Contractors working in an increasingly crowded underground space know the value of calling 811 before they dig to locate utilities. Once located, the contractor can choose to hand dig around the underground lines, but a more efficient method – the vacuum excavator – is available. In addition to the pre-drill locates, contractors in the HDD world also use these large-scale suction machines to remove and transport drilling spoils.
The vacuum excavator, most commonly of the hydro excavation variety, is a truck-based machine akin to sewer cleaners commonly owned by municipalities; however, those in the industry are quick to point out that the trucks are completely different animals.
The search for a vacuum excavator begins the same as any piece of equipment: know the job you’re planning to complete. By identifying the typical type of work your crew will perform, the equipment decision process will run a lot more smoothly.
To help make that decision easier, Trenchless Technology reached out to the manufacturers to submit some of their latest offerings. All the information you see on these pages comes directly from the vacuum excavation manufacturers. No direct comparisons between equipment or manufacturers are implied.
Mike Kezdi is an associate editor of Trenchless Technology.