Forbes Shire Council save time and money with their GD655A-5 Grader & Topcon Control System combination

Forbes-Shire-Grader-(1).jpgThe combination of a Komatsu GD655A-5 fitted with a Topcon 3D GPS machine control system is helping Forbes Shire Council operator Brian Curry carry out road construction project grading works in about a third of the time of conventional methods.

In late 2010, Forbes Shire Council, in central western NSW, took delivery of the GD655A-5/3D machine control package and since then both the shire's construction supervisor Tim Smart and operator Brian Curry have been very impressed with the grader's performance, and the efficiency of the machine control package.Based around the town of Forbes, located about 400 km west ofSydney, the shire services a population of just over 9000 people.

Over the past five or six years, it has pioneered the use of GPS-based systems among NSW councils for its survey works, and as a result of the efficiencies and successes it achieved, has since moved into machine control systems for its road construction equipment. Forbes Shire's graders and machine control systems are used for carrying out road construction, both for the council's own works as well as onRTA jobs.

"The machine control systems make things a lot quicker for our guys, because we don't have to wait for the surveyors to turn up at a certain time to bang pegs in," said construction supervisor Tim Smart.

"The surveyors go and do the surveying, do the design, then plug it straight into our machines, and its right to go.

"It saves a lot of time and our operators like it too, because they don't have to get out of the machine to check the stringlines and all the things they used to do.

"It speeds up our job, our process, and doing the work as well, so it is a win-win for everyone really," he said.

Tim said the decision to purchase the Komatsu GD655A-5 came down to a number of factors, including operator preference.

"He has been operating another make for many years, but he told us when we had to get a new grader that he preferred the Komatsu.

"Since then, I've been really rapt in the Komatsu. We've had no dramas with support and parts, and the service has been pretty spot on; no issues at all," he said.

Tim's comments were backed up by operator Brian Curry.

"The machine's got plenty of go, I haven't had a spot of trouble with it," he said.

"I like things like the direct drive; if I am pushing a bit, I just hit the button and it gives me more power, so I can push a lot better.

"The visibility is also very good; you can see really close to the blade when you've got it tucked in there underneath you."

Brian also confirmed the Topcon machine control system made operating a lot more efficient.

"I'm not waiting around for surveyors and stringlines and things; they just put all the files in it, and I just go and start my work," he said.

"It's much more efficient; you know where your lines are and your grades, so you don't have to rely on getting out and pegging it. "I'd say it would cut a job to a third of the time, or a little bit more maybe.

"When you're laying the gravel out and everything, you're getting good results with your materials, because you've got it everything at the right height," he said.