Construction team taking down dam

Utilizing On-site Machine Control Grading Systems

Welcome to the 4th edition of DirtLogic’s “Machine control” mini-series. So far, we’ve discussed the following topics:

What type/size projects merit the use of GPS technology

How to add GPS modeling into your bid (costs and savings)

Data prep – initiating your project’s GPS model production

If you missed any of these segments or would like to revisit, please click one of the links above for a copy.

Now we’ll focus on GPS Model Utilization.

Here are 5 simple steps to begin utilizing your on-site machine control grading system.

  • Step 1: Download the DirtLogic GPS model to a USB memory stick.  The download should take a maximum of 5 minutes.
  • Step 2: Upload files from the USB to the hand-held, data collector.  This upload should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Step 3: ALWAYS verify you have the survey control points. Ideally, they should be included in the GPS model if DirtLogic was able to collect them.  Otherwise, you will need to request the control points (northings, eastings and elevations) from the land surveyor.  When received, they need to be manually inputted into the data collector. This must be done on-site to calibrate the base and rover. Typically, no less than 5 control points are recommend around the circumference of the site for maximum accuracy.
  • Step 4: Begin calibrating the site by finding each control point.  Once the site is calibrated, you can securely begin grade checking and site layout.
  • Step 5: If you are implementing GPS machine control technology, now is the time to upload the DirtLogic GPS model into each applicable machine.

At this point, you are ready to grade. If you have questions about any of the implementation steps, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay tuned for our next edition of the “Machine control” mini-series.  We will discuss how GPS verification is necessary throughout the execution of your project.

GPS model graph

Initiating Your Project’s GPS Model Production

Congratulations on winning the bid!  Now the real work begins.

Here are a couple steps to expedite getting your project’s GPS model production into the DirtLogic pipeline quickly:

In the last edition of our mini-series of When/How to Integrate GPS Machine Control, DirtLogic recommends asking for a price quote on the correlating GPS model at the same time you order your earthwork take-off.

Step 1

If this was your process, then “Step 1” is returning to the original proposal and clicking “Accept” on the GPS model bid to alert our team. If you did not order an earthwork take-off from DirtLogic, or did not request a correlating GPS modeling bid when your take-off was ordered you may request a GPS model quote anytime or call us at (503) 662-7390 to begin.

Step 2

Good news though!  For every GPS model DirtLogic creates we also include an earthwork quantity take-off for verification. Regardless of the initial process, “Step 2” involves receiving a phone call or an email from DirtLogic within 24 hours (Monday-Friday) to collect a set of a construction plans AND the engineer’s electronic CAD files.

If your construction start date is tight, you do not have to wait for us to reach out. You may email a link of the construction plans and CAD files at any time too:  This will immediately initiate communication on GPS modeling costs and the production timeline. DirtLogic strives to have a GPS model turnaround of 1-2 weeks.

We’re committed to taking the guesswork out of dirtwork and appreciate the opportunity to earn your trust. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Matt Gebarowski, directly if there is urgency or questions at: Stay tuned for the next segment of this mini-series, “On-site Utilization – Verifying and Implementing the GPS Model.”

Bulldozer clearing dirt on site

How to Integrate GPS Machine Controls

Many of you are now utilizing GPS technology and may have questions on how to account for the costs and savings in your bids. Here are a few suggestions to simplify the process:

Next Steps


When preparing your bid, call DirtLogic as early as possible for the earthwork take-off. At this time, also ask for an estimate on the subsequent DirtLogic GPS model.

Next, add the cost of the employee(s) it will take to implement the technology and a surveyor to double-check specifics like property lines, building corners, curb returns, alignments, etc.

For example: If machine control data costs $3,000 to $5,000 then add at least that same amount if not, double to cover implementation and surveyor verification.


If we still suggest utilizing a surveyor you may ask, “What’s the benefit to using machine control?” The fact is value holds because without using GPS machine control, traditionally construction survey costs are 60-70% MORE.

Additionally, there are other savings such as increased production due to no delay for construction staking, increased accuracy even with less-experienced operators and increased speed in execution. The latter is more difficult for us to assign a savings percentage, but you know your team and processes best.

If you have further questions on how to add GPS modeling to your bid or how to begin transitioning to GPS machine control, please feel free to contact me directly, my contact information is listed below.

When partnering with DirtLogic, you can have a stake-less site for an efficient, profitable project from start to completion. We look forward to earning your trust.

GPS equipment with man standing in front

Projects That Merit The Use of GPS Machine Control Technology

Nearly 20 years ago, GPS machine control quickly became attainable for almost every excavation businesses. Initially it made sense to use it on 20+ acre projects. But thanks to significant improvements and decreasing modeling costs, DirtLogic has participated in projects as small as a farmer’s pond to some as large as the San Diego light rail.

The fact remains: There is never a project too small that GPS integration doesn’t make sense (ex. public works,1-4 acre commercial sites, small subdivisions, parks, etc.). GPS machine control always reduces the man-hours needed, increases the quality of execution and profit potential if it is used correctly.

Additionally, it’s been proven that construction companies who integrate technology into their work, make their businesses more attractive to the next generation of construction professionals. The possibilities are endless as we embrace the inevitable.