By Chapman Hancock, Ditch Witch product marketing manager – vacuum excavation
Working on compact jobsites with existing utilities can be difficult. That is why more and more landscapers are turning to vacuum excavators for a variety of green industry tasks. From damage prevention for utility installation to cleaning out garden and flowerbeds, vacs are quickly becoming the most versatile, noninvasive digging solution in the industry.
Vacuum Excavation is Safer Excavation
Historically, vacs have been used on HDD jobsites to expose existing underground utilities and for jobsite cleanup. But today they are helping landscapers excavate near sensitive areas and in areas where traditional methods are unable to get the job done. For example, trenching near a structure like a house, shed or fence can be challenging due to the machine’s size. And starting or finishing a trench against one of these existing structures can be particularly difficult. This is where vacs become a handy tool.
In locations where trenchers can’t reach, landscapers can use their vac to open the trench. Furthermore, on jobsites with space restrictions, landscapers can park their vac up to 100 feet away from the trench location and reach the site with their vac wand – which is smaller and more flexible than a trencher and can easily maneuver in these tighter areas. This flexibility simplifies the trenching task for operators and also helps prevent any accidental damage to existing structures.
Beyond Excavation and Damage Mitigation
In addition to exposing utilities or finishing a trench, a vac can help landscapers with more specialized or niche tasks – such as working in a flower garden or mulch bed. By using the suction tool of the excavator, landscapers can remove and clear out old mulch and debris without the worry of damaging homeowners’ flowers, grass, or well-cultivated vegetation. Additionally, vacs can be used for tree installation and growth stimulation. Whether installing a young 5-ft tree or maintaining a mature 20-ft tree, vacs can help loosen up the soil to create a more stable root foundation and encourage proper root grow-out. This can help landscapers and arborists save on time and labor, and can reduce surface disruption in the excavation process.
The versatility of vacs and their ability to conquer a wide array of tasks less invasively is why they are growing in popularity. With these machines in their fleet, landscapers can stay safe, agile and efficient on a variety of tasks while maximizing jobsite uptime and minimizing downtime. Listen to the Green Industry Pros Grass Roots Podcast to hear more from Ditch Witch product marketing managers about the benefits and variety of uses of vacs in landscaping and the green industries.