Integrating GPS machine control technologies on Kissick Construction’s field equipment has helped grading crews complete work more efficiently, reducing time spent in the field and saving costs.

Aaron Aley, Kissick’s Survey Manager, said the GPS machine control systems are eliminating the need for manual grade staking and restaking, improving operator performance, and shortening the time needed to train operators.

Using these systems reduces undercutting, which requires additional grading, and affects productivity. “The improved accuracy enables field operators to be more efficient by getting the work done right the first time,” Aley said. “The process optimizes our production, uses less manpower and makes us more efficient.”

Aley and his team use project construction documents along with the CAD files provided by the design engineer to create surface models for the proposed work. This allows the data to be prepared and calculated in the office and in a more controlled environment, instead of calculating work on the fly in the field. Once the data is prepared and ready for the project, the information is taken to the job site and loaded into the system. Operators then verify that everything is working correctly.

Kissick is using Sitelink, a machine control system software program and service that allows data files to be loaded remotely. Production can be monitored and issues can be resolved without having to make trips to the field. “This has been an advantage to Kissick because it reduces time and expenses needed to make multiple trips to the jobsite to manually make changes. It also increases productivity by eliminating downtime for field crews that would have to wait for information to be brought to the site,” Aley said.

Aley said the reduction in manpower required by using the systems in the field also decreases exposure to potential injuries and makes job sites safer. “Safety is always a top priority on our projects, and this is just another way Kissick invests in the safety of our people,” he said.

By improving productivity and efficiency using machine control systems, less grading equipment is needed at each job site to get work done. Those extra machines are then available to be used on other jobs, allowing more projects to be done simultaneously. Additionally, fewer machines in the field equates to less use of the equipment, which then translates to less maintenance and a longer machine life.

Kissick has been using GPS technology on their existing equipment for nearly a decade, but has invested in new equipment with integrated systems within the last few years. The integrated systems eliminate the need for additional GPS equipment to be purchased and maintained.

Kissick’s machine controlled fleet includes excavators, bulldozers, and a road grader. Six of the machines have integrated GPS machine control enabled, and four have been retrofitted with aftermarket GPS machine control equipment.

Aley said using machine controlled equipment has been a game changer for Kissick and a notable benefit to their clients. “Using this process allows us to be more competitive. We can serve our clients by completing the jobs more quickly so other trade partners can get in sooner to get their work done, speeding up the entire process and reducing time to complete projects.”

Team Lead

Aaron Aley


AARON ALEY | Survey Manager


As manager of the survey team with Kissick Construction, Aaron brings 25 years of field experience in land survey work as well as professional civil engineering training. His in-depth understanding of overall project management of public infrastructure improvements, land development and industrial facility upgrades enables him to assist in quality control and assurance for projects. Aaron utilizes a variety of software to develop accurate 2D and 3D earthwork, underground piping and concrete foundation layout working documents.

Fun Fact

My son plays baseball most of the year so my weekends are spent at the ball field.

NOTE: 25 years as of 2019, so since 1994.