How GPS Technology Improves Slipform Paving Construction in Australia

30 May 2018



Slipform paving is a high performance concrete construction method producing a superior quality and consistent finish.

Slipform paving construction in Australia is used to create a wide variety of cast-in-place concrete structures like pavements, barrier walls, precision hardscapes, ‘V’ Drains, kerbs and channels as well as agricultural feedlots and track beds.

To be able to bring such precision, efficiency and quality to a diverse range of construction applications, slipform paving machines are high tech.

To further streamline the slipform paving process for even better outcomes, innovative slipform paving contractors have adopted ways to complement the high performance capabilities of the slipform machine.

One way is to invest in addon GPS technology, which together with a zone laser reference, delivers unparalleled accuracy and enhanced productivity, greatly improving the slipform paving outcome.

The old way: slipform paving with string lines

To keep the concrete form straight, traditionally strings are held in place with stakes, and are used to guide the slipform machine which has a sensor to detect the strings.Slipform-paving-using-string-lines

The problem with this method is the time it takes to set out the string lines and the risk to accuracy through human error in the set out. There is also the risk trucks or workers can accidentally hit the line and cause a shift in the layout. This means workers need to be employed to keep an eye on the line and make sure it is set correctly for the entire operation. Once finished, the stakes and string have to be collected up, all which takes more time.

But there is a much better high tech alternative that doesn’t involve string lines.

Slipform Construction in Australia With GPS

Dowsing has abandoned string lines in favour of GPS positioning technology. The advantages of GPS are multiple:

Unparalleled accuracy

A slipform machine already uses high end technology but addon GPS gets a mm perfect alignment on the concrete pour and keeps the machine completely on track, even in tight clearance conditions.

Labour saving

The GPS does away with the need for string lines so workers aren’t needed to monitor and maintain the line.

Greater productivity

GPS technology provides increased levels of productivity and increases job site flexibility. As an example, Dowsing’s slipform concrete machines have recently delivered more than 15 kilometres of concrete safety barriers on both the Mitchell Freeway North and Roe Highway upgrades.

Time savings

A slipform concrete machine with GPS reduces the overall construction time of the operation as the string lines don’t need to be set out.

Lower risk of damage

Since GPS is a lot more accurate, it takes out the risk of human error so there is a lower risk of damage to existing structures and natural features.

Position Partners Supplied GPS Technology

Dowsing uses a Millimetre GPS+ and a zone laser reference on our Commander III slipform concrete machine.


On our Gomaco 3600 trimmer we teamed up with Position Partners Perth to install a Topcon Millimeter GPS (mmGPS) system.  

The company flew a Position Partners representative with extensive experience installing Topcon mmGPS from Sydney to assist the Perth team with the unique components and processes that had to be taken into account for a successful install. 

Precision, Accuracy and Professionalism

At Dowsing we are always pushing the boundaries and looking for ways we can use and apply slipform paving construction in Australia.

If you’re interested in finding out more about further streamlining your current process and achieving the very best outcome for your slipform paving project, get in contact.

Dowsing eBook - How to get the most out of slipform concrete

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