Survey Equipment to Suit Your Needs

We know land surveying can be complicated and confusing, with countless equipment options for each project. That’s why Bench Mark tries to keep surveying simple by finding a customized solution tailored to your needs. If you are unsure of what you need, you can always phone our office and talk to one of our trained engineers, who will help you with precisely what you need. Every piece of surveying equipment we sell has been tested to ensure that it meets our rigorous standards, as we want the equipment you buy to surpass your expectations. We have experience in the field and know what it is like to have your surveying equipment let you down. It’s why we do our best to ensure that it never happens to you. The team at Bench Mark wants to ensure that your survey equipment is fully operational and can work in all scenarios and situations. Start your search for surveying equipment today and contact us if you would like any information on our survey equipment.

 

Arguably, the most important thing to know before purchasing equipment is the parameters of your project. There are several things to consider, including; what level of accuracy is required, the size of your site, time constraints, and the overall budget. Having an idea of these requirements before you begin searching for your equipment will help you avoid any buyer’s remorse.

Some of the more common applications we see for our equipment are:
That is not all though as we see more specialized applications too, including:

Considerations for Your Survey Equipment Purchase

The Choice of Accuracy

One of the largest factors to consider when determining the equipment that will work best for you is the level of accuracy you require. Do you need a sub-meter or a sub-centimetre measurement? Depending on your desired level of accuracy, the options available to you will change.

 

For sub-meter projects, where a high degree of accuracy is not required, a single GNSS receiver is the right way to go. These devices are more commonly known as GIS receivers and provide positions within a beach ball-sized area. These kinds of instruments are particularly useful for utility management and commercial irrigation. When rough positioning is all that is required, a GIS receiver is generally the answer.

 

The more precise of the two, sub-centimetre, is required for projects where positions must fit within a golf ball-sized area. Many different types of surveying equipment can provide the required level of accuracy for these projects. Here at Bench Mark, the most common packages we sell for this solution are GNSS RTK Bases and Rovers, or a GNSS RTK Network Rover.

 

Both of these options provide similar levels of accuracy but provide different advantages and disadvantages. Some of the other options available for this accuracy level include manual and robotic total stations. Although they provide a higher degree of relative accuracy when compared to GNSS RTK receivers, they come with their own considerations to be made before purchasing.

The two aspects that are most overlooked during surveying equipment purchases are the size of the project and the time allotted for the survey. Depending on the combination of factors you have, different pieces of equipment will suit your needs.

 

For projects that take place over a small site, no more than 800-1000 metres, where the site is wide open and free from obstructions, a manual (MTS) or robotic total station (RTS) will be the answer to your needs. With a smaller site, you can set up on one point and survey the entire area. When taking a robotic total station onto a larger or more crowded site, you may have to move and reposition your total station several times to survey the entire site which leads to unnecessary downtime and introduces more chances for errors.

 

With a robotic total station, you have the ability to perform the entire survey with a single individual, potentially saving you time and labour costs. A robotic total station will automatically track the user around the site while the user records data remotely. This contrasts with a manual total station, where a two-person crew is required. This kind of setup often takes more time than an RTK, as each shot must be manually focused and recorded.

 

For project sites under 10 kilometres in radius, an RTK GNSS Base and Rover is the best solution. With this type of survey equipment, a base receiver can be set in a position where it will then broadcast, over UHF radio, to the rover’s receiver. This type of system allows you to cover large areas and complete surveys quickly.

 

For sites larger than 10 km in radius, a network rover is the best option. A network rover will be able to provide a precise position within a golf ball-sized area, however, it only works if network coverage is present. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, StormCaster devices may be the answer for you. However, it is important to note that if there is a lapse or inconsistency in your cell coverage, you may want to look into a base radio or signal enhancer. This will help a base and rover achieve more range.

The Choice of Time and Site Size

The Choice of Cost

We know how important cost is when buying a new piece of surveying equipment. Keeping your budget in check and buying the right piece of surveying equipment to fit your needs is a crucial part of any purchase.

 

For those on a very limited budget, but still looking for a high degree of accuracy, a manual total station is likely the answer. However, before buying a manual total station, it should be noted that they require two operators. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of having two people using the equipment versus the outright cost of a more expensive solution.

 

For those who are looking to use more high-tech options, the choice is between a robotic total station and an RTK GNSS system. Both of these options bring way more convenience than a manual total station. They can be used by a single individual and they can cover a much larger area in a smaller time.

 

Finding the balance between these factors can make the difference between a successful purchase, and one that ends in disaster.

FAQs

With so many different options that can fill a whole host of different and varied roles, it is essential to answer several questions for yourself. By keeping these questions in mind, you can avoid buyer’s remorse or purchasing equipment that you do not need.
Before requesting a quote or phoning our office, you should know precisely what kind of survey equipment your project requires. Do you need to layout a house foundation? Layout points over 10 km? Need to work by yourself? Have a team available? All of these questions should be answered before you begin to look for surveying equipment. However, if you have problems answering those questions, our trained team of engineers has experience in the field and can help answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
This is probably one of the most critical questions you need to answer before beginning your search for survey equipment. By setting a budget before you begin to shop, you can ensure that you do not end up buying a piece of equipment that does more harm than good. In an ideal world, with an unlimited budget, everyone could keep a full fleet of survey equipment running. However, due to cost restrictions, this is not the case. For most people, their surveying equipment needs are met by a Robotic Total Station or RTK GNSS receivers. If you are more budget-conscious, you may want to check out used equipment, a theodolite or a total station. The price of surveying equipment can vary from $ 1,000 up to $ 500,000, so knowing what you need and what you want to pay is important.
Individual pieces of surveying equipment operate on different principles, but all follow the same basic principle: by determining the relative distance between positions. For instance, a theodolite works by measuring the horizontal and vertical angles between points, and by using the distance between a series of points, trigonometric calculations can be used. This is different from sub-meter GIS systems, where satellite positions are used to triangulate a position on the globe. Knowing how your equipment works will allow you to determine the best way to use your surveying equipment and plan how to proceed with your projects.
The better you care for and maintain your surveying equipment, the longer your surveying equipment will work for you. Although most of the surveying equipment we sell is designed to take bumps and be exposed to dust and water, this does not mean the survey equipment is invincible. If your equipment is wet or dusty, you should take the time to clean and dry off the equipment. Sealing the equipment in a case while dirty can cause the water and dust to work their way into the equipment causing damage. Another thing to keep in mind that is often overlooked is the care of your batteries. It is important to keep your batteries charged and free of grime and corrosion. Keeping your batteries healthy means that you can work longer between charges and avoid having your survey equipment die on you as you work.
Surveying equipment accessories make the difference between a long and frustrating day and the field, and an easy, quick survey. An accessory can be as large and cumbersome as a fixed height tripod, or as small and lightweight as a data collector clamp. All of these accessories are designed to make your life simpler. Although they do not often directly affect the results of your survey, a well-designed survey equipment accessory can save you a pile of time every time you go into the field. Over a year, this time can add up and save you and your crew huge savings.
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Bench Mark Equipment & Supplies is your team to trust with all your surveying equipment. We have been providing high-quality surveying equipment to land surveyors, engineers, construction, airborne and resources professionals since 2002, establishing ourselves as the go-to team in Calgary, Canada, and the USA. We provide a wide selection of equipment, including global navigation satellite systems, RTK GPS equipment, GNSS receivers, data collector systems, and more. We strive to provide the highest level of customer care and service for everyone. To speak to one of our team today, call us at 403-286-0333 or email us