Courtesy Trimble Trimble's Digirod can measure grade from a rotating laser without ever touching the ground. From the "groma" with its right angles and plumb bobs used 3,000 years ago to modern-day grade rods, surveyors have been using some type of rod in their work. A new grading device claims to eliminate the need for grade rods when checking grades with a rotating laser. It compounds a laser distance meter, laser receiver, tilt sensor and digital readout to get grade readings without touching the ground at tilt angles of up to 30 degrees.Trimble Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., calls its grading instrument,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.