How to Choose a Suitable Excavator Grade Control System for Your Construction Project?

Excavator grade control system is a crucial component for excavator guidance in digital construction. It ensures that the operator performs operations with high accuracy by importing the design file in the display control terminal.

Meanwhile the excavator grade control system prevents the machine from digging too deep or adding more material. The system can tell the operator exactly how much to dig or how much material to add. It helps operators to dig confidently and accurately, so that construction is not only rely on experience for greater precision.

Why excavator grade control system?

The construction industry is confronted with permanent pressure regarding cost due to:
- Increasing expenses, especially those pertaining to labor and energy.
- Shortened schedules for completion of projects.
- A highly complex legal system with a growing number of official laws and standards.

Excavator grade control system can solve these problems. It has been widely used in digital construction to improve construction efficiency and accuracy.

There are various types of excavator grade control systems on the market. Choosing the one that suits your project best will be a challenge. Before you make a decision, here are some questions for you to consider in order to avoid unnecessary payment.

Confirm your work scenario and required excavation accuracy, decide what type of system you need

Excavators are mainly used for sub-grade slopes, slope protection, drainage ditches, cable pipeline ditches and other operating scenarios, and are used in locations such as highways, railways, airports, water conservancy, and municipal. Among them, 5% of the excavator operating scenarios require high accuracy. Confirming the accuracy required for your excavator operation scenario can help you find the suitable excavator grade control system quickly.

There are some differences in the accuracy of excavator control system among different brands.

According to the official statement, the FJD 3D excavator grade control system (FJD 3D EXCAVATOR GUIDANCE SYSTEM) based on GPS, accuracy is 3cm. But some customers have reported that the accuracy can reach 1cm during use. This is an ultra-high precision type. You can precisely control the excavator through reference lines and visual tasks displayed on the terminal for high-precision digging and grade control.

Confirm the type of your work, decide whether you need a 2D or 3D excavator grade control system

2D and 3D excavator grade control systems utilize different technologies to provide positioning and guidance for the excavator.

2D grade control system often utilizes physical landmarks and laser technology, allowing excavator operators to work on a single plane. Operators can ensure consistent slope in a vertical plane. It is suitable for small, personal excavator operations. Compared with the 3D system, its price is relatively low and individuals can afford it.

3D excavator grade control system uses GPS & RTK positioning technology to digitally develop site plans, allowing operators to add variable distances such as curves. GPS excavator control systems are suitable for large, complex projects such as large drainage projects, where productivity, accuracy and excavator downtime are priorities.

The advantages of 3D excavator grade control system:

- Real-time depth, distance, and grade information.
- High accuracy positioning.
- Excavator downtime reduction.
- Fuel wastage reduction.
- Workers are safer.

FJD 3D excavator grade control system

Using FJD 3D excavator grade control system based on GPS, you can clearly see the working status of the excavator and the task on the display terminal. With the aid of the baseline, the operator can intuitively grasp the height and position of the bucket, so that each excavation action can be accurately completed to improve operation efficiency.

Through the conversion software of construction drawings, the task progress, slope, depth, and construction reference point can be visually checked on the display and control terminal to ensure construction quality.

FJD 3D excavator grade control system principle

1. Two GNSS antennas, one for positioning and the other for orientation.
2. 4G / Radio Antenna, receive RTK signal.
3. Attitude Sensor Modules: excavator platform attitude sensor, boom attitude sensor, stick attitude sensor, bucket attitude sensor (support tilt bucket).

Using the global navigation satellite system GNSS and RTK technology for positioning; After reading various angle sensors installed on the excavator, obtaining real-time and accurate three-dimensional position information of the bucket.

Cooperating with work tasks generated by the construction drawing conversion software; Displaying the current digging and filling workload in real time, and digitally guiding the excavation construction. Even in the blind area, the bucket can accurately complete the work.


1. "Technical Review of Automated System Application to Earthworks in Australia"
2. "Stempfhuber, W. (2012). Navigation of construction and agriculture machinery." Geodesy and Cartography, 34(3), 83-87.

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