CONTRACTORS using a Vermeer surface excavation machine for surface mining, haul road construction and site preparation now have the option of adding GPS-guided steering, which can improve cutting accuracy and operator consistency.

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Vermeer’s T1255 direct drive Terrain Leveler surface excavator now offers GPS steering as an option.

Using technology from Trimble, a global leader in GPS technology, the Vermeer T1255 direct drive Terrain Leveler® surface excavation machine (SEM) now offers GPS steering as an option.

“Mining companies are at the forefront of machine automation and we worked with Trimble to develop an innovative solution for customers interested in automated steering,” said Vermeer mining and pipeline group sales manager Chris Lynch.

When equipped with this optional feature, machine steering is controlled by an onboard GPS device that can detect deviations from the designed line to provide greater accuracy on each cutting pass. The optional system provides a cutting overlap of 15.2cm (6 inches), helping to enhance productivity with each pass.

“Companies have used a variety of methods to steer their surface excavation machines,” Chris Lynch said. “Also, different operators use different methods meaning steering methods might change between the day shift operator and night shift operator. GPS steering technology helps bring enhanced consistency to the process.”

GPS technology can be used to create a mine-by-line plan. A company starts by conducting a GPS survey of the jobsite; that information is given to a designer who creates a plan, and then that plan is uploaded to the GPS system on the Terrain Leveler SEM. The operator selects that plan and the GPS system steers the machine along the proper line provided by the survey.

This is the latest GPS feature on the Terrain Leveler SEM. The patented tilting drum already offers the ability to use GPS for grade control.

The GPS steering option is available now on the new Vermeer T1255 direct drive Terrain Leveler SEM. Vermeer is also working on a system upgrade that will allow Terrain Leveler SEM machines already in the field to support the GPS steering option.

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