Using 3D machine control on backhoes

Case study

Leica Geosystems now support machines with swing boom

Author and photos: Arne Forsell

- A backhoe is not only suitable for some earthmoving tasks – it is the best machine for everything! It is simply a fantastic machine.

These might be big words, but Jonas Kilsgård knows what he is talking about. He works as the second-generation managing director for the company that his father founded about 30 years ago. Backhoes have been a central part of the company’s machine fleet, and Jonas has practically been growing up in a backhoe!

You can use the backhoe for everything, and it is simple to transport from site to site. It offers so many possibilities! Some people had looked a little surprised when we arrived with our machines, but that is only until they have seen what we can do with the machines! We use our Huddig backhoes alongside our excavators for all types of earthmoving tasks and construction projects.

Leica Geosystems now supports machines with swing boom

Until now, Jonas Kilsgaard and the rest of the market have been missing an efficient machine control solution for backhoes with swing boom. The Swedish manufacturer, Huddig AB, has also worked towards a machine control solution. The challenge has been to develop a system that can calculate the combined movements of the machine and swing boom. Such a solution is now offered by Leica Geosystems for all Huddig backhoes.

- Everything is now so simple, says Jonas Kilsgaard. Before, you could praise yourself when you had finally managed with an excellent earthmoving job. Now, it’s so much easier. It’s almost too easy to drive a backhoe now.

Kungsängens Entreprenad has 11 employees and works in the area of the north of Stockholm and Mälardalen. Max Bjørklund works on a house foundation project in the city of Södertälje. He supplies materials, excavates, and digs for public water and sewage supply and electricity. His machine is the mighty Huddig 1260 C equipped with factory-fitted sensors, and Max controls his work from the MCP80 panel inside the cabin.

Max grew up on a farm. He is 25 years old, and tractors have been a part of his life since he was a child. To go from agricultural tractors to backhoes has been an easy step to take, and he really enjoys the new world that 3D machine control is offering.

Max Bjørklund has a couple of years’ experience with machine control from Leica Geosystems and has completed the training but to work with machine control on backhoes is new to him.

- I can work a lot more independently with the machine control solution inside the cabin, he says. I rarely need help for stake-outs because I know the exact locations, heights and cross and long slopes, so my work is a lot more efficient. It was absolutely no problem to learn.

Max starts his work by benchmarking. He then takes off his shoes and climbs into the clean, well-maintained machine. He works independently and controls everything from inside the cabin, and the workflow is smooth, unhindered, accurate, and efficient.

Max Björklund uses 3D machine control for his Huddig backhoe 
Max in his Huddig backhoe with swing boom sensor.

Machine control helps save time and costs

Machine control helps Max, Kungsängens Entreprenad, and the contractor save time and costs. Max enjoys working in his red machine with the Leica panel in the front. He has worked with several other machines from other manufacturers, but he thinks that Huddig is the best.

His boss Jonas Kilsgård explains it like this:

- If the backhoe is called Huddig and the machine control solution is from Leica Geosystems, you have the best tool that you can get!

 Jonas Kilsgard in front of the Huddig backhoe with machine control from Leica Geosystems
Jonas Kilsgård is the managing director of Kungsängens Entreprenad.

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Leica iCON iXE3 - 3D System

Advanced 3D excavator machine control solution
Advanced 3D excavator machine control solution