Supported for Success


Christchurch-based survey firm Graham Surveying opts for Sokkia technology largely because it’s backed by support from Aptella

Graham Surveying runs a six surveyor-strong team that offers a full range of cadastral, topographic and engineering surveying services throughout New Zealand’s South and Lower North Islands.

“We have a steady work load that includes land development projects, construction set out, as-built and topographic surveys and infrastructure asset data collection,” said owner Richard Graham.

Recently the company purchased a Sokkia robotic instrument, which unfortunately was damaged by an excavator after just a couple of weeks. Undeterred, Mr Graham then upgraded to the new Sokkia iX robotic, complete with MAGNET Field software, RC5 long range communication and SHC5000 survey tablet. To complete the set, the company has also just taken delivery of a new GRX2 multi-constellation RTK GNSS receiverCommenting on his choice of technology and supplier, Mr Graham said “When we were given a demo of the Sokkia products we could see they suited our needs perfectly and offered excellent value for money. The equipment met all our technical specification needs whilst being cost effective, which is important for a new, small business such as ours.”

Mr Graham said the relationship with Sokkia’s New Zealand distributor, Aptella, was also central to the decision. “I’ve had a working relationship with Jamie Nelson, the Sales Manager, since Aptella first established a branch in Christchurch a few years ago,” he said.

“I’ve been in this business for 17 years and I’d say Jamie offers the best customer service out of any equipment supplier I’ve ever come across,” Mr Graham added. “Having experience setting up Aptella in a new country, Jamie understands what it’s like to run a small business so he always goes the extra mile and is very helpful – he either has the answer when you ring or he finds it for you quickly.

“In my experience other equipment suppliers lack that drive and personal touch so I’d certainly recommend Aptella for delivering exceptional customer service,” he said.

Feedback from Graham Surveying’s field parties on the new Sokkia equipment has been very positive, Mr Graham explained. “The robotic is very fast and able to retain lock on the prism easily,” he said.

“Our previous robotic was from a leading competitor brand, but we kept running into issues with it locking onto other reflective surfaces such as the stripes on our safety vests, rather than the prism,” Mr Graham added. “As the surveyor is obviously close to the prism, it was only when we were staking out a new building and realised the corners weren’t square that we worked out what was happening.”

The company’s surveyors have had no such issues with the new Sokkia iX model. “It’s been very reliable and although we haven’t had much long range work to try out the RC5 long range prism communication technology, the system is more than capable of delivering the accuracy and reliability we need,” Mr Graham said.

Graham Surveying uses MAGNET Field software for the SHC5000 tablet and total station, but opts for 12D CAD software in the office. “We’ve found the workflow very easy and straightforward, overall the system is delivering everything we expected and we’re happy with our choice,” Mr Graham said.

“When combined with the back up support from Jamie and the rest of the Aptella team, I’m confident we’ve chosen a great solution that will go the distance for our growing business,” he concluded.

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