Trimble has launched a world-first, patent-pending VerticalPoint RTK system for grade control in agriculture. VerticalPoint RTK provides significantly enhanced vertical accuracy and stability of standard single-baseline RTK systems reducing the downtime and costly delays experienced by many agriculture land improvement contractors today.
VerticalPoint RTK is currently available in North America and Australia as an unlock on the Trimble FmX integrated and TMX-2050 displays and works in combination with the Trimble FieldLevel II system, which streamlines the surveying, designing and leveling steps required for land leveling projects. The VerticalPoint RTK system also includes two stationary supplemental rovers for live, dynamic data collection.
When vertical accuracy inconsistencies occur, agriculture contractors must wait to re-start leveling until the vertical signal is once again accurate, and in some instances even rework portions of the field that were incorrectly leveled before the vertical signal inconsistency was discovered. VerticalPoint RTK significantly reduces vertical design errors in leveling and land forming projects, which occur from inconsistent vertical GPS signals resulting from atmospheric interference. With VerticalPoint RTK, contractors can experience an approximate 25 percent increase in overall uptime. Currently the industry experiences about 75 percent uptime; however, with VerticalPoint RTK uptime can increase to approximately 95 percent. In addition, this increase in uptime occurs even in the most challenging environments and at any time of year.
“Trimble is excited to launch a world-first technology that enhances vertical GPS accuracy, enabling agriculture contractors to better perform leveling or land forming operations,” said Josh Shuler, product manager for Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “Our new VerticalPoint RTK system can significantly reduce downtime leading to reduced expenses in labor and fuel while also increasing productivity.”
“On average during the summer months we may see 5-6 hours a day where we don’t have the level of vertical GPS accuracy that we need to complete finish passes,” said Jarrett Lawfield, owner of Lawfield Land Grading, a custom land leveling business. “At times all we lack is a finish pass and then we very well may have to stop and wait. I can’t get onto the next job since I'm waiting for the vertical accuracy to be where it needs to be.”
“The vertical accuracy capabilities of VerticalPoint RTK allows the whole project—from bulk hauling to finish passes—to be more efficient. The more accurate bulk hauling is, the less work to be done while finishing,” said Lawfield. “From first thing in the morning until the evening or even to the next day, VerticalPoint RTK is consistent and repeats elevation, so it has virtually eliminated the times when we are unsure of the vertical GPS accuracy. It has helped us to be more timely and efficient in our work.”