Before breaking ground on a new project, it’s important to know what buried utilities are hiding underground. Services such as One-Call are a great starting point at identifying a utility’s location, but they are not foolproof. Vacuum excavators, on the other hand, can be essential to your fleet, helping to expose utilities so you don’t cause serious and costly damage.
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 fast, safe and surgical manner. Operators can safely identify and positively locate a utility — avoiding the potential of damaging it during a dig.
Vacuum excavator manufacturers provide their histories, summaries and specs for their product lines. Take a look at these machines and consider the benefits they offer when keeping crews safe on the job and utilities in working order.
Since 1972, Wisconsin-based Super Products LLC has been a leading manufacturer of truck-mounted vacuum equipment. Early on in its existence, the company’s product line included the industry’s original Supersucker industrial vacuum loader and its Camel combination sewer and catch basin cleaners. Super Products quickly earned a solid reputation for developing innovative, cost-effective and time-saving equipment, and its products became quite popular throughout industrial, municipal and contractor markets.
Looking to further expand its equipment line and taking notice of the emerging need for a less invasive, safer alternative to traditional digging methods, Super Products introduced its first hydro excavator — the Mud Dog — in 2001. While the original Mud Dog 1000 featured a 10-yd debris tank capacity, the company has continued to expand its product line during the last decade. Today, the Mud Dog name continues on with the Mud Dog 1200 — a 12-yd debris capacity model — and the 16-yd capacity Mud Dog 1600.
Product Spotlight: Mud Dog 1600
The Mud Dog 1600 is designed to meet the demanding hydro-excavation challenges inherent in oil field, mining and cold-weather applications. This unit features a 16-yd debris body, standard 2,000-gal water tank setup and rear-mounted boom that in addition to offering 335-degree rotation can pivot down 25 degrees for 8 ft of extra digging and access to hard-to-reach areas. The 1600 offers water pressures up to 18 gpm at 3,000 psi in combination with its 8-in. positive displacement vacuum system that provides air flow of 5,800 cfm/28 Hg to ensure thorough cleanup of debris. An onboard boiler heats up the high-pressure water to break up frozen, stubborn material and flush out tight spaces efficiently. Winter recirculation, anti-freeze and air purge systems ensure the unit performs optimally in even the harshest of climates. Its aluminum cabinet, heated by dual 714,000 Btu/Hr heaters, provides easier access and increased storage capacity.
According to Super Products’ Product Manager Dan Koziczkowski, having a clear understanding of their needs prior to beginning the decision-making process will be extremely valuable for customers in the market for a hydro excavator. “By identifying the most common and most challenging hydro excavation demands their crews may face, customers can ensure they purchase equipment that is best suited for their business and the services they offer,” he says.