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class: Surveying and Layout

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Homework 1 surveying and layout

1. Your supervisor has asked you to prepare a list of equipment that your crew will use for construction survey and layout for a building project.

a. List six of such equipment

b. Pick two from the list which are PPE and state their functions

2. Giving example, differentiate the field engineer from office engineer with reference to construction surveying and layout

3. I. What is effective communication and why is it important in construction survey and layout?

II. It is an important requirement for the field engineer to communicate effectively to the craftspeople during surveying work at the jobsite.

a. What are the three words to summarize the basic principles of marking in construction survey

b. Describe each of the three words with reference to surveying and layout

4. Using examples, differentiate the following with reference to survey and layout

a. Errors and mistakes

b. Accuracy and precision and stating where you would use require both

5. Describe the requirement for a sharp tool in surveying and layout operation





Distance Measurement-Chaining





Fieldwork Practices cont..

• Chaining equipment

• Basics of chaining

• Proper care for chains

• Chaining a distance

• Chaining a traverse




Chaining Equipment

• Distance measurement can be simple with chains along a line

• But note that the process must be error free in reading

– Needs skills and good understanding of procedures involved

– A successful field engineer must be consistent in chaining procedure

– Chaining and taping is sometimes used interchangeably

• Common equipment

– Field book

– Pencil-hard tipped (2h, 3h or 4h)

– Two range pole

– Hammer, two plumb bobs

– Steel tape

– Wood stakes

– Chaining pins


Chaining Basics

• Familiarity with the chain/tape measure used

– To avoid errors; examine chain closely before use to note point ‘0’

• Know the difference in chains/tapes

– The metric chains vs engineering chains

• Use two people who communicate well with each other

– Two people communicating verbally, by signs; loudly and clearly

– Good long term working relationships is key to success of chaining

• Measure horizontally and maintain good alignment

• Breaking the chain

– Applied in measuring slopes for lengths shorter than full chain length

• Apply proper tension; for precision

• Measure all distances twice; forward and back 4


Care of Chains and Related Equipment

• Keeping the chains in reel when not in use

• Unwinding the loops/knots on chains

• Drying the chains when wet

• Cleaning off dirt and sand from the chain

• Wiping the chain with oily cloth


Chaining a Distance

• Success at measuring distances accurately and precisely requires
consistency in chaining procedure

• Procedure for measuring distance
– You would want the distances to be measured horizontally

– Take measurements by incorporating head chain and rare chain

– The forward and back distances are averaged by adding them
together and diving by 2 to obtain a mean distance. A discrepancy
ratio can be calculated for each line measured and compared to a
standard to determine if the distance is acceptable or needs a repeat
• Forward – back = discrepancy

Discrepancy ÷ mean = 1/x


A horizontal distance measurement using a steel chain/tape recorded a forward
distance of 1



.29’ and back distance of 168.25’. What is the discrepancy ratio
(relative error)? (168.29-168.25)/168.27 = 1/4200




Chaining a Traverse

• Traverse chaining is a step to determine the location of

– The interior angles can also measured after chaining and thus
determine the precision of work

– Total Station (TS) distance measurement limit the use of
traverse chaining;

• Traverse chaining in used in absence of TS

– Traverse chaining starts at one point , goes around and
ends at the same point

– Always have the following

• Designated person for head chain and rear chain

• Necessary equipment for chaining

• Prepare sketches in the field book of the traverse to measure 7

Chaining Fundamentals

• Know your equipment ; its graduations/markings/scaling and use

• Pull hard to ensure accuracy and precision

• Maintaining good alignment

• Chain horizontally

– Ensure horizontal distant measurement by using plumb bob. Very sloppy
terrain may necessitate breaking chain

• Measure both ways

– Distances must be measured forward and back as a check

• Set solid points using stakes

• Protect points using laths with information describing the use of points

• Maintain equipment by drying, cleaning, oiling regularly

• Record complete concise and properly arranged notes

• Maintain precision

– Forward and back readings to agree at 0.01 per 100 feet measured



Chaining Calculations

• Forward – Back = Discrepancy

Discrepancy/mean = 1/x

• Example

A traverse chaining field notes had the following data;

Forward distance =146.80’

Back distance = 146.84’

Calculate the mean distance (ft) , the discrepancy and the
relative error


Errors in Chaining

• Sources of errors

– Instrument error

• Resulting from manufacturer’s defect; Calibrating can reduce it

– Natural error

• Effects of temperature, wind and weight of the tape

– Personal error

• Carelessness in reading the tape or in manipulating the

• Types of errors

– Systematic
• Occur over and over again and are predictable; can be eliminated

• Every time a distance is measured 1’ is added to attain correct distance

– Random
• Occur due to human limitations such as in reading; always exist 10



Construction Surveying




Getting started and organized in surveying

• Becoming a construction surveyor (field engineer in
– Carpenter, college graduates, surveying firms

• Planning
– Most ideal in any construction venture

• Might require spending a lot of time on it to avoid future problems

– Is done to avoid conflicts

– Success as a field engineer is highly dependent in your planning ability

– Plan to plan and remember: your plan is dependent on plan of others

– Plan on relevant equipment to use

• Field book

• Pencil/chalk/marking pen

• Plumb bob/ hammer

• Tape measure/calculator

• PPE (Safety belt and harness, safety vest, hard hat, e.t.c.)



Getting started and organized in surveying

Dress appropriately

for the job

Getting started and organized for surveying



Getting started and Organized cont..

• Equipment checklist

– Field engineer must evaluate and have good understanding of
the available surveying equipment needed at specific work

– Manufacturer’s sheets provide various specifications of the
available equipment

– Field engineer sources of information include various trade
magazines which annually publish items such as

• GPS units

• Levels

• Theodolites

• Total stations

Getting started and organized cont..

• Daily Scheduling

– Time management is the most difficult task for a field engineer

– Take control of your time with proper planning

– Daily schedules will be used to communicate the plan to
others thus making your work easier and overally enjoyable

– Can take the form of simple bar charts with sequence of



Field engineering responsibilities

• Field engineering position introduces you to different
activities on a jobsite that will develop your understanding
of the construction process and company management

• It is important that you become a field engineer before
becoming a project engineer, estimator, superintendent or
project manager

• As a field engineer, you learn about control and layout,
excavation, concrete forming and placement, steel erection

• Your success as a field engineer is a prerequisite to becoming
a good project manager

Field engineering responsibilities cont..

• Success characteristics

– Commitment to construction; striving to be the best

– Hard worker

– Be an initiator

– Be responsible

– Be a learner

– Be a communicator

– Be a leader

Field engineering responsibilities cont..

• Field duties

– Assisting the superintendent

– Engineering layout
• establishing control points, providing stakes for site work, determining

the positions of retaining walls so as to provide safe working space, e.t.c.

– Quality control
• Accuracy of equipment and of the data collected (crosscheck twice)

– Supervision
• Comes with experience

• Field duties
– Assisting the superintendent
– Engineering layout
• establishing control points, providing stakes for site work, determining
the positions of retaining walls so as to provide safe working space, e.t.c.
– Quality control
• Accuracy of equipment and of the data collected (crosscheck twice)
– Supervision
• Comes with experience
Field engineering responsibilities cont..

• Office duties

– Field engineers also do office work, usually for office
engineers who do paperwork aspects of construction
process among others

– Project documentation
• accurate recording, updating, conveying, interpreting and

maintaining documents

– Procurement of materials
• Involve processing of submittals, shop drawings, change orders

without delays and coordinate with subcontractors and suppliers

– Information request
• Assisting the office supervision team in the preparation and

follow-up of information requests between owner and architects



Field engineering responsibilities cont..

• Office duties cont..

– Planning for safety

– Material handling

– Interpretation of plans

– Maintaining schedule

– Problem prevention

Preparing reports and charts

• Record-keeping

– This require careful planning and accurate daily schedule

– Accomplished using engineer’s field book which has record of
all pre-planning, control information, layout sketches, work
activities, e.t.c

– The field book can be a source of reference in arbitration or
any dispute resolution process. It is paramount that all
information be fully described and clear

– Overall, ensure there is daily project logs for all activities in
addition to weekly production reports

• Trend charts

– This is a graphical representation of work progress

– Has quantities (y axis), timeline (x-axis), actual production line,
target line

• Success vs problem from trend chart analysis



Qualified Land Surveyor

• Surveying must be done by a registered surveyor which requires
combination of education and experience under the direction of a
registered surveyor

• Education- four year degree in an accredited surveying program

• Surveyor in training exam-after four years degree, take 8 hrs surveyor
in training (SIT) exam which covers topics included in the
undergraduate program. If successful, you become a SIT and can
proceed to complete the experience required for registration

• Experience: after passing SIT. Most States require 4 yrs of land
surveying work experience under the direct supervision of a
registered surveyor

• Professional exam: After field experience, you take 8hr licensing

• Alternative method: may have no degree but requires field
experience of at least 12 years

Qualified Land Surveyor cont..

• Liability Issues: the surveyor is responsible if the building violates
setback regulations.

• Remember: Mere construction surveying work does not qualify one to
be a surveyor


– Work safely, think safety!









The basics

Communicating with signals

• Stakes and laths

• Marking Line and Grade

• Abbreviations and Symbols

The basics

• Field engineer avenues to being successful

– Technical competence and the high level ability to perform
surveying and layout

– Ability to communicate the results of the technical tasks

– Areas of communication of field engineer
• Discussing layout with the craftspeople and be able to provide

lines and grades for their needs

• Communicating with superintendents the points that have been
laid out and the plans for the future layouts

• Communicate with the owner providing an overall description of
where parts of the project are located and how the phases of
construction will occur

• Overall: must have both technical skills and communication skills

Success Avenues
• Field engineer must be able to:

– Interact courteously and criticize effectively

– Gather information and make proper decisions

– Deal with conflicts

– Hold successful meetings and solve problems

• Understanding the principles of effective communication is
key to the success of the field engineer

• Be Honest
– Accept mistakes and strive to improve; no compromise of integrity

• Good manners
– Build good rapport with workmates; have structured work habits

• Think, talk and act like a business person
– Take actions quickly and in a professional manner

– Treat others with dignity and respect

• Always double check for accuracy (of layouts and communication)



Oral Communications

• Listening well is the key to oral communication

– Effective people master the art of listening well both in
business and at jobsite

• Strategies of effective listening

– Remove distractions and concentrate fully

– Be understanding and patient at all times

– Show that you are actively listening

– Watch your temper and the temptation to argue

– Criticize positively

• Discussions are where effective listening manifest

– Be clear and provide enough information

Oral Communications

• Telephone communication and good habits

– Precise information must be given and heard in the same

– Be prepared and make sure you know your material

– Take notes including details of the caller

– Know what satisfactory answer will be

– Monitor your feelings, voice, and language

– Use words and examples familiar to the listener

– Speak slowly so that your words are not missed

• Radio Communication

– Refrain from yelling on the microphone

– Hold the radio 4-6 inches away from your chin

– Use word ‘’out’ to signal end of discussion



Written Communications

• Unclear document with incorrect words, misspellings
and unclear paragraphs can give a reader an
impression that you are not a very serious or reliable
person to deal with in construction business

• Writing an effective letter

– May be to persuade someone to agree or take an action

– Must be concise, be easy to notice important items, make
sense and contain all important information

– Attention to crowding, punctuation, repetition, and gender

– Structure it correctly following the format of introduction,
body, and conclusion

– Double check for errors; run spell check and read over
again or ask someone to look over the document for you

• Preparation is key before meeting with foremen/women, rod

persons, supervisors or any other;

• Plan
– Identify the goal/reasons for the meeting and your contributions

• Arrive well prepared
– Be punctual and prepare an up to date information for the meeting

• Adopt good meeting habits
– Speak honestly and courteously and avoid interrupting others

– Listen carefully and avoid side conversations

– Learn from disagreements and above all…always be patient

• Actively participate
– Listen, collect feedback and make positive comments

– Deliver information in an interesting and simple manner

• Be considerate
– Maintain good eye contact, and monitor voice quality and word choice


Dealing with People

• As a field engineer, you will work with different people
– Learn to deal with different personalities

• Watch for non-verbal signals

– The way something is said is more important than what is
said, so watch your non verbal signals as well as for others

– Examples:
• Body and face movement

• Silences and tone of voice

• Eye contact (Americans vs the rest of the World)

• Learn about your audience

– Find what matters to your audience

• Make decisions

– Field engineers are leaders in construction and must
continuously make decisions

Giving and Receiving Criticism

• Criticize the behavior and not the person and try not to
criticize when angry

• Lay criticism in a positive manner and not negatively

– Instead of screaming YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT
consider saying ‘’this doesn’t seem to be working, lets
diversify a different view and approach’’

• Overall, control your temper when giving criticism

– set a pleasant tone, show understanding, offer support where
needed and above all, show confidence that the person will
improve to the required performance

• When you receive criticism

– Try to re-evaluate your views and your methods, learn from
others and avoid overly self defensive. Above all, try to grow
from criticisms



Communication barriers

• Reasons a person will not understand or listen to you. It
is important that you overcome these barriers
– Poor listening abilities, e.g., short attention span

– Poor habits, e.g., chewing, tapping, arriving late

– Insufficient interest, e.g., overwhelming someone with information

– Differing word definitions, e.g., same words may have different

– Lack of basic knowledge

– Competing noise; always be in quiet zones when communicating or
use hand signals where possible

– Different backgrounds and language; people from different cultures
may have different meanings to different communication styles. Try to
understand or be patient and accommodative when working with
people from diverse backgrounds

Communicating with signals

• Very useful when working with machines or equipment
producing high decibels (sound levels)

• Sometimes hand /arm signals are means of
communication for those who speak different

• It is the responsibility of the field engineer to learn hand and
arm signals in the construction site

• Examples;

– One-hand signals for numbers
• Hand and arm signals are effective communicating methods on sites

– Field operation signals
• For safety reasons be able to communicate well with crane operator



Communicating with signals
Communicating with signals



Stakes and Laths

• Stakes are first evidence that construction is
about to commence.

– Nothing is built accurately until the stakes are
located correctly and the information on the stakes
are conveyed clearly

– Field engineer communicates to the crafts through

Stakes and Laths cont..

• Principles of construction stakes

– Face stakes in the correct direction

• Every project is unique, so the field engineer should place
stakes that can be read by all personnel on the site

• For highways, center line stakes are placed so they can be
read from beginning of the project. For buildings, place
corner stakes so they can be read from the same direction
such as when the person is reading from the front of a

– Use proper stake size

• The size of the stake determines its use

• Three sizes are used by field engineer; hub, stake, and lath



Stakes and Laths cont..
• Principles of construction stakes

– Always label them

• All lines or marks for use must be labeled clearly. Mistakes
occur because of unclear labelling of marks/lines

• Hub
– Paint their top as soon as they arrive so as to be ready for use

– 1-1/2’’ x 1-1/2’’ piece of wood in lengths of 6’’, 12’’, 18’’

– Generally used to mark a specific point such as center line point,
control points, radius points, gutter lines, blue tops

• Stake
– ¾’’ x 1-1/2’’ piece of wood with length from 12-48’’

– Used for center lines, offset lines, slope lines and information
stakes next to hubs

• Lath
– ½’’ x 1-3/4’’ x 48’’. Used as guards for hubs and stakes

– Can also be used to indicate limits of clearing

Stakes and Laths cont..
• Principles of construction stakes

– Offset stakes for protection

• This prevents them from being destroyed by construction (setting
of stakes away or ‘off’ of the point of need)

– Set stakes within tolerance (accuracy levels)

– Place solidly (not to fall due to wind force; hammer well)

– Place plumb

• Sloppy stakes (not plumb) usually indicate sloppy measurements

– Place centered

• Should be driven so the exact point is close to the center of the hub
and on line and distance

– Color code the flagging
• Color coding is to communicate the type of stake and type of point

being located

• Red, white and blue color are used to communicate types of points



Stakes and Laths cont..
• Principles of construction stakes

– Color code flagging

Survey point Flagging Color(s)

1 Primary control Red/white/blue

2 Secondary control Red/white

3 Building control Red

4 Benchmark White/blue

5 Temporary benchmark white

6 Finished stake Blue

7 Slope Stake Red/blue

Stakes and Laths cont..
• Principles of communicating on stakes

– Ensure consistency on how you mark the stakes

– Print neatly

• Lettering style of the field book should be followed (all
uppercase lettering, slightly slanted and evenly spaced)

– Write legibly

• Avoid crowding the words and numbers

• Write from top to bottom of the stake every time

– Use understandable abbreviations

• Write full words if you can

• If abbreviations are used, discuss them with everyone

• E.g., Toe (Toe of Slope), Top (Top of Slope), P.I. (Point of
Intersection), P.C. (Point of Curvature), B.C. (Back of Curb), T.B.M
(Top of Benchmark), B.M. (Benchmark).



Stakes and Laths cont..

• Principles of
communicating on

– Use all sides

• Field engineer should use
all sides of the stake, but
primary identifying data
should be facing the
direction of use

– Typical order of

• Stake example



’ R



t 5



Stake Communication

Station number


Alignment information


Cut or fill data


Stakes and Laths cont..

• Setting stakes on the site

– Indicate information about site clearance
limit, rough grade, fine grade, slope,
gutter/curb, pipe, e.t.c.

– Cut and fill stakes
• Reference point on the stake that shows where cut or fill

starts is called a ‘’crow’s foot’’.

• Additionally, some use color-coded surveying flagging to
indicate cut or fill on stake. The importance of this practice
is to enable the project engineer to see stakes from far and
to know areas to be cut or fill. Example: red flagging is for a
cut stake, green flagging is for a fill stake. For stake on
grade, both red and green are used

• Flagging can be used to indicate how much cut or fill, e.g., 3
red strips of flagging imply a cut 3 ft from the crow’s foot, 2
stripes of green flagging imply a fill 2 ft from crow’s foot

’ R

t 5




Stakes and Laths cont..
• Setting stakes on the site

– Site Clearing limits

• Tolerance: Horizontal +/- 1.0’

• Set stakes within tolerance that includes the
vegetation that is not to be cut. Some stakes can
be put around plants/trees not to be cut

• Stakes must be visible before, during, and after

– Rough grade

• Tolerance (Horizontal: +/-0.1’; vertical: +/- 0.2’)

• Stakes will be set on offsets from the centerline at
locations determined by the contractor or plans


’ R

t 5

Stakes and Laths cont..
• Setting stakes on the site

– Fine grade

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.1’;vertical +/- 0.01’

• May be set as offsets or as centerline where elevation
measurements will be taken off of the top of them. Cut and fill
will be noted on each stake. Intervals = 50’ or less

• Noted on the stake will be

station number

, elevation on top of
stake, alignment designation and cut and fill

– Slopes

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.1’;vertical +/- 0.1’

• Are placed at 10’ min. because of the danger of being dug-out

• Never scale stakes from plans, but rather use calculations to
determine field locations and information written on them

• Slope stakes should have the following
– Offset distance, slope ratio, total distance to/from the offset stake, and

station number



Stakes and Laths cont..
• Setting stakes on the site

– Curb and gutter

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.01’;vertical +/- 0.01’)

• Offset should be close to the centerline (<6’)

• Stakes should have the following labels
– Offset to back of curb, cut or fill to top of curb, gutter slope,

super elevation of pavement

– Pipe

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.01’;vertical +/- 0.01’)

• Two kinds of pipe takes: hubs and laths.
– Hubs are used for alignment and grade while laths are for

writing information such as percent grade, offset distance,
station, type and size of pipe and cut or fill from hub to the

– Pipe runs require a reference line (beginning of run and the end)

Stakes and Laths cont..
• Setting stakes on the site

– Minor structures

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.01’;vertical +/- 0.01’)

• Inlet culverts, junction boxes require reference lines with hubs
on either side

• Reference lines should refer to the center of the junction box,
the center of inlet

• Laths should contain;
– Station, offset distance, to the structure’s exact location, elevation of

hub and cut or fill distance to the structure’s invert or even to the
bottom of the structure

– Control

• Tolerance (Horizontal +/-0.01’;vertical +/- 0.01’)

• Hubs are sometimes used as control points. However, concrete
will be used as critical control points on construction sites



Stakes and Laths cont..

Marking Line and Grade
• Stakes are the forms of communication of the field

engineer to craftpeople

• Marking standard for all can be used to avoid confusion

• Principles of marking
– Straight, label and plumb: make sure the labeling is clear

– Always label

• Label clearly the lines or marks used in layout

– Straight

• Lines used for reference in construction of floor should be ‘on line’

– Level

• Horizontal lines placed on a wall to be used as reference for
elevation should be placed exactly horizontal, not sloping

– Plumb

• Vertical lines placed on a wall as a future target must be plumb. They
should never slant to pose difficulty for future person using any tool.



Basic Principles of Chalking Lines
• Chalking can be very confusing if not done well

• Develop company color

– Develop a chalking scheme to avoid confusion; a standard that is
known by all; i.e., color code the chalk line

• Enhance visibility

– Chalk lines should be highly visible from far

• Protect lines

– Chalk lines may become worn out from construction activities

– Spray them with clear varnish; spray several spots along the chalk
line to preserve the line for future use if needed

Communicating the meaning of marks

– Line and grade marks are used for communicating to the

– It is best to be clear when communicating the meaning of a mark

– Too much information may be confusing and too few is not good

– Experienced field engineer will know the right information to put

– Well written stake communication are important. Example:

• OVERALL: Develop company-specific marks so everyone
on the job knows who made the marks


6’ above finished floor 6’ above floor (rough or finished)

4’’ offset to south of ‘H’ line 4’’ off ‘H’ line (north, south, east
or west)



Abbreviations and Symbols

– Abbreviations and
symbols are used on
stakes and in memos

– Use abbrev. to reduce
the size of writing on

– Examples

Word Abbreviation

Alignment align.

Above Mean Sea Level ABMSL

Approximate Approx.

Backsight BS

Backsight rod reading BS

Benchmark BM

Building Bldg.

Center line CL

Control point CP

Triangulation Tria.

Distance D

Finish Grade FG

Grade Gra.

Traverse Trav.





Fieldwork Practices-Part








Fieldwork Practices cont..

• Tolerance for construction layout

• Notekeeping

• Instrument care

• Use and care of hand tools

• Leveling an instrument

• Instrument set up




Tolerance for Construction Layout

• Tolerance is how far off from the design location something
can be built and still be accepted by the owner

• Tolerance controls the quality of work being performed

• Tight/small tolerance is better than large ones (precision)

• Always measure to one-half of what is coming behind you

• Tolerance vary from 0 to a foot

• Every project has designs with specific tolerance levels


Field Note-keeping Practices

• Basic Practices

– You must leave your work on the ground for others to
build or for reference purposes or defense (in courts)

– Record data exactly (honestly)..no undue erasings

– Keep field book safely

– Leave no room for interpretation

– Cite/make references (i.e., if copied from another

– Use a hard pencil



Field Note-keeping Practices cont..
• Layout of field book

– Title page

• Company’s name, address, telephone number, name of field
engineer and any other identifying information

– Table of content

• Following chronologically

– Legend

• Used symbols and abbreviations

– North arrow

• Useful for orientation of the layout

– Identification information

• Numbering each page/ or name of people performing work

– Provide date, time and weather data

– Use sketches freely 5

Field Note-keeping Practices cont…

• Guidelines

– Don’t crowd the data

– Do not erase

• Erased data will be thrown out in court; just cross

– Record everything

• Do it or record it if in doubt

• Leave nothing for interpretation

• Record in field book in away that anyone with little knowledge in
surveying will understand

– Establish standard note forms; familiar to the company/crews

– Use standard lettering techniques

• All capital (upper case)letters be used for clarity and consistency

• Hard pencil (2h/3h or 4h) be used


General Instrument Care

• Surveying Instrument

– Levels, transits, theodolites, EDMs and total stations are surveying
instruments which are used to measure angles, distances or

• Although basic parts are the same, each has telescope lenses, clamp,
leveling screws, delicate parts that must be cared for

– A surveying instrument will only work well if in good working
condition, properly calibrated

• Must be used according to procedures recommended by manufacturer

– Three areas instruments can get exposed to hazards

• Transportation
– Carry in protective case and avoid bouncing it

• Use
– Use according to manufacturers recommendations

• Storage
– Keep in case when not in use


General Instrument Care

• Care and use

– Attach instrument snugly to the tripod

– Grasp the instrument firmly

– Do not touch the lenses (only with clean hands)

– Try to keep the equipment dry

– Never leave the instrument unattended

– Establish a wide foundation

– Never force the instrument

– Return the instrument to its case



• Tripods provide a solid foundation for instrument setups

• Should always be well kept and cared for

• Two types

– Fixed leg-cannot be lengthened/shortened to assist in set of

– Adjustable legs: is flexible for setting instrument

• Tripod has a head for attaching the instrument, wooden or
metallic points with foot pads to help force the legs into the

• Always ensure a solid set up, check all screws and bolts

• Do not mishandle the equipment

• Transport it carefully, not with other equipment that can
affect it






Use and care of hand tools
• Plumb bob

– Used to create vertical line or a point for reference

– Keep it clean and never use it as a hammer or a scribe

• Sight level

– Used in taping to keep the tape horizontal; and in leveling to keep
from setting the leveling instrument above or below the level rod

– Wipe the lens with clean cloth and store in protective case

• Gammon reels; for storing plumb bob strings

– Keep strings clean and check for wear

• Chaining pins; for marking intermediate points on taping

– Clean pins regularly and repaint when paint fade for visibility

• Range poles

– for making points in surveying job more visible

– Store in protective case when not in use


Use and care of hand tools cont..

• Prism poles

– Used with electronic instruments to measure distances and make points

– Are similar to range poles, except that they have hollow tube to allow
graduated rods to telescope in and out allowing the rod person to
establish the height of the prism quickly

– Keep the telescoping rod clean and store the prism pole in a case

• Brush clearing equipment (axe, machete and chain saw)

– Wear appropriate PPE when in use

– Store in protective cases

• Hammers/chisels/chains/tapes

• Level rods

– Probably the most abused survey equipment after tripods

– Avoid touching the measurement face, don’t abuse and keep clean

• Hand held computers

Use and care of hand tools cont..

• General guidelines

– Only use those equipment you know how to use

– Keep clean

– Store in protective cases

– Keep dry at all times

– Do not force if difficult to move




Leveling an Instrument

• Ability to set up an instrument depends on
availability to level it

• Remember the principle of straight, level and plumb?


– Instruments are differentiated into:
• One level vials, two level vials, three/four level vials

– Use the leveling screws to raise or lower the ends of the
vial until the level bubble is centered


Leveling an Instrument



Leveling an Instrument cont..

– The head of the tripod should be horizontal

• a tripod that is not horizontal requires more movement of
the leveling screws which takes more time to complete the
leveling process. Adjust the tripod legs to ensure accuracy

– Level vial positioning
• Position the level vial over the leveling screws properly so that the

manipulation of the leveling screws is effective

– Left thumb rule

• Most people use random method of leveling which takes
longer time.

• The rule is: both thumbs in, both thumbs out, the bubble
follows the left thumb

– As a check, always rotate 180 degrees

– Turn leveling screws equally 17

Instrument Setup
• This is a fundamental requirement of surveying

• Three types of equipment are used

– Plumb bob
• Works well except that it can be moved easily by wind thereby

introducing errors in the set-up over a point

– Optical plummet (optical plumb line)
• Has lenses and prism for quick set up

• Was introduced to reduce errors of plumb bob; wind does not affect it
but it can get out of calibration and needs frequent check-up

– Laser plummets
• Lasers can be placed inside an instrument and be used for instrument

setups over a point

• They are becoming part of the instruments and are expected to
become standard feature of instruments in future

– NOTE: Tool used to setup over a point should be quick and precise18






Fieldwork Practices-Part 1







Fieldwork Practices


Measurement Principles



Fieldwork Practices
Fieldwork Practices


Fieldwork Practices

• Construction industry is a hazardous industry
(costing billion of dollars annually)and Safety is
often taken for granted
– Work related injuries including fatalities occur more often

• Developing a responsible attitude is key
– A field engineer is responsible for observing safe practices

amongst craft people on the site
• ideally everyone should be fully responsible

– Attitude is everything!

• Good, positive attitude about safety will get others more
concerned and is key to avoiding jobsite accidents



Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Hardhats

– Select hardhats that is adjustable, fit well, and wont interfere
with sighting through the instrument scope

• Eye protection (safety glasses with side shields )

• Hand protection (gloves)

• Fall protection

– Safety belts and harnesses at heights over 6’-especially when
surveying and marking points on high or sloping areas

• Safety vests

– Field engineers may be surveying hazardous areas (whether on
jobsites where heavy equipment is operating or next to highway
where cars are moving fast). They should wear highly visible
florescent safety vests at all time

– Vests with pockets to carry small surveying tools are preferred


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) cont..

• Ear protection

– Sites are usually noisy; field engineers should have some ear
protection at all times (e.g. ear muffs, plugs)

• Foot protection

– Slips, falls, and trips are common site accidents

– Select shoes that are sturdy and protect against compression,
slip and puncture.

– Boots should have ample room to avoid foot problems

– Steel toe safety shoes/boot is always preferred

– Note: When your feet hurt, you hurt all over



Crew Protective Equipment

• Each crew is responsible for warning other workers and

public that they are working on a site and they need various
safety equipment
– Warning signs

• ‘Survey Crew ahead!’ sign can tell drivers to slow down

– Survey Cones

• Every survey vehicle has them

• Should be highly visible and reflective even in low light. The bigger
(28’’ high) the cones, the more visible they are

– Flashers and barricades

• Used in extremely hazardous areas to prevent crew from harm

• Installation of concrete barriers around surveying control points
usually provide the required degree of safety in hazardous areas


Crew Protective Equipment




Crew Protective Equipment


Crew Protective Equipment
• Dressing for the environment

– Must be concerned with more than physical hazards, e.g.,
summer heat or winter weather; skin cancer (using sun screen
in summer), drinking plenty of water; moisture control in cold
weather is key; avoid frost bites (hypothermia)

– Know the weather conditions and plan accordingly



Hand tools hazards
• Crew should be trained on proper care, operation and

provided with proper safety equipment to work with in

• Common examples;
– Machete

• Make sure no one is close to you when working with it

– Chain saws

• Used for heavy clearing

• Wear proper PPE (hardhat, well fitting clothing, safety boots with
protected ankles in the event of tool slip…steel toes will prevent
injury from falling logs

• Always wear protective gear when using chain saws

• Note:

– remember that the safest cutting tool is the sharp one

Natural Hazards
• In addition to weather and equipment hazards, surveying in

the field may expose you to many dangers

– Plants (thorns, poisonous types)

– Wild animals (foxes, dogs)

– Snakes (poisonous snakes)

• Most poisonous snakes have triangular shaped heads.

• When beaten, be calm, identify if poisonous or not and seek for
anti-venom treatment. Excitement makes the blood (with venom)
speed to the heart and maybe dangerous

• Wear knee high boots or leggings for protection

– Insects

• Wasps, bees, spiders, scorpion

• More people die annually from bee stings than snake bites

• Proper PPE is needed, e.g., gloves, long sleeved shirts, etc.



Highway hazards

• Consider man-made dangers when surveying on
public roads

• It is your responsibility as field engineer to see that
workers are in safe working conditions.

• Include signs, barriers, traffic cones, and orange vests
(florescent vests to make crews more visible to
average drivers)

• You should have a flag person in addition to signs if
need be


Construction hazards


Construction hazards


Construction hazards

• High voltage power lines

– Wooden rods are the safest compared to metallic rods
near powerlines

– Caution: never touch any powerline with any surveying rod

• Heavy equipment and trenches

– Proper shoring of trenches and cutting at proper angle of

– Conducting survey work in trenches must be within
operator’s sight or line of view

• Falls

• Noise

• Note: it is the job of field engineer to observe good
safety practices on jobsites 18



Measurement Principles

• A field engineer must have knowledge to perform
standard surveying measurements on jobsites

• Standard surveying knowledge includes

– Measuring distances, angles, elevations; and
understanding mistakes and errors, proper notetaking and
care of equipment

• The field engineer must

– Reduce the size of errors in measurement

– Eliminate mistakes

– Understand rules/principles of measurement


Measurement Principles

• Total Honesty Needed

– Report what you measure, not what you have calculated
that you should measure, or what you think someone
wants to hear

– No cover-up of mistakes as they may be discovered
eventually and will cost more to correct

– Be a good communicator and listen to foremen/women
and craft people

– You should be able to advise everyone of the meaning of
information written on stakes or other survey marks so the
correct work is done


Measurement Principles

• Mistakes vs Errors

– Errors can be managed but mistakes are bad in surveying

Mistakes (blunders):

– occur due to carelessness, lack of understanding of plans, lack of
knowledge about measurement techniques or lack of
knowledge of measurement equipment

– Their effects are large

• Forgetting that a foot was cut when using a chain saw

• Setting an instrument a few degrees off

– Note: check and recheck your work to avoid mistakes


– Usually occur

– Can be because of instrument calibrations/imperfection

– Their effects are usually small

– Human error vs instrument errors

Measurement Principles

• Accuracy vs Precision
– In measurement, you can have accuracy without precision and

vice versa

– All measurements work must be accurate but try to achieve
precision depending on the surveying conditions, i.e., we must
work on the precision of the equipment and our measurement
to achieve the accuracy required in surveying layout

– Example:

• A building construction with accurate plans, built perfectly with
everything straight, leveled and plumb. After completion for it to
be discovered that it was incorrectly located on the site. In this
case, there was good precision and no accuracy




Measurement Principles

• Accuracy vs Precision cont..

– Accuracy

• Being able to obtain the true value with the measurements taken,
i.e., 10 measurements taken should be close to the true value on

• E,g., bull’s eye aimed but shots hit all around with some hitting the

– Precision

• The closeness of the measurements to each other, i.e., all the
measurements will be nearly the same

• This closeness of the measurements does not mean accuracy

• E.g., bull’s eye aimed but all shots are at one place off the eye

– In construction layout, we want both accuracy and precision

• All shots to hit bull’s eye every time we measure (accurately and
precise 23


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