Frequently Asked Questions
What types of products does GPS Alaska offer?
GPS Alaska is committed to providing our customers technology-driven solutions that maximize productivity in the construction, surveying, engineering, and natural resource development industries. Peter Drucker famously said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We believe this principle is paramount to the success of your business. As the only Authorized Topcon Dealer in the state of Alaska, we are experts on the construction and survey product lines offered by Topcon Positioning Systems. We also offer additional products from many other vendors including Sokkia, Carlson Software, Pfreundt Scales, RDS Technology, Aeropoints, DJI, Seco, Juniper Systems, Sokkia, Pacific Crest, Satel, GPS Source, and more.
What makes GPS Alaska different from other construction/survey technology providers?
Support! We offer the best support in the industry. We are there when you need us and we have the knowledge to keep your projects moving. Ask any of our customers and they will tell you our support is second to none.
What is 2D machine control?
2D machine control is the foundation for all machine control systems. Utilizing elevation references such as lasers, slope sensors, or sonic trackers in conjunction with mounted sensors, a 2D system indicates the vertical position of the equipment. 2D machine control can display the vertical distance between the target design and your blade, bucket, or screed for example, but it can’t tell you where your equipment is on the job site.
What is 3D machine control?
3D machine control takes advantage of 2D machine control system components and adds 3D components like GNSS receivers or robotic total stations. 3D machine control positions the equipment both horizontally and vertically on a project, whereas 2D machine control can only position the equipment vertically.
How much does machine control cost?
There is no simple answer to this question. The fact is that there are many variables when it comes to automating heavy equipment. Does it need a hydraulic package installed? Is there any bracketing or modification required? What type of system is best for my machine? These are just a few factors that are reflected in the final cost. The best way to accurately price machine control is to contact GPS Alaska. We will look up your equipment by serial number, complete an inspection if necessary, clarify possibilities for automating that specific machine, and provide pricing for the available options.
What are the ROI/productivity gains?
The ROI (Return on Investment), is largely why machine control and GPS survey have become necessary. Companies that integrate this technology have huge advantages over those that do not. With technology like machine control, it is common for our customers to tell us they have improved their material placement speed and quality by 50% or better. We have ROI calculators available. These calculators will allow you to input project costs and determine an estimated ROI.
What parts of the system can be transferred and used on other machines?
Machine control systems commonly have a base system. This base system is comprised of hard-mounted sensors, cabling, and brackets. With aftermarket machine control systems, expensive components such as the display screen and GNSS sensors can easily be moved between different machines.
Does 3D machine control need a model?
Yes, 3D machine control always needs a model or design to control the cutting edge. Simple projects like flat pads and basic roads can be created within the infield design function of the control box/computer. More complicated projects will require a model to be built from the paper plans using design software.
Does GPS Alaska offer take-off and model building services?
Yes, we do offer these services. We have a simple process for quoting, delivering, and making changes if needed. Many of our customers have started taking advantage of the time savings and peace of mind that our expert services provide.
Is financing available?
Yes, financing is available. There are multiple financing options to fit any customer.
Can I rent the equipment?
Yes, many of our customers choose to rent equipment. We also offer RTO (Rent to Own) options.
If I break something, how long will the repair take?
We keep most repair parts commonly needed in stock and available immediately. If there isn’t a part in stock, we have access to an extensive network of dealers.
Is training necessary?
Yes, in order to get the most out of your investment, training is an essential part of the process. From our experience, customers who initiate the employee training needed on the front end of the process are by far the most successful in the long run.
How can I get help when I need it?
We always have someone available with the experience needed to handle the technical questions. Day or night, weekday or weekend, there is always someone to help!
How long will this equipment last?
We have equipment currently in the field that is over ten years old. Having a plan to upgrade and keep your technology fleet fresh is one of the best ways to avoid downtime. It will pay you multiple times over if you take care of it.
Do you fix equipment locally or do you have to send it out-of-state for repair?
Yes, we repair all of our machine control and GNSS equipment in-house. In most cases, we can repair equipment the same day. We have multiple Topcon certified repair technicians.
What is Topnet Live AK?
Topnet Live AK is a network RTK partnership between GPS Alaska and Topcon. Topnet Live AK offers RTK GNSS corrections via cellular connectivity.
Is a base station required to use GPS?
No, if you are in one of the many locations covered by Topnet Live AK, you can utilize the corrections from our Network RTK service.
Can I use multiple GPS and machine control brands together?
Yes, multiple technology brands may be used on the same job site. It is more complicated, but we offer training to help you create a successful workflow.
How long will I have to wait for support?
We understand how important it is for companies to receive support quickly. We will answer the call promptly and often times solve your issues during the initial conversation. If onsite support is needed, we will dispatch a technician right away.
Do I have to install the equipment myself?
No, we do not recommend self-installation because of the technical knowledge required to install and calibrate these systems. We have the trained personnel and expertise to install your equipment efficiently and correctly.
How long does it take to install machine control?
Most standard installations for equipment like graders, dozers, and excavators take about two days to install and calibrate.
What is the warranty on machine control and survey equipment?
Most equipment in our industry comes with a standard 1-year warranty. Additional warranty packages are available for purchase to extend the warranty period.
Does GPS Alaska offer remote support?
Yes, as long as you have an internet connection such as WIFI or cellular, our technicians can log into your equipment remotely. This has become one of the most powerful tools we can utilize to ensure our customers’ success. We can remote into to your equipment, troubleshoot, train, and provide support with little down time.