AllyCAD Showcase

Expanding into Africa

Tritan Survey
Cape Town

Matt Pepe of Bellville based Tritan Survey trading as Matt Pepe & Associates is part of a team that has travelled extensively on the African continent to survey sites for the retail giant Shoprite/Checkers. Areas visited include Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. "We travel about twice a year to a different centre and see quite a bit of Africa that way," he says.

Matt travels with 35kg of equipment that includes a tripod and a steel box of accessories. "There is never a problem with customs or permits because the Shoprite/Checkers brand is so well known and this makes travelling a pleasure."

"We used local workers, which sometimes proved problematic as they could not speak English very well and lacked the necessary experience. This meant that we had to go backwards and forwards as we tried to show them how to hold a pole," he says.

Closer to home, Matt finds himself working with some of the bigger engineering firms on retail centres in the Paarl and Worcester areas and was involved in the surveying of the new additions to Tygervalley Centre in Bellville.

Apart from the land surveys for shopping centres and retailers, Matt is heavily involved in undertaking volume calculations on the stockpiles for the three big Lafarge quarries in the Cape Town area. These include the ones at Eersteriver, Saldanha and Tygerberg hills.

"We survey the stockpiles four times a year and each pile is measured independently as they consist of different grades of stone.

Matt explains the procedure. "First the ground surface, which never changes, is measured and stored as layer 1. We then measure each stockpile of stone and there can be as many as 50 stockpiles per quarry".

"The volume of stockpiles is measured in just a couple of hours with the use of Civil Designer. I find that the software handles these calculations quickly and with such ease," says Matt in amazement.
  Expanding the business
Up until recently Tritan Survey Bellville consisted only of Matt himself and two assistants that he trained over the years. Two months ago however, he hired a second surveyor and two more assistants, effectively doubling his capacity.

"It is working brilliantly and I can't believe that it took me so long to hire someone else," he says.

"I was looking for someone who would work in the same way as I do and the young graduate Shane Ayford, has exactly the right attitude."

Matt started his own concern in 1996 and initially set up another branch of Tritan Survey in Bellville. Today, he does most of his work under the banner of Matt Pepe and Associates.

"It's been a long haul. If you don't do the work, you don't get the income," he says. As a one-man show, he has had to contend with all the client visits, as well as typing, filing and admin tasks.

Matt uses AllyCAD to produce all of his drawings and is excited to see everything come together in Civil Designer. "Every job is a challenge and it is always interesting to draw up different areas".

"I have always believed that the surveyor who does the fieldwork should draw the plans as well. With AllyCAD, there is no excuse for any surveyor to let someone else do the drawings. That is where most of the fun is and it saves so much time.

"There is just no comparison to any other software and I have tried them all. The finished product always gives me a sense of accomplishment," says Matt with a smile.

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