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.
The vacuum excavator, most commonly of the hydro excavation variety, is a truck-based machine akin to sewer cleaners commonly owned by municipalities; though, those in the industry are quick to point out that the trucks are completely different animals.
Vacuum excavation technology has been around in some shape or form since the 1950s. Vacuum hoses are often seen around work areas suctioning the earth to expose a utility in a quick and safe manner. In 10 minutes or less, the operator can safely identify and positively locate a utility — avoiding the potential of damaging it during a dig.
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. We also reached out to our sister publication Utility Contractor to offer up a brief overview on some of the best practices for selecting and maintaining the equipment. Read managing editor Pam Kleineke’s story below.
Use this slider to page through the 2017 Trenchless Technology Vacuum Excavator Product Showcase.