind the additional hours you can allocate for business and pleasure. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are great opportunities for quick networking, more in-depth meetings with companies, or just enjoying downtime with other attendees.
4. Spread it Around
Speaking of exhibit halls, there are several. North Hall. South Hall. Outdoor Lots. CONEXPO – CON/AGG isn’t limited to one area; rather, it’s comprised of several indoor and outdoor areas.
“It’s easy to get caught up in everything and realize you’ve spent half your day in one hall,” cautions Price.
Rieckhoff agrees and recommends dedicating time to each hall in the overall show strategy, saying, “Split up your time by halls and days.”
5. Ask, Talk, Engage
Whether the goal is to learn or network, Price says one of the simplest pieces of advice he’d give to attendees is to talk.
“It’s amazing how many people stop by a booth and don’t ask questions or engage in conversation,” he says. “As someone who has spent time in the booth, I can tell you we’re eager and excited to talk to attendees! So don’t be hesitant to ask questions or just strike up a conversation.”
6. Watch and Listen
Risinger counters Price’s advice on being an active participant at booths with a reminder of the value of observing, specifically, your competitors.
“Spend some time around the competition watching and listening,” he advises. “You’ll take away better understanding of what your competition is telling customers about themselves and maybe even about you.”
7. Hidden Gems
Price refers to some of the smaller, lesser-known companies as hidden gems – and ones you’ll want to find.
“There are a lot of really small companies doing some really amazing things,” he said. “Even if what they’re doing might not apply to your business, it’s just a great opportunity to see different innovations and unique things other companies are offering.”
8. Get Social
Don’t forget to bring business cards. Yes, you’ll have your badge scanned at every booth and companies will be able to reach out to you after the show. But Risinger notes that most people still carry a few business cards and it’s never a bad idea to be prepared for the exchange.
Price agrees, and offers additional insight into why business cards are still tradeshow networking gold, saying, “If I get your business card, I have the opportunity to connect with you later that night or the next day during some downtime,” he explains.
Just as important the value of the tried-and-true business card, Price adds that making connections can go beyond the show floor.
“Several of our employees leverage social media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, to engage with customers before the show, meet up at the show, and stay connected after,” he said, adding that attendees can follow the same practice to connect with companies and others involved in the show.
9. Take Small Bites and Chew
Rieckhoff’s biggest piece of advice comes in the form of an expression: Attending CONEXPO – CON/AGG is like eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
“What I mean is, don’t feel like you have to try to tackle the whole show at once,” he says. “Split up your trip over the days, stick to your plan, and you’ll be better able to enjoy your time.”
Risinger agrees, saying, “Pace yourself during the week. Most people have more than one day to visit the show so take your time and enjoy seeing all it has to offer.”
“And, it’s Vegas so it has to be said, don’t overdo it on late-night activities the first night,” Price cautions, with a laugh.
10. RDO Equipment Co. Partners
The RDO team is fortunate to work with the best manufacturers in the industry, three of which will be strongly represented at the show. Below, our team offers a quick sneak peek into what you can expect to see, learn, and discuss when you visit the John Deere, Topcon, and Vermeer booths.
Risinger says he’s excited about the technology piece at John Deere’s booth, saying, “You’ll want to spend a lot of time here. This will be a focal point this year and there will be several takeaways you can bring back and implement in your business.”
“Topcon always releases a new product at CONEXPO,” Price said. “The team keeps a tight lid on it so we can’t say what it is, but know something exciting is coming.”
In addition to the unveiling of something new, Price says attendees are sure to see at least one or two products at the Topcon booth they won’t see anywhere else.
“You can go to a lot of booths and see the same stuff but there’s going to be some unique offerings at Topcon’s.” Price noted paving products like the RDM1 and RDMC Smooth Ride, and mast-less dozers as examples of unique draws.
Stop by the Vermeer booth in the Central Hall, C3-C5, booth C32627. Items on display include Vermeer Productivity Tools, Rock Lab, and many new products including the D10X15S3 HDD Directional Drill, the R250C Reclaimer, and a special treat: a look at Vermeer’s newest Horizontal Grinder.
“Vermeer’s booth will provide the opportunity to learn more about technology and on-the-jobsite product improvements,” Rieckhoff says. “We’re looking forward to showing attendees how to better control costs, improve profits, and enhance overall jobsite management.”
On behalf of the entire RDO Equipment Co. team, we wish you a successful CONEXPO – CON/AGG show. We hope to connect with, catch up with, and see many of you March 7 through 11 in sunny Las Vegas.
About the Author
Jessi Zenker is Communications Specialist for RDO Equipment Co. based in Fargo, ND. Connect with her at the show or beforehand on Twitter @RDOJessi.
It’s almost time to take the field. We’re nearing kick-off. Management is making the final roster moves to assemble a winning line-up. That’s right; it’s time for the big game.
No, not that big game. The kick-off to spring is nearly here. For surveyors, contractors, and all those in the equipment industry, it means machines and workers are about to take the field. With jobsites busy as ever, your fleet needs to be ready for hard work and long hours – is it up to the task?
Annual, thorough service is among the best ways to ensure your GPS, machine control, and other equipment is in prime form for the season ahead. And just like the athletes getting in prime condition to take the field on Sunday, it’s also essential your team stays sharp and up-to-speed on technology and opportunities that could allow them to do their jobs better, faster, and more economically.
We all know the value of quality pre-season preparation. But what if your company just doesn’t have the time or proper resources to dedicate this level of focus to the team and fleet’s health? Consider your trusted dealership.
RDO Integrated Controls offers an annual service program for equipment including Carlson Machine Control, Sokkia, and Topcon, as well as special opportunities for annual training and technology upgrades.
Because your line-up is just as important as the ones that will be on both sides of the field at NRG Stadium this weekend, here are three reasons why annual service now is the key to a winning work season in 2017.
For something as important as your team and fleet’s health, don’t trust it to anyone but professionals. Leading dealerships employ certified technicians, and dedicated product and technology specialists who are experts in equipment and systems, and can ensure they’re working properly, calibrated, and software is up-to-date.
Additionally, these highly-skilled team members have a keen ability to “see” what others can’t. Like the best, most intuitive defensive players, they draw on experience and patterns to offer a proactive vs. reactive approach.
Those untrained or inexperienced in equipment maintenance and technology may have the best of intentions, but can easily miss warning signs and crucial points, or perform system upgrades incorrectly.
The best dealerships provide an exceptional, in-depth level of detail when it comes to servicing machines, often including testing cords and connectors, and cleaning system components.
This attention to detail extends beyond machines and systems, as most dealerships keep precise, thorough service records. While the immediate benefit is simple peace of mind, the long-term payoff comes in multiple forms.
For example, detailed records can be compared to records of other, similar machines to identify patterns or uncommon issues. All of this can help with troubleshooting or proactive suggestions down the road.
A good equipment manager has all the essentials on game day – from cleats to jerseys to snacks – ready to go for the team. Likewise, major dealerships keep a substantial inventory of batteries, cables, and other parts. Add in relationships with major manufacturers and, often, a network of their own stores, they also have the ability to source unique or uncommon parts and deliver them fast. This keeps downtime minimal and ensures every customer gets the exact part needed.
Calling the Right Play
Just as coaches on the sidelines manage the clock and make the most of each quarter, the best managers know the right call to make at each crucial point in the asset management game. Key to every equipment offense is to avoid being blitzed by unexpected downtime and repairs when the busy spring season is underway. Before winter ends, make the right play call and schedule service and training at your trusted, local equipment dealership.
About The Author
Jason Kreps is Product Specialist Manager for RDO Equipment Co. and based in Moorhead, MN.
From Atlanta to Alaska, Portland to Pennsylvania, it seems as though nearly every inch of the country is being blanketed with snow this winter. For snow removal professionals on the East Coast and in the Midwest, this isn’t something new. Moving the white stuff is a frequent occurrence that begins as early as October and can last into spring. However, for several areas of the country, snow plowing is a whole new game.
Regardless of the frequency you plow snow and how much experience you have, every snow plow operator has the same goals and they all boil down to doing the job right. This includes plowing snow efficiently, with minimal property and equipment damage, and above all else, maintaining safety.
Snow plow lasers have emerged as a great tool for every snow plow professional, from beginner to veteran. By using new technology, snow plow lasers have the ability to help drivers see their wing plow trailing edge location. The GL3000PMC Guidance Laser is one which uses an ultra-bright laser spot to establish the trailing edge location.
From better vision to enabling quick adjustments to versatility, here are five reasons a snow plow laser might be the next tool you’ll want in the toolbox.
1. Safety First
When it comes to any jobsite enhancement, it’s hard to find a stronger argument than safety. A snow plow laser establishes a wing or tow plow’s trailing edge location before the driver arrives at that point. This provides a two-fold benefit in that the operator’s visibility is enhanced by the bright laser, plus he or she has the opportunity to adjust course quickly and proactively. Not only does this make roads safer for nearby pedestrians, it helps the operator avoid hitting objects, cars, curbs, or other obstacles for reduced damage to both the equipment and other’s property.
2. Savings Next
Speaking of reduction in damages, the GL3000PMC has been shown to reduce plow strikes by 80% or more. The dollar savings of minimizing both property and equipment damage really add up quickly.
Additionally, the enhanced efficiency of plowing provided with a laser delivers better results, faster, saving both time and resources.
3. Guiding the Way
There are times when a plow operator is working on the road, after a storm. But more often than not, he or she is out there working in the middle of it – blizzards, freezing rain, sleet, and all. Because a laser helps show the pathway of the plow, it’s much easier for the operator to do a thorough job versus when vision is compromised.
This benefit is also huge for those who live in areas that don’t often see snow or those who are new to the task of plowing. The laser helps show drivers the pathway of the plow, allowing them to regularly see and learn the path, and enabling better operation for plow novices.
4. Faster and Cleaner
While the amount of cities that have seen snow this winter is alarming, perhaps more notable is the large dumpings of snow that have come at a time – from a few inches to a foot or more within just a couple of hours. To keep up and try to stay ahead of the continuously falling snow, plow operators need to work faster and clear snow better – both of which can be done with the help of a snow plow laser.
The enhanced visibility of the plow pathway takes the guesswork out of driving, giving operators a clear and more efficient path to plow. This leads to faster plowing and less time spent re-plowing to clean areas missed by the first pass.
For many plowing professionals, snow business isn’t their only business. The GL3000PMC is a versatile laser that’s designed for both hot and cold weather. This allows it to be used for other applications, such as highway, pavement, and field striping. Virtually any vehicle or heavy equipment, for example, asphalt distributors, needing line control and guidance can benefit from a snow plow laser.
Whether you live in the south or north, Washington or Wisconsin, if you operate a snow plow, you’ve got an important job to do. Ensure it’s done right, done quickly, and done safely with the help of a snow plow laser.