Air excavation with powerful vacuum units is a trenching and excavating method that is gaining popularity over excavation using heavy equipment, due to the number of benefits it offers. Vacuum excavation is cleaner and faster than excavating with larger equipment, and can be more safely used for smaller jobs like trenching and boring. This method can also be done either wet or dry. When buying air or hydro excavators from vacuum truck sales companies, use the following tips regarding the selection of vacuum trucks and their use, to stay safe and work efficiently!
Vacuum Excavation - The Right Equipment
Just like any other vacuum truck, the size of the tank and vacuum pump must correspond in order to create a strong enough vacuum. The more vacuum power required, the larger the tank and pump. Air excavation is commonly done using tanks ranging from 500 to 800 gallons, although operations where both dry and wet excavation is done may use even larger tanks. There are smaller vacuum trucks available for sale with tanks that hold as little as 100 gallons. Other than fitting the pump to the tank, there are a number of useful attachments that make vacuum excavation easier and more precise. This includes size reduction hose attachments, valve exerciser attachments, different nozzles and hoses, and more.
Best Use of Vacuum Excavators
Dry vacuum excavation uses no pressurized water, and simply suctions up soil and loose material. For this reason, it is becoming a preferred choice for trenching and boring, and in locations where the soil is sandy, loose, or has a lot of gravel. It is not as effective where soil is hard packed, so hydroexcavation is still the preferred method for hard, heavy soils. Vacuum excavators are extremely efficient when used in the right conditions, working quickly and safely in comparison to other methods. They offer high precision for excavating smaller areas, and the benefit of easily offloading vacuumed material, to replace it once work is complete. Air excavation is also the safest means of excavating, as it removes the potential danger of damaging or breaking older pipes or brittle wires. Dry vacuum excavation, where suitable, is the safest method of all since there is not even the need for pressurized water.
Efficiency and Safety with Proper Use
Although vacuum excavators may seem just like any other vacuum trucks, there are differences. Therefore, these machines require specific training before use. Most importantly, other than learning the most suitable uses for air excavation, operators must learn the effective use of the various hoses and nozzles. They must know how to work around utility pipes and lines, and how to safely offload material back into a hole or trench once it has been suctioned up. Depending on the unit, and whether dry or wet excavation is used, some units include rear doors that open to dump material, while others operate using reverse pressure to dump tank materials back onto the ground.
Tank and Truck Maintenance
As always, keeping vacuum trucks and tanks well maintained is essential so they continue to perform as they should. Wear and tear on hoses, nozzles, and other attachments must be monitored. Vacuum pumps, blowers, and filters must be routinely checked for debris, and lubricated as necessary. Keeping tank interiors clean is another important maintenance item, but this is usually less of an issue for units that only see dry material. In either case, just like any other vacuum equipment, the better care a vacuum excavator receives, the longer it will perform properly.
When searching for vacuum excavation equipment, carefully inspect all units available at vacuum truck sales lots to find the right ones for the job. Getting the best results from these specialized vacuum trucks depends on the specific application, using the right options and attachments, and safe operation through proper equipment use and good maintenance. Because vacuum excavation offers a much safer way to perform intricate excavation work, this type of application is much more in demand today, as are the vacuum trucks used to do it!