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Products & Equipment Technology
Trimble introduces horizontal steering control for soil compactors


January 20, 2022
By Bill Tremblay


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TrimbleTrimble has introduced the industry’s first automatic steering control solution for soil compactors. (Photo: Trimble)

Trimble’s Earthworks grade control platform now includes horizontal steering control functionality for soil compactors.

The introduction marks the industry’s first automatic steering control solution for soil compactors, as well as the next step towards Trimble’s autonomous vision.

“We’re committed to innovation and building solutions to meet our customers’ needs no matter where they are on their journey to autonomy, both now and in the future. It’s difficult to steer a soil compactor with accuracy and consistency, but over- or under-compaction leads to wasted time and materials and less durable surfaces,” said Scott Crozier, general manager of Trimble Civil Construction.

“Horizontal steering control allows operators to focus on machine performance and safety and deliver a higher quality, more consistent surface.”

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Horizontal steering control assists operators in achieving higher quality surfaces and consistent compaction. As well, contractors with mixed fleets are able to achieve a quick return on investment, as Earthworks is compatible with all compactor makes and models.

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Earthworks’ horizontal steering control automatically steers a soil compactor using a 3D model or compaction pass line. This helps to improve compaction productivity and quality for operators of all skill levels by precisely controlling overlap between passes. Auto steering helps reduce operator fatigue while also minimizing over- and under-compaction, providing a more consistent sub surface for a higher quality, longer lasting finished product.

Earthworks uses the NavController III steering technology from the Trimble Agriculture Division, leveraging the company’s 20 years of steering technology development and applying it to civil construction applications.

In 2020, Trimble also introduced horizontal steering control as part of the Trimble Earthworks grade control platform for dozers, another first in the construction industry.

Horizontal steering control for dozers automatically controls the machine to follow any horizontal alignment such as the back of a curb, break line, roadway centreline or bottom of slope without operator assistance.