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The Benefits of Having a Vacuum Excavator Truck on the Job Site

Excavation looks much different thanks to the vacuum excavator truck. In life before the vacuum excavator trucks, if you needed to dig a hole, you did it one of two ways: by hand or by a mechanical method like an excavator. 

With either method, you ran the risk of hitting and damaging a hitting a utility. Vacuum excavation, however, minimizes the risk of hitting a utility because of its neat and efficient approach. it’s ultimately your safest approach for digging a hole. 

Keep reading to learn why you need a vacuum excavator truck on-site at your next construction job. 

What Is a Vacuum Excavator Truck? 

A vacuum excavator truck is an excavation machine that uses either water or air to dig a hole. If a vacuum excavation truck uses water, experts refer to it as hydro excavation. 

The vacuum excavator truck will excavate the area using high-pressure air or water to soften the soil and then suck it through a vacuum hose. The excavation world calls the materials sucked through the hose “spoil.” 

The spoil goes from the ground, through the hose, and then into a debris tank. The truck then disposes of the spoil later or it saves the spoil for backfilling. 

You can find vacuum excavators in various sizes from truck units like a Vactor truck to smaller skid-mounted units or even trailers. You can even find a unit small enough to fit into the back of a pickup. 

Safety First

You should have a vacuum excavator truck or a hydro excavation vacuum truck at your current job site because it is the safest way to excavate an area. 

If you’re working in an area with utilities, there’s no safer way to expose the utility than with a vacuum truck. Companies that use vacuum trucks dig a hole without damaging any utilities under the ground. 


Plus, hydro excavation is the most accurate method for detecting a utility.  You can see the utility of it without hitting it. The dig site will have a smaller work footprint than if you had employed traditional, mechanical excavation equipment. 

When you use traditional, mechanical equipment, you run a much higher risk of injury and expense. Hitting a utility will result in a power outage, gas explosion, burst water line, and ultimately damaged property. Hitting a utility will also slow down your project overall. can

The fiber optic business is taking a hard look, especially, into vacuum trucks. Fiber lines require more holes, and the pathways are often the same as the pathway of other utilities. So fiber optic companies need the precision and care of vacuum excavation. 

How Quickly Does a Vacuum Truck Excavate?

The biggest complaint about a vacuum truck excavation is the amount of time a truck takes. Yes, vacuum truck excavation does take longer than traditional, mechanical excavation. 

However, you’re more at risk of hitting a utility with mechanical excavators. The repairs and downtime caused by such a strike will take far longer than the safer route a vacuum excavator requires. 

Here is why you should consider a vacuum excavator truck on your next job: 

  • Safety: The vacuum truck does not damage the utility because no moving parts will contact the utility that you expose. 
  • Versatility: You can use a vacuum truck on any utility. Gas, water, communications like fiber optics, power, and thermal distribution systems all tolerate a vacuum truck. 
  • Small Footprint: The vacuum truck creates a small hole of twelve by twelve inches. 
  • Cleanliness: Job sites with excavation can get messy. The vacuum truck is one of the cleanest ways to excavate. Plus, it’s quiet and creates less traffic congestion. 
  • Cost Effective: The vacuum truck is simple and thus cost-effective. It’s one of the most secure and cost-efficient ways to expose a utility. 

Vacuum trucks have a myriad of pros that make them an ideal piece of equipment to have on a job site. 

Vacuum Trucks are Unique

Vacuum trucks work much differently than traditional, mechanical excavation equipment. They’re precise and small instead of cumbersome and clunky. They create a small hole and less spoil because the truck houses the spoil. 

As a result, this unique solution works best to move material from one place to another. It especially works well when you have submerged conditions. Look for a truck that houses a downhole pump and a vacuum. 

This combination of equipment will allow you to clean out a hard-to-reach environment and cause minimal disruption to a wet infrastructure. 

Safety Leads to Success

Construction companies that succeed are those who tend to take their time and make sure the job is done correctly and safely. 

The term “safety culture” is a coined term that many construction companies are using to demonstrate their commitment to safety. 

Keeping a vacuum truck on-site for excavation demonstrates a commitment to safety. it means you’re willing to move a little slower to keep your crew and client safe. 

Suck and Save 

A vacuum excavator truck is your best way to move dirt from one area to another. It saves you money and reduces waste. It creates a clean job site and limits your footprint on the site. 

Vacuum trucks are also the safest way to move dirt. The slow-moving system will reveal a utility before you can damage it. You’re not moving any twisting mechanical equipment near a power line with a vacuum truck. Rather, you’re just displacing the dirt around the line, thus exposing it and keeping your crew safe.