Surveying in the winter has several advantages for your business. Many companies prefer to get a head start on their spring construction projects by having their land surveyed in the winter months. This is also the time of year when many cities prefer to have their utility pipes and cables surveyed to find out if any things need to be updated as they create their budget for the new year.
With advanced surveying equipment, you should have no problem collecting data even when it is snowing outside. In fact, you may also find that you encounter easier conditions for surveying since there should be less tree canopy overhead to interfere with satellite detection and communication with your RTK GPS system. Just make sure to follow these tips to get your equipment optimized for winter weather conditions.
Check the Temperature Ratings for Your Equipment
Most of the equipment that you use for surveying should have a temperature rating that you can find in the manufacturer’s instructions or the sales brochure. Although nature can sometimes have a mind of its own, you should know the average winter temperature in the areas that you plan to set up the equipment. If your equipment is not rated for those conditions, then look for a model that is suited for freezing temperatures. This helps to preserve your equipment, and you’ll avoid issues with inaccurate data that can delay the completion of your projects.
Secure Freestanding Equipment for High Winds
Winter storms blowing in often include high winds that can knock over and damage your freestanding equipment. Always make sure that you secure your equipment using the best practices for the terrain that you are surveying. When in doubt, tie the equipment down. It is far better to be overly cautious than to discover that it has blown away.
Keep It Dry
The equipment that you use should be rated for the weather conditions that you anticipate. However, you will want to be careful always to dry off your equipment before you pack it up for storage. Putting your equipment into the storage case wet could cause damage to the battery, and it can damage internal components that reduce its functioning and accuracy.
Stock Up On Batteries
Extremely cold temperatures can affect how well batteries function. You can do things such as using a battery warmer to keep the spares ready for use during transport, and you should plan to have to swap them out of charge them more often during the winter months. It is also possible to increase the effectiveness of batteries by making sure that you are using newer ones before the winter begins.
Make Sure to Upgrade the Firmware and Update the Software
You can expect that modern surveying equipment will need regular software updates throughout the year to keep it running at optimum efficiency. However, it is easy to overlook the need to do these when your company is running at peak operations during the summer. Use the downtime that often occurs just before winter to double-check that all of the updates are performed so that you can eliminate bugs in the previous version and benefit from new additions to the software programming.
This helps to increase the speed, reliability and accuracy of your equipment before it has to perform in wintry conditions. While you are at it, you might also want to check in with the support team to find out if the firmware needs an upgrade. This is especially important if you are using pre-owned equipment that might benefit from having an upgrade to enhance its performance.
The ideal time to begin prepping your surveying equipment is just before the weather begins to turn colder. You’ll also find that this is a great time to stock up on pre-owned equipment since many companies sell off their gear when they shut down for several months. By keeping your business operating, you keep an edge on the competition while developing relationships with customers who need your surveying services in the winter months.