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Minor Additions (23-10-2015)

A place for everything and everything in its place (03-04-2016)

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At AJB Setting Out Ltd we like to be prepared when we arrive onsite and unlike 'other' engineers have all our own equipment so where not looking to 'borrow' hammers or your equipping your Site Engineer with hammers, string lines, levels or tape measures.

We also can arrive with some materials such as Paint, Hilcon Markers, Cartridge Nails, Pegs & Profile Boards along with Timber Nails often overlooked when ordering materials for profiles.



Stencils (03-04-2016)

As part of the AJB Setting Out's continued review of processes and attempting to improve efficiencies onsite with production, we recently took delivery of some more custom stencils for use on our projects and to compliment the stencils we already use regularly day to day onsite.

These new stencils will prove useful on our road and housing projects, profiling for reduced level excavation and 'H' Profiles for plot foundations.



Think UTC (18-03-2016)

Think UTC a national day that celebrates the work University Technical Colleges do to inspire young people to become the scientists, engineers, technologists and innovators of the future.

This year was held on Friday the 18th of March, as part of this AJB Setting Out Ltd assisted Willmott Dixon hold an activity at the GM UTC, Oldham, providing all the equipment and leading the activity.

As part of the event, the students were divided into two groups working on different instruments, changing over halfway through the event, group one using the Topcon AT-B4 Automatic Level to survey and record levels and solve questions about the build-up of the First Floor structure. Whilst group two used the Topcon DS Robotic Total Station to set out house(s) and survey features and view in the Map function on the Topcon FC500.

The event was enjoyed by those who took part and it is hoped may inspire future engineers both in and out of the construction industry.

More images and details are available from here. The photgraph above is ©The GM UTC


Minor Additions (22-10-2015)

In recent months AJB Setting Out has made some smaller equipment addidtions to aid in the day to day activities onsite and be reactive to site conditions.

A Spectra Precision HL450 laser reciever with mm display to improve onsite accuracy of excavation works and pouring concrete allowing the operatives to read grade to ensure accuracy as opposed to the leaning the staff technique.

Finally a Seco Heavy duty Column clamp which will prove invaluable, with the abilty to mount either the Level,Laser or Robotic Total station to establish level control on upper floors, provide level control for pouring slabs or alternatively mount the Robot on to complete setting out and surveying on floors on metal decking floors or planks.



CAT (26-05-2015)

With the increasing vigilance required when breaking ground, AJB Setting Out now carries a C Scope Cable Avoidance Tool (CAT).  This can be used to assist teams on projects or alternatively used to scan areas before driving pins and pegs to avoid striking cables.
This CAT will prove especially useful on smaller contracts for property developers or self builders who don’t necessary have access to statutory service drawings onsite.


Work Placement (10-05-2015)


On the recent Royton Leisure project for Willmott Dixon Construction, AJB setting out was able to offer Josh Hiles a local student from the GM UTC a placement for 15 weeks. The placement was initially planned to be 10 weeks however due to the continued involvement with the project and the success of the placement, the placement was extended to 15 weeks.

AJB Setting Out devised a programme of activities which a student would complete on the placement and made contact with the GM UTC. Josh at the start of the placement had little knowledge of the construction industry however quickly learnt and was very interested in learning more. During Josh's placement was involved in setting out piles, Plumb Line and Leveling the steel frame, setting out masonry walls and also completing level surveys of finished slabs.

Andrew Burgess 'I was really impressed with Josh, his commitment to the placement and also how quickly he was able to master the surveying equipment, I've previously worked with more advanced students who have had instruction in surveying equipment that have not mastered the equipment as quickly before'. Whilst Josh was on his placement, he was not used as a 'chainman' instead was challenged with completing tasks following instruction and supervision, utilising the equipment himself. During the placement Josh mainly used an Automatic Level, creating datum's, completing level checks and the latest addition to the fleet, the Topcon DS Robotic Total station, which Josh quickly mastered and was able to complete setting out tasks and surveys.

Andrew Burgess is a keen supporter of placements and the importance of training and developing the future workforce for our industry, something which the industry he believes could improve on.

AJB Setting Out would like to wish Josh Hiles all the best in his studies and future career and would hope to see him in the future on a project.


Equipment Investment (28-11-2014)

Today saw another investment in the surveying fleet, with the acquisition of a Topcon DS Robotic Total Station and FC500 Field Controller both operating on the Topcon Magnet Field Software. The replacement of the Topcon OS with the DS means that I can be more productive and responsive onsite, being completely self sufficient, able to work alone without the need of an assistance.

Having previously had a Topcon DS on demonstration only the week before, the DS clearly showed that it will be a worthwhile investment in the future. The DS has already been employed on the Willmott Dixon: Royton Leisure Centre, ensuring that two piling rigs production is maintained on what is a tight site, with limited ability to set out ahead, meaning constantly being in attendance and working in and around the rigs and support plant to mainatain outputs.


Two Person Boot Wash Station (12-11-2014)

Introducing the two person Boot Wash Station measuring just 900mm x 500mm this compact boot wash is large enough to cope with the demands of site, assisting in managing the issue of muddy footwear and avoiding the contamination of site welfare accommodation, especially with weather anticipated in the coming months.

The ingress of mud into site welfare accommodation prematurely wears floor coverings, creates a negative image of the site and site team and has the potential for increased slips trips and falls.

This boot wash was designed and developed for a client, as a cost effective solution to the problems encountered whilst carrying out groundworks in the winter months. 


  • 150mm deep tray to contain washed off material.
  • Removable grate for easy cleaning of silt 
  • 50mm waste outlet 
  • Heavy Duty PVC Hose 
  • Two hoses 
  • All Brass Hose fittings 
  • No plant required to manoeuvre or install – able to be manually handled
  • Only requires a 25mm alkathene Water feed

Click here for more information


Royton Leisure Centre (09-11-2014)

Another project for Willmott Dixon, this time in Royton, Oldham the seventh to date and the sixth consecutive project. The project is the construction of a new leisure centre adjacent the existing centre that will eventually form the 60 space car park.

  • The new leisure centre will feature a 6 lane 25m swimming pool
  • Separate learner pool. 
  • 80 station fitness gym
  • Two exercise/dance studio.




PCI Projects - St Marys: Energy Centre: Oldham (14-08-2014)

An exciting and interesting project for a new client – PCI Projects, the project is located in the St Marys area of Oldham, located on the site of a former boiler house, which has been cleared and temporary boilers employed to supply energy to the surrounding social housing whilst construction commences.
The project will require a visiting role to meet the demands of the program, with responsibility for setting out, bulk excavation, piling, drainage, foundation/slab, holding down bolts and plinths.
Works are progressing with piling completed and drainage and foundation/slab works commencing.




Bankview & Redbridge: Liverpool (14-06-2014)

This week saw the completion of the first week of the four week Bulk Excavation programme that will see the stripping of some 15,000 m3 of topsoil, with approximately 10,000 m3 of topsoil retained onsite in bunds incorporated to the landscaping scheme. Along with the topsoil works the site will then see over 10,000 m3 of cut and fill to build the site up to the required formation levels and the importation of recycled materials to complete the construction formations. 


The 6th Willmott Dixon Project (20-05-2014)

The Bankview and Redbridge School Project in Liverpool will be the 6th project for Willmott Dixon. Enabling works are to commence, with the erection of fence and hoardings and the clearance of the sites debri littering the surface ahead of the bulk muckshift commencing. More new to follow as the project develops.



Dilapidation Report: Royton Leisure (20-05-2014)

Just completed another dilapidation report ahead of the works commencing on the Royton Leisure development for Willmott Dixon in Royton town centre. A project which appears to be complex in the logistic and planning.


Dilapidation Report: Oldham Pool (12-05-2014)

Just completed a large dilapidation report ahead of the works commencing on the new Oldham Pool by Willmott Dixon, in the centre of Oldham. Looks to be an interesting development for the site team.


Another Topcon (14-04-2014)

Another addition to the own and operated fleet, this time another rotating laser level, from Topcon, bolstering the fleet which already features a Topcon OS Total Station and Topcon AT-B4 Automatic level. The latest additional will compliment the already impressive fleet of surveying equipment owned and operated.

  • Automatic Electronic Self-Leveling
  • Machine Control Compatible
  • IP66 Water Resistant Housing
  • Long Distance Laser Sensor
  • 100 Hours of Run Time on Rechargeable Batteries
  • H.I. Alert
  • 800 Meters Operating Radius
  • 10 Arc Second Accuracy


Willmott Dixon: New Project (21-02-2014)

The possible 6th project for Willmott Dixon Construction, again loacted in Liverpool. The project Bankview and Redbridge is again the construction of a new school, this time two schools merging on one shared site.

Works currently be undertaken are the clearance of the dense vegetation and trees. On the 20th saw me attending sign to set out trial pits and record the progress. In the coming week, a check topographical survey of the site and inital setting out ahead of topsoil strip/allow site team to better understand the project layout.

Its unclear at this moment in time if this will be a future project due to an unknown start date, who knows this may be the next project.


New Email Address (07-13-2013)

A new email address for contacting myself This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., which is part of a number of new changes that will be happening in the coming weeks and months.


Millstead SEN (09-09-2013)

Yet another project for Willmott Dixon, another project for Liverpool City Council this time the Millstead Special Educational Needs School located in Everton. The Project is £6m traditional construction and will see me responsible for all the setting out and quality control on the project as Willmott Dixon have taken the responsibility for setting out in-house.


Return of the Notre Dame (05-08-2013)

With completion on the horizon in the next week, i've returned to Notre Dame, to assist in completing the external works. All this along with my two other projects, Blackpool and Archbishop Beck

Busy, Busy, Busy (04-08-2013)

Have been busy both inside and outside of work, but have finally found the time to update the website a little, with other updates planned and already in the works.

Willmott Dixon have continued to keep me busy, running between both the Blackpool Hospital and Archbishop Beck Projects along with a deformation survey in Oldham and a drainage and Manhole survey in Birkenhead.

PCC Lifts Installed at Beck (08-07-2013)


Plantworx 2013

Is looking forward to visiting Plantworx, in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire next week to see what plant and equipment is now on the market and watching some of the displays. Just hoping for good weather now, but i'm an engineer so i'm use to it now!!


Project Number 4 for Willmott Dixon Construction (08-05-2013)

Having visited the site for the new Archbishop Beck School, Aintree, Liverpool in the middle of January earlier this year, works on the site have now started. This is the fourth project for Willmott Dixon Construction (WDC) and has followed on from the last two WDC projects. As ever looking forward to the challenges of a new project, working with others and continuing on with the good working relationship with WDC.

For the next weeks, an engineering assistance will still be required on Blackpool Victoria Hospital so will requiring working between the two projects for the coming weeks.


Think, Quality, Work (22-04-2013)

A new initiative, the Think, Quality, Work initiative has been developed to build on and accompany the Site Engineering Guide, combining the SEG Best Practise and Quality Assurance Checklists available for download from this website.

Think Quality Work is divided in to two parts both with the focus on quality, which are as follows: 

Think Quality: the SEG: Best Practise highlighting issues and raising points for discussion ahead of the works taking place. Attempting to anticipate quality issues encountered during activities.

Quality Work: the Quality Assurance checklists to check and monitor the works as they proceed, knowledge management based. Designed to educate and inform novices or reinforcing the knowledge already developed.

The SEG: Best Practise will be developed with more topics planned that will be available for download in the future and the Think Quality Work introduced on some of the projects I work on to compliment company QA procedures already in place..


Updates, Updates, Updates (15-02-2013)

Finally after months and months of working on updates to and new content for the Site engineering Guide in between my other commitments. They are now available from the Site Engineering Guide section of the website.

The revised content features updates to some of the pre existing chapters of the SEG, along with completely revised and new Quality Assurance Checklists. Also included in this series of updates is a Toolbox Talk for operatives regarding Surveying Equipment and Setting out along with a whole new series of publication: Best Practice.


Another Project for Willmott Dixon (11-02-2013)

Following on from the successful and satisfactory performance on both the Oldham Academy North Project and Notre Dame- Everton, the Manchester office of Willmott Dixon have retained my services for the Blackpool Victoria Hospital Project.

This will involve some running between the two projects as the ground works and other trades will continue to require engineering input at Notre Dame as the Bulk Excavation commences at Blackpool. This will present challenges in the coming few weeks and stretch the engineering resources requiring the deployment of all the fleet.


Another new addition to the survey fleet (21-01-2013)

The need to replace one of the rotating lasers within the fleet with new arose this week, looking no further than the Agatec, part of the Hexagon Group range of rotating lasers, it was easy to select the GAT220 as the successor.

The fully automatic self-levelling laser features a 10% levelling range and H.I. alert system, sounding an alarm if the laser is disturbed and stopping the laser from spinning, preventing any inaccurate readings.

The Brushless Core Power (BCP) really sets this laser ahead of its competitors, extending the battery life to be four times longer than other models available on the market. The BCP features an innovative brushless motor, eliminating gear and drive belts and so reducing maintenance.



  • 300m working range
  • Twin rotating speeds 90rpm and 600rpm
  • One touch levelling
  • H.I. warning
  • Rugged Design and Aluminium head protection
  • Brushless Core Power (BCP)
  • Rechargeable battery or non rechargeable battery pack options


Another School for Liverpool (12/01/13)


Whilst currently on assignment for Willmott Dixon: Notre Dame, engineering assistance was requested on another project currently going through preconstruction, with the scheme going live later in the year.


The assignment required the location of the building corners, some twelve points and the layout of the four sport pitches along with some kerb lines, footpath routes and access roads.


Current workload at the Notre Dame site along with a deadline to meet required working the weekend along with supplying all setting out pegs/pins and sundries for the task at hand.


Another addition to the Survey Fleet (07-11-2012)

 In an effort to strive to be ever more efficient, productive and keep up with the continued developments in technology, the Sokkia Total Station has been replaced.

The latest addition to the fleet is a Topcon OS Total station, Topcon a subsidiary of the Toshiba Group and owner of the Sokkia brand, bringing together and combining the technology and developments of both the Sokkia and Topcon brands.

The Topcon OS Features:

  • ·         4,000m Prism Range
  • ·         500m Non-Prism Range
  • ·         Precise Beam Spot
  • ·         Co-Axial Laser Pointer
  • ·         EDM Trigger key, for angle stability and eliminate torque when taking measurements
  • ·         Advanced Angle Accuracy
  • ·         Colour Touch Screen
  • ·         Alpha Numeric Keyboard
  • ·         MAGNET FIELD onboard software
  • ·         Ability to carry out stockpile volume calculations onboard.
  • ·         TS Shield, an advanced security and maintenance feature
  • ·         Long Link TM communication capability

Adapting to and becoming proficient with the Topcon OS in the coming weeks will be challenging but rewarding with the new capabilities this technology will bring to my work, however the former Sokkia's years of service will not be forgotten.


Latest addition to Survey Fleet (06-08-2012)

In the process of continually striving to be more efficent and adaptable to the needs of projects and clients needs, the equipment fleet is reviewed and improvements made as required. In response to the needs of the Willmott Dixon: Notre Dame College, Liverpool, the requirement for a machine control laser reciever was identified to improve efficency, accuracy and safety: by reducing the exposure of operatives to heavy plant movements onsite.

The reciever is currently being used in conjunction with the dual grade laser to trim to formation the Piling Platform Level (PPL) along with the kick about and footpaths to grade.



Fine mode: +/- 2mm to +/- 10mm

Coarse mode: +/- 5mm to +/- 23mm

Range: 200m


With Clamps: mounted on tube fitted to blade of Dozer

With Magnets: mounted on dipper arm of excavator

In summary, an efficent and versatile piece of equipment that can be adapted to a variety of applications and prove to make savings in efficency, both time and finiancial along with safety.