Customer Story - November 2021

Improving Dozer Accuracy & Performance with Auto Steering and Guidance from Trimble Agriculture

Matty Deambrosis is a second-generation land levelling and earthmoving contractor in Ayr, Queensland.

His father, Terry, started Deambrosis GPS Levelling 45 years ago and has worked hard to grow the business ever since.

From the very beginning, Terry and Matty have worked with precision agriculture equipment provider, Vantage BMS.

As an authorised distributor of Trimble precision ag equipment and solutions, Vantage BMS has assisted the Deambrosis family build their business by maximising efficiency and profitability.

When a client came to Matty asking to clear precise, straight rows on their cattle station to prep the land to grow cattle feed, Matty knew it was time to invest in the latest steering and guidance solutions from Trimble.

Tasked with the job of clearing straight rows running east-west using his large CAT D9 Dozer to facilitate the planting of Leucaena and knowing that he would be working in difficult conditions in and around tall gum trees, Matty contacted his local BMS team.

“We always wanted to put it [automated steering] in, but we were just waiting for the right job,” says Matty.

The BMS team visited Matty to show him the latest and greatest auto steering solutions from Trimble. This included Trimble’s Autopilot automated steering system which allows for automated, hands-free guidance and high accuracy steering, and CenterPoint RTX, Trimble’s best performing GNSS correction solution.

BMS installed the CenterPoint RTX and Autopilot steering system on Matty’s large CAT D9 dozer — an increasingly more common installation for their team, according to BMS Service Manager, Michael Munro.

“BMS has developed the kits to allow the AutoPilot systems to be installed on Dozers ” says Michael. “We’ve also created hydraulic and electric interfaces and a true proportional steering system.”

“There are multiple benefits to installing AutoPilot steering systems on dozers, including keeping the machine straight, minimising overlap and saving time as a result, and negating operator fatigue so you can work at night,” explains Michael.

“Plus, the ability to accurately skip rows allows you to maintain an equal load on both sides of the blade, which is better for it in the long run.”

The BMS team also explained to Matty how using CenterPoint RTX ensures high accuracy results, better uptime, and reliable service to allow farmers to work anywhere.

“I hadn’t seen the CenterPoint RTX system before,” Matty comments. “The BMS team came out and showed it to me and their service technicians set it all up for us.”

After BMS installed the Trimble system on his dozer, Matty got to work clearing rows for his customer. 

“I was really impressed with Trimble’s RTX system. It works even around trees which really impressed me,” Matty says.

“It’s one of those things you’ve got to see it to believe it. For a GPS system to work under and around trees is awesome.”

After using a local RTK base station for years, Trimble’s RTX solutions allowed Matty to work far more efficiently.

“Using CenterPoint RTX, I got down to 2.5cm accuracy, same as RTK, even in and around trees,” Matty notes.

With high-accuracy GNSS corrections via satellite, CenterPoint RTX does not require a local base station or VRS network to operate, allowing users to achieve reliable operation with satellite delivered corrections, free from the limitations of spotty cellular coverage or moving a local base station from point to point.

“Not having to use a RTK base station makes it quicker and easier moving from job to job, and you don’t have to worry about cattle knocking it over and things like that,” says Matty.

“Plus, the signal never dropped out at all and even if it did, with the fast start-up, I can start as soon as my machine is ready to go.”
The real-time, centimetre-level accuracy has also proven a large benefit for Matty.

“This system makes you much more efficient. Without the automated steering, you do a lot more overlap but once you get the system, there’s next-to-no overlap so you get more done per hour, per day, which keeps the customer happy.”

“The customer wanted dead-straight lines,” says Matty, “and, in the end, they were really impressed with the work.”

And now, with the release of ProPoint, Trimble’s latest firmware for their precise positioning GNSS receivers, CenterPoint RTX can perform even better.

With ProPoint and RTX, you can maximise every minute of work. With 75% faster convergence speed, users can get to work faster and, if signal ever drops out, reconvergence time is all but eliminated.

ProPoint provides improved reliability in harsh GNSS environments, such as near trees and buildings. With a 40% increase in guidance availability under tree canopies and up to 20% more smoothness when using Trimble RTX, users can benefit from the best high-accuracy solution in the world.

Deambrosis GPS Levelling currently has two CAT D9 Dozers in the company. One has the new Trimble guidance system, and the other, Matty assures will get a steering guidance system installed in the future, as both dozers do a lot of work around trees.

“I would definitely recommend this system to everyone, especially other dozer contractors,” Matty explains. “Once you’ve got it, you’ll never look back.”
The Deambrosis family have always been strong supporters of Vantage BMS, since the very start of their company.

“We’re always really happy with the service at BMS. It’s second to none and that’s why we’ve been a lifelong customer with them, and we will continue to be in the years to come,” says Matty.

“They have good, top quality Trimble products and the top-quality service to go with it. The BMS team are really helpful. Even after hours, they are happy to get you going however they can. They’re all really experienced and get you working quickly.”

“I would highly recommend Trimble and Vantage BMS for anyone in earthmoving or agriculture.”

Vantage BMS can fit Trimble steering and guidance solutions for a range of large dozers to suit a variety of applications, including blade ploughing, cutter baring, and more. Vantage’s specialist team ensures your system is set up to suit your machine and your requirements.

To learn more about Vantage BMS’s Trimble steering and guidance solutions for heavy vehicle machinery, call 1300 TRIMBLE.

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