What's New in TBC v5.5 for Contractors

A few people have asked me for my views on TBC v5.5 today and what is in there that will be generally useful for construction applications - here are some initial thoughts and notes.

I updated about a week ago and have not encountered any issues so far. That is a good sign. The TML changes that we had to take care of have been done and released and provided you update your Command library with the v4.1 Update Installer from our website or the link below - you will be in good shape.

Click Here

There are not so many big improvements for contractors in this release, however here are a few that I have seen so far - some that RPS were instrumental in getting addressed / added. Sometimes it is the small wins that make the biggest difference

  1. The auto zoom extents after a graphics change like line markings on / off is fixed

  2. CAD Grips - you can define a selected number of adjacent segments on which to show the grips. This allows you to not show grips for an entire line or only on a single segment or a defined number of segments - helps some people - Setting in Support - Options as shown here

  1. Properties pane for Polylines, Circles, Linestrings, Rectangles, Points etc. now has the ability to change Layer Group (moves the objects layer into the defined Layer Group) or allows you to see which layer group a selected objects layer is in (helpful change. You can also add selected objects to selection sets through properties also which is very helpful.

  1. 3D Drive Through will please some people as you can now have a Bulldozer or Grader or a pickup truck or a survey rod man as the indicator, there is a surface indicator telling you where it is measuring from and you can see the Z of the selected surface and a reference surface and the CF between as you drive around the jobsite - how that is really better than the coordinate scroll I have never been sure but Agtek guys seem to like it so I guess that must make it useful …

  1. I believe they have fixed the Earthworks Summary Report so it is reporting correctly - I have to still verify that is the case

  2. Some improvements to the Vertical Design tool - I am still checking those out - not sure on those yet - I am still trying to work out how to use the Virtual Split Tool - some minor improvements to the way some of the calculations work in certain situations I believe but yet to fully test those out.

  3. Some Point Cloud stuff that looks like it may be promising - (Extract Cross Sections from a Point Cloud Command) cuts sections through point clouds - will be helpful and some of the improved feature extraction stuff as well for Curb and Gutter will also be great. My first test of this has good results as shown below - so looking good to me

  1. ECW Image Import support - this will help a lot of people working with large high resolution imagery for projects - That will go down well in Australia and NZ for sure as that is really common data down there.

  2. Removal of dependent objects option when you send data out to field systems is a big benefit - this means that you can send a corridor surface without the existing terrain if you don’t want to bloat the file sizes for the field systems - again I have not worked through it yet but this if implemented well will be a big benefit to Works Manager / Works OS and SPS / MC system users worldwide.

  3. Trim BIM file format support and some of the IFC model export capability I hope will be very useful.

There are a few other fixes as well that will be helpful

Big test is how stable is it - I have been running for a week now and it is pretty solid so far - I have not had an exception or a crash yet which is always a good sign


What was the issue with the Earthworks Summary report?
I’ve been running that lately as well as the regular Takeoff report and comparing the two and haven’t noticed anything “off”.

It was dropping line item data out of the Earthworks summary section when you had strata and I have also seen it drop some Material / Site Improvements also.

I will try to find time to write up my findings for you later today - I had to do two separate deep dives on volume work for clients and in both cases the report was doing the same thing. In prepping for the Site Takeoff Training we are running currently I found that different settings generated different outputs - not numbers being wrong just numbers being missing - so overall quantities were not right.


One note on the virtual split, if you don’t know the elevation use “?” and it will interpolate the transition. Makes this slick command way more usable.

For those using the utilities module, we now have the ability to choose what the elevation reference point is when creating utility lines from linework. This will be very useful for as-builts.


One of our surveyors will kick out ECWs with global mapper but every time I try to import it in TBC I get the error |[Grid (US foot) units could not be used; Grid (meter) units were used instead.

I can open the same ECW into Geoviewer and kick it out as a TIF and reimport into TBC, it’s fine?

Can you share one of the files - I got the Trimble team a bunch of ecw files for testing from my contacts in Australia as that is where most of the requests to support the format were coming from - it is possible that they did not have a US Foot file.to test against (I am not sure on that though) so if I get one I can send it over to them to take a look.

If you create a metric one and try to import into a metric project does that work?

Will do.what I can to resolve