Machine Control Online Reviews Stockpile Reports

Marco Cecala recently tested the Stockpile Reports System and published his experience on Machine Control Online.

Machine Control Article
Machine Control Article

His bio states “Marco literally started out in the trenches, as a laborer on residential infrastructure projects for a developer. Increased knowledge and promotions brought him into the office, where the personal computer was just beginning to be used as a tool for estimating and job tracking. As software became more advanced, he was often the first in the office to make new products work, and even developed enhancements for software vendors to incorporate into new releases.

As GPS started to be used in surveying, Marco was building data for robotic total stations for heavy highway and airport grading. He was on the leading edge of the use of GPS for construction staking and machine control.

Marco is versed in the use of all major CAD platforms, and conducted training classes in data preparation in the past. Over the years, the mission of Take-off Professionals has focused on the production and use of digital data for layout, machine control, bidding, as builts, and site network integration.

His years of experience and insight will allow readers to get real answers to everyday situations they face in their businesses.”

He did not get ‘special treatment’, nor was he coached on what to review, or what to expect when he was finished measuring with the iPhone Stockpiles App. Marco received the same training we give customers, and his results were posted within a typical time-frame– approximately 18 hours from measurement upload.

His parameters for testing software such as the Stockpile Reports System include:

 • What is the maturity of the product? 
 • Ease of use. 
 • Overall Cost.

Please read his entire review, which includes the process of getting set up, the software, varying measurement methods (including LIDAR) that was tested, his experience and the ‘bad’ news.

Marco’s Summary

“The product does what it is supposed to, accurate stockpile measurement from your iPhone. The price varies depending on how many piles you plan on doing, you will need to contact Stockpile Reports to get specifics. Take my word, it’s low cost. You can sign up for a demo and go out and try for yourself. I did and I think it’s a great tool.”

If you are excited about getting accurate measurements and want to find out how our system enables your business to become more productive and save money, please contact us. You may qualify for a no-cost trial of our service. We proudly stand behind our measurement results and are ready to assist you.

 

A Day of Accuracy Testing

We regularly conduct accuracy testing with the same types of measurement tools that our customers utilize. This past week we tested a variety of stockpiles with GPS, Laser, by Aerial and with an iPhone.

The stockpiles measured at the site ranged in size—some looked to be over 100 tons each— with varying shapes, steepness and material types.

Faro Laser Scanner and Trimble GPS, and iPhone 5S
Testing equipment: A Faro Laser Scanner, a Trimble GPS, an iPhone 5S and of course two construction traffic cones.

Planning for this type of accuracy testing can be challenging. First one has to ensure that safe access is available onsite. Next the equipment needs to be available—including having flight plans in place. Then there are the logistics of getting equipment and everyone ready (we used a Faro Laser Scanner, a Trimble GPS, a flyover from Skytech Aerial, and iPhone 5S.)

However, the most important challenge is usually the weather. Stockpile Reports often conducts testing in the Pacific Northwest. Last week’s weather was more unpredictable than usual. There were a few days of heavy rain and wind—and yet the forecast predicted there would also be sunshine and warming temps.

We made our plans, crossed our fingers and waited.

Luckily, we were able to test on a sunny day. The pilot was able to fly multiple altitudes. There were many puddles on the ground, but no high winds or rain, so we were good to go!

Here are a few photos we took at site during testing. If you are also excited about getting accurate measurements and want to find out how our system will benefit your business, please contact us and discover what our service can do for you. We are also happy to talk about the results of our testing!

Site Panorama View
Site Panorama View
Puddles, mud and wet boots, but that's ok-- no rain predicted  for the day!
Puddles, mud and wet boots, but that’s ok– no rain predicted for the day!
One of the more challenging steep piles that we measured.
One of the more challenging steep piles that we measured.
If you look closely you'll see the Skytech flyover to the right of the photo's center.
If you look closely you’ll see the Skytech flyover to the right of the photo’s center.

How We Help Customers Get Accurate Results

When we work alongside clients, we really appreciate what they say when using our measurement system.

Although many of us at Stockpile Reports are engineers, we understand that our customers aren’t based in Silicon Valley and are not software techies. Our clients have specialized skills and diverse talents relevant to their market — not writing code, nor spending nine hours a day loading up apps.

Snapshot 3D Reconstruction

Team members work in the field and help train some of our customers. This gives us a firsthand view watching them interact with and use our system. Usually this happens in less than optimal situations—in the rain or in very bright light, in thunderstorms, in busy quarries, in areas with piles placed close together, in very muddy conditions all over the world. We’ve spent hours mashing the app on the iPhone with gloved fingers, viewing the screen through safety glasses, just like our clients.

We’ve updated the iPhone App recently as a direct result of responding to, and anticipating our customers’ needs. Our team also works consistently behind the scenes on collects and system improvements.

This week we demonstrated the system in Virginia, to both a 65 year-old industry veteran and also to a young rural regional manager. Both expressed amazement of the easy process to get accurate measurement results and with the resulting 3D model.

We don’t expect our customers to be computer experts. We understand our customers care about results, not the process.

And the results are consistent: our app is 96-98% accurate, comparable to stationary LiDAR and mobile laser scanning.

If you are a Quarry Manager, an Aggregates Manager, a Construction Sales Managers or a CFO and want easy, accurate measurements please connect with us.