I arrived at the site with the impression that there were 8 to 16 individual piles and the quantities were for inventory not a sale and had to be approximate. Upon arrival I was informed that there were 26 piles.
Good thing I brought one of my contract guys. We just kind of looked at each other and laughed, he took the north pit, I took the south pit and we blazed off with our gps's.
In 5 hours we were finished and had each taken 1000 + shots each. We were both a sweaty mess and I was out of gas. There were some massive piles and I ran my ass off.
I got back to the office, uploaded the data, defined the break lines and shipped it out to a trusted person who is way better at calculating that sort of thing than I.
I am thinking in the future I may try an imaging station on this sort of thing. Usually an instrument can be set up high enough to define the tops and the sides can be done from above or around them on traverse points.
Either way technology will become a factor. That is some hard ass work. I do like the idea of a laser scan, however a lot of outfits are still having a problem paying for that kind of thing especially when they either don't need that kind of accuracy or they don't care and there is the fact that it goes right away the second a bucket hits a pile.
Old school guys are smart and sometimes trying to get them to come up to modern times is a little tough, especially when me and my contract guy are going to do the job for a third to half of the cost as a laser.
I will keep trying to sell them on it and as time goes on and the cost drops it will be easier to do.