RJT Excavations, based in Jedburgh, recently undertook ‘Drone Use in Construction – Introduction with Borders College Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation (DEBI).
The classroom-based qualification is aimed at anyone who would like to understand how drones can be used in a construction environment and what is involved in carrying out a drone survey.
RJT employees looked at areas such as preparing the deliverables and ‘Drone Use in Construction - Intermediate’ which is a practical course covering planning a project, executing the project on-site, carrying out a flight and processing the data.
This training was funded through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) and will assist RJT Excavations in improving efficiency, quality, safety and environmental performance.
Gary Garner, Senior Site Engineer for RJT, said:
“We invested in the drone equipment over a year ago, but like many companies, we couldn’t find training which recognised the construction-specific nature of our needs. This training has been perfect for us.
“A range of personnel, from senior managers to our youngest apprentice (aged 18), took part in the training and we want this to become part of our normal way of working and build it into everything we do, from topographical surveys and carrying out inspections, to accurate, real-time weekly measures and progress reporting.
“Using drones will mean that we are able to quickly and efficiently gather data, which will help our communications with clients and subcontractors, ensure site security and, most importantly, will mean we don’t need to put our engineers in danger by having them working around live plant to take surveys.”
RJT received funding for 100% of the costs of the training through The Scottish Government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund.
Susan Rennie, Accounts Manager (Commercial Short Courses and VQ Delivery) at Borders College said:
“This shows how flexible the fund really is. The DEBI have been engaging with employers across the Scottish Borders to assist in the upskilling, retraining and development of staff to meet the needs of their organisations and take advantage of the FWDF, which The Scottish Government introduced in 2018 to assist in the growth of the Scottish economy.
“To ensure we could meet with RJT Excavations training needs, we worked in partnership with Setting Out for Construction, a specialist training organisation with a proven track record for the quality of drone training provision.
“In doing this, the DEBI we were able to ensure that the employer could receive training which meets their specific needs. The feedback has been fantastic and we’re hoping that many more construction companies in the Borders will follow the example of upskilling their site staff in this type of technology.”
Saffron Grant, Founder and Director of SOFC and its sister company Digital Construction Skills, said:
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the DEBI on this project and look forward to strengthening our partnership working moving forward.”
Gary Garner, Senior Site Engineer at RJT, was delighted to inform the RJT Senior Management team that staff were up and running with the drone surveying. He advised that an employee carried out surveys using the drone, which they were able to process and output the 3D model. The conclusion was that the PIX4d -> Virtual surveyor -> LSS workflow was the easiest and fastest to implement.
They surveyed 120,000 m2 with the drone in 11 minutes on site. The processing took one hour to get it into a 3D model and LSS model. Traditional equivalent surveys would have taken in the region of half a day of surveying plus processing time, not taking into account staff travel and expenses.