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Drone surveying saves time and manpower

Working with connected site specialist SITECH, Daniel Charles Surveys are bringing drone site surveying and monitoring to external clients
Working with connected site specialist SITECH, Daniel Charles Surveys are bringing drone site surveying and monitoring to external clients

Daniel Charles Surveys work with SITECH to bring drone surveying and monitoring to their clients

SITECH UK & Ireland, providers of tailored hardware, software, and training in Trimble technology, have supported civil engineering company Daniel Charles Construction and their subsidiary Daniel Charles Surveys, part of the Daniel Charles Group of companies, to bring drone site surveying and monitoring to their clients, saving man hours and improving site safety.

Working with connected site specialist SITECH, the Lincolnshire-based civil engineering company has invested considerably in a drone package which provides site survey data to monitor site progress, make calculations, and determine bulk quantities accurately and quickly.


Prior to this investment Daniel Charles Surveys had been conducting volumetric calculations using conventional survey techniques. With the latest remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) technology in the shape of a DJI Phantom 4 RTK drone combined with a Trimble Stratus drone survey processing system powered by Propeller, they can now calculate site requirements more efficiently, in less time, with less environmental impact, and in a safer manner.

Matt Wilson, general manager at Daniel Charles Surveys, said investing in the drone package with SITECH was an easy decision to make for the business, having previously achieved good results by adopting other forward-thinking technology such as GPS machine control.

‘First and foremost, any investment made had to not only expedite our existing processes, but, ultimately, to the same level of accuracy and standard all our clients have come to know and expect. The accuracy of the system was a key factor. A lot of our work is repeat business, so any new data had to tie in precisely with existing projects.

‘The time-saving element was also important. Within 24h of conducting a site survey we can view the data on the platform and commence any interrogative works. In a fraction of time, it can do a job which ordinarily would take a surveyor the whole day or longer. It has dramatically reduced time on site. Furthermore, it means our clients are in receipt of requested reports or drawings faster.’

He added: ‘Amongst various deployments across the business, we’re using the RPAS to produce regular stock reports at our quarry. As we’re not having to physically scale heaps in an already hazardous environment, it takes a big step in the right direction in terms of health and safety.

‘The fact it’s a Trimble system meant it was easy to integrate into the business. As long-standing Trimble users, this was key. Third-party processing and the system being so intuitive meant staff training was also minimal.

‘Until now we have predominantly utilized the RPAS within the business across the Daniel Charles Group companies. However, we are now starting to offer the service to external clients and are receiving very positive feedback. Clients are very receptive to the concept and love the fact all the data is readily available via the web-based portal. As an additional tool in the box, it really complements well what Daniel Charles Surveys already offer.’

Lisa Cheshire, SITECH Eastern regional sales manager, said: ‘Daniel Charles were early adopters of Trimble technology and have continued to invest. When they saw drones in action at a technology event we co-hosted with Trimble and Propeller in 2022, they knew it could save them time and process data which would free up their engineers for other important tasks.

‘Drone flights can be done in such a short space of time and the new Trimble Stratus platform allows them to send raw data via the cloud which the team at Propeller process within 24h, giving Daniel Charles a quality-checked data set they can use for volume calculations and progress tracking on site.

‘It’s been an investment for them in terms of also getting drone pilot licences, but the return is considerable. It is another service they can offer to their clients which allows them to share site data quickly and easily and will give them a competitive advantage to continue growing their business.’


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