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How Often Do Robotic 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.

Trimble SX12

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 your local service provider or distribution partner.

Field Calibrations

Regular checks and field calibrations are also important to ensure your total station is operating properly. For more information on what field calibrations are available, and how to perform them, check out our User Guides:

Note: User Guides are available in multiple languages on on the individual product pages.