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What is earthworks software?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Earthworks software is specialist construction software which provides dynamic digital models of landscapes, offering detailed insights into the topographical and sub-surface features of a particular area.


By providing such detailed modelling ahead of commencing any such construction project, earthworks software enables architects and designers to take these geographical features into account in the design process, as well as helping to reduce the amount of cutting and filling carried out during construction.

Earthworks calculation software is, in effect, a surveying tool allowing for comparisons between the topography of a site as-is and how it should look once the work has been completed.

Q: What is bulk earthworks?

A: Bulk earthworks, in a nutshell, involves the removal, adding or moving of substantial quantities of soil or rock. This is done with a view to making a particular area of land sufficiently level for construction work to be carried out on it.

There are two main types of bulk earthworks: excavating or cutting into an area of land, or using earth-based materials to create a new feature such as an embankment. Getting the margins right is very important: having waste materials collected and additional materials delivered is expensive, and this is why precise calculations are necessary.

Q: What is cut-and-fill software?

A: Cut-and-fill software, as the name suggests, calculates the cut and fill quantities required for construction work. Cutting and filling is the term given to the process of creating an even ground surface, and involves taking earth from one location (cutting) and depositing it in another (filling).

Construction firms use cut-and-fill software to precisely calculate the cutting and filling quantities required for particular projects. This helps to enhance efficiency by significantly reducing wastage and therefore overall construction costs.

Key advantages of using cut-and-fill software include reducing the risk of errors and inaccuracies in cutting and filling (with all the additional cost and hassle this implies), allowing for more accurate cost estimates and also reducing any negative environmental degradation that the work might have.

Q: How can telematics benefit earthworks projects?

A: Telematics technology can help to measure planned progress and costs versus actual progress and costs. Because construction telematics allows firms to track equipment with HD data, it could also assist with real-time reporting of how earthworks are taking shape as they proceed. This can complement the insights provided by drone technology and photogrammetry.

In addition, construction telematics is having a transformative impact on how the construction industry operates in general. It provides firms with finely detailed information on how their vehicles and equipment are being used, allowing them to better understand productivity and efficiency as well as helping to deliver major improvements in driver and operator safety.

Q: How can telematics assist with resource management?

A: The completion of earthworks within planned timeframes – and within budget – is reliant on the right equipment being on site when needed, and in condition to complete the work required. Businesses need to ensure that they are fully utilising their owned assets to reduce equipment hire costs, which have a significant impact on the cost of completing earthworks projects.

Key telematics features that can help here include utilisation reporting, which helps to reduce equipment hoarding, and preventative maintenance management, which can significantly reduce the risk of downtime – hugely costly to construction projects – and helps to ensure that the equipment fleet is fully operational. This thereby reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns, with all the disruption and knock-on effects these can involve.