Balancing Earthworks in the Field

Last Updated: 03 March 2015          For: OptiSurface Designer V1.4 and higher


We have started landforming but we believe that the cuts are not enough for the fills.  After doing landforming on grade, it seems there are still some low areas to be filled.


When you start on a new field, here are the steps we recommend:
  1. Re-bench at your Master Benchmark.
  2. Drive around the field in the areas (green areas) where there's very little cut or fill (less than 10mm) and adjust the blade offset until you are just skimming the surface.
  3. There is always some minor vertical adjustments (e.g. 10mm) that need to be done in the field to get the earthworks to balance.  The operator needs to be always aware of this and ensuring it balances by the end of the job. They can do the vertical adjustment on part of the field as long as it doesn't affect drainage.  It is best to start earthworks a little higher (eg 20mm or 1 inch) and work down to the design so you don't over cut and need to double shift earth.
  4. If there are any other known benchmarks around the field, check the blade against them.
If you continue to have misbalances, on new designs try:
  1. Calculating on a smaller grid for more accurate earthworks e.g. 5m or 15ft.
  2. Adjusting Cut/Fill Ratio  e.g. 1.4 to create more cut compared to fill.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Trimble Field Level II Do Not Show the .gps File
  2. Minimum Recommended Smoothing Distance For Export To Trimble Field Level 2
  3. GPS Base Station Setup For Best Vertical Accuracy
  4. How to Survey with Trimble FMX
  5. How Easy is OptiSurface to Use for the Average Farmer?
  6. Balancing Earthworks in the Field
  7. Landform Design Slopes and Smoothing
  8. Export Proposed Topography to AutoCAD
  9. Surface Irrigation Designs with Variable Slope
  10. OptiSurface Designer Import and Export Format
  11. Importing Multiple Survey Files to OSD
  12. Can Drone Or LIDAR Surveys be used with OptiSurface?
  13. Calculation Grid Spacing and Export Grid Spacing
  14. How to Survey a Field for Landforming Design
  15. Loading .gps File in FmX
  16. Designing a Field in Sections
  17. Using an Old OSD File versus a New Survey
  18. No Master Benchmark on Imported Survey File
  19. Displaying Secondary Benchmarks
  20. Import Error for xyz File Due to Encoding Format
  21. OptiSurface4D: Bounded By Ridges
  22. Can OptiSurface handle curved rows in Drainage Analysis & Runoff Analysis?
  23. Reverse Grades to Main Slope
  24. Measuring Culvert Invert Level
  25. Surveying a 1000-Ha Field
  26. GPS Coordinate System Check
  27. Does A Normal UTM Zone Coordinate Need To Be Trimmed To x Digits?
  28. Can You Import Data Directly From GPS System?
  29. Converting Latitude/Longitude to Easting/Northing
  30. Surveying With Any GPS Equipment and Exporting to a gps file for the Trimble FMX
  31. DGPS Post Treating System with 5cm Precision For Landforming
  32. Exporting to Trimble FMX Field Level
  33. Can I Survey with a GPS System on an ATV?
  34. Standard NMEA GPGGA txt File to Import into OptiSurface Designer
  35. Importing .csv File from APEX to OptiSurface Designer
  36. 900 Acres: Cut that large survey down.
  37. Export Options for Data Layers
  38. Import Two or More Survey Files to Reach Minimum Area
  39. Different Row Slope Directions In One Field
  40. Does OptiSurface allow for multiple grade breaks per design, taildrains roads, pads etc?
  41. Can I View DTM/Topography In Plan View Or 3D Type View When Doing A Design?
  42. Adjust the Bands in the Legend
  43. Design for a 1000-Ha Field
  44. Would It Be Possible That The Numbers In The Boundary Zone Appear In The New Subzone Created?
  45. Grade Of Best Fit And Splitting The Field Into Boundaries
  46. Acceptable Minimum Slopes
  47. Incorrect Area in OptiSurface
  48. Supported Units of Measurement of OSD
  49. Valley Subzone Not Behaving as Expected
  50. Difference Between Breaklines And Subzones
  51. Alignment of Furrow/Bed Direction with OptiSurface Design Mainslope Direction
  52. Subzones Settings Over Ride Boundary Zone Settings
  53. Printing the Maps
  54. Print Size
  55. Colored Printing

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