SUMO has invested a lot of time and money cross-training our surveyors. This covers both land and utility survey techniques to ensure they are multi-disciplined. This holds a wealth of benefits to our clients including up to 50% off the costs of certain projects. We spoke to Utility Director Peter Marsh and Topographic Director Paul Williams to understand how SUMO is crunching these all-important numbers.
So, what is a SUMOplus+ survey?
It is a fast, responsive and quality service in which we carry out our 'bread and butter' SUMO survey for utility detection. Plus we also check for other buried features that can cause a project additional costs and time delays. It gives our clients an invaluable insight into what's beneath their site. Including full visibility below the ground, as all detected features are marked and recorded.
What equipment is used?
We have invested in a range of industry-leading equipment including Dual Frequency Ground Penetrating Radar systems. They can locate both shallow and deep features, without the need to use two separate Ground Penetrating Radar systems. This would actually double the time spent collecting the data. Using a 300/800 MHz antenna, we have the capacity to locate conventional utilities buried to a depth of 1-1.5m. If conditions are suitable, we can accurately locate deeper features up to approximately 7m. What's more, such systems also allow our surveyors to work in real time. This collects radar data for post-processing. Allowing for those more complicated sites or discrete features.
Another workhorse for the surveyors is the Cable and Pipe locator. We have worked closely with the manufacturers over the last 15 years and always strive to keep up-to-date with the latest systems. We currently use an advanced high-precision cable locator containing a unique arrangement of 5 custom-manufactured, precision-ground antennas. It allows our surveyors to choose the best method to locate specific pipes and cables.
Of course, we also utilise various Robotic Total Stations including high accuracy units for control and monitoring works and lesser instruments for general surveys. High accuracy GPS is also used to provide positioning (within 30mm) to the Ordnance Survey Grid and Datum at the push of a button.
How do you crunch the cost?
As previously mentioned, SUMO has invested a lot of time cross-training our surveyors. This covers both land and utility sectors and ensures they are multi disciplined. Rather than having separate surveyors trained in each field; every SUMO surveyor can undertake a range of different surveys. This flexibility allows us to not only survey a site for utilities, but we can also investigate for other geophysical features. This includes obstructions, voids or even archaeology for example. We can normally deploy fewer surveyors on to a site, which results in reduced man hours spent on the survey. Also allowing us to pass on significant cost savings to our clients of up to 50%.
SUMO is also unique in that all our survey crews are independent. They are able to respond quickly to urgent requests anywhere in the UK. Not being tied to one base and being strategically located throughout the country, gives us the ability to use local resource. Thereby, reductions can be seen on travel costs, making us even more competitive.