View Full Version : Contractors & GPS
02-10-2005, 07:01 AM
Does anyone know about the legality of contractors using GPS to grade construction sites? Here in the Inland Empire we have several earthwork contractors that use GPS to grade subdivisions and dont have an LS on staff. They also have unlicensed individuals setting up their DTMs and doing topos of removal areas and performing the calculations for pay quantities. This seems like a serious threat to our profession.
02-10-2005, 08:16 AM
As long as the contractor is using his own employees to provide surveying services for internal company use only, I don't believe there's a violation. If any of the data is reported to someone who is not an employee of the contractor, then there is a potential violation.
I say 'potential' because if internal pay quantity calculations are used to verify those of another party or even to serve as the basis for negotiation on resolving apparent discrepancies, then there's probably no violation. If the pay quantities are represented to anyone outside the company as being accurate, then I believe a violation has occurred.
The same principle applies to DTM development. As long as it's not furnished to outside parties, I don't see a problem with unlicensed contractor employees doing the work.
Long-term, I don't see much of a role for land surveyors in construction staking beyond certification to third parties. Note, however, that many jurisdictions still require that line and grade on public improvements be established by a licensed surveyor.
02-11-2005, 07:22 AM
They are doing it for internal company use. However, they are contracted by a developer to do grading and are doing construction layout as part of their services. In my opinion they are in violation of section 8726 (a) of the Professional Land Surveyors Act. They are establishing the alignment and elevation of fixed works embraced within the practice of civil engineering. In addition, they need to establish property lines since the location of side and rear yard slopes on residential subdivisions are usually detailed from property lines. The same thing applies to street grading.
Some of the contractors that we have worked with are performing their of surveys of removal areas. Then they submit their quantity calculations to the developer for payment without the oversight of a licensed professional.
I hope you are wrong about the long-term outlook for the construction surveyor. If our profession doesn’t address this matter soon, you may be right.
Bob Hart (home)
02-11-2005, 07:59 AM
At least as long as the board survives or until; the DCA takes the place of the board. The more specific you can be the better.
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