Carlson Machine Control Optimizes PDGrade for Solar Industry

PDGrade PR

Carlson’s PDGrade installed on a pile driver during a solar panel installation.

Maysville, Kentucky, U.S.A. (December 2020) Carlson Machine Control has now optimized PDGrade for the solar industry with an increased capability in pile installation and navigation accuracy. PDGrade is a machine guidance and positioning system that uses GNSS for pile driving applications.

Pile driving has become a faster and more effective solution in solar farm installation. Solar farm owners and contractors have saved both time and money in their operations with advancements in the process of installations. Carlson’s PDGrade removes the need for surveying piles and reviewing as-built information by centralizing all relevant information and providing necessary details to operators and site supervisors.

The system features both software and hardware application to provide operators with detailed information such as pile navigation, pile location, positioning and height information, project progression tracking, and detailed accuracy. The PD machine is fitted with Carlson sensors and a ruggedized Windows-based MC10 tablet. The entire system is then calibrated within PDGrade.

Carlson’s supporting fleet management solution, Carlson Command, is additionally supportive of pile driving applications. Site supervisors and managers can use Command to view project progression, generate reports, and communicate directly with machines in real-time from a remote location. Supervisors are able to monitor multiple and single machines with different viewing options for productivity analysis as well as custom project planning.

“We wanted to further increase the speed and accuracy in solar field installations,” says Tim Jones, Director of Carlson Machine Control. “By focusing effort around the tight specifications in the solar industry, we were able to better meet the needs of the industry.”

For more information on PDGrade and Carlson Command, visit

About Carlson
Founded in 1983, Carlson Software Inc. specializes in CAD design software, field data collection, laser measurement, and machine control products for the civil engineering, surveying, GIS, construction, and mining industries worldwide, providing one-source technology solutions for the entire project cycle. Carlson Software is headquartered in Maysville, Ky., U.S.A., with branch offices in Boston, Mass.; Almere, The Netherlands; Victoria, Australia; Ottawa, Canada; and York, England.