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Building Big on a Small, High-traffic Jobsite? Topcon Provides the Solution

Building Big on a Small, High-traffic Jobsite? Topcon Provides the Solution

12 Apr 2023 Read time: 3 min

Contractors often partner with other teams during commercial projects. On a jobsite of a future bank in beautiful downtown Whitefish, Montana, near Glacier Park, Walker Quiram, Siderius Construction’s superintendent, explains how this builds vital infrastructure.  

“We’re working on a commercial project,” Quiram said. “We dug a basement hole here early in the spring, and then they poured the concrete.”  

Quiram explains how the Siderius Construction team’s responsibility in this phase was to subgrade the parking lot for gravel and pavement.  

“We currently have mini excavators here, the 50G and 60G compact excavators, a roller and a few mid-size loaders,” Quiram said. “The site is small. So, we can’t bring any of our big stuff in currently just due to congestion.”  

Siderius Construction, a family-owned company, completes large and small projects year-round, shaping beautiful community buildings and landscapes. This well-known company partners with other builders and RDO Equipment Co. to bring projects to life even if the project’s building space and schedule are limited.  

In fact, Project Manager Corey Siderius said they are working with subcontractors on this bank project. Cory is part-owner of this construction company in partnership with his father.  

“Since we don’t have much room on this site, we use this Topcon Positioning System,” Siderius said. “It uses a GPS base and rover setup so we can pinpoint where the grades need to be.” 

Siderius and his team first learned about Topcon GPS technology integration to improve machine control from Jake Fitzsimmons, RDO Equipment Co. store manager in Kalispell. About five years ago, Fitzsimmons highlighted how Topcon’s base receives a signal from GPS satellites to create a correction factor that eliminates errors in the GPS and then sends it to its rover. The rover then calculates grades, finds exact locations and elevations, and measures the ground, saw cut, surface tie-in points, and as-built points. With this information, Topcon creates a digital map for the machine.  

“Because of the base and rover, project managers like Walker can monitor progress and maintain quality control in real-time,” Fitzsimmons said.  

Fitzsimmons highlights how the Siderius team uses Topcon technology to map many projects. “They use Topcon’s base and rover to efficiently check the grade,” Fitzsimmons said. “They understand the value that technology provides.”  

Siderius recalls when building projects stalled when they didn’t use the real-time GPS positioning system.  

“Before using the base and rover, we would have to have a surveyor come in and install many stakes,” he said.  

On a busy jobsite, a person would have to check these stakes daily, and sometimes they become dislodged.  

“Some days, the stakes would only make it 30 minutes before they got run over at a busy site. With the base and rover, stakes are no longer required,” Siderius explained.  

“When we set up the Topcon system, we’re confident we have a strong and solid model,” he said. “We can pinpoint the grade’s need in that exact spot.”  

Siderius and Quiram agree this technology have “made life easier.”  

“We’re accustomed to doing it (the surveying) this way,” Siderius said. “We can do it ourselves and not rely on somebody else’s schedule so they can come to put stakes in the ground for us.”  

Fitzsimmons notices how this technology solution on smaller machinery creates opportunities for Siderius to work effectively alongside their subcontractors.  

“They’re utilizing the space to its full potential with the smaller machinery,” Fitzsimmons said. “And they can work in a little tighter environment without delaying the project due to congestion or lack of communication among operators or machines.”  

On this job site, Fitzsimmons works with the Siderius team to keep the project on track.  

“I like partnering with RDO because they have the technology, parts and service we need at our fingertips daily,” Quiram said.  

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