Less Waste, Better Margins
Dirt busts and double-handling are major margin killers for grading contractors, but without access to current, accurate topographical data, some waste is inevitable. Independent captures weekly surveys on their projects using drones, and uses TraceAir's software to measure, track, and visualize their projects. This allows them to measure site balance–at the fraction of the cost of traditional surveys– and course-correct when something goes wrong.
For Skyline Ranch, a 500-acre site, the developer wanted 27 million cubic yards of total cut moved in just 16 months. Some approvals were still pending and model homes were designed to be in the middle of the site, so the job had to be built out of sequence at the risk of serious dirt imbalance. Independent saw the opportunity to address project challenges using technology, and bid competitively to win the contract. TraceAir provided the team with cut/fill maps of the project every week, which showed accurate dirt balance of the whole site and to calculate an average for the bulk/shrink coefficient of excavated dirt. Using this information, the construction team was able to see early that with the current final grade design, the project would end up long by 600,000 cubic yards, an extraordinary cost to the project. By identifying this issue early, the team was able to revise the design to avoid this catastrophe. Ultimately, Independent finished grading ahead of time by two months with only 20,000 cubic yards of long haul. This is less than 0.1% of the total cut – accuracy that is unheard of in the industry.