Machine control brings concrete benefits not just to large excavation companies but to small contractors as well. The initial investment might seem steep, but long-term benefits like faster project completion times, better accuracy at the worksite and higher cost-efficiency make it well worth it. With Xsite®, those new to machine control can learn easily by doing, swears Kristofer ‘Sweddigger’ Clegg.
Machine control makes the whole process simpler, right from initial planning to digging. With faster project completion times and a more efficient use of manpower and materials, smaller companies will be able to take on more work and operate more cost-efficiently.
—Machine control shortens project completion times by a lot. Earlier, you had to have another guy spraying lines to indicate where the corner of a house is going to be, for instance. Now, I am almost a one-man show and I can do it all by myself thanks to Xsite®, Clegg says.
For smaller companies this means they can use their manpower more efficiently —drivers can do what they do best and leave the rest to the machine. Thanks to the precision offered by information models and machine control, the work quality and use of materials often improve, thus saving costs too.
—If you work without machine control you would need to have another person with you. For instance, while laying the finishing touches, you need someone to let you know how much higher or lower to dig. Now you can work with precision right down to centimetres, and know exactly how much to dig or how much material you need to lay down, explains Clegg, who sits at the cabin of his excavator even as we speak.
With expert support always available, you can learn by doing without fear of mistakes
In Sweden, future excavator operators become familiar with machine control and information models during their studies, but there are still those who hesitate with learning to use it, assuming the technology is hard to master.
—When I started years ago, I was a bit scared too. It seemed hard to learn. But when I started learning, from day one I found out it is not difficult at all. I started to see the possibilities of machine control, and liked it more and more, says Clegg, who now swears by Xsite®.
Like Clegg, beginners can be worried about pushing the wrong button and making mistakes. In reality, the possibility of making a serious mistake or causing an error is extremely small, and with Xsite® there is always expert support available.
—They have a tech support line you can call, and they will help with any problem you may be having. You do not need to know how to explain what happened either, since you can just share your screen with them with just the push of a button, and they can see for themselves, Clegg explains. In addition to solving problems drivers might face at the worksite, remote support can also be used for training.
Machine control is becoming a requirement for larger construction sites
Just like every other field of business, construction is becoming increasingly digitalized. According to Clegg, machine control is starting to become less of a luxury and more of a requirement in Swedish construction sites. The same is true in Finland and Norway, as well.
—The first thing they ask you nowadays is if you have machine control. And if you do not have it, you are not coming to that worksite. You must have it, if you want to work on bigger construction sites, otherwise you have to work simpler jobs, says Clegg.
A growing number of companies are realizing that the model-based way of working is more efficient and profitable than previous methods. As a result, more and more worksites are operated solely based on digital plans only available through a machine control system.
Brand ambassador Swedigger swears by Xsite® and machine control
Clegg, whose roots lie in Swedish and American culture, has always been eager to learn about machines since childhood. His father is a farmer, so the interest came naturally and choosing the profession was easy.
Now Clegg has been working with machine control for approximately six years and has become a brand ambassador for MOBA Sweden. This has been largely possible thanks to his considerable social media presence.
He became familiar with MOBA and Xsite® when he started doing background research to buy a new excavator sometime around 2019. Initially he heard about MOBA from other professionals.
—I was talking to other operators about what they were using. A lot of people mentioned MOBA and Xsite®, so we thought we should try it out because we heard a lot of good things about it. I liked it from day one, he confesses.
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