Preparation is key in earthmoving. It’s all about laying the groundwork before the ground is worked. At C.R. Kennedy they provide the very best tools and support to measure, assess, plan and help control any level of earthmoving project. They are Australia’s largest supplier of positioning, mapping and surveying equipment and the exclusive distributor of many leading brands, including Leica Geosystems.
C.R. Kennedy has a long and rich history beginning in 1934 when Clement Robertson Kennedy began importing photographic and optical products into Australia. Over the decades his business grew and slowly branched into the surveying market.
Well before the advent of home computers, the Internet or GPS, their ranges began with basic measuring instruments and early laser apparatus, but as technology improved, C.R. Kennedy stayed ahead of the game, importing more advanced spatial mapping and technology related products used across many different sectors including civil construction, building, mining, rail and surveying.
A huge milestone occurred in 2001 when C.R. Kennedy was appointed sole and exclusive Australian distributors for the Swiss-based giant Leica Geosystems.
Leica is synonymous with being pioneers of innovative surveying equipment. They are the leading global provider of technology solutions that drive productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial landscapes. They are a respected brand trusted by trades and professionals the world over to help them capture, analyse and present dimensional data. The company’s catchcry, “When it has to be right”, rings true, for when sites require accuracy, precision and reliability they naturally turn to Leica Geosystems to deliver flawless results.
Through the Leica Geosystems’ portfolio, C.R. Kennedy is able to offer specialty hardware and software for all positioning and measuring tasks. Intelligent and easy-to-use, their customisable solutions enhance performance and increase workflow on both small and large sites. While the project itself may remain the same, this new technology allows them to check levels, stake out and visualise a project like never before. Foremen, leading hands and engineers have all seen the benefits. And the data captured can be used by all workforce on all levels, from the broader spectrum of overall construction evaluation, planning and rollout within the office, to the more specific daily tasks of individuals and their earthmoving equipment on the job site.
It’s this machine guidance facet of C.R. Kennedy and Leica Geosystems in Australia that has really taken off of late, and the man behind it all is David Klease.
A highly qualified Engineering Surveyor with a huge resume of bluechip civil projects under his belt, David has done it all from estimating and project management, to chief surveying and systems development.
He joined C.R. Kennedy 15 years ago, and was given the challenging task of heading up their Machine Control Division.
David has helped grow the department into a flourishing part of the business as more and more earthmoving and construction projects are adopting the incredible Leica Geosystems technology.
These advanced solutions enable users to access and transfer real-time data anywhere to and from the job site and provide perfect sensor communication between all construction personnel and machines.
The web-based suite of tools increases the efficiency of machine control operations on site and the full management of machinery fleets remotely.
So now we can automatically guide graders, dozers and excavators, what does it mean for those sitting in the cabin? Far from the technology taking over a machine operator’s job, David stresses that the products they offer simply amplify and enhance the driver’s knowledge and ability.
In fact, the role of the machinery operator is becoming all the more important as they are granted complete control over the earthworks without the need for pegs, markers or string lines. With advances in machine control technology some things change, but many remain the same. Technology hasn’t changed the work itself, but it has changed the tools used to do the work.
“Heavy machine operators have become more independent and self-directing than ever before,” David pointed out, “however they still need to be capable of using any machine to its capacity in a safe and efficient manner.
A machine control system or solution does not magically transform a poor operator into a good operator and the same goes for the machine as well.”
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUPPORT
Backing up their state-of-the-art, industry-leading solutions is C.R. Kennedy’s unparalleled support and service. This is what really keeps them ahead of the game.
Remaining an independently-owned family company, with close to 300 staff. Their teams are product specialists, qualified surveyors and highly trained experts who themselves have been in the field. They have also been taught to absorb feedback and learn from their clients, who they deem “top of the priority list”.
“Reshaping the earth is a massive undertaking regardless of scale,” continued David. “Big or small, it takes effort. At C.R. Kennedy we understand this through listening to the challenges our clients face in the execution of their projects. We don’t advise customers how to do their job, that is not our position to adopt. We engage and then suggest what technologies we have that will add value to the customers’ everyday experience at the coal face.”
Once a client begins working with C.R. Kennedy they have their total devotion.
“We have a very strong focus on after-sales support,” boasted David. “Often clients are entering a new world of technology and they must be guided through that process to ensure they utilise their investments to the maximum. With us you will have support from an unmatched national service network, along with tailored training opportunities at our company offices or on site.”
So what does the future hold for C.R. Kennedy, for Leica Geosystems, for machine control and for all of us in the industry? David believes that with OEMs entering the machine control market it will be critical for C.R. Kennedy to grow its business and lead industry developments wherever it can. “We are continually working on that,” he said regarding staying one step ahead, “and our partner Leica Geosystems is investing more than ever in research and development. We are here to stay; our survey division is Australia’s market leader and our aim is to do the same in machine control someday soon. We’re expecting new innovations, more applications and higher expectations.”
In wrapping up, David explained that C.R. Kennedy can only continue to be successful if its clients are successful. Positive outcomes for their customers is what drives their very business and is what they thrive on.
“Going forward, that’s huge motivation for all of us here at C.R. Kennedy,” he concluded.