Stockpile Flight

#1

Here are some photos from Feb 2017 of a stockpile that I flew with a Phantom 3 Standard. This flight was done at 120’ with 80%/80%, straight down camera doing a gird pattern (Pix4D) and processed in DroneDeploy.

I use these photos to show how drones can get better results than a traditional topo of this type of site. I show the washouts and ask the surveyor a simple question “How would you topo this”, their answers is always “do a cross section” (TOB, Flowline, TOB) every 50’ or so.

In these photos you can see a great 3D model of the stockpile that was able to look down inside the washouts (you can see this in the elevation photos) which means it can do a volumetric with them.

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#2

That’s awesome, great job. I bet it was fun to takeoff with all that washout. It would be interesting to track the hauling to see how accurate it was and how well the processing actually captured the washout. I bet it reports a little more than it should, but we can account for that. It helps that it looks like that is all the same material. I have a little doubt when I have stockpiles of different materials right against each other. I still have to use the distance section trick to make sure I am getting the low.

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#3

I actually flew this site twice, Oct '16 and Feb '17. I forgot what volumetrics I gave in Oct when I gave the numbers for Feb. My engineer said this can be correct! So I looked it up, Oct was like 85k cy and Feb was 80k cy left. So then I did a comparison between the flights to show the differences, yes it was manually done but I had enough reference points that I could draw the excavated area on the Oct map.

I sent these photos to the engineer:

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Oct '16

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Feb '17

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Oct '16 Showing area of difference in Feb '17

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Oct '16 Showing 3D View

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Feb '17 Showing 3D View

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Oct '16 Showing 3D Area of difference in Feb '17

For some reason I never heard another word about numbers. Apparently they thought the contractor took more than 5k cy of material.

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#4

Exactly. We do that for our subcontractors all the time. We have busted several of them that said they hauled off material that they just moved to another stockpile or just spread across the site. The last subdivision was 0.3’ high on an average that plan. We brought up the case, the sub was let go and we got paid to fix it.

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#5

Yep, the first flight I did where the above stockpile area is was a small mulch pile. I wasn’t told anything about it other than where it was located. I drove there fly it and DD’d it and came up with 1,964 cy. The engineer then told me that the contractor was claiming the mulch pile was 20k cy. The engineer told me they paid another contractor to stockpile 2k cy of mulch. So my number was correct. As we all know you never get what you pay for lol. A 1/2 yd here and there adds up pretty quick over 200+ loads as well as moving a load via a frontend loader over rough ground.

#6

Nice. That’s what is huge for us on road jobs. We typically have 4 or 5 general defined stockpile areas, but they don’t always put it there. Moreso they “field-fit” and they go wherever is the most efficient in their minds. 15 stockpiles of topsoil is hard to quantify on the ground so it’s a big deal to fly for 20 or 30 minutes and be able to quantify everything. 50 x 15 = 750cy = about $7k to us if it has to be hauled off.

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