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What Makes the Leica Rugby 840 So Durable?

The sport of Rugby is tough and rugged – and so is the Rugby series of construction lasers. The Leica Rugby 840 is Leica Geosystems' most rugged and reliable laser level to date. It’s waterproof, dustproof, and can even handle being kicked around and thrown in the back of your truck. Watch this video to learn more about this versatile unit and the two-year knockdown warranty that comes with it.


Dan:                These guys use it out in the field, they carry it around, they throw it in the back of their truck, they put it on the tripod, they bang it around, it's designed to take it. Totally dust-proof, totally waterproof and you can submerge it.

Barnaby:         Hey, what's happening. Barnaby here, hanging out at the Leica booth for a manufacturer show off about the Rugby 840. Now this is interesting because we've come to the World of Concrete 2013 because this is just being introduced, and Dan, thanks for having us by the booth, man.

Dan:                Thanks so much for being here.

Barnaby:         The value of the manufacturer's show off is we'll put this tool in the hand of a real user and get the unbiased view but we love to hear from the real people that kind of came up with the tool to figure out what it's capable of, who it's intended for, and my first question, because it's got the name rugby in it, what's that all about?

Dan:                Well Rugby, just like the name implies, stands for the ruggedness, reliability. The sport of rugby is tough and rugged. This thing is designed to be on the construction site where it is tough and rugged. Waterproof, dust-proof, kick it around, doesn't matter. We came up with the name Rugby because it is a solid, rugged unit.

Barnaby:         Okay. Well we're going to get into some of the torture testing that you've done with it but let's talk about the capabilities because people when they look at a tool like this, they go what's that going to do for me, right?

Dan:                The primary thing that you're going to get out of this particular model is that it's a versatile unit. You're going to get elevation control for a flat plane and 360 degrees, as you see it here. You'll also get a plumb beam that's going to come up so if you do any plumbing. And you can lay it on its side like such and then you'll get a rotational beam this direction here and also a plumb beam coming out the front. It's over 90 degrees.

Barnaby:         So what are the ranges on this?

Dan:                You're going to get about 1100 feet out of the radius side I thing, so you get 2200 feet to work from because you'd normally set it in the center and work from both directions.

Barnaby:         Okay. And then as far as hitting the target?

Dan:                Hitting the target? What you're normally going to be using is something like this which you call a rod-eye sensor. It's got a visible laser beam but outdoors it's really tough to see the laser. It doesn't matter how bright or what color it is, they're harder to see outside. So this acts as your eyes. The photo cells here will pick up the laser and they'll give you the relative elevation.

Barnaby:         And it's got a remote control I see.

Dan:                Absolutely. The remote control is designed to give you full functionality so one person, even though you're not at the laser, allows you to have full functional control over the laser, if you want to change the rotation speed, if you want to stop it, move the beam to a specific location, if you want to scan it, everything can be done by the remote which just fits in the pocket.

Barnaby:         I was reading the back history of Leica and you guys have been at this quite some time and a lot of people are just coming into the laser market as far as thinking maybe this is something they could use. So what's the learning curve on this?

Dan:                It's almost nothing. It's very simple. Power on button here, you turn that on, it's self-leveling. So you put it on a tripod and even though you can be a little bit out of level it'll automatically level itself up and start rotating. You're good to go. You got that flat plane of light which automatically reverts to that every single time self-leveling, anything else you want to do from that, you got a simple keypad here and your full function remote.

Barnaby:         A lot of rotating lasers, what they'll do is they'll say, an alarm will go off, you have to go back and reset it. This one is just going to automatically do it for itself.

Dan:                Right. The self-leveling feature is designed so it sets up on a tripod and it gives you a full ten degrees of range to level. In its first instance. Then it sits there and it waits for 30 seconds and it says, okay, nobody's bothered me. So now I'm going into what's called an elevation alert mode. And that elevation alert allows you to still have self-leveling but if somebody comes by and kicks the tripod a little bit, if it was to sink and totally re-level you may be at a different elevation. You don't want that. So it'll shut itself off and tell you, it'll start beeping at you and say you gotta come back, set it back up, make sure your benchmark is correct.

Barnaby:         Okay, good to know. Again, the value of a manufacturer's show off. This is the sort of information you would get if you walked into a Leica dealership and had all the questions, but it's the luxury of being online, right?

Dan:                Absolutely.

Barnaby:         Okay. So people watching the video are going Barnaby, you made mention of the torture test, let's talk about what sort of things you've done to demonstrate how this stands up in the workplace.

Dan:                Well we put it through all sorts of actual tests and one of the real things that you got to look at, these guys use it out in the field, they carry it around, they throw it in the back of their truck, they put it on the tripod, they bang it around, it's designed to take it. Right, rugged. That's why we call it the Rugby.

Barnaby:         Okay, what about water protection?

Dan:                Totally immersible in water. You can take this thing and has our international protection rating of an IP68. Which the 6 stands for totally dust-proof, the 8 stands for totally waterproof and you can submerge it.

Barnaby:         Okay, now people are going to thing well I'm going to drop the dime on it, what's it going to cost?

Dan:                Costs on this depending upon the accessories that you get are going to be between $1,500 and $2,000. And this is the professional line. We do offer lines that are a little bit on the lower side, that do a little bit less. You can take something like this which is just a 1-button unit. One button turns it on, gives you a flat plane and that's in the $700 range.

Barnaby:         But it's not going to give you the plumb and it's not going to give you…

Dan:                It's not going to give you the plumb or the lay down. But when you're looking for just economical and you've got that, this is going to be the professional grade, the guy that wants to do something a little bit of everything. Horizontal, vertical, plumbing.

Barnaby:         So what's your thought on making back the cash on this? Because people invest in things thinking the return on investment, I'm going to be able to defray the cost over a certain period of time. What would it be in your mind?

Dan:                All depends on the job itself, the size of the job and how often you use it. Just like anything else; if you use it a lot you're going to make more money with it. If it sits on the shelf then it's not going to do you any good. Somebody's going to buy this and a lot of jobs it pays for itself on the single job. You can imagine if you were just to pour let's say, a quarter inch of concrete over an entire slab that was off, the cost of that concrete is pretty expensive. The cost of this in relationship, on an hourly basis, knocks it really down to just a few bucks an hour.

Barnaby:         So beside pouring foundations who would this be suited for?

Dan:                It's for all types of general contractors. I'll say building construction. From concrete contractors putting in form work, to people putting in anchor bolts, putting in steel columns, tilt-up panels, elevation control anyplace from floor to floor, plumbing it up, so it's just an overall versatile unit for all types of construction.

Barnaby:         Okay a thought comes to mind, one last question for you. That is because it's called Rugby and you were slamming it around and saying it's virtually bulletproof, people are probably going to wonder what's the warranty on this, what if something does go wrong?

Dan:                Leica has something that's called the Protect System. It's designed to do just that, protect the end user. It's a totally transferable warranty. It's a lifetime guarantee against workmanship, defects and materials. With that comes a five-year, no-cost period. Something goes wrong in that five years, for regardless what it is, there's no cost on that. In addition we have a two-year knock down warranty so even if you knock off the tripod or do what I'm doing here, kind of abuse it, the total internal system is automatically covered for two years.

Barnaby:         Wow. Lot of good information man.

Dan:                So we stand behind it.

Barnaby:         Absolutely.

Dan:                Thanks so much Barnaby.

Barnaby:         Thanks for all the good stuff because that is what we're known for at Real stats from real people to hopefully make it real easy to figure out which tool is right for you.