GPS Alaska construction equipment

Trimble Vs. Topcon: How To Choose a Machine Control System Provider

Are you considering investing in a machine control system but don’t know where to start? There are several factors to consider, such as the equipment you want to integrate and the systems you want to invest in. Additionally, you might be concerned about what brand provides the best machine control systems, as both Trimble and Topcon are some of the industry’s most trusted providers of construction and surveying technology. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of investing in machine control systems and how to choose the technology that best fits your needs. 

Want to learn the best technology for your construction business? Call GPS Alaska to learn about our products and get a free quote today. 

Why You Should Invest in Machine Control Systems

Machine control systems utilize multiple types of positioning technology to provide your construction equipment with the most accurate positioning data. With this position and elevation reference provided by a robotic station or GNSS receiver, your equipment’s machine control system ensures incredibly precise grading and paving operations. 3D machine control systems utilize digital terrain models to ensure proper positioning of the blade or screed. 

If you’re utilizing a laser-based system or still rely on the skill of your crew, upgrading to a modern machine control system can revolutionize the way you do work. You’re guaranteed to increase productivity, streamline processes, and increase accuracy. Operators are able to control and monitor their progress without leaving the cab, and precise grading decreases material overages and wasted time spend on re-doing work. 

Machine control systems can be integrated with the machines you use most for your Alaska earthmoving and paving projects, including: 

  • Dozers
  • Excavators
  • Graders
  • Compact machines 
  • Drill rigs
  • Haul trucks 
  • Paver and milling machines 
  • Curb and gutter machines 
  • Roadbuilding equipment 

Is Trimble or Topcon Better for Your Construction Business? 

Construction business owners have several choices to consider when choosing a brand for machine control systems. Among these options, Topcon and Trimble are the top brands used for construction and surveying operations. Both companies are known for creating top-class software and hardware that provide innovative solutions for the field and office. 

Topcon’s construction and surveying product lines seamlessly integrate together. The manufacturer is dedicated to creating rugged, reliable products that are easy to use and designed to streamline your operation. 

Can You Use Both Machine Control Brands? 

In the past, it would have been extremely difficult or impossible to have a hybrid fleet. However, both Topcon and Trimble have created cloud-based software that makes it possible to use both Topcon and Trimble equipment. With this compatibility, an operator has the option to mix and match technology providers by ensuring the equipment is running off the same radio frequency and correct design files. 

While having a fleet that utilizes both Trimble and Topcon equipment is possible, it can be difficult to do and requires professional support and training to integrate effectively. 

The Importance of Choosing the Right Technology Dealer

Choosing the Right Technology Dealer infographic

When investing in new machine control systems, many field experts would argue that the most important factor to consider is the dealer you rent or purchase the technology from. While both Topcon and Trimble provide world-class equipment that will drastically improve your business’s profitability and performance, you need the right level of support to choose and integrate the best systems for your needs. 

Identifying the Best Systems for Your Fleet 

There are hundreds of machine control products to choose from. The challenge comes in identifying the right equipment for your budget, your operation, and your specific machinery. Rather than spending hours of your time researching all the options, your dealer should guide you through the process. This can include asking you specific questions about your goals and equipment, such as the equipment’s serial number. It’s also possible the dealer will need to perform a physical inspection of your equipment.

Installing Systems and Assisting With Training 

Construction companies should not be responsible for installing their own machine control systems. There is a great deal of technical knowledge needed to successfully integrate these systems, and a skilled dealer will have trained personnel who can professionally install your new machine control system. When done by an expert, the installation process can take as little as two days to complete. 

Training is also a necessary step for ensuring the transition to machine control systems is a smooth one. Your dealer can play a role in this process by training your operators on how to use their new technology and software. 

Providing Continued Maintenance and Support 

If you run into a technical issue with your new software or have equipment that needs to be repaired, having access to a support team is essential for reducing costly downtime. On the other hand, if it takes days or even weeks for your to get in contact with your dealer and get the support you need, your operation might be halted, pushing deadlines and hurting your profitability. 

Building Digital Terrain Models

3D machine control systems rely on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM). Building these models takes time, expertise, and the right software. Some contractors may have an in-house employee who can draft these models. However, many businesses are faced with choosing between paying to train an employee (who is not guaranteed to stay employed with the company) or outsourcing their modeling and take-off needs. Some dealers, like GPS Alaska, have the skillset and expertise to offer these modeling services. 

Offering Rentals and Flexible Financing Options 

Machine control systems can be a big investment up-front. While the productivity and profitability gains will pay off your investment in the long run, you might need to finance your purchase. When choosing a dealer, you’ll need to determine which payment options are available. 

Additionally, it might make more financial sense for you to rent equipment as you need it or until you have the resources to purchase it. In this case, you’ll want to find a dealer that rents out the systems you’re looking for. 

Upgrade Your Machine Control Systems With GPS Alaska

If you’re considering machine control systems for your construction business, you need to find the right dealer to partner with. GPS Alaska is the only Topcon dealer in the state of Alaska and goes above and beyond in the service we provide. 

When you work with us at GPS Alaska, we’ll walk with you through choosing the right technology for your business. After we talk with you about your business and inspect the machinery you want to integrate with a machine control system, we’ll recommend products and provide you with a free quote on how much it will cost to purchase and implement them. 

Then, we’ll take care of the entire installation process for you. Our skilled technicians will come out to your worksite and fully integrate your systems and provide general training on how to effectively operate your new technology. We also offer take-off and model building services, so you don’t need to search for a third party or train your staff to create models for 3D-machine control systems. And if you’re interested in renting your equipment, financing your purchase, or utilizing our rent-to-own options, we’ll work with you and your budget. 

If you ever run into any issues with the products you purchase from us, we’ll take care of you right away. We provide 24/7 support, so you can talk to a real person and get a response the moment you need it. With remote support, we can access your equipment remotely and help you troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve issues. If that doesn’t solve the problem, we’ll dispatch a technician to your location. You can also depend on us for in-house maintenance and repair of your equipment by a Topcon certified technician. 

Ready to work with a Topcon dealer that provides the best support? Call GPS Alaska to get started.