A Dozer Operator's Perspective on Grade Control

Jace Nix has been operating dozers his entire adult life. Now, as Vice President of his family-owned company, GT NIX Construction in Mountain View, Wyoming, he is the one to make decisions about dozer purchases.

Nix bought a new Komatsu D51EX-22 two years ago. The dozer operates six days a week for eight to 10 hours a day on civil construction jobs all over the state.

“With about 1,500 hours of operation to date, it’s one of our primary machines,” he notes. “Due to the advancements in dozer system technology [electronics], we’ve noticed enhanced performance with this new dozer,” he adds.

“We do a lot of finishing with our D51EX-22 and the Topcon Positioning System has cut our blade usage in half. Stakes on the jobsite have been eliminated. The operators can see everything about the job right on the screen in front of them. There’s no more looking at plans; everything they need is right there to analyze.”

Topcon Dozer Grade Control Options

According to Nix, GPS technology has allowed “an average operator to become an excellent operator. We can do things with our GPS system that even the best operators can’t do at these speeds.”

Fuel consumption also gets a thumbs up. “We’ve reduced our fuel consumption by 20%,” he confirms.

And productivity is up, too. According to Nix, “We’ve increased our production by 30% conservatively due to these advances in electronics.”