June 2024

Garney Utilizes LDR Excavate™ for Real time On-sight Utility Detection Buried Underground

Introduction and Background

Garney Construction is a national leader in water and wastewater construction. Founded in 1961, they focus building water and wastewater systems of all sizes for municipal, federal, industrial, and private clients. Garney specializes in collaborative project delivery solutions, including CMAR and design-build, for clients nationwide.


Problem Statement and Challenge

Utility strikes result in an estimated $100-billion cost to the industry per year. In 2023, Garney reported 82 utility strikes each posing a significant threat to employee-owners, reputation, and productivity on their projects. Utility strikes are caused by a combination of complex factors such as mis-markings by utility owners, imprecise pre-project utility locating tools, failure to perform due diligence to locate utilities, poor records of installation location/elevation, lack of caution, lack of a spotter, etc. Regardless of the cause, Garney is negatively impacted in some way by each utility strike.

The company was looking for a solution that can provide real time on-sight utility detection buried underground to prevent strikes, maintain employees’ safety and avoid money loss.



Garney tested the Live Dig Radar® (LDR) Bucket by RodRadar to address the above problem statement. The system featured a 24-inch bucket for a CAT 315 excavator equipped with an integrated Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) that provides a simplified interface on a tablet mounted in the cab of the excavator, alerting the operator in real-time of buried utilities, including the position and depth up to approx. 30-inches deep per pass. Unlike traditional ground penetrating radar, the LDR Excavate™ system can continue scanning as the excavation is carried out, providing more reliable and accurate detections, overcoming limitations of state-of-the-art GPRs used at the surface. During a 6-week pilot period onsite at a naval base in Indian Head, MD, the LDR Excavate™ detected at least eight (8) buried utilities that would have otherwise been damaged during excavation, preventing an estimated $80,000-$100,000 of direct and indirect damages. On base, 811 Miss Utility and private locating services are used, however, these (8) utilities were not found by either service, and would have been strikes with loss of service if not for this piece of equipment.


Suggested Future Improvements

Following the use and evaluating the system, there are two primary improvements suggested: (1) The wired connection at the rear of the bucket includes an exposed plug to relay power and data between the tablet and bucket. Garney is working with RodRadar to improve the resilience of this connection. (2) The currently largest available bucket is 24-inch wide for a 16 Ton excavator. Garney is working with RodRadar to develop a bigger bucket for larger excavators. 



RodRadar’s Live Dig Radar proved effective in avoiding utility strikes during excavation, improving safety and productivity. The pilot team recommended immediate implementation on projects with a high volume of buried utilities that are utilizing a CAT 315 excavator. The Mid-Atlantic Pipe and South East Plant teams have purchased a total of (5) buckets for CAT 315 excavators that will be in-service by June 2024.


Quote by Garney

“Utility strikes pose a significant threat to safety, project productivity and reputation. RodRadar’s Live Dig Radar® proved its effectiveness in avoiding utility strikes during excavation. The company decided on immediately implement the technology in projects with a high volume of buried utilities.”

Clay Greene, Construction Technology


Contact us

59 Derekh HaRimonim St, Rinatya 7316500, Israel
T. +972.3.641.9302 E. info@rodradar.com

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