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Lasers and transits

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Fieldman12, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I cut a 40' x 64' barn pad over the weekend for my dad. I used the old string and level way. I want to get a laser type setup in the future but want to keep cost down as much as possible. What is a decent one that works price? I know about the ones that have the transmitter and receiver but allot of those are $500 and up. Anything less out there that will work? I may decide to go with a transit for now since it is cheaper. What does a decent transit cost? I priced one that was around $225.00. I will post pics of the pad soon. Turned out pretty good for doing it the Fred Flinston way. :)
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    We bought a cheap RoboTools laser transit about 3 or 4 years ago. It was $500 and we got it through Home Depot. Sure it's not the best laser, but it got the job done. We now have a Trimble reciever and laser unit, I think this setup was $1,600 and it's awesome, the amount of control is great, but it comes at a price. I think transits are fairly slow and you need 2 people, but they do work.

    I found this place that sells CST/Berger transits. The first one on the page is $230 and it comes with a tripod, clamp, and a grade rod, basically everything you'd need to get going. CST is a good brand as well, it should do everything you need.

  3. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I purchased a used Leica with reciever for about 500 bucks on ebay.
    There are good deals too be found but some lasers are not easily repaired.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,134

    i do it the old way with the transit and u only need one guy and a road cone to hold up the stick i can grade all day by myself and i like it that way
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    That is a good idea, never thought about using a cone to hold the rod

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,134

    ^he said cone and rod^ he he he he
  7. talldaddy

    talldaddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    If you think you are going the transit route, you may want to consider an automatic level. It is quick to setup and take down. It is still a two man job or a traffic cone / one man job. They are less prone to operator error than a transit and possibly cheaper. I once had a leica auto level and it worked great. I now have a CTS auto laser level and david white lt-800 transit. I tried to sell the transit on ebay a few weeks ago without success. It is like new, it cost me around 850 new without a rod or tripod.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    If you're just looking for something that works....Lowe's has a self leveling laser that run's off a DeWalt 18 volt battery. I bought one for residental yards and it works great. I think it cost in the $600 range with a case, receiver and I use a wood stick instead of the plastic rods. Been using a 1x2 wood stick for 30 plus years.....just rip them on the table saw and if you run over them ( which never happens ha!ha!) its no big deal. Also, the wood sticks are very light in weight.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,151

    Personally I would skip the budget shelf lasers and the transit.

    I would buy once and be done with it. I like Topcons Laser transmitters but whatever named brand you want to go with. As someone mentioned they do need to be worked on sometimes so pick a brand that has some support. I like Apache laser recievers (waterproof and durable with three different settings for grade).

    Transits are nice for some things but when it comes to checking grade quickly and accurately it is tough to beat a good laser. Also as you get further along you can add to the system. Check out Laserhorn.com works real well and is not that expensive. Makes building pads much quicker.

    I am of the opinion to buy the best you can and buy it once. This is opposed to buying cheap and buying again and again (many of the cheap lasers are not accurate and cannot be worked on....disposable). I still have the laser that I started with about 10 or 11 years ago.

    There are places to save money and there are places IMHO that you don't, jobsite accuracy and dependability in a laser is one of those places not to go cheap. I would buy a used or refurbished Topcon or Trimble before some box store POS.

    Just my thoughts. Nice barn pad by the way.
  10. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    a laser and receiver is very handy and quick. They are really nice when mounted to a dozer blade.

    The self leveling robust ones are definately worth having, if you use it daily, and especially if you have employees using it.

    I used to rent them for ~ $50 / day

    but... since I use it infrequently, (only I, or my wife in her wallpaper business) I went for a manual level with receiver. It was ~ $300 and I've had it for 2 yrs, no problem yet...

    Nice pad... I don't think there is a chunk of land that flat for 50 miles from me, that would be nice. The last barn pad I did had ~ 6 ft of elevation change, but the bummer was the 3-5' boulders that were crowning their sweet little heads. (and I thought Icebergs were bad...)

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