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Episode 6 – Vacuum Excavation


Vacuum Excavation

In recent years, the use of vacuum excavators has increased in popularity as they represent a safe and productive method of excavating. While they are ideally suited to small, localized jobs, their powerful all-terrain capabilities and sheer size mean that they can also be used on larger projects.

Hello guys, and welcome to Civils Bites podcast. My name is Charlie, and we’ll discuss vacuum excavators in this podcast.


What is a vacuum excavator?

A vacuum excavator is a construction equipment that uses high-pressure air or water to break up and remove earth, debris, or other materials from an excavation site. It is also known as a hydro vacuum excavator, hydro mill, or hydro excavator.

How does it work?

Vacuum excavation is a process that uses a high-powered vacuum to excavate soil, rock, and other materials from the ground. It is a dual-purpose process for breaking up soil and underground material using pressurized air and suctioning it to clear the area.

Vacuum excavation trucks have both a compressor and system mounted onboard. They are used to quickly and safely dig through gravel, clay, and even hard soil to expose buried cables.

The high-pressure air is powerful, yet it eliminates the risk of damaging buried utility lines and pipes. That’s how it got the name “soft dig.” This method is highly efficient and successfully disturbs the least amount of soil needed to uncover the utilities and clear the workspace. Once the tube has sucked up the dirt and debris into the tank and out of the way, work crews can do their job more efficiently.

This process can be used for various applications, including trenching, tunneling, and demolition.

Comparison between vacuum excavator and traditional excavator

Vacuum Excavators are more accurate. It does not cause damage to pipes and cables located under soils.Traditional Excavators are less accurate and can damage pipes and cables located under soils.
Vacuum excavation allows you to dig deeper into the soil with less effort.These require different tools to penetrate the different types of soil. For example, larger diggers may not work with more soft soils.
It takes comparatively less time to complete the job.It requires more time to do the job.
Vacuum Excavators do not cause any damage to the surrounding environment.Traditional Excavators can cause damage to the surrounding property.
A vacuum Excavator requires less workforce on the job.In Traditional Excavation, more workforce is required.
In Vacuum excavation, the dust and debris are sucked into a tank. So it does not harm the air quality in the surrounding.In Traditional Excavation, dust and dirt are exposed to the surrounding, posing a health risk.

Benefits of using a vacuum excavator

Vacuum excavation is an excellent alternative to traditional excavation methods. By combining an air vacuum with high-pressure water, vacuum excavation services can remove enormous amounts of unwanted material from the desired area with minimal to no damage.

Traditionally, liquid concrete is overpoured. Once it dries, construction site teams have to break up the excess concrete to trim it to size, which can cause health problems, including hand-arm vibration syndrome, hearing loss, and silicosis. Suction extractors are also thought to reduce the risk of utility or service strikes, where accidental contact is made with electrical cables, water, or gas pipelines.

They offer increased safety, better productivity, cost-saving, and more. Following are the key benefits of engaging vacuum excavation services:

Increased Safety

Safety is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to excavation processes. One wrong strike with traditional excavation can damage underground phone cables, power lines, fiber optics, water pipes, gas lines, etc. Using vacuum excavation services eliminates the likelihood of damage to underground utilities and prevents accidents. Large equipment such as digging chambers, heavy excavators, etc., is not required. A fully equipped vacuum truck can get the job done in most cases.

Eco-Friendly Process

You can hire vacuum excavation services for all kinds of soil. These services offer a higher level of precision, resulting in lesser disposal of materials and hence minor restoration. Since the process doesn’t involve the use of chemicals, it is very eco-friendly.

Reduced Potential Damage

With vacuum excavation, excavation can be done around underground utilities and infrastructure much more efficiently without worrying about any damage. The debris and soil can also be efficiently removed from the site. The high-pressure water used in the process is enough to penetrate the soil and dirt without damaging surrounding buildings or underground supplies.

Better Productivity

The traditional excavation method requires hard manual labor and many staff, particularly if excavating a large area. As a result, the job is very demanding, whether with drills, shovels, or large equipment such as excavators and backhoes. By utilizing vacuum excavation services, the process becomes twice as efficient, leading to better overall productivity.

Increased Time Efficiency

Vacuum excavation is a much quicker process as it lets vacuum machines and hydro jets do most of the work. Thanks to the latest equipment and techniques, the excavation process can be done half the time required by other traditional excavation methods. Not only does this help to reduce the unnecessary costs of labor, but it also improves the time frame for the excavation project.


The vacuum excavation process is an efficient and safe solution for site excavation, no matter the project’s scope. Traditional excavation methods can take days to expose utilities, increasing the project’s cost. Vacuum excavation companies utilize the best equipment and staff to ensure increased productivity, efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

How much does it cost?

The cost of vacuum excavation can vary depending on the size and scope of the project. For example, a small residential project may only cost a few hundred dollars, while a large commercial project could cost several thousand dollars. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost of your task is to contact a vacuum excavation contractor.

Is Vacuum Excavation safe?

Many products in the market provide vacuum excavation services. However, not all of these products are safe. When choosing a vacuum excavation product, it is important to consider the product’s safety. There are a few things to look for when considering the security of a vacuum excavation product:

  • The product should have a UL or ETL certification. This means that the product has been tested and is safe to use.
  • The product should have a safety switch. This will prevent the product from being turned on accidentally.
  • The product should have a feature that prevents it from being used near power lines. This will prevent electrocution.

When considering the safety of a vacuum excavation product, these are a few things to look for. If you have any questions about the security of a particular product, you should contact the manufacturer.

Who is the manufacturer, and where are they based?

At Vacuum Excavation, we are proud to be one of the leading manufacturers of vacuum excavation equipment in the United States. Our products are designed and built in our state-of-the-art facility in Ohio, and we are proud to offer a wide range of products that can meet the needs of any customer.

Vacuum Excavation 1
Repair and replacement of underground communications on the city street. Replacement pipes of the heating main in summertime

The market for Vacuum Excavation Industry

The infrastructure technology and labor supplier said it would spend £4.5mln on the deal. 10% will be funded by cash and the remainder by its usual method of asset finance as its current fleet of 20 machines experience an average utilization rate of 85%.

Directors believe this decision “will help accelerate Hercules’ overall growth plans in a key area.”

Hercules chief executive Brusk Korkmaz said: “Due to their high utilization rates and a favorable tax regime thanks to the UK government’s super-deduction tax incentive for business investments. We wanted to build on the strong momentum in this business area and cement Hercules as a leading provider of UK-wide suction excavator services.

“We have also noted the construction industry’s aim to reduce utility strikes, which cost the industry hundreds of millions in indirect costs each year. Despite only entering the sector just over a year ago with two suction excavators, Hercules has rapidly gained industry acclaim for delivering much-needed innovation and has subsequently expanded to become one of the market-leading suppliers of operated suction excavators in the UK.

“Our strong relationships with existing and new clients have enabled us to identify significant future demand for suction excavator services. We believe this demand is also underpinned by UK government commitments on infrastructure spending and the desire to improve health and wellbeing on site, which our techniques are proven to deliver.”

Vacuum excavation is an efficient method of excavating soil without traditional heavy machinery. This makes it ideal for sensitive sites where damage to underlying infrastructure could concern. In addition, vacuum excavation is less disruptive than other methods and can be used in confined spaces. If you’re considering using vacuum excavation for your next project, contact a reputable contractor who has experience with this type of work. I hope you enjoyed

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