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Here are 9 best practices that will help you station your total station on accurate control points on your jobsite.

Best Practices for Control Points and Tool Setup in the Field

When it comes to surveying and layout work, accuracy is paramount. Control points play a crucial role in ensuring accurate measurements and layout. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for control points and tool setup in the field, highlighting the key considerations that can help improve accuracy and efficiency.

Quick Reminders before Working: Before delving into the best practices, let's quickly recap some essential points to keep in mind when starting a new job. These reminders will set you up for success:

  1. Use Accurate Control Points: It is imperative to use precise and reliable control points. Accuracy in control points is fundamental to achieving accurate layout results.

  2. Allocate Sufficient Time: Take the time needed to establish your control points correctly. Budget at least half a day on your first workday for analyzing, troubleshooting, and verifying the accuracy of control points.

  3. Collaborate with the General Contractor (GC): Share your findings regarding the control points with the GC. This communication ensures that the information can be synchronized and utilized by all trades on the job site, enhancing accuracy and boosting your credibility.

  4. Work with the Surveyor: Whenever possible, collaborate closely with the surveyor from day one. Observe how they establish their control points, inspect their work, and gain insights into their placement strategies on the job site.

Best Practices for Control Points and Tool Setup:

  1. Center Your Tool and Have Clean Angles: Position your total station in the center of your layout area to maximize its reach and minimize the need for frequent repositioning. Additionally, ensure that the angles between control points and the total station are clean and preferably around 90 degrees. Avoid extreme angles to minimize errors and maintain accuracy.

  2. Have Access to 4-5 Control Points If Possible: Aim to have access to at least three control points, preferably four to five. This provides flexibility in stationing your tool at various locations on the job site. It also allows you to eliminate control points that might have shifted or become inaccurate while maintaining a sufficient number of reference points for accurate stationing.

  3. Ensure Control Points Encompass Your Layout Area: Make sure your control points are strategically placed to encompass your entire layout area. This ensures that all your layout points fall within the control points, guaranteeing accuracy and consistency throughout the job.

  4. Identify Secure (Unmovable) and Stable Control Points: Identify control points that are secure and unlikely to move. Avoid using control points that are susceptible to displacement or disturbance. Secure control points provide a reliable reference for accurate stationing and layout.

Implementing best practices for control points and tool setup in the field is vital for achieving accurate and reliable surveying and layout results. By following these guidelines, surveyors can enhance accuracy, minimize errors, and improve efficiency on job sites. Remember to use accurate control points, allocate sufficient time for analysis and troubleshooting, collaborate with the GC and surveyor, and strategically position your total station for optimal results. These practices will contribute to successful and precise surveying and layout work.

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