Multi-Machine Control’s a Winner for BG Contracting

Multi-Machine Control’s a Winner for BG Contracting

Progressive Christchurch construction firm BG Contracting takes on a wide variety of roading, drainage, general earthworks and surveying work. No two projects are quite the same, with a multitude of disciplines requiring various skills and machinery the company has in its possession.

One increasingly uniform aspect of the BG Contracting heavy equipment fleet though, is the company’s use of machine control technology on a number of different machines in order to help capture best-result accuracy, project speed and staff efficiency.

"Honestly, I could see machine control technology almost doubling our production rates within the first few weeks of adopting it," says BG Contracting general manager Stephan Rattray.

"We were also motivated to eliminate rework and this technology ensures that what is done is paid: no more, no less. Having the ability to build the job to a 10mm precision with the GPS machines ensures we do just that."

"On straightforward tasks such as constructing services trenching, it’s all about position and height. With machine control providing all the data, key parameter information is right there for the operator in the cab. That means there’s no need for a guy with a level standing in a hole; he can go off and be utilised elsewhere."

Stephan says that the technology has essentially freed up the company’s in-house surveyor to allocate more time to data management.

"Our survey team manager, Jason Bastings, has totally embraced this tech and has effectively grown his team to include the machine operators. Thanks to Topcon’s Sitelink3D system, which we’re in the process of establishing, the machine operators are able to perform setout without Jason needing to leave the office"

"We’ve been involved in a lot of landscaping work lately where we’re shaping bunds; machine control effectively means we’re not relying on pegs everywhere. We still peg everything out when it comes to kerb and channel work, but the way this technology is going it probably won’t be long before the same GPS technology is available for this task too."


  • BG Contracting at work!

To say the company has been involved in plenty of landscaping work lately is a bit of an understatement, with work completed on a huge variety of green- and brown-field development around Greater Christchurch, including the Izone Business Hub and Faringdon residential subdivision, both in Rolleston; the Halkett Grove subdivision in West Melton; and the large scale Tait Business Centre Campus where carparks, roading and services to a variety of infrastructure were required.

Topcon machine control technology played a vital part at each job site.

Ask Stephan if there was any initial hesitation from BG operators in adopting machine control systems on the gear, and his answer is unhesitating.

"Quite the opposite actually: we’ve got a lot of young guys on staff and, rather than any reluctance, as soon as they saw what the technology could achieve and how simple it is to use, they were all asking ‘Where’s my one?’"

What began with one trial unit on an excavator has expanded to include seven Topcon machine control units, including four on excavators and two on graders, as well as a Topcon 3D-MC² system on a dozer.
In fact, where BG Contracting’s John Deere 650H dozer is concerned, Stephan reckons the technology has helped take a barely-used piece of kit and turn it into a money-making machine.

"That dozer used to be the least used machine in our yard, but now that it has machine control on it, we’re using it constantly. We utilise it for trimming the kerb base, trimming sub-grades... there’s always a use for it. It’s good that we can get more out of it as a result."

So after almost seven years utilising machine control systems, Stephan and his team are certainly sold on the benefits the robust and accurate technology offers. Adaptable systems from Topcon for a variety of heavy equipment are proving themselves worthy investments across the busy Canterbury construction scene and beyond.

Back to all case studies

Related Case Studies

  • Total Control Across The Fleet

    Total Control Across The Fleet

    Cameron Civil Ltd owner/manager Tony Wilson admits he is always looking for ways to be more innovative, to get things done faster. Eventually, he says, the need for better project efficiencies led him to Topcon....

    Read More
  • St. Kilda Development - C&R Developments - Topcon Machine Control

    St. Kilda Development - C&R Developments - Topcon Machine Control

    The St. Kilda development, on the leafy outskirts of Cambridge in the Waikato, has proven something of a 360 degree project for Topcon, with ground works contractor C&R Developments, St. Kilda development director Matt Smith and surveyor Pete ...

    Read More