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Borton-Lawson’s Survey Manager Chad Keating takes us behind the scenes to look at what a typical day is like for his teams.
The work life of a surveyor is one of variety, whether it be in project types, work conditions or skills required.
A typical day for our surveyors starts at 6:30am, when they begin to load their trucks full of equipment and supplies. Once the trucks are packed it is time to hit the road to head to the day’s jobsite. This can mean anything from a 10 minute to several hour drive, to a flight and an extended stay away from home. Our survey team prides itself on its responsiveness whether the project is across town or across the country.
Our surveys can take us practically everywhere that is above ground. We work anywhere from inside warehouses, to out in forests, on highways and even on the water, performing bathymetric measurements. Our teams do this work in a wide variety of weather conditions from rain, to snow or sunshine, and temperatures from 100+ to below zero.
Just as important as the equipment to perform the survey is the knowledge of the scope and schedule for the day’s tasks.
On a daily basis we deal with clients, landowners, bees, ticks, mosquitos, snakes, bears, traffic, working in remote locations, heavy equipment and technology. Consequently, our surveyors must be adaptable. They are need to be good communicators, technically proficient and committed to our clients.
Once the field work is complete, we execute yet another varied set of tasks, which require another set of skills and knowledge. Data must be analyzed for accuracy and completeness.
When a base plan is required, many times the same surveyors that collected the data are tasked with its preparation. This can include, basic 2D line work, 3D models or digital terrain models, and be required to be completed in or compatible with multiple softwares. Property boundary surveys require deeds be plotted and evidence analyzed. Some projects require plans, legal descriptions, reports and applications.
Consequently, our surveyors exercise a diverse set of skills both in the field and in the office.
In summary, a day for our surveyors can be described as “interesting.” As for how we do what we do, it’s complicated!