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 below. Take a look at these machines and consider the benefits they offer for keeping crews safe on the job and utilities in working order.
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 durability, efficient energy consumption, reduced emissions and precise operator control.
Product Spotlight: AllExcavate Hydro Excavators
AllExcavate models feature a high-pressure water system containing a hydraulically-driven variable speed system with a digital control to vary the water volume and capacity output, conserving water usage and minimizing refill time. An available variable water pump produces up to 24.5 gpm with up to 3,000 psi. The system powers a wand, delivering a high-pressure stream to break up material, which is excavated with a strong positive displacement vacuum system. A self-wind reel has 75 ft of high-pressure hose, and an optional hose reel has up to 350 ft of high-pressure hose. To protect from freezing, the water system, wand, control panel, tools and worker apparel are enclosed in a heated compartment.
The AllSmartFlow CAN bus intelligent control system is standard and part of the Vacall “Green That Works” package of advantages. The AllSmartFlow system includes a programmable LCD display that monitors engine, water-flow and vacuum performance while allowing for more precise boom and reel movements, improving working efficiency. A fully proportional pendant, either wired or wireless, is programmable for productive control away from the chassis. The “Green That Works” package also includes a single engine design that reduces harmful emissions, saves fuel and cuts the purchase price of the machine.
Vacall AllExcavate hydro excavators feature a 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 floor drainage, racks to hang dry clothing and another rack to store the high-pressure hand gun and extensions. The high dump option enables operators to dump material into roll-off or other containers at the jobsite, rather than driving to off-site dumping locations. The debris tank can be raised as much as 76 in. above ground level and shifts horizontally 21 in. beyond the rear bumper.
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
• Warranty coverage.
406 Mill Ave. Southwest | New Philadelphia, OH 44663
800.382.8302 | www.vacallindustries.com