No Stringline = Big Savings for Contractors


Silver Star Construction in Moore, OK, started out like a lot of other construction companies – small. One of the owners, Steve Shawn, started with an old dump truck and a farm tractor with a loader on it. Over 30 years later, Silver Star has over 400 machines, including graders and asphalt equipment, dozers, excavators, pavers, and slipform machines.


However, Silver Star has set themselves apart not only by their growth but by adopting advances in construction technology earlier than many other companies, including 3D technology for site modeling and stringless machine controls.


Silver Star recently used one of their 5700-Cs to put down 18,000 feet (5,486 m) of curb and gutter in a residential housing addition in southwest Oklahoma City using the Topcon Millimeter GPS system.


Once the dirt work and grading was completed, the concrete crew got right to work by mounting the Topcon receivers on their 5700-C to receive the signal from the laser transmitter and setting up the Topcon rover to check the vertical and horizontal position of the curb.


With a good concrete mix and steady delivery, the Silver Star crew was able to pour about 4,000 feet (1,219 m) of curb and gutter per day without having to set and remove stringline.


“It’s very hard for a crew that has set stringline their whole life to watch the machine just take off and follow the 3D guidance,” says Louis Cossey of Silver Star. “For a few times at first we set some stakes just to make ourselves feel better. It’s always been on grade! The advantages (of stringless) are overwhelming – cutting labor costs in half,” Louis says.


Silver Star manages the 3D modeling to ensure that the model is correct for both vertical and horizontal alignment for pouring curb.


“It’s a very basic system once you understand it. Anyone can learn it; it just takes a little time,” says Louis. “3D is the future – we have several systems. If you’re going to compete in the construction world today, you need a control system. GPS is here to stay and it is constantly changing for the better.”


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