Base Civil & 3DMC

Base Civil & 3DMC

Hamilton’s Base Civil has future-proofed its operation with accurate, advanced Topcon GPS 3D machine control systems for graders and excavators.

Paul Roberts and his team at Base Civil in Hamilton have just undertaken a big change for the better.

Having utilised GPS and setout equipment from another manufacturer for the past year or so, Paul decided that investing in 3D machine control technology for his grader and 20 tonne excavator would prove a crucial next step.

Having heard from other companies within the industry about the ease-of-use and accuracy of Topcon’s machine control systems, he consulted with Synergy Positioning Systems on how their technology might increase the productivity of Base Civil’s work on multiple sites.

“We were really impressed with Topcon right from the start. It was a huge call, but we ended up trading in all of our existing GPS machine control gear and moved the grader and excavator onto Topcon’s platform,” says Paul.

“The capability of the Topcon equipment is just amazing and Mike Milne and his team at Synergy have been excellent in terms of offering advice as we develop our knowledge base with the technology.”

“This equipment allows us to download design surfaces into the machines and very accurately cut and grade to finished level or a certain offset above or below finished level.”


  • Paul Roberts. Director Base Civil.
  • Base Civil & 3DMC Case Study Image 1
  • Base Civil & 3DMC Case Study Image 2
  • Paul Roberts. Director Base Civil.

One of the first jobs the Base Civil crew engaged in following the shift to Topcon 3D-MC equipment was on a large car park development for the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec).

“We set up the grader with the 3D-MC unit and used it to prep the car parks. I’d estimate we would have finished that job a week quicker than we would have before we had the Topcon machine control gear, and the resultant surfaces were more accurate as well.

“So overall we used fewer men to get a better result, faster. That’s a pretty comprehensive solution.”

What’s more, Base Civil is also utilising Topcon’s advanced project management and machine support software, Sitelink3D.

This system builds on 3D machine control technology by offering civil construction firms remote machine support, job file transfer and real-time project information on either Paul’s desktop back at the office or smartphone when out on the road.

Web-based, real-time visualisation is accessed through; a secure, subscription-based web portal that provides remote job site data, allows Paul to create new or updated job site parameters and send data from the office to the screen inside the machine cab, review real-time cut/fill mapping, acquire and store real-time survey data and view machine movement anywhere where Base Civil is working with system connected machines at any time.

Paul says that this sort of technology allows Base Civil to compete with the larger entities on similar projects, offering accuracy for their grader to within 1mm or 2mm, as well as the ability to progress work faster and more safely than ever before; factors which will come in to play when tendering for future work.

“I actually think our experience has been really beneficial because very rarely with this sort of equipment do you take a gamble and go with one manufacturer and then decide to go back to the drawing board and opt for another.

“Initially I thought ‘Ah, if only we’d known about Topcon back when we first invested’. But actually now that we’ve decided to switch to Topcon and can really see the technological advances it has over the competition, it gives me certainty as a business owner that we’ve made the right choice.”

And Paul intends to build on that certainty in the near future. With a new bulldozer on order, he will be establishing exceptionally fast Topcon 3D-MC 2 on this when it arrives and will also be looking to fit-out a secondary excavator and grader with their own machine control system components at a later stage.

“The new GPS equipment and CAD software are equal to the consultants and designers we work with, which makes it much easier for the transfer of information both ways, improving the outcomes for our clients.”


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