Trimble introduced its family of next generation Grade Control Systems. These systems leverage more than 30 years of experience in developing solutions for the earthmoving contractor and include a range of practical and innovative features. They are the result of Trimble's on-going commitment to meeting construction contractors' needs with productivity-enhancing solutions for earthmoving, site prep and roadwork.

The Trimble GCS family of grade control systems provide upgrade options that deliver earthmoving contractors with the flexibility to select a system that meets their daily needs. For example, a single control system such as the GCS300 can provide for low-cost entry into grade control, and over time can be upgraded to the GCS400 dual sensor system, or to the full 3D GCS900 Grade Control System.

The GCS family uses the industry standard Controller Area Network (CAN) as the "backbone" of the system to connect laser receivers, sonics, or GPS sensors, and the control box to the machine hydraulics. The CAN environment provides for "plug-and-play" flexibility allowing the system to be upgraded from single sensor control to a full 3D solution. It includes the following five systems:

  • GCS300 for single elevation control: The GCS300 Grade Control System uses the new Trimble LR410 Laser Receiver to control the lift of the machine blade. Designed primarily for use on dozer blades, it is intended for smaller construction projects, such as housing pads, small building sites, tennis courts, sports fields and finish grading. The GCS300 is designed to be a low cost of entry into grade control systems.
  • GCS400 for dual elevation control: The GCS400 Grade Control System uses either two new Trimble LR410 Laser Receivers, or one LR410 and the new Trimble AS400 Angle Slope sensor to control both the lift and tilt of the machine blade. Designed primarily for use on dozer blades, it is ideal for medium to large housing pads, medium to large commercial building sites, and road construction. Contractors can purchase the GCS400, or start with the GCS300 and later upgrade to the GCS400 system.
  • GCS500 for cross slope control: Designed for use on motor graders, the GCS500 Grade Control System uses a variety of sensors to calculate the cross slope of the blade. Providing a high degree of flexibility, the GCS500 has up to 100 percent slope capability making the system ideal for a wide range of applications including cutting road slopes, ditches and embankments as well as road maintenance, road construction and sports fields.
  • GCS600 for cross slope and elevation control Designed for use on motor graders, the GCS600 Grade Control System uses a variety of sensors to calculate the cross slope of either side of the blade; the GCS600 additionally uses one or two LR410 Laser Receivers or a ST300 Sonic Tracer to provide elevation control. This highly flexible system is designed for use on motor graders for fine grading work. Using the ST300, the system allows for string line and curb and gutter tracing. Combined with the LR410 for elevation control, the GCS600 is ideal for fine grade or finished grade work as well as for applications with tight tolerances. Contractors can purchase the GCS600, or start with the GCS500 and later upgrade to the GCS600 system.
  • GCS900 for full 3D control: The GCS900 Grade Control Systems is a full 3D control system that puts the site plan - design surfaces, grades and alignments - inside the cab. The system uses Trimble's patented dual antenna design to calculate the position of each end of the blade for stakeless grading. The GCS900 features the new Trimble MS980 Smart Antenna, a fully integrated GPS receiver and antenna. It is ideal for a wide range of earthmoving applications. Contractors can purchase the GCS900, or start with the GCS300 or GCS400 and later upgrade to the GCS900 system.

The new Trimble GCS300, GCS500, GCS600 and GCS900 Grade Control Systems are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2005 through Trimble's Construction dealer network.

Source: Trimble, Jan. 11, 2005