By Phil Woodcock
Geospatial Sales & Support at Vectors Inc.
& Dustin Hoaglin
New Mexico Regional Manager, Trimble Certified Trainer, and TBC Power User
MADE TO MEASURE NEWS | June 2021
The Breakthrough - Trimble R12i
There have been many advancements in land surveying over time; however, none have been as impactful as the original release of Real Time Kinematic (RTK) surveying. Phil Woodcock, Geospatial Sales & Support at Vectors Inc. has been using RTK GNSS technology since 1993. Phil believes that RTK was a true breakthrough technology.
RTK allowed me to get, check, and set points anywhere without some crazy amount of effort. Over the years there have been advancements. They have been helpful. Adding GLONASS to the equation allowed us to survey with more space vehicles. Better RTK engines have provided faster and more precise solutions. But all of these added together do not equal the original impact of RTK surveying.
Enter Trimble’s new R12i GNSS receiver. Trimble’s TIP tilt compensation technology uses an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that utilizes three accelerometers and three gyroscopes to allow the positioning engine to determine the attitude, the tilt heading, and ultimately the position of the pole tip in real time.
What does that mean?
Simply put, you can survey anywhere you can put the point of your pole. Building corners, pipe in trench, storm sewers, retaining walls, difficult or even impossible RTK shots are now simple, fast, and precise. Trimble touts that his technology lets users “forget about leveling the pole” and contributes to increased speed and accuracy when preforming RTK surveying.
Dustin Hoaglin, New Mexico Regional Manager at Vectors Inc. began his surveying career way back in 1991. As a seasoned professional surveyor, he was skeptical of the Trimble’s TIP technology.
I was very skeptical of Trimble TIP after being disappointed in the tilt function of the R10, but the inertia sensor in the R12i is impressive. It’s fast and easy, there is no crazy calibration needed.
The integration of GNSS and Trimble TIP technology has provided a leap in productivity that is equal to and may even surpass the original RTK effect. With Trimble’s ProPoint GNSS positioning engine you get to use every available space vehicle. This not only provides for a superior level of coverage, but it also allows the user to survey in canopied and high multipath areas that have been unattainable by previous receivers and RTK engines.
Dustin's stance is that that if you are currently using older R8 or R6 GPS receivers, switching to the R12i could change the quality of your workday.
I would go as far as to say the R12i can increase both the safety and the production of a field crew. Not having to chase the bubble around on the rod, believe it or not, does make a measurable difference at the end of the day with productivity. Keeping your head up and eyes forward adds safety when working near or around automobiles or heavy machinery and other construction equipment. Increased safety is good for everyone.
Be aware, though, the R12i will not work with a TSC3 data collector. Users must have a newer Trimble data collector such as the TSC7, TSC5, T10 or T100 tablet. In a world where hiring qualified staff is challenging, having the best field equipment is paramount. Maintaining equipment that makes the workday easier for field personal could be the difference between making the strategic hire or not. It could also help you to keep them.
Phil notes that the beautiful thing about ingenuity is that just when you think a technology has plateaued, someone comes along and shatters the normal.
Breakthrough technologies can take time to catch on with the bulk of users. Not this one. This is a breakthrough that all surveyors can immediately embrace and prosper with. No special training required. Just the imagination to wonder what is next. The courage and confidence to say, “I can do that.”
You can learn more about the R12i and Trimble’s full line of RTK solutions by contacting Vectors Inc. today. We provide free demonstrations at your location or ours.
Phil Woodcock is a Geospatial Sales & Support technician at Vectors Inc., based in Aurora, Colorado.
Dustin Hoaglin is a Trimble Certified Trainer, Regional Manager, and TBC Power User based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.