Elevator Tripod

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bcx400, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    Anyone own an elevator tripod for your laser level? I am thinking about purchasing one. The elevator tripod would allow me to 'dial in' the same benchmark elevations on paver, bluestone, and wall jobs. I could write the benchmark elevations on the design (and the finish elevations) and not have to change or re-write the numbers everyday on the same job.

    I have seen the prices varying from $150.00 over $400.00. Amazon sells the Stabila, but it doesn't get good reviews. I would like to hear your experience with these tripods- if anyone is using them!
     
  2. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    So anyway- an elevator tripod has a shaft in the center of the tripod on which your laser level sits. By turning a crank handle, the shaft will raise and lower the level to the desired elevation.

    Has anybody heard of this, or tried it?
     
  3. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    if the tripod is not perfectly plumb wouldn't that throw off your beam alignment & height?

    Regards,
    Active
     
  4. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I can't provide much information other than to say I've used some of the cheaper ones and wasn't impressed. Unfortunately, I don't remember any of the brand names.

    If you're just setting wall and paver heights, I doubt you'll gain much by changing tripods. I'm probably not understanding your question correctly, but it seems like you may actually be trying to make more work for yourself. If you pick a spot for your benchmark, you can assign a random elevation (typically 100.00' to minimize subtraction and addition errors). From there, you determine your wall or paver height relative to your benchmark. For example, your wall height might be established at 103.50' which is 3.5' higher than your benchmark. Next time you'd just have to set up your level and take a shot with your level rod on the benchmark and note the elevation with the laser receiver. Then you adjust your receiver down 3.5 feet on your level rod and you're off and running. This can be done quickly with one person and doesn't take much effort. If you try to set your level so the laser is at the same elevation from the day before, it will likely take two people

    Essentially, one person will have to hold the level rod with the reciever set on the same mark from the day before. The second person will then need to adjust the level up or down till the receiver signals on grade. Once you did that, you'd need to adjust your receiver on the level rod to the appropriate height for the wall. Sorry if this is old hat to you, just trying to help save you some money :)
     
  5. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    DKinWA- I always find I am doing paver jobs with existing elevations to meet up with, such as pool decks, existing steps, driveways, etc. I usually have a design for the project I am working on, and by writing the existing elevations for the steps/pool deck/ driveway, etc on the plan, I can then calculate the pitches I need for the pavers. I often incorporate steps into jobs that have a combination of a walk and patio. By the time I am done calculating and setting pitches, I have lots of numbers written on the plan.

    The elevator tripod would allow me to 'recapture' these same numbers each day on the job, without having to erase all the numbers on the plan, and adjusting for the new height of the laser. I currently do the adjustment with a standard tripod, raising or lowering the legs until I get the correct elevation. It is a two man job that takes about 10 minutes every day. With an elevator tripod, it is still a two man job, but should take less than one minute.
    I am always looking for ways to make the job easier, and with less room for error.
     
  6. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I figured I wasn't understanding what you're trying to do, but now I do. One thought is to check with a local survey instrument supplier and see what they recommend. I've used tripods from some of the big name manufactures such as topcon along with some cheaper units and the old adage "you get what you pay for" really seems to apply.

    One other thought that came to mind was the use of a rod with the adjustable measuring tape Like This . With this, the laser level could be at different elevations from one day to the next and the level rod could be adjusted to indicate the desired elevation. Then again, it's almost as expensive as a new tripod ;)
     
  7. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 77

    DKinWA- Thanks for the link, I hadn't thought of an adjustable measuring rod.
     

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