Beset by inefficiencies created by a less than optimum haul road layout Crawford Quarries turned to AeroView Services to improve efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and, most of all, MAKE MORE MONEY.
Like many regional quarry operations, Crawford has experienced steady growth over the years, taxing their quarry design and infrastructure. Crawford and their equipment supplier determined that a key haul road to the crusher was limiting their production. This was not only increasing their maintenance costs, but also leading to potentially avoidable overtime to the combined tune of more than $200,000/year.
Crawford needed to map the 300-acre property to get the data they would need to make their operation more efficient. Upon investigating AeroView Services, Crawford learned they could map their entire property to get the information needed to
improve haul roads, quantify stockpiles, manage stripping, and plan reclaim activities - all with data collected from one drone flight. It was the cost effective solution they needed!
AeroView’s flight crew arrived on a frigid December day. After a short meeting, Crawford and AeroView personnel spent about 45 minutes placing and measuring 12 ground control points on the property. By placing ground control and measuring it in the coordinate system used by Crawford’s Trimble GPS machine control systems enabled Quantum Land Design to use the data to design site improvements. Quantum Land Design, the parent company of AeroView Services, is an industry leader in 3D surface modeling and machine control data prep.
The property was flown with AeroView’s Trimble UX5 fixed wing UAS. The UX5 has proven itself over nearly three years of service to AeroView, making it the perfect solution for large area data collection. Two flights over the property collected over 2,000 photos, which will be used to make a 3D model of the quarry. Once ground control targets were retrieved, AeroView’s crew headed back to the office to start processing. The entire data collection process including ground control and flights took less than three hours.
Our team of data experts immediately started photogrammetric processing of the photos collected with the Trimble UX5. Within hours a highly accurate 3D model of the site was developed along with an orthophoto.
With the 3D model in hand, Quantum’s technical experts laid out stripping areas, calculated stockpile volumes and analyzed haul roads. Job one was to redesign the problem haul road to the crusher. A centerline profile of the haul road (see below) made the need for improvement clear. From the haul road profile, Crawford's equipment supplier was able to determine that a 9.75% slope would maximize the efficiency of their 40-ton haul trucks.
With the optimum slope of 9.75%, Quantum Land Design’s machine control experts got to work. They took the required slope and built a haul road to meet Crawford’s road width and drainage requirements. As soon as haul road design was complete, the 3D GPS machine control files were loaded directly to Crawford’s Trimble GPS bulldozer through the Trimble Connected Community. Quantum even calculated the number of truckloads of fill required for the project.
The entire process from flight to loading the new haul road design to Crawford’s bulldozer took three days. This quick turnaround allowed the quarry to immediately capitalize on the improvement for an equally quick
payback - $200,000 was realized within 9 months, making the decision to utilize drone data one of best investments Crawford could make in their future.