FEATURE: The benefits of drones


Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers in agriculture and construction. It is also organiser on ConExpo. In this feature its casts its eyes over the rise of drone technology and how it can aid your business


Drones – the aerial eye of the jobsite – have become a very versatile tool for earthmoving operations. Among the benefits, increasing efficiency, productivity, and accuracy on jobsites. In addition, drones help reduce unplanned costs and rework throughout a project by providing a steady stream of jobsite progress data.

As drone technology evolves, the greater the return of investment in employing them, points out Zach Pieper, director of operations and co-owner of Quantum Land Design, an industry leader in managing and preparing 3D data required for construction projects of any scale. “That is why is it important for those in the construction industry, especially in earthmoving, to learn about using drones.”

​“Drones are another tool contractors can put in their toolbox to make more efficient and better decisions,” Pieper says. “There are many situations where a contractor might need to keep track of how much earth is being moved, compare the current site to the planned site, and figure out how many yards of earth still to be moved and where that dirt must go. Drones can be a very cost-effective way to do that.

“Drones can also provide a very rich layer of data that can be added to your knowledge of a project and your ability to manage it properly.”

When it comes to drones, Pieper says there are two types of contractors.

“One group I call drone curious. They think drones are interesting and they need to be learning about them,” Pieper explains. “The second group are those contractors that already have drones and feel they are not utilizing them as well as they could be. Or they bought a drone for a single purpose, which it is serving well, and they want to get more use out of the information collected. Or they want to get ideas on how to better use their drones on jobsites.”

The How to Utilize Drones in Your Earthmoving Business education session at CONEXPO-CON/AGG will cover the high-level basics of drones, including types of drones, applications, the kind of data you can get out of drones, and basic data collection procedures.

“The session applies to nearly any size contractor,” points out Pieper. “It will be an information-dense way to learn how you can use drones to make better decisions with your contracting company and on each jobsite.

“It will be focused on applied technology. Everything in the education session will be information that any contractor can take back to their company or their jobsite and put it to work.”


Get 40 percent off your CONEXPO-CON/AGG badge through October 28 by registering here using the code MEDIA40. That includes the All Access Passes which include access to all education sessions, including Pieper’s session on drones

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About Author


Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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