How Often Do Total Stations Really Need Preventative Maintenance?

Use the information in this article to learn why preventative maintenance is important and what can affect the frequency it is needed so you can decide for yourself when your instrument is due for maintenance.

How often should you bring a Trimble robotic total station to a Service Provider for preventative maintenance?

Trimble's recommended preventative maintenance interval, also known as a service or "clean and cal" are as follows.

Trimble SX Instruments: Preventative maintenance interval is once every two years

Trimble S Series Instruments: Preventative maintenance interval should be based on calendar time or hours of use, whichever comes first. The preventative maintenance interval also depends on the hardware revision of your total station. Total stations that were manufactured more recently include a hardware change that extended the recommended preventative maintenance interval. You can tell which hardware version you have using the serial number:

S Series Service Interval Table

Is there any reason I would need to bring my instrument in for preventative maintenance more often than what’s listed above?

If your instrument has endured rough handling or extreme environments, you may need to bring it in for preventative maintenance more often. For example, if the instrument is driven down a bumpy road and the instrument case bounces around inside of the vehicle/truck bed.

Also, keep in mind that local projects or policies might dictate a different preventive maintenance schedule to that of the manufacturer recommendation here.

Why do some instruments have a 1-year preventative maintenance interval while others have a 2 year?

The recommended preventative maintenance intervals are hardware-driven, so the difference is in the hardware!

Trimble SX Instruments

  • The TCXO (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator) is the driving factor for the 2 year preventative maintenance interval on the SX10 and SX12. Over time, this component will start to drift, affecting the PPM value of the EDM accuracy. Bringing your SX instrument in for preventative maintenance every two years will ensure the EDM is performing within specification.

Trimble S Series

  • S Series instruments with serial numbers ending in 50000 or smaller need to have their bearings checked every year. They will be re-greased when required. This ensures that the drive system works smoothly and ensures the angular accuracy of the instrument.
  • S Series instruments with serial numbers ending in 50001 or larger have updated bearings, so they only need to be checked every 2 years and re-greased when required for the same reasons as above.

What is checked or done to the instrument during preventative maintenance?

When an instrument comes in for preventive maintenance a comprehensive list of checks is carried out, and adjustments are made as-required to ensure all components are calibrated and the instrument is within specifications. For example, this includes examining the EDM components and doing a baseline check, examining the angle sensors and servos, reticle, tilt sensor, plummet, camera(s), and the tracker.

When applicable, the instrument firmware is updated as well as any other updates according to Trimble Service guidance.

Check out this bulletin for the full checklist!

How can I tell when my instrument is due for preventative maintenance?

  • Method 1: you can check on the instrument itself in the face-2 display
    • In the “Setup” menu, select “Service info”. The due date and remaining hours will be displayed.
  • Method 2: via Trimble Access field software
    • From the main menu, select “Instrument” > “Instrument settings”, then tap on the “Service” softkey. A pop-up message will display the due date and remaining hours.
    • Note- if your instrument is past due for its regular servicing, a warning will pop-up in Trimble Access on startup.

Are you due for preventative maintenance?

To schedule preventive maintenance, or for more details, please contact AllTerra - 0800 255 8372 or via email.

Skycatch and UPG Sign Exclusive Partnership to Distribute RPAS Technology in ANZ

Skycatch is pleased to announce that following the acquisition of HL Geospatial by UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group Pty Ltd), the three-year partnership established in Western Australia will now be carried forward by UPG as the distribution partner for all of Australia and New Zealand.

UPG has been supporting the RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system) industry for over eight years with a specialist team that sell, train, support, and operate their portfolio. Skycatch has established early success in Oceania since 2016, and establishment of this partnership enables greater reach and more comprehensive support. Together, UPG and Skycatch are bringing the fastest, safest, and most accurate surveying and mapping technology to the Australian and New Zealand mining, construction, and surveying markets.

UPG Business Development Manager, Adnan Arslanagic has said “Building on three years of a successful partnership, we are excited for the opportunities Skycatch – UPG arrangement opens.  Unique thing about the Skycatch solution, especially for our mining clients, is the ability to seamlessly plug into existing mining workflows. There’s nothing else in the market comparable to the Skycatch SVE, a drone-based solution for highwall scanning which allows our customers to fly and then immediately obtain locally referenced, analytics-ready deliverables fit for survey, geological and geotechnical investigations. This solution ensures that the areas of interest are captured safely and to a high quality, with actionable data produced offline and in the field in a matter of minutes or hours, not days.”

In the mining and construction industries, accurate, real-time insights are worth their weight in gold. Skycatch’s Mining Solution is an end-to-end solution that simplifies drone survey and highwall mapping for mining companies. There’s no other solution like it for high-precision drone mapping, data processing, and drone analytics in mining. Together with UPG, this partnership can bring mutually beneficial outcomes for businesses in the mining, construction, and surveying markets.

“We are delighted that partnering with a leading company like UPG will enable us to bring this world-class offering to more companies in the Australia - New Zealand market, one of the most mature in the world regarding commercial use of drones. Over the coming years, we expect this partnership to help these firms optimize their operations, sites, business models, and profits through the power of accurate, timely data, ” says William Pryor, Skycatch Lead Evangelist and Reseller Program Manager.

Trimble X12 3D Laser Scanning System

Accessible scanning and imaging with superior speed, accuracy, range, and quality.

3D laser scanning has evolved.

The Trimble® X12 scanning system unites the best of both worlds with industry-leading hardware and Trimble’s powerful, ultra-efficient Trimble Perspective software for guaranteed peak performance.

No more complicated workflows. No complex registration process. No compromises in accuracy, speed, range, or imaging.

Precision Pays Off for Digital Twin

How precise positioning tools helped build a 3D model of vineyard’s assets and living environment to enhance operations

Using a Trimble® Catalyst™ DA2 GNSS receiver, Australian company Icon Spatial efficiently collected highly accurate points throughout a vineyard to create a comprehensive digital twin. From a practical perspective, the digital twin offers a collaborative environment in which broad data is harnessed and the operations of the vineyard are monitored remotely, allowing external consultants to facilitate the vineyard management process.

Leveraging new technology

Based in Victoria, Australia, Icon Spatial specializes in best practice rapid data capture using a broad range of technologies (drones, 360-degree cameras, mobile mapping, field tablets and location sensors) and the seamless transfer of this data to knowledge-based geospatial systems. Among other services, Icon assists its private and government sector clients, particularly in the infrastructure, mining and agricultural sectors, with building digital twins to monitor and manage sizable assets across many projects and jurisdictions. 

After the purchase of a Trimble Catalyst DA2 GNSS receiver in January 2022, Icon decided to use the device to conduct survey work at the Longhope Vineyard in South Gippsland as a test for future agriculture and construction applications.

The valuable assets of Longhope Vineyard are monitored and managed remotely. Photo credit: Icon Spatial


How to Choose the Right GNSS Tools for the Greatest Productivity

This is blog 1 in the series “Real-Time GNSS Corrections: Productivity, Profitability, and Practical Considerations”, written by Jason Evans, Portfolio Manager, Trimble Positioning Services, NYS Registered & Licensed Land Surveyor. The blog series discusses important considerations for your GNSS surveying workflows: When should you use a base station? Are you missing the opportunity to gain productivity by including correction services in your workflows? Can differential base-rover RTK benefit from correction services? Reading the full series will not only help you to answer these questions, it will enable you to calculate the cost savings of a real-time GNSS correction subscription.


The ubiquity of real-time networks and globally available GNSS correction services herald a new era where traditional base-rover workflows may not be part of the surveyor's daily work as they once were. There are many situations where differential real-time kinematics (RTK) using a base-rover pair of GNSS receivers may be the best—or only—choice. However, many surveyors have already realized, such instances are becoming fewer, and the alternatives can bring additional time and cost savings. There have been great advances in alternatives to base-rover workflows—networks and correction services—but also in high-precision GNSS technology overall. If you haven’t already “gone baseless,” now might be the right time to visit the idea.

Trimble Donates Robotic Equipment to New Zealand’s Otago University

Trimble Geospatial recently donated five Trimble S5 robotic total station systems to Otago University’s School of Surveying in Dunedin, New Zealand. University alumnus Derek Shanks presented the donation to this school that has made a tremendous impact on the careers of numerous Trimble employees over the past several decades.

The equipment, which is valued at $260,000 NZD was donated with support from Trimble’s New Zealand distributor AllTerra.

“A significant number of Trimble employees, both past and present, are graduates of Otago’s School of Surveying,” said donation organizer Derek Shanks, Trimble Geospatial robotic total stations market manager, and 2010 graduate from Otago University’s School of Surveying. “I am proud that Trimble is giving back to a facility that set me, and so many of my colleagues, up for our professional careers.”

Sharleen Cole-Swami, Geospatial Consultant at AllTerra New Zealand, delivered five robotic total stations gifted to the School of Surveying at Otago University. Photo's by Sharron Bennett.

The Trimble S5 robotic total station systems will modernize the School of Surveying’s teaching methods and allow all students to have hands-on experience with instruments that are used in the professional field today.

Robotic total stations make surveying work more efficient, and also reduce the number of people needed to perform the work - these stations track and follow the surveyor, instead of a surveyor being positioned behind an instrument with an assistant at a distance.

In addition to the main total station units and accessories, Trimble also donated tablet controllers - complete with Trimble Access field surveying software - to communicate with the robotic stations and store pertinent data.

“It has been a great way to build on the strong relationship Trimble has developed with the Otago Surveying School” said Shanks. “AllTerra NZ and Trimble will continue with future visits to the school to demonstrate cutting edge technology and equipment to students.”

To learn more about Trimble products and solutions, visit here. To purchase Trimble products, contact AllTerra


Uncertainty and risk.  Two words most of our customers seek to avoid.  Amidst all the news regarding COVID-19 and Coronavirus, we stand committed to being here for you and keeping our solutions available throughout these difficult times.  We are open for business.

We’ve heard from some customers that they are also implementing work from home strategies and are developing processes to continue working on projects during this crisis.  Our first priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and the community.  Another priority is to remain open for business and to continue to provide livelihoods for our employees, partners and customers.  We are in a unique position to have offices in all states and regional areas throughout Australia, allowing our support staff to travel by vehicle to site, rather than rely on air transportation.  This allows flexibility and easy adaptation to your organisations’ needs as we continue to partner together.

Our Customer Service staff are all equipped to work remotely and will be able to answer your calls during our normal working hours of 8:30am – 5:00pm in Christchurch, and 8:00am – 4:30pm in Auckland.

Our Field Support team has been provided with a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) specifically for personal hygiene, social distancing, and the disinfection of plant and tools, should they be required on your site.

We will continue to monitor our work procedures and advice by the Australian Government, but in the meantime know we’re here for you!

Call: 0800 ALLTERRA  (0800 2558 3772)

Performance and simplicity keys to new X7 3D Laser Scanning System

Trimble’s new X7 will put 3D laser scanning into the hands of professionals regardless of their level of expertise.

Announced at the massive Intergeo expo in Germany, Trimble’s new X7 3D laser scanning system is a game changer across many industries, delivering the ability to quickly and easily capture precise 3D scanning data to produce high-quality deliverables.

Ideal for surveying, construction, industrial and forensic applications, the Trimble X7 3D laser scanner is an integrated solution with specialised field software, featuring:

  • Simple and streamlined workflows to provide automatic registration of point cloud data in the field with Trimble Registration Assist
  • Smart Trimble X-Drive technology to eliminate the need for annual calibration
  • Survey-grade self-levelling to ensure consistent data quality
  • Professional quality and sturdy IP55 rating backed by an industry leading two-year warranty
  • The compact and reliable laser scanner comes with a Microsoft Windows-based Trimble T10 ruggedized tablet for control and project visibility, along with a backpack and lightweight tripod for portability.

“The Trimble X7 delivers high-speed 3D laser scanning with intuitive workflows and unique technologies automating critical steps, which improves efficiency and productivity,” Gregory Lepere, marketing director, optical and imaging for Trimble Geospatial, said.

“The X7 is a useful, everyday tool because it doesn't require scanning expertise to operate.

“It opens the door for more construction, surveying, industrial and forensics professionals to confidently capture and deliver scan data and realize a faster return on investment."


For surveyors and geospatial professionals, the X7 provides fast and balanced performance in indoor and outdoor environments and is ideal for industrial survey/tank calibration, civil infrastructure, general surveys, road intersection surveys, utilities, mining and historical documentation and renovation.

The Trimble X7 solution is fully integrated with the new Trimble Perspective software specifically designed for in-field control and complete registration. The combination enables scans and images to be captured, fully registered together, refined, controlled and exported to a variety of established data format for Trimble and non-Trimble software suites.

Building Design and Construction

For users in building design and construction, the X7 provides answers to the complex measurement problems of existing conditions and improves field productivity for a broad range of applications in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry projects, including concrete; mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP); and general contracting; as well as quality assurance validation in steel prefabrication.

The X7 solution is fully integrated with Trimble Field Link software to provide streamlined workflows specific to the building construction industry - from scanning to modelling to field layout. The solution also includes a first-of-its-kind laser pointer using scan data to improve communication between stakeholders and reduce rework.


For law enforcement, tragic events can happen anywhere and anytime. The X7, developed with feedback from law enforcement, can perform in demanding conditions such as cold and rain, day or night. Ease of use from field setup to automatic registrations ensures that investigators remain focused on gathering the evidence and building solid cases. The X7, supported by Trimble Forensics Capture software, is a complete solution for Forensics investigators.

The Trimble X7 is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020. Contact AllTerra today for more information.

Quick fix to monitoring conundrum saves time and money

Trimble technology has provided the solution to a monitoring need that would otherwise have required two manned locations operating 24/7.

Required for just two months on a major Brisbane road project, the monitoring was needed to report on deformation in a sensitive work area during foundation works.  On top of that, the work zone was a busy one with machinery and workers operating in it around the clock.

At just 150m long and under 20m wide, the tight site needed two separate vantage points for 40 monitoring prisms.  The two total stations deployed were able to give overlapping coverage as well as minimising obstructions on the site.

The system was deployed and live within days of the client’s decision to proceed with the hire, which meant significant delays and associated costs were avoided.

Solar kits to power the system were installed on Kelly blocks on the edge of site so traffic flow was not affected.

The use of Trimble 4D control, Trimble S9s and the Settop M1s that made up the solution to this monitoring problem meant there was no need for manned survey locations, which would have been required around the clock – another cost saving.  The automated system also worked faster than any manned station could as turnaround for data processing and reporting is in real time.

“We collected data at a resolution not possible with traditional methods,” UPG’s Brent Dawson said.  “Through the use of automated alarming we had the ability to be ready to stop works if deformation was occurring and also had a streamlined daily report that was available for quick review all in once place.”

AllTerra and UPG have the solutions and expertise you need whatever the task. Talk to us today about how we can help you.