6 Tips for Maintaining Your Surveying Equipment


Accuracy is extremely important for surveyors in determining land boundaries or topography. Information that isn’t correct can lead to complications with reports, legal disputes and engineering liabilities. Taking care of your survey equipment plays a significant role in making sure a mistake isn’t made when out on a job site. Proper maintenance and careful attention can preserve the accuracy and longevity of your equipment.

1. Get Professional Servicing Once a Year

There are some pieces of equipment that need to be seen by service professionals at least once a year. A total station is a good example. Even though these machines are designed to withstand the rugged conditions of a job site, these are high-precision instruments that should be evaluated annually to ensure no problems have developed. The slightest problems with drifting will significantly impact the wear and tear over time.

2. Regularly Check Control Points and Calibration

Certain pieces of equipment can have a basic calibration done while out in the field. It’s also easy to do a field test for positioning accuracy by checking a known control point. This is such a quick check it can be done every time the equipment is set up, but a calibration should be done at least every two weeks.

3. Use the Carrying Case During Transport and Storage

The carrying case that your equipment comes in is the first line of protection for your survey equipment. The case is durable and rugged, uniquely fitted to carry your device and protect it from damaging impact. Getting dropped or knocked around can interfere with the calibration of precision devices. GPS receivers should still be handled with care even though they don’t operate on the same precision as a total station. The bubble level can get knocked out of place and render inaccurate positioning.

4. Maintain Software Upgrades

Software bugs can develop over time, and a software upgrade is often a quick fix. Upgrades may be released several times a year. Keeping up with the upgrades and having access to system support can improve or maintain optimum performance from the equipment.

5. Clean Equipment Careful

Survey equipment is exposed to a number of environments, though dust, debris and moisture are most commonly encountered outside on a job site. Soap and water can be used to clean devices, though alcohol wipes can also be used. Always check the instructions from the manufacturer on proper cleaning materials and techniques, as improperly taking care of the device could impact warranty coverage.

6. Be Sensitive To Job Site Conditions

Your equipment is durable but it isn’t indestructible. There is some resistance to moisture, such as use during the rain, but it should never be submerged in water or left in rainy conditions for long periods of time. Purchasing a rain shield can reduce the amount of moisture that can leak into the mechanical joints.

You preserve the accuracy and longevity of your instruments when you pay close attention to preventative maintenance. For great prices on the latest survey equipment on the market, whether shopping for a theodolite, tripod or safety vest, browse the selection at Engineer Supply.