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Survey Hand Signals

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Ever since the beginning of time, surveyors have used hand signals on construction sites for communication and safety. An efficient and productive Survey communication tool for Construction job-sites.

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  • Admin Vendor

    hi and welcome to the old school

    construction survey and I'm Francisco

    Ferro jr. Construction survey consultant

    manager one of the most important tools

    on any construction site is

    communication back in the days before

    communication radios surveyors devised a

    system of communication for their job

    sites hand signals we're just as an

    important survey tool is their

    instruments such as levels transits

    measuring chains tripods and so on

    well in today's world with all the new

    technology it would seem that hand

    signals can be obsolete no longer

    considered I disagree I have found

    throughout my experience no matter how

    improve the technology maybe they can

    still be undependable also the use of

    radios in a high decibel work zone is

    usually unreliable I use hand signals

    throughout my job sites and it has

    improved the production time

    considerably on every project so today

    I'm going to show you the basic standard

    hand signals for surveying

    try it on your job site and find out how

    much you can improve with your survey

    services okay the first set of hand

    signals I will show you are the numbers

    now there are two sets of hand signals

    for numbers one for working inside a

    building or close quarters but still or

    too far or too loud for voice

    communication and the other the more

    common outdoor open hand signals so

    you're the first set of hand signal

    numbers for indoor work this would be

    one two three this is four five six

    seven eight nine zero now again these

    were used for indoor work now the more

    common numbered hand signals would be

    these one two three four five six seven

    eight nine and zero now some surveyors

    would use decimal point indoor would be

    a one hand punch and the outdoor would

    be a two-hand punch now these were used

    to distinguish decimal either decimals

    of a foot or meters to centimeters and

    millimeters the only problem is that if

    the receiver is too far away they may

    not be able to see that particular

    signal so what I have taught my teams

    are is to give their measurements and

    either one hundredths of a foot or in

    millimeters depending on what part of

    the world you're at let me give you some

    examples if I want them to do a

    measurement of 145 feet even then it

    would be one four five zero zero with

    the last two numbers be to the hundreds

    of a foot that way they always know that

    it's 145 feet and no hundreds or if it's

    145 meters then it would be one four

    five zero zero zero which would take it

    down to millimeters okay now another

    important note to bring up is that your

    hand signal gestures need to be concise

    and clear

    just throw in your hands up and whatever

    way can cause wrong measurements and

    costly errors for example this is how

    your hand signals should look like you

    always begin with your two hands on your

    chest and you create

    your hand signals whatever number you

    give you bring it back to your chest and

    then do the next number back to your


    the next number back to your chest the

    next number this will make it concise

    and clear and there will be no there

    will be no conflict or whatever as to

    what the numbers you're giving out okay

    so now now that we know our numbers I'm

    going to show you other hand signals

    that will communicate to you on what to

    do with these particular measurements so

    here we go the first thing is

    measurement this is a sign for

    measurement this is a sign for going

    away from me or going away from the

    instrument this is come to me or come

    towards the instrument these are two

    very very important signals now the

    other ones are this is top this is toe

    this is ground okay and this is the

    bottom now some other hand signals

    you've got your left and you've got your

    right notice that it is my right so when

    you give a left it is the left of the

    receiver and this is the right of the


    another important thing on curves

    usually you're going to give information

    or gather information at the point occur

    which is a PC the quarter point half

    point three quarter point and at the PT

    point of transit so PC would be this

    signal quarter point would be this

    signal half point would be this signal

    three quarter points would be this

    signal and this would be point of

    transit so now at other times when you

    need when you forgot some of your survey

    instruments or the Rodman and forgot

    some of his particular instances as a

    hammer or the tape measure chain or

    marker these are a couple of things they

    can say they can sit there and they can

    go come to me with a hammer or again it

    means measurement but it also means tape

    go another one is the marker well they

    sit there and they do that with a marker

    that means I'm

    my marker so let's put it all together

    let's say I want a team to go away from

    the gun from the instrument twenty

    twenty feet and forty five hundreds so I

    will sit there and I'll say distance or

    measurement and then I will go away from

    the gun which would be two zero four


    that's twenty forty five away from the

    gun then I will sit there and this means

    repeat and then this means what did I

    say and they will repeat to me what I

    just given them now if they give me the

    wrong number and I will do this

    which means no good erase do-over and I

    will repeat the same distance and the

    same measurements that he needs to go he

    will repeat it back to me and then if

    it's good I'll and that means this is

    good and so these are just a couple of

    very simple and standard hand signals so

    now that you have the old-school survey

    tool of hand signal communication you

    can eliminate time loss on situations

    such as radio batteries going dead and

    the survey crew would have to come back

    to the office and grab new batteries or

    if their layouts are taking too long

    because they can't hear each other over

    the loud Construction noises hand

    signals are still a very good and

    efficient procedure for construction

    surveyors but don't take my word for it

    try it out and see the results for

    yourself also go ahead and search

    through my website and you'll find my

    book on cost-effective construction

    survey for the contractor it is a

    guidebook to give you some tips on

    better managing your construction

    surveying for your job sites thank you

  • Land Surveyor

    This Video on Surveyor Hand Signals should definitly be watched by ALL crew members, as stated in the video, this can save you VALUABLE time and possibly ease your frustrations on the jobsite when tiodays technology fails for one reason or another!!!

    Excellent Tutorial!!!Β 

  • Survey Legend
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