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Hydroexcavation Q & A

Q: How long has Vac-Con been making the X-Cavator™?

Hydro Excavators Truck

Hydro Excavators Truck – Vac-Con®

A: Vac-Con has been building hydroexcavators since 1994.


Q: How long have contractors in Canada been primarily using hydroexcavators?

A: Canadian contractors began using hydroexcavators in the early 1960’s (about 50 years ago).


Q: What percentage of Canadians use hydroexcavation over other digging methods?

A: 80% of Canadian Industrial contractors and about 50% of Canadian General Contractors use hydroexcavation in one form or another.


Q: What percentage of Americans use hydroexcavation over other digging methods?

A: Not enough, but about 10% of American contractors use hydroexcavators, the vast majority being in the petroleum industries.


Q: Why is hydroexcavation so much safer than other digging methods?

A: Hydro Excavation is a non-mechanical, non-destructive way of safely exposing buried utilities.  The process allows workers to stay on the surface (out of the excavation), thus eliminating accidental line damage or trench cave-ins.  Additionally, the risk/cost factor over a long period of time generally supports hydroexcavation over hand digging or mechanical means.


Q: What makes the Vac-Con X-Cavator™ so much better?
A: 1) Built to suit applications

  • The X-Cavator™ is capable of operating in virtually all excavation applications based on versatility through available features

2) Innovative industry leading features

  • Such as the choice of front or rear-mounted boom, PowerFlex Boom, Hi-Dump, Positive Displacement or Centrifugal Compressor, and a broad list of additional options give the X-Cavator™ unmatched versatility.

3) Service

  • A worldwide network of factory trained dealers gives the depth of service necessary in today’s fast-moving business environment.


Q: How effective is the hydroexcavation package on the combination machine compared to the X-Cavator™?

A: The hydro-excavation package is just as effective as an X-Cavator™.  However, there are laws that prohibit cross-contamination of sanitary sewer and excavated soils therefore an X-Cavator™ would be beneficial.


Q: What is the difference between the front-mounted and rear-mounted boom?

A: The retracted length of the front-mounted boom is 190“ from the rotational pivot to the center of the 8” opening on the elbow.  It also has a 120” (10’) telescopic boom section.  Added together you have 310” or 25.83’ from the center of the truck or 21.83’ from the side of the truck.  The front-mounted boom allows for 270⁰ rotation.  The rear-mounted boom has a 315⁰ rotation and fully extended, reaches about 28.5’ from the center of the rotational pivot to the rear and 24.5’ from the side.


Q: What is the storage capacity of the Vac-Con X-Cavator™?


  • storage box behind the cab (16” x 42” x 96”)
  • single axle units – driver’s side storage cabinet (51” x 24” x 24”)
  • tandem axle units – driver’s side storage cabinet (51” x 44” x 24”)
  • tandem axle units – storage box behind cab (16” x 42” x 48”)

Q: What is the water system capacity of the X-Cavator™?

A: up to 1,300 gallons


Q: What is the boiler output?

A: 410,000 BTU & 1,200,000 BTU


Q: What type of vacuum systems are available?

A: Fan or Positive Displacement blower

Types of Vacuum System and Drive

Q: What is the water system output?

A: GPM – 10 +       PSI – 3000+


Q: What types of digging tools are available?  (nozzles, wands, mats, etc.)

A: Vac-Con offers a wide variety of tools for any digging application.


Q: What cab and chassis options are available?

A: Vac-Con is capable of producing the X-Cavator™ on any commercially available chassis but maintains an inventor of Freightliner Pull Chassis up to 450 horsepower for faster delivery.




Tom Jody, Marketing Director

Mike Selby, National Service Manager

Mike Pellechia, Hydroexcavator Product Manager

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