LTU’s training in demand

December 19th, 2011

An LTU technical seminar for members of The Survey Association (TSA) was 200 per cent over subscribed in November.

The free seminar on Electro Magnetic surveying techniques was organised by TSA as part of its growing professional partnership with LTU Ltd. Both TSA and LTU were astonished by the demand for places.

Mike Langton, LTU’s Technical Director said: “The response from TSA members to the training seminar was unbelievably good and shows how highly utility surveying is valued among construction companies and those involved in the survey business in the UK today.”

TSA and LTU responded to the demand by organising an additional seminar on December 6 for members who missed out the first time.

The seminar covered specialist utility surveying techniques, including electromagnetic surveying, radio detection and cable and fault avoidance techniques.

“Most of the delegates who signed up for the seminar were land surveyors, which shows a growing awareness in the industry of the need for specialist utility surveying skills and knowledge,” added Mike Langton.

The TSA is a trade body which represents more than 130 commercial surveying companies across the UK. TSA members receive discounts on training, products and services with LTU.

Kit Corner – December 2011

December 19th, 2011

The first is a GPS firmware upgrade and works with any GPS receiver via the serial (RS232) port, including standard, DGPS, or RTK, or a simple USB GPS device supplied by MALA.
The benefits of upgrading are:

  • On-screen GPS indicator shows connectivity status and accuracy
  • GPS markers can be placed on Radargrams and saved with the screen shot option (IXM+)
  • GPS markers can be automatically saved in separate text and KML files for export
  • Exported GPS marker files can be opened and displayed directly in Google Earth
  • Screen shots can be geo-tagged to respective GPS markers in Google Earth

The second upgrade is for use with grid projects and gives the user easier visualization of radar data measured in two perpendicular directions.
The software creates a cube of data with a top view for time slicing and improves productivity when mapping larger areas where the direction and location of utilities is unknown.

The new version of the firmware is only available for those Easy Locators using Ethernet communications ports. It will not work with older units that use parallel communications systems.

To order your firmware upgrades for MALA Easy Locator, contact: Rachel Andrews on: 01457 879900

Imaging system vital to historic refurb

December 19th, 2011

The UK’s largest privately owned construction solutions provider has invested in a MALA CX imaging system following work done by LTU on the refurbishment of historic Manchester Town Hall.

Laing O’Rourke won the £90m contract to refurbish Grade II listed Manchester Town Hall in the city’s St Peter’s Square.

The historic triangle shaped hall, which dates back to 1868, is being refurbished to offer improved services to residents and better energy efficiency.

In order to modernize the hall’s IT systems, large amounts of data and electrical cable needed to be inserted into and through the building’s structure.

After consulting with LTU, Laing’s first trialled the CX on hire to identify the location of rebars, post tension cables, dowels and tie bars inside the concrete walls.

Using the CX they were able to avoid damaging the building’s structure when cutting holes in and drilling through walls and ceilings. The trial was so successful Laing invested in buying the kit and taking some training.

LTU’s technical director, Mike Langton, said: “Laing O’Rourke’s project management team were impressed by the 3D images we took of the hall’s concrete structure and the way we marked out the exact locations of rebars.

It’s a great endorsement for the quality of the product that a company of this size and stature has chosen to invest in using this technology for all future work testing concrete structures.”

The imaging system also saves money for contractors by helping them eliminate damage to expensive diamond bladed cutting tools by avoiding cutting into rebars and post tension cables when working with concrete structures.

LTU is the UK distributor for MALA CX concrete imaging systems and they are available to hire or purchase. For more information, contact LTU’s Business Development Director, Rachel Andrews, on:, or call: 01457 879900

Big brands sign up to World Surveyed

December 19th, 2011

At the time of going to press, a number of companies have confirmed they are looking forward to using World Surveyed when it launches in 2012. These include: Willmott Dixon, ASDA, Tesco, Balfour Beatty, Bardon Construction, Jackson Civil Engineering, Turner & Townsend, Pell Frischmann and Mott McDonald.

World Surveyed has been endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES), The Survey Association (TSA) and Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

The World Surveyed website is currently under construction but there are already over 24,000 drawings waiting to be loaded into the database, with more expected over coming weeks.

To keep up to date with the latest developments, follow World Surveyed on Twitter here.!/worldsurveyed

Kit corner…

September 23rd, 2011

Geotron UK offer a vacuum excavation service to the civil engineering, ultility surveying, utility installation, construction and drilling industries using a compact, easily manoeverable, trailer mounted Vactron unit.

Vacuum excavation is the relatively new and safe alternative to hand or mechanical excavation, allowing the safe exposure or avoidance of underground services.

Vacuum excavation uses compressed air or water to break up the soils and vacuum suction to remove the disturbed material.  It is used to positively verify the location of underground services and expose them for repair or maintenance.  It can also be used to ensure the absence of services to allow deeper excavation or borehole drilling.

There are many benefits to using vacuum excavation including:
•    Allows positive visual identification of services without making physical contact with them, avoiding services strikes, vastly improving safety

•    Faster than hand excavation

•    Reduction in manual handling and hard physical labour for operatives reducing the risk of injury and fatigue

For further information about Geotron go to

Laying the foundations…

September 23rd, 2011

A major supplier of high quality aggregates and contracting services to the UK construction industry has noted a forty-five per cent reduction in utility strikes thanks to the help of an LTU training course.
Bardon Aggregates enrolled over 200 staff, including key subcontractors, on the two day course in a bid to reduce utility strikes and improve staff awareness of electromagnetic (EM) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology.
The two day Utility Avoidance Course has been designed by industry practitioners with the objective of improving awareness of how to avoid damaging buried utilities and operate in a safe, efficient and more cost effective manner.

Chris Óg Mc Cann, Northern Health and Safety Advisor at Aggregate Industries, said: “The training was enjoyable and a lot of people enrolled on the course now have a much greater understanding of utility strike avoidance”.

“We found it to be suitable for staff at every level, it was really accessible and the fact that it was delivered over two days means it’s also really convenient”.

LTU provides training to a wide range of manufacturers, contractors and equipment end-users. The Benchmark Utility Surveyor training course is based on three modules and covers both field and classroom-based learning.

LTU offers training across four key areas: CAT and Genny; Benchmark Utility Surveying; Cable and Fault Location Training and Radiodetection training. To find out more about LTU’s training offer go to

The steps to survey success

September 23rd, 2011

It’s been revealed that a large number of people working within the industry are falling short on completing a full utility survey because they simply don’t know what it involves.

LTU has been working with The Survey Association to produce a series of guidance notes which outline the key areas which need to be covered when undertaking a survey.

“It is vital that construction companies recognise that a utility survey is not just about using one piece of equipment and doing a couple of simple checks,” said Mike Langton, Technical Support Director at LTU.

“Experience plays a huge factor in the success of a survey being carried out. You need to have a skilled operator with proper training and equipment involved in carrying out all utility surveys before any work begins.

“It is vitally important that employees in this industry have a solid understanding of all areas of utility surveys including electromagnetic and ground penetrating radar techniques, survey equipment, utility drawings, visual indications on site and be able to understand how each utility and its network works and is delivered from its source.”

Strike reductions in the pipeline thanks to LTU

September 23rd, 2011

Following the success of a Utility Awareness training course LTU developed earlier this year with Willmott Dixon Group, we’re pleased to announce that the course has been added to LTU’s suite of courses on offer. It is now available to any company that wishes to improve managers’ awareness of how to avoid damaging buried utilities and how to operate in a safe, efficient and more cost effective manner.

LTU provides training to a wide range of manufacturers, contractors and equipment end-users. They recently teamed up with Willmott Dixon, the UK’s second largest privately-owned capital works, regeneration and support services company, to create a package of specialist underground utilities awareness courses.

David Housley, Principal Health, Safety & Environmental Manager with Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, said: “The LTU training courses appealed to us because we could have input into the content and objectives of the course and ensure they were geared towards our business needs.

“LTU has an excellent reputation for providing specialist awareness and training in the area of utilities, the training is being rolled out across our division to help ensure that our management teams have the right understanding in this area of construction with a view to help reduce service strikes and prevent injury.”

To find out more about LTU’s training offer go to

One Day Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Course Course Objectives

June 28th, 2011

Introduce operatives to GPR methods and techniques for effective use of the Mala Easy Locator Ground Penetrating Radar.

Course Format – Classroom (half day)

  • Introduction to GPR
  • GPR theory and principles of GPR signals
  • Easy Locator controls and operation
  • Interpreting GPR radargrams
  • Interrogating GPR scans
  • How to undertake a GPR survey

Course Format – Site (half day)

  • Operatives will be trained in the correct use of the equipment on site, confirming and locating buried mains and services.
  • On site demonstration of the equipment.
  • Locating and marking out utilities on site.

Course Timings

Course timings are fluid but the course will be undertaken over one day, with a suggested start time of 8:00 am and finish time of 4:00 pm with appropriate breaks throughout the course.

Course Requirements

  • An Easy Locator. LTU can supply the equipment at an additional cost to be agreed prior to the booking of the course.
  • A meeting/conference room suitable for up to six people will be required, with appropriate welfare facilities.
  • Operatives must have appropriate PPE to comply with national and company health and safety requirements.
  • A suitable site with buried utilities must be available near to the meeting/conference room, LTU can advise on suitability of sites or can arrange for specific sites to be used but additional cost may be incurred .i.e. hiring of meeting room.

MALÅ Geoscience is releasing a new GPS mapping function for the MALÅ Easy Locator System

June 28th, 2011

The new module allows for seamless “plug and play” with most GPS systems directly to the Easy Locator. The GPS interface gives the utility locating technician the ability to digitally mark a utility target on the
monitor screen while simultaneously logging the GPS coordinates.

Once the GPS points are recorded the data may be exported as .gpm and .kml files. The .gpm file is a text file with information of the entered markers and the .kml files are to display the markers in Google Earth.

Coupled with the .jpeg option available in Easy Locator IXM, both the GPS referenced utility coordinate and its corresponding image are exported for later reference and archival purposes.

When saving screenshots in the IXM the markers will be shown above radar data with a unique ID and a comparison can be made between the screenshot and Google Earth to see the position of identified and
marked features.