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Streb Construction First in the Country to Use Retrofitted Topcon Millimeter GPS System

Fri October 26, 2012 - Midwest Edition
Jennifer Rupp

The Topcon Millimeter GPS system gets accuracy to +/- one millimeter for paving operations. Thus far, this system has been applied to four brand new pavers, but Streb Construction of Iowa City, Iowa, was first to have the Topcon system retrofitted to its own 1999 CMI SF3302 slipform concrete paver.

“The two major benefits of the Topcon GPS system are its ability to control the concrete paver to steer accurately and in the desired direction without the use of string lines, and to control the elevation of the paver so the concrete coming out is to grade,” said Star Equipment sales representative Charlie Bowman.

The Topcon system saves both time and money, according to Star. Without GPS, crews need a week or two for setting up paving hubs and string lines, which costs money and manpower. Another benefit to a worksite free of strings is the maneuverability of concrete trucks and other equipment in the construction area.

Streb had been interested in the Topcon GPS system for a while before they purchased it from Star Equipment of Cedar Rapids. Streb is a concrete paving company incorporated in 1965 that serves eastern Iowa. The company purchased its first slipform paver in 1990, and feel that it was a natural progression to add the GPS system to its current model.

The first job Streb used the Topcon system on was the Y14 project in Muscatine County last July. The project called for 8.5 mi. (13.7 km) of concrete overlay on an existing county road.

“We’re very pleased with the Topcon’s performance,” said Steve Streb, vice president of Streb Construction. “Without the GPS system, we would have had 17 miles of string line to contend with while trying to perform paving operations.” Streb went on to use the machine again in Keokuk County on a 2.5 mi. (4 km) overlay project.

Streb is considering putting the Topcon System on its Cat PM200 milling machine as well. The MM GPS system would allow for detailed milling within a couple hundredths of an inch in elevation. The benefit of paving over a detailed milled surface is the ability to project extremely accurate concrete yields.

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