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Grading Between the Stakes

February 24, 2009 in Paul's Blog Tags: , , ,

paul-smallMany years ago, I heard it said that all the good (experienced) finish grade operators were retiring. Of course, this can’t be correct as the younger guys can certainly be very good as well.  It was really a comment that fine and finish grading skills take many years of experience to fine-hone.

One reason for this is that, using conventional methods, one has to do a lot of the work eyeballing grade.  Relying on blue tops set every twenty five feet means a lot of unaided interpolation between the hubs. This makes finish grading almost an art form. It is possible that operators can be dead-on at each stake and low or high in between, resulting in the infamous washboard effect.

Machine control solutions create virtual stakes every inch between the hubs so the surface ends up consistent (without the peaks and valleys).  This creates a better finished product and saves on machine passes and materials. It also turns a younger, less experienced, operator into an old pro.

I would like to hear from you on this subject.  Have you seen the old guys retiring in your area and felt a gap in the skills and experience of those taking their place? Have you seen the implementation of machine control help the younger guys produce the same results?

Please share your views and experiences so it can be added to our collective knowledge base.

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