How to Properly Maintain Your Survey Tools Between Jobs

When you come back from surveying a new property or landscape, you’re exhausted from your hours outside and ready to relax for the evening. While it’s important to unwind after a long day, make sure to take these steps to preserve your survey equipment before hitting the couch.

Get Rid of the Dirt

In the middle of a job, you don’t worry about how dirty your tools get because you’re focused on recording accurate readings. At the end of the day, though, spend some time thoroughly cleaning each tool. Dirt can be corrosive, especially for fabric elements such as bags and hand grips, and if small particles work their way into the machinery, your equipment’s performance suffers. Also, cleaning your equipment regularly demonstrates to your clients that you’re a professional.

For equipment that’s rated to handle water exposure, use gentle soap, water, and a rag to clean off all the dirt. If you’re considered about germ transmission, these heavy-duty tools can also handle alcohol wipes on their exteriors. However, if the tool you’re using has a lens, you should only use a cloth that’s rated for eyeglasses or similar lenses to clean it. This practice prevents scratches and other damage to the delicate instrument.

Perform Necessary Calibrations

Some brand-new models of wall scanners and similar devices no longer require calibrations. For other tools, though, regular calibrations are necessary to ensure that your readings stay accurate. Additionally, if your equipment is exposed to adverse weather conditions such as high humidity or extreme cold, these factors can damage its calibration. Ask an expert to show you how to calibrate each tool, and keep a calendar for when your equipment needs adjusting.

Inspect Your Tools

After you use each piece of survey equipment, give it a thorough inspection. Look for missing screws, loose wires, lost covers, and broken pieces. Listen for rattling or buzzing noises, which indicate that something is wrong with a tool’s interior machinery. These inspections are especially important if someone else has used your tools or if you’ve been working in an unusual environment.

Resist the Urge for Repair

When you find a problem with your tools during your regular inspections, it’s tempting to pull out your toolbox and start fixing it. However, most surveying tools involve complicated mechanisms and GPS software, both of which are easy to damage. When you break a tool, reach out to the manufacturer immediately and ask for the company’s recommendation for professional repairs.

Handle Your Tools Gently

After a long day of measuring and recording, it’s easy to forget how complicated your tools are and throw them around. No matter how sturdy your equipment is, you must handle it with care as you perform maintenance and store it. Pay attention to what you’re doing as you clean and inspect your materials, and be careful not to grip delicate components too tightly. When a tool is operating slowly or incorrectly, never hit it on its side to restart it; that will just damage it more.

Store Your Equipment in Its Case

It’s tempting to throw all your equipment into the back of your car when you’re done working, but this method increases the chances that one of your tools will scratch another. It’s also hard to find your smaller instruments when they’re buried underneath your metal detector or tripod. Keep all the cases that your survey equipment comes in, and return each item to its proper case every night. 

Maintaining the tools you need for every landscape survey doesn’t take much time, and it’s an investment in your equipment’s longevity. When do-it-yourself maintenance isn’t enough and it’s time for professional service, find the help you need at Engineer Supply

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