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Drones Set to Make a Big Impact on UK Construction

A new report from PwC has forecasted there will be 76,000 drones in the skies of the UK by 2030, and this will have big benefits for the UK construction industry. But there will always be a need for the human element, says Midland Pallet Trucks.

The report predicts that large-scale drone usage will save the construction industry somewhere in the region of£3.5 billion by 2030, as surveying work will come into the realm of the drone. Increasingly advanced technology and in-built tools will enable drones to survey a site 400 times quicker than a traditional survey team. At the same time, drones will also be able to provide improved photographic renderings of construction sites in 2D and 3D.

This will enable construction companies to lower their overall surveying costs and time expenditure, with a predicted 3.1 percent increase in overall productivity.

The report also suggests that rolling drone fly-bys will provide greater insight into ongoing projects via embedded cloud capabilities. The PwC report sees drones becoming a means for multiple stakeholders to see overall progress of a construction project, wherever they are. In instances of disagreements over progress and potential litigation, this drone-harvested information will provide insurance for companies in the form of hard data.

Currently, drones are used in the construction industry to map work sites and assess what stage a project is at. In the future, they could become an integral part of most facets of construction, providing to-the-moment information and overview capabilities.

Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, had this to offer, “This is obviously great news for the construction industry – anything that can improve efficiencies and cut costs is always welcome – but this is still the future we’re talking about. The human elements will always be an important part of construction, and there’s no substitute for human ingenuity and hard work.

“Drones can’t do the heavy lifting that skilled workers are needed for. There will always bee a need for someone to scale an aerial lift platform and do the work only a person can do. Likewise, a drone can’t move goods from A to B on a hand pallet truck. It’ll be interesting to see how drones impact construction in the coming years, but there’s no replacement for the quick-thinking of a trained, skilled worker.”