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  1. #11
    Gold Member Pine Strip's Avatar
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    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    -dsc05603-jpg
    Transit levels can be found online for $300. You might be able to borrow or rent a transit level from someone in the business.

  2. #12
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    I'm not sure what phone you have, but the GPS on some of the phones are supposed to be accurate to within 3 ft. or less (IIRC)

    I listen to the Kim Komando show a lot, and she was talking about it a while back.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  3. #13
    Super Member
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    Thanks for the replies, I haven't nailed everything down yet but it looks like about $7500 msrp for the electronics and controls to do this with 3/32" accuracy. I would mount the laser on a trailer with corner jacks to prevent movement and setup my industrial boxblade with hydraulic wheels and tow type hitch. I think for large amounts of dirt to move I can have the tractor cutting down to grade and windrowing the spoils the have the backhoe pickup and haul to the low spots. Working both machines this way should speed things up roughing the place in. Then time for finish grading and smoothing everything. For now I am going to focus on topcon laser leveling with machine control and wait on the gps stuff.

    I agree that simple gps equipment might be all I need for now if at all. I haven't checked the gps accuracy lately but I will see about this in the next week.

    Any other ideas or information would be appreciated.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member MHarryE's Avatar
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    JD 7720; Kubota M135GX, NH TS115A; JD 6230; Kubota L5740

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    You are heading in the right direction. GPS is going to be very expensive. A grader (if not too much dirt needs to be moved) or dozer (if a lot of dirt is moved) with GPS receivers on each end of the blade and working with the machine hydraulics would let you get the job done super fast, but the machine electronics are just the start. You would need a base station providing the signal corrections for the accuracy you want. Love working with the stuff but glad I don't have to pay the bill.
    JD7720; KubotaM135GX; NH TS115A; JD6230; KubotaL5740

  5. #15
    Super Member
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    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    Quote Originally Posted by MHarryE View Post
    You are heading in the right direction. GPS is going to be very expensive. A grader (if not too much dirt needs to be moved) or dozer (if a lot of dirt is moved) with GPS receivers on each end of the blade and working with the machine hydraulics would let you get the job done super fast, but the machine electronics are just the start. You would need a base station providing the signal corrections for the accuracy you want. Love working with the stuff but glad I don't have to pay the bill.
    When you refrence the base station corrections I assume you mean for gps accuracy. If you mean for leveling I don't understand how the corrections would help, I would say that most of these shoots would be for less than 500 ft and typically 200ft on average. The USDA person provides the topo maps with calculations for yardage moved and tells me that typically to expect between 300 to 1000 yds/ acre. Most are commonly 450 yds of material he mentioned, this is for fine grading older fields that need sprucing up.

    Years ago I bought a new Deere 850 dozer and I must say those notes roled around regularly. I'm am hoping to stay with smaller stuff now for 50 to 100hp tractors. These are small fields of 1 to 6 acres bottomland are mostly flat already. This would be part time work not full time, just trying to fill up all the months with decent work.

  6. #16
    Elite Member dodge man's Avatar
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    Kubota BX2350

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    To get "survey grade" GPS results, you need corrections. A single unit, such as what you buy at Walmart, or the unit in a phone, is accurate to a few feet. In the horizontal direction, this is probably good enough, but for grading, a few feet of accuracy isn't very good in the vertical direction. You can pay for base corrections, some ag companies offer it, but its still the same thing, the elevations probably aren't good enough. Some states offer corrections, some are free, some aren't, and some survey suppliers offer it. Trimble offers it for the state of Illinois, but its pricey, a few thousand dollars every year for a subscription.

    An alternate method, and the one I use, is to have a second GPS reciever. The GPS base sends corrections to the rover with a radio, or a cell phone link, and you have accuracy of about a 1/4". This also requires a clear overhead, ie no trees or very few trees. A typical machine control is two antennas on each side of the blade, be it a dozier or motor graders, a reciever, and electorics the operator can view. This is usually also tied into the hydraulics of the machine and when the operator gets the grades close, the machine does it for the operator. This type of set up is very pricey. This can also be done with a rotary laser, but you don't have any horizontal control, but depending on the project, it might not matter.

    Another problem with machine control is you need a "grading file". This is basically a 3D model that tells the machine how to grade the project. For large highway jobs, this 3D model can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In the long run, this saves a lot of money, you don't need as many stakes, the operator is more efficent, and the job goes quicker, but the intial investment is pricey and probably beyond what you need.
    Dave,
    BX2350

  7. #17
    Platinum Member JD 4520's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't see why you need GPS for what you have described however you need some leveling equipment and laser is adequate. Construction laser equipment is not expensive. You are just trying to figure what slope that you have so that you control drainage. That is simple and inexpensive. Don't over complicate things.
    Gary

    JD 4520, 400X FEL, Frontier Front Blade, Box Blade, Rotary Cutter, Landscape Rake, 48" Wildkat Grapple and PHD

  8. #18
    Super Member
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    Dave,
    Thanks for the information on the gps systems and a great explanation.

    My primary concern would be leveling these very small bottomland plots of 1 to 6 acres at a time. I am thinking a laser level, receiver, receiver remote, single function control box and proportional hydraulic valve would work. Looking to mount this to a tow type boxblade about 7' wide. Do you think this will work or do I need a setup on each side of the blade?

    The larger plots are done with motorgraders and dozers much like you describe. I am trying to setup for the small jobs.

  9. #19
    Platinum Member
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    john deere

    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    All he is doing is taking 2 - 6 acres and grading it tabletop flat . They will then flood irrigate the area . Being level the water disperses evenly across the entire tract and water is left to soak in . Think of a pool table with an inch of water on it . There are borders around the field to contain the water and borders at intervals across the area to control the application . There is no drainage or runoff involved . I wondered how you were going to use your mounted box but you've got that covered . Why don't you build a box for this app . , maybe 8' wide and you're mounted box will be there ready to go . Just thinking .

  10. #20
    Super Member
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    Default Re: GPS and laser leveling for small irrigated plots.

    Gary,
    I don't wan't to over complicate this but also need to be realistic as to what I need for accurate results too..

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