Improving Earthwork Estimates with Drone Data in Five Steps

Earthwork Estimates

Earthworks bidding is a delicate balancing act. If you want to win business, you need to make competitive bids — but also remain profitable. Luckily, a drone mapping app can give estimators instant access to the information they need to make winning bids, no matter the size of a site or the complexity of work required.

Traditionally, it’s been too time-consuming and expensive for estimators to survey a site for themselves. Drones are changing that, capturing accurate aerial data that can be compared to GPS data collected from the ground. Along with a drone data processing solution, like the Propeller Aero platform, estimators have quick, affordable access to reliable data that leads to winning bids.

Gather accurate earthwork data

To achieve survey-grade accuracy, drone surveys rely not only on proper flight conditions, including an appropriate ground sample distance and correct image overlap, but also on data collected from ground control points. Propeller’s AeroPoints help drone mapping software position your map in relation to the real world around it. When used correctly, they improve the accuracy of your survey, ensuring that the latitude and longitude of any object or feature on your map corresponds with actual GPS coordinates.

Capturing reliable pre-construction insights

One of the greatest advantages of flying a site prior to bidding is the preliminary information you’re able to gather. Rather than relying on topo data from clients — which can be inaccurate — gathering your own survey data provides information you can trust. You get clear measurements on the site as it stands. Then, you can compare that data to the final design of the project, calculating cut, net, and fill quantities.

Propeller’s processing platform even contains built-in estimating tools, helping you process your data to prepare competitive bids that appeal to clients and also generate profitability.

Design surfaces improve project planning

If you have a site’s design surface already georeferenced, it’s simple to load it into the Propeller platform to compare it against the initial topographical survey. You’re then able to gauge what you need to take out or bring in to match the final design. When you have a precise measurement upfront, you know exactly what you need to import or export to balance your site and avoid unnecessary work.

The best bids are those that make sense

Winning bids include much more than just a simple description of work to be done and an associated cost. You need to back up your bid with easy-to-understand earthwork survey data. With Propeller’s drone data solutions, you can export all PDF and CSV reports on all survey data, providing an audit trail of work performed. Not only is this a useful reference to guide your own team, but it also keeps clients informed throughout every step of a project.

Drone survey technology raises the bar for earthworks estimating

Drones, along with drone data processing platforms, are improving the construction bidding process by providing companies with the insight they need to make competitive yet profitable bids on earthworks projects of all sizes and complexities.

Equipped with a drone mapping app, engineers have visual verification of work to be done at a site, enabling reliable cost estimates that lead to winning bids. Think of the mapping app as access to accuracy, right in your pocket.