Machine Control

Earthworks Raises Bar for Machine Control


Trimble introduces the next generation grade control for excavators and dozers.

Trimble Earthworks has launched the industry’s first integrated 3D aftermarket excavator automatics capability. In addition, a new dozer configuration moves the receivers from the blade to the roof of the cab.

Reengineered from the ground up, Trimble’s innovative, next generation grade control platform features intuitive, easy-to-learn software that runs on an Android operating system. State-of-the-art software and hardware gives operators of all skill  levels the ability to work faster and more productively than ever before.

“Trimble pioneered machine control,” says Scott Crozier, director of marketing for Trimble Civil Engineering and Construction. “Now, Trimble Earthworks takes machine control to the next level, with a platform that reinvents machine control technology, making it easy to use and learn, and more accessible for many different types of contractors.”


The Earthworks application was developed based on feedback from construction equipment operators around the world, resulting in an interface optimised for productivity.

Colourful graphics, natural interactions and gestures, and self-discovery features make the software intuitive and easy to learn. Each operator can personalise the interface to match their workflow, and a variety of configurable views make it easier to see the right perspective for maximum productivity.




In addition, Earthworks allows data files to be transferred to or from the office wirelessly and automatically so that the operator is always using the latest design.

“This is a major development for Trimble,” explains Jeff Drake, business area manager for Trimble machine control systems. “The new platform is based on the Android operating system and leverages common Android gestures such as swiping and zooming, which operators are already familiar with. This can shorten the learning curve and makes the software easier to use.”

Trimble has also introduced a rugged display for use with the new Trimble Earthworks software. The new 10-inch (25.7 centimetre) Trimble TD520 touch-screen display is daylight readable and waterproof, as well as being durable enough to cope with being dropped.

For added flexibility, contractors have the option of using third-party displays, although most are not field tested for harsh construction conditions including rain, snow and extreme temperatures.



Trimble Earthworks allows excavator operators to create smooth, flat or sloped surfaces more easily. When the excavator is placed in Autos mode, the operator controls the stick, and Trimble Earthworks controls the boom and bucket to stay on grade, reduce overcut and increase production.

Trimble believes that the system will deliver a substantial gain in output, and Drake says, “What we’re seeing is a 30% increase in production. It’s a lot more ergonomic and we find operators can take their hands off the controls on this new architecture.”


Trimble Earthworks for Dozers mounts dual GNSS receivers on top of the cab to eliminate masts and cables traditionally located on the blade. The dual GNSS receivers are ideal for steep slope work and complex designs with tight tolerances. The new configuration keeps valuable receivers safer and can also save contractors time by reducing the time needed to remove and reinstall them.

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