C+S July 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 7 (web)

Originally founded in 2007, heavy civil and sitework contractor, Whitaker Construction Group, has long been a progressive company with a forward-thinking vision about the way projects are completed. Matt Bousman, Partner and President of the company, said, “We’ve found a niche in the construction space, handling large and complex projects such as tunnels, pipelines, landfills, and dams. We believe that’s largely because we’re always improving our equipment and processes. I liked to have this company come out on the cutting edge of technology.” Along with an extensive inventory of equipment, Whitaker was one of the early adopters of GPS technology for layout in 2007. The com - pany added 3D modeling and machine control soon after. “Modeling was a particularly powerful addition to our skills. I found that developing site models gave our crews a very detailed perspec- tive of the project,” said Bousman. “It takes time, but it’s worth it to improve efficiency and quality.” For Bousman, the natural next step from modeling was real-time mapping with drones. “Aerial mapping would deliver site data faster, more accurately and more frequently when compared to traditional survey methods, but it can be expensive.” Over the years, Bousman had kept an eye on the evolving technology of drone surveying. “When PPK drone capabilities came out, it really made drones an affordable possibility.” After evaluating other drone mapping software, Bousman selected Trimble Stratus, powered by Propeller in 2019. “I found that the Trimble Stratus solution was ideally suited to the heavy civil work that we do at the right price point,” he explained. “A year ago we were barely considering investing in a drone because of the cost. Now we’ve implemented a full drone program and have two guys licensed on staff to fly them.” Visual Verification Since implementation, drone-enabled surveying and mapping has become an integral part of the Whitaker Construction workflows, capturing 3D surveys to plan and schedule work and tracking job progress with ease. Specifically, the company uses the fully integrated Propeller PPK solution, DJI’s Phantom 4 RTK drone, and Propeller’s AeroPoints for collecting highly accurate drone data. Whitaker Construction Maps, Measures, and Models with Drone-Enabled Ease

“The workflow is fantastic,” said Bousman, “and it’s not hard to get up to speed. The software is very visual so data presentation is clear to our entire team in the office and on the ground.” Bousman and his crews use AeroPoints to establish accurate, reliable ground control. “Once that’s set, we fly the site to get a baseline and then regularly after that to check progress against design specifica - tions, generate cut and fill maps, create topos and measure distances, grades, and heights. We can do all of this in a fraction of the time that it used to take with traditional survey methods.” Optimized for Operations Whitaker Construction specializes in heavy civil and mass earthwork jobs—the more complex the better. These projects range from ex- Customer Profile Headquartered in Paso Robles, California, Whitaker Construction Group, Inc. specializes in heavy civil, mass earthwork, excavation, and site work for highways, commercial, industrial and residential developments, basins and ponds, concrete structures, dams and landfills. Solution • Trimble Stratus • Propeller PPK • Propeller AeroPoints high-precision ground control • DJI Phantom4 RTK



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