My Fabulous Life in Land Surveying!

I began my surveying career with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local #12 in my hometown of San Diego. As I moved up through the ranks from apprentice to journeyman and then to crew chief, my confidence grew, and my sense of achievement went off the charts. This made the job pure fun! I was one of the first to arrive at the office each morning and quite often, at the end of our workday, my chainman could be heard saying, “Cmon Morgan. It’s time to go home now.” I can honestly say that I just didn’t want to stop working. It was just that good! Based on the facts, on each major construction site there are so many hundred laborers, carpenters, welders, drywall hangers and the list goes on. Of all the personnel needed to build any subdivision or similar project, there were generally two or three surveyors on any given day. Nowadays, it is one sole surveyor with a permanent GPS system. Rather a lonely survey crew I would say. I hate digital shit! It will be our ruin!

Trucks are ready to roll!

Southland Surveying Inc. at o'dark-thirty ready to head out to their respective jobs. My truck in the fourground!

Trucks are ready to roll!

A closer look at my work truck!

Laying out Navey housing!

Winter time in San Diego. Busy calculating where to place my stakes for the underground guys to begin building the storm drain!

Time to get some wood in the ground!

Time to get some wood in the ground; the big diggers are waiting to begin the trench!


Time to get some wood in the ground!

          Me and my Thiodolite! A match made in heaven!!!


Time to get some wood in the ground!

This time we're laying out housing footprints. Multiple family dwelling for Navy families.


Can You Dig It?

The T-REX of all construction jobs!


New setup!

Setting up the gun over a new coordinate point!


Ready to begin staking!

Ready to begin staking!


Ready to begin staking!

Here we see the gun over a control point and some of the completed buildings in the distance!


Move to a new point!

Setup over a new point for more work!


Move to a new point!

          Another new setup on the other side of the Navy Housing job!


New setup!

New job site. Laying out roadways in North County San Diego!


New setup!

Ready to do finals at Navy housing Point Loma!


Calcs-Calcs-and more calcs!

Calcs-Calcs and more calcs!


Calcs-Calcs-and more calcs!

My work desk! Each large orange binder is a different job! I had 6 or 7 jobs I would go to at that time.


Calcs-Calcs-and more calcs!

Another look at my remote desk!


The Theodolite!

My Wild Theodolite! (That's pronounced "Vilt.")


With Land Surveying Consultants!

Next two images for a different company. Land Surveying Consultants out of Escondido California!


With Land Surveying Consultants!

Another shot while working for Land Surveying Consultants! GPS all day long!


Very early GPS work!

Don't remember the firm I was with here but this GPS unit had a very heavy backpack you had to wear so hard work climbing up hills and such on rough jobs! A very early GPS setup.


A day of road building!!

Another very early shot before I moved up to crew chief. Here, as Chainman, laying out new roadways! Loved every minute of it!!!!


The following images were taken at a huge rough grade job in about 1987. The images show the types and size of some of the heavy equipment land surveyors must work very closely with. They are very loud and create a huge amount of dust. They generally run on what is called a Haul Road which is a temporary roadway in the dirt used to move about the jobsite carrying dirt from the cut areas to the fill areas.


Monster Machines that shape the earth!

The CAT D-11! A really big bulldozer!


Huge rubber tired loader!

Here we see a very large rubber tired loader!


657s all parked nose to tail!

These 657s are all parked nose to tail and are left running while the operators take lunch! The 657 has 2 engines operating in tandem and make massive horsepower!


657s all parked nose to tail!

Here we see the same row of big 657s from the rear of the lunch lineup!


657s all parked nose to tail!

This is a shot beneath the scrapers while lined up with some great precision!


Looking down the lineup!

Looking down the fronts of all the 657s down the lunch lineup!



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