Total station

S

Smiffy

Well-known member
More out of curiosity than anything else. Does anyone on here set out with there own robotic total station??
Or. Would anyone be able to give an idea of setup cost for one most likely second hand.
I don't t know enough about them at this moment in time to know all the correct terms but would be interested to know how much the type for single person use with the tablet setup would be.
Thanks
 
Gunners

Gunners

Well-known member
£20k upwards depending on spec from what I've been discovering. The more expensive ones are more accurate over a larger distance. But they can also be rented for less than £200/week which is interesting and considering the time taken to set some things out properly - probably quite an affordable way to go. The software is getting easier to use too, especially for the basic end of what we often need
 
S

Smiffy

Well-known member
Met a project manager on site the other day who was setting out for something so I had a bit of a nosey at his set up.

He was running this.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/33354219...fYP82DLStC&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Which didn't seem to bad. Would need another grand+ worth of extras
Prism, pole, tripod, laptop and cad subscription.
Looks a better proposition than buying a mini tbh.

How much are people paying for a basic set out.
Say foundations or shed bolts.
I know what is being charged for whole surveys. Or whole day on site but wondering if it could be worth doing little set outs to get started.
 
Gunners

Gunners

Well-known member
Met a project manager on site the other day who was setting out for something so I had a bit of a nosey at his set up.

He was running this.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/33354219...fYP82DLStC&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

Which didn't seem to bad. Would need another grand+ worth of extras
Prism, pole, tripod, laptop and cad subscription.
Looks a better proposition than buying a mini tbh.

How much are people paying for a basic set out.
Say foundations or shed bolts.
I know what is being charged for whole surveys. Or whole day on site but wondering if it could be worth doing little set outs to get started.
Was £300 per visit for that kind of thing a couple of years ago when I last used one. They did supply their own spray and pegs - have you seen how expensive a wooden peg has got!
 
S

Smiffy

Well-known member
Was £300 per visit for that kind of thing a couple of years ago when I last used one. They did supply their own spray and pegs - have you seen how expensive a wooden peg has got!

That only really takes 2 visits a day to be quids in then.

Only problem is it seems you need a gps aswell if dealing with other people's sites
 
S

Smiffy

Well-known member
About £800 for a full topography survey
Problem with full surveys is you néed the gps as well for a coordinate points.
Whereas a set out realistically could be done in an afternoon. Along side other work.
 
Gunners

Gunners

Well-known member
Only problem is it seems you need a gps aswell if dealing with other people's sites
You don't neeeed GPS. GPS sounds lovely but it has its issues with close proximity buildings, trees etc blocking the satellites. On smaller projects, you can assign your own co-ordinates off an existing building or features and go from there. Its only relative to what you tell it. If you were setting out HS2 then maybe GPS would be useful. But if you were building the new runway at Heathrow for example, you have plenty to go off that's existing so wouldn't need it there really.
Often you would be following a topo survey that would set up control points anyway so if setting out you go off these. Beware though - I had piles set out using GPS once, then we tried to set out edge of shutter for the ground beam once they were installed and the whole site turned out to be 300mm in the wrong longitude! Bloody control point had the wrong number against it and it gave our total station the wrong info - therefore putting our work in the wrong position. Took a couple of hours to work out where the issue was and we got there in the end by checking our selves against the existing man road. But my point is, don't always trust the topo survey!
I had this again more recently when a manhole in the road was given the wrong level. I used it as my datum thinking it wouldn't move throughout the project and had to dig the entire plot 140mm more than I originally thought because it transpired the number given on the drawing for the manhole level was wrong!
Put it this way... I always double check now....
GPS would have solved both these issues but it also creates others. Its good but not 100% yet in my opinion and all engineers who run GPS will have a traditional total station in the boot of the truck as a backup.
Pics of the job in Chaldon where I had the 300mm issue. I will never forget the lesson learnt that day. Was pretty pleased with the outcome though. This was back in 2014 before every groundworker on linked in was trying to show how tidy their work was. Wouldn't cut it today - Id have to have rainbow barriers around the plot and spray every drain telling everyone its a foul drain! But back then I like to think we were ahead of the curve.
 

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S

Smiffy

Well-known member
I know the setting out can be done entirely from total station and that's what I'm interested in. But I was under the impression that full topo surveys required a gps as well as the total station to give coordinates. As a stand alone total station can only ever give a stand alone survey ???
Hence the interest in just setting out.

I've been on a few sites where gps has gone wrong or atleast the backup.
I did a slab with 20 waste upstands and ducts in it all position checked by gps before slab poured. Brickwork set out whilst no one on site.et bricklayers one morning set out all the string lines and every single upstand was under a wall turned out. Luckily it turned out the engineer had marked out for 9in block work not 4. But was a lot of panick until we found the problem.
 
dod

dod

Active member
We run a topcon gps rover

Was around 15k

You can survey with it. The architect will send us drawings and we can set out roads, sewers, shed bases, founds etc etc

Its not accurate enough to set out the base bolts or the corners of the block work but I often mark out the corners and leave it for the builders to check the sizes and the diagonals. Usually not far off and it's still quicker.

We will just draw out house founds with spray marker in around 5 mins. And if the marks start getting rubbed out by diggers and dumper then we'll mark them again
 
dod

dod

Active member
This was back in 2014 before every groundworker on linked in was trying to show how tidy their work was. Wouldn't cut it today - Id have to have rainbow barriers around the plot and spray every drain telling everyone its a foul drain!
Love that 🤣🤣
 
S

Smiffy

Well-known member
We run a topcon gps rover

Was around 15k

You can survey with it. The architect will send us drawings and we can set out roads, sewers, shed bases, founds etc etc

Its not accurate enough to set out the base bolts or the corners of the block work but I often mark out the corners and leave it for the builders to check the sizes and the diagonals. Usually not far off and it's still quicker.

We will just draw out house founds with spray marker in around 5 mins. And if the marks start getting rubbed out by diggers and dumper then we'll mark them again


Bloody hell how much do you have to spend to set out bolts and block work??
 
Gunners

Gunners

Well-known member
So the accuracy is down to how much you want to pay for correction. Your mobile phone is good enough to 1.5m for free. Anything more than that starts costing and gets increasingly more expensive the higher accuracy you go.
I'm not saying you cant do it with string lines and tape measures because obviously you can. But the right GPS system is quicker and on the right work will save more money than it costs. Just like any other bit of kit.
@Smiffy I think you are looking at a robotic total station which are coming more affordable these days and would set out bolts on a job much more accurately for less cost than GPS would. But you need to have some known points on the job first in order for the total station to know where it is. This could be an existing building, road or set co-ordinates. But as previously mentioned - make sure they have the right numbers against them!
 
dod

dod

Active member
Bloody hell how much do you have to spend to set out bolts and block work??
The gps is only accurate to 2 - 3 inch so you need a total station to go more accurate than that but accurate enough for founds and roads
I bought the gps first and will add on a total station at a later date
Gps is quicker and easier to set up and more fool proof.
Although as mentioned not so good in areas you don't get phone reception
 
S

Smiffy

Well-known member
So the accuracy is down to how much you want to pay for correction. Your mobile phone is good enough to 1.5m for free. Anything more than that starts costing and gets increasingly more expensive the higher accuracy you go.
I'm not saying you cant do it with string lines and tape measures because obviously you can. But the right GPS system is quicker and on the right work will save more money than it costs. Just like any other bit of kit.
@Smiffy I think you are looking at a robotic total station which are coming more affordable these days and would set out bolts on a job much more accurately for less cost than GPS would. But you need to have some known points on the job first in order for the total station to know where it is. This could be an existing building, road or set co-ordinates. But as previously mentioned - make sure they have the right numbers against them!

I was looking at total stations but obviously I am aware of the limitations when it comes to surveys as no height from sea level and no coordinates.
Im only interested in setting out at the moment as would want to do it besides my normal job. Which I think setting out is possible as the engineers are rarely on site very long. Where's surveying is alot more to learn and more time consuming.
I think it would also be a benefit when looking for future jobs as have seen people looking for it as part of a wider job roll
 
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