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.
Over the next several pages, 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.
New Features Provide Smarter, More Reliable Performance
For more than 100 years, Vactor Mfg. has provided customers around the world with a wide range of material handling equipment. Today, Vactor is a leading provider of vacuum excavation equipment used by contractors, utilities and municipalities across the country for non-destructive digging in a wide range of applications, and an industry leader in sewer and catch basin cleaners and industrial vacuum loaders, featuring innovative technology and custom configurable designs. Vactor currently produces the Vactor HXX Full-Size Series HydroExcavator, Mid-Size Series and the compact Vactor HXX Prodigy and ParaDIGm vacuum excavators.
Product Spotlight: HXX HydroExcavator
The Vactor HXX HydroExcavator provides up to seven hours of continuous operation with the on-board water. The standard variable flow water systems allow lower water flow, resulting in less operator fatigue and a cleaner, more precise digging process. The systems also allow for up to 25 gpm for those projects requiring higher water flow capabilities. For safer operation around utilities, Vactor also recently released its patent-pending DigRight Technology, which allows the Vactor HXX operator to select the maximum desired working water pressure for their application based on vacuum excavation best practices. This selection will limit the water pump from exceeding site, industry or customer maximum pressures to ensure a safe and non-destructive method of excavation. DigRight Technology also reduces wear and tear on the water system which extends the life of the product.
A new 7-in., waterproof IntelliView Screen is optically bonded for improved readability and brighter visibility. The centralized data system monitors and displays real-time equipment performance data such as blower rpm, blower temperature and fuel consumption in gallons/hour. The Vactor HXX also features a new boom turret design that provides increased vertical range of motion for improved operator performance and productivity. This increased range of motion enables the operator to complete most applications with only one dig tube, eliminating the need for additional vacuum tubes.
“The search for a vacuum excavator begins the same as any piece of equipment: Know the job you’re planning to complete,” said Ben Schmitt, product manager for Vactor Mfg. “By identifying the type of work your crew will perform, the equipment decision process will run a lot more smoothly. It’s also helpful to know the size of a typical application so that the correct size debris body is selected to complete the work as efficiently as possible. And, as an equipment buyer, it’s important to ensure your supplier provides a comprehensive operation and safety manual and training program.”