How does it work?

SD Drain® Ditch receives elevation data from your RTK GPS receiver and automatically outputs signals to the hydraulics that control your scraper. An optional slope sensor allows for extra input data. The slope sensor can also be used for blade tilt control, if your equipment supports that option.


  • Ideal-scraper-cut depth setting divides large cuts into manageable slices.
  • Tracks where scraper has worked and automatically steps down to next slice until final grade is reached.
  • Calculates estimated volume of ditch.
  • Save and recall ditches.
  • Save and recall benchmarks.
  • Scrape uphill or downhill.
  • Side view generated as topography pass driven.  
  • Easily modify proposed design.  
  • Customize look of program.
  • Side slope function automatically controls blade along user-defined slope that is perpendicular to ditch path eliminating ridges.

Survey & Cut

SD Drain Ditch Grade Line & Pass Lines

The first thing you do in the field is survey the ditch by driving the ditch path. As you survey, SD Drain Ditch will automatically capture elevation points to create a survey line. When the survey is completed, SD Drain Ditch will automatically generate a plan for the Ditch. This plan will consist of the ditch bottom (Grade Line), and several slices (Pass Lines). The Pass Lines correlate to the Ideal Cut Depth of your scraper. When you drive the ditch path, the scraper will automatically cut the current Pass Line until the Grade Line is reached. SD Drain will show your progress as you work the ditch. Click here to watch an example.

Edit Functions

SD Drain Ditch Edit Screen

Before you start cutting your ditch, you have the option to change how the final ditch design will look. You can modify the ditch design by changing the minimum or maximum slope values. You can also remove points in the survey pass. As an example, if you are forced to drive around a spot on the field, you can delete those points from the survey to create a proper ditch.


SD Drain Ditch Backslope Views

The patented Automated Backslope Cutting Feature (U.S. Patent No. 9,885,169) will allow SD Drain to automatically cut the blackslope of your ditch. This allows the scraper blade to step up as it moves away from the center of the ditch. You can modify the parameters of the backslope to allow for a steep slope or a gradual slope. Some users will utilize this function to drain into a steep road ditch as they survey the road ditch and then backslope out to the perpendicular ditch creating a flared outlet.

Background Images

SD Drain Ditch Background Image Example

Georeferenced background images easily load into SD Drain.  Such maps are useful to determine where your ditches will be placed and where you need to place the excess soil.


3D View

SD Drain Ditch 3D View Example


With the proper field data loaded, SD Drain will allow the user to see a 3D view of the field as you are working. This allows the user to easily identify ditch paths as well as hills and depressions in the field.



A benchmark is a known reference point. SD Drain allows users to save and recall RTK-GPS benchmarks. This is useful if you quit in the middle of a job at the end of the day and would like to resume your job the following day without having to resurvey the ditch you are working on.

Benchmarks also allow you to preplan all the ditches in your field so you don’t have to worry about surveying your ditches, you can just start cutting. Use a benchmark when collecting all the topography data of a specific field. Using ADMS from GK Technology, you can then pre-plan where your ditches will be. This pre-planned survey information can be imported to SD Drain. From the overhead view, you simply tap on a survey to select it and SD Drain will automatically design the Ditch with the preset parameters. You can then modify the ditch design and save it. This can all be done in the office so when you get to the field, you just recall your benchmark and start ditching.

Simulated Laser

Laser Ditching System

You can simulate a laser beam by just capturing two points, beginning and outlet of the ditch, and SD Drain will create a single slope ditch. You can also use the simulated laser to make a zero slope, or flat surface.