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.
The newest member of the Federal Signal Environmental Solutions Group, Westech Vac Systems designs and builds rugged, reliable vacuum truck systems for the toughest municipality, oil and gas, utility and industrial cleaning applications. For nearly 30 years, the company, based in Nisku, Alberta, has established a reputation for listening to its customers’ needs and finding new ways to constantly improve. Through Joe Johnson Equipment’s extensive dealer footprint across Canada, Westech is represented by a premier dealership, offering multiple parts and service locations, as well as a factory-direct sales channel. In the United States, Westech is represented by Federal Signal’s Environmental Solutions Group’s direct sales channel, as well as FS Solutions’ 12 locations across the country.
Product Spotlight: Wolf
The Westech Wolf non-code certified hydrovac truck is designed for oil and gas customers working in extreme conditions. Developed in collaboration with Federal Signal’s Environmental Solutions Group, the Wolf hydroexcavation truck is the first new product launched by Westech since the company’s acquisition by Federal Signal Corp.in 2016. The rugged, heavy-duty Wolf hydroexcavator was purpose-built for customers who need a durable truck that can tackle applications in extreme cold and harsh terrain conditions. The Westech Wolf was designed to constantly maintain the centerline for the water tank and debris body. As water is reduced and debris is loaded, the weight increases on the individual axles equally.
With the Wolf hydrovac, the debris body is positioned on the optimal spot of the chassis to ensure the payload is proportionately distributed across all axles simultaneously. The Wolf design is unlike other hydroexcavators that feature uni-body designs with sloped floors where weight shifts as water is used and debris is loaded, which often results in lost payload capacity. The side-mounted water tanks on the Wolf hydrovac are designed to reduce the weight by more than 40 percent, lowering the overall cost of the truck. The 1,500-gal capacity ensures ample water storage capacity for large or remote jobs.
“Vacuum excavation equipment operators must be proficient in the safe and proper use of the equipment to efficiently locate underground utilities while protecting vulnerable and expensive infrastructure,” says Brett Hart, Westech’s general manager. “Training in the areas of proper setup, operation, evacuation techniques and load handling helps to ensure that the operator is familiar with the specific method of vacuum excavation so they can safely maximize their efficiency and productivity on the job.”
1002 15 Ave. | Nisku, Alberta
T9E 7S5, Canada | www.westechvac.com