Mark Williams spent his boyhood working on this grandfather’s farm and with his father in the road building business as an adult. He started out operating earthmovers. He soon found out that working around alignment and grade stakes set every 100 feet to control the work were a royal, but necessary, “pain in the ass”. This prompted Mark to envision a way to do ‘stakeless’ grading.

Mark soon advanced to project superintendent and the company bought their first computer and Lotus 123 spreadsheet to managing business operations. In 1985, Mark recognized the potential in computers and spreadsheets. Back in those days road plans were on paper and the question was how to convert them to digital.

Mark teamed with up Alan Williams in 1987. With Mark’s world experience and Alan’s mathematical and programming skills, this duo was able to make digital plans and measure the difference between two surfaces. They needed an electronic measuring device to map the ‘existing’ surface so they purchased a Geodimeter, a surveying device that measures distances and angles and provides digital xyz values to work with.

Setting a target on a rover and measuring its xyz position allowed them to instantly compare actual location against plan and determine where the operator needed to go to achieve plan. Initially, the operator received radioed voice commands to go up/down and right/left, but that was shortly replaced with visual display monitor in view of the operator.

Mark’s vision of stakeless grading was achieved in 1988.

AMW software is specifically developed to support

The capabilities of the software make it valuable in other applications as well, and AMW offers services for custom applications. Contact us if you’d like to know more.