Construction technology is seemingly only as good as the results it is producing for customers. When it comes to machine control systems, heavy/highway and civil contractors are looking for time savers when it comes to cost and time before making the investment.

The Leica PaveSmart 3D machine control system from Leica Geosystems, www.leica.com, Heerbrugg, Switzerland, for example, is one such tool. The company is putting real dollars savings (and earnings for customers) where its mouth is, so to speak, in extolling the values of such a system.

The company cites the work of civil and industrial contractor Fred Weber Inc., www.fredwerberinc.com, St. Louis, Mo., which it says is earning up to the maximum 5% smoothness bonuses while paving two sections of Highway 364 near St. Charles, Mo., due in large part to the Leica PaveSmart 3D machine control system.

The technology helps to save time and money by eliminating all of the detailed survey labor normally spent for a runway, staking of hubs, setting of blue-tops, and the labor to set up stringlines. As described by Leica, under older systems, a concrete paver is controlled by two stringlines set at precise locations on each side of the lane.

By integrating with any GOMACO paver or trimmer, this system, says Leica, can regulate the steering and grade of the machine with no need to retrofit complex hydraulics. Instead, the system is guiding the trimmer in relation to a digitized 3D model of the highway that runs with an on-board computer.

In all, company officials at Weber say the technology is helping them to earn bonuses on their work. And this year, with Weber building a new 10-mile section of Interstate 69 near Newberry, Ind., the technology should prove to again be profitable for the company. According to early profilograph readings, Weber has earned an average of 3% bonuses on 25 sections of the northbound passing lane, according to Leica.

Real solutions making a real difference; this is what will continue to make contractors want to adopt technology. Machine control systems can prove to be of high value in the field, and with results such as this, more contractors could soon be on board to adopt.