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.
AllExcavate Series Now Has High Dump Option
Since their acquisition in 2006, Vacall machines have been designed, manufactured, sold and supported by Gradall Industries Inc., which has earned a worldwide reputation for strength, versatility and quality. The Gradall influence served to further strengthen the Vacall product group, first introduced in 1951 as a high performance solution to clear and maintain sewer lines and perform many other vacuum and jetting tasks that routinely challenge governments and contractors.
Today’s AllExcavate hydro excavators, as well as Vacall’s AllJetVac combination jetting/vacuum sewer cleaners and other models, are designed with extra durability, efficient energy consumption, reduced emissions, precise operator control and industry-leading vacuum and jetting power.
Product Spotlight: AllExcavate Hydro Excavators
Vacall AllExcavate hydro excavators now feature a new step-in compartment to provide operators with warmth and protection from inclement weather — an especially welcome advantage on winter-weather digging sites or oil and gas exploration locations. The standard heated compartment is roomy, with enough space for an operator to change out of wet and muddy boots and clothing. The compartment also has floor drainage, racks to hang dry clothing and another rack to store the high-pressure hand gun and extensions. Even larger compartments with extra room are among the AllExcavate options.
Vacall offers three boom and intake tube or hose design options on the AllExcavate. The first is a heavy-duty full-length rubber hose, which is durable yet flexible and runs from the turret mounted on the debris tank to the pick-up point. A steel tube-in-tube boom and intake that connects to an identical rubber hose elbow, leading to the pick-up point, and the original steel tube-in-tube with steel elbow are also available.
Standard and optional debris bodies and water tanks are available with lifetime warranties, maximizing the machine’s working life. The highly efficient AllExcavate models generate high-pressure water flow and vacuum forces to remove dirt from around water, sewer, gas and other utility lines, as well as around foundations where mass excavation is not possible or practical. Available water pumps work between 1 to 25 gpm with 3,000 psi.
Another popular option on AllExcavate models is a high dump option. This feature allows the debris tank to be dumped as much as 76 in. above ground level — a popular option when there is a need to dump material into roll-off or other containers.
Vacall advises buyers to request references from manufacturers. Ask for the names of current machine owners with operating experience who can provide first-hand knowledge on these points:
- Strength and reliability of a unit under heavy use;
- Vacuum and jetting forces;
- Product support, including parts and service experiences;
- Simplicity of operation, requiring minimal training;
- Precise performance capabilities to control and monitor water usage and power;
- Typical operating costs including fuel consumption and routine service; and