Topcon helps Texco Group provide the very best

Topcon helps Texco Group provide the very best

Established by owners John and Penny Townshend in 1980, Texco Excavating and has since grown to include Texco Drilling, Texco Steel, Texco Engineering and Texco Remediation.

The company undertakes the general subdivision and commercial work of a civil contractor, but also specialises in work from ground level down, including foundation piling, dewatering, sheet piling, wells and basement excavation.

Texco initially purchased a GPS rover in 2013 to use for set-out and as-built. After seeing the benefits of the technology, contract manager Jason Smith researched machine control systems and wrote a report for the Board of Directors prior to purchase. Jason recommended Topcon because of its ease of use and the support and training offered by Synergy.

“It was decided to initially equip a bulldozer, a grader and an excavator from our current fleet,” he says.

“The John Deere dozer and grader were equipped with 3D automatic systems and the Hitachi 23t excavator with a dual GPS Indicate system.

“Installation of the three machines went smoothly; each machine was transported from the field to our workshop facility where Synergy Positioning Systems technicians – aided by our workshop staff – installed the required componentry on each machine. They were then transported back to site for on-site calibration and initial operator training.”

Jason say the machines were back on site after only two days.

Texco operators range in age from their 20’s to 70’s, with differing experience levels when it comes to using technology. It was therefore important to the company that any training was practical, hands-on and pitched at a level that all operators would be comfortable with.

To this end Synergy implemented training in the field on real projects. There were no classroom or theory sessions with the accompanying information overload.

Jason Bastings from Synergy’s Christchurch office worked closely with Texco Group to aid their operators in establishing the machine control systems. Jason introduced the basics to the operators and left them to get comfortable with the system. As the machines changed tasks on the job new training and information was drip fed to the operators as required.

At any time, he was just a phone call away for any questions.


  • Texco Topcon 3D Excavator
  • Texco Topcon 3D Dozer
  • Texco Topcon 3D Dozer
  • Texco Group (Topcon) Project

“The implementation of any new system can sometimes be accompanied by resistance to change and delays caused by steep learning curves,” says Jason Smith.

“But everyone in the Texco team - from the operators to supervisors – has quickly adapted to the new tasks, responsibilities and quality control procedures associated with the introduction of machine control.”

Jason says that all three Texco operators with machine control have provided positive feedback with comments ranging from “it’s easy to use” “it’s much faster” to “I enjoy coming to work and using it”.

“Having Topcon machine control is essentially about providing the crew with the tools they require to do the best job they can.

“They also have a greater level of responsibility and control over their workload which we believe aids in job satisfaction. There is no waiting for survey set-out before moving into an area. They literally have the entire project at their fingertips,” he says.

Recent projects the company has been involved in include the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Justice Precinct, the Orana Park Great Ape Centre and the new Burwood Hospital, where Texco undertook all foundation excavation along with external landscaping, carparks and storm water detention basins. The Lake Tekapo footbridge was built in conjunction with its sister company, Texco Steel.

Texco Group general manager Rob Kinney echoes Jason’s sentiments.

“We are thrilled with the feedback from our staff about the Topcon product. Initially sceptical of new technology, our staff have quickly adapted to the system and it has led to increased efficiencies and productivity on our jobs.

“We have quickly had requests from other staff members asking when they are likely to get it installed on their machines.

“We are also very happy with the service and backup provided by Synergy Positioning Systems and look forward to a long and enduring partnership.”    

For more information contact Synergy Positioning Systems or visit

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