On this episode of Track.Map.Measure with host Shaun MacIntosh, Finning Canada Regional Technology Manager, Alberta and Saskatchewan Core Industries Kris Troppman dove into the state of heavy equipment, labor and technology in the construction industry.

In particular, two types of technology related to the use and integration of heavy equipment are making modern jobsites safer and more efficient.

“What we’re starting to see integrated … is productivity technology and safety technology,” Troppman said. “[They] provide a safer work environment for operators.”

GPS technology solutions come in both 2D and 3D forms, Troppman said, with 2D GPS solutions providing operators the knowledge of where their cutting edge is in relation to their machine, which is great for simpler designs and jobs.

The use of 3D technology, then, is centered around georeferencing, which involves more work before the job begins but can provide many benefits. When a site plan is loaded into a machine, the operator knows where the cutting edge is relative to that plan, giving them an enhanced ability to take on complex contours, slopes, and more and to be more spatially aware.

“[These solutions] can help a contractor guarantee a minimum level of production from less-experienced operators,” Troppman said. “Part of the challenge contractors have right now is attracting and retaining skilled operators. … They have young and eager millennials that are not as experienced and not as skilled, and technology can help bridge that gap.”

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