3 Uses for a Hydrovac in Construction & Infrastructure Projects

Hydrovac - Vacuum TruckHydro-excavation is a non-destructive digging process that utilizes pressurized water and a powerful vacuum system to remove soil. Hydrovac units, which can come in truck-mounted and trailer-mounted options, are equipped with hoses and handgun wands that precisely cut into the soil with the pressurized water. As the soil is loosened, the unit’s boom is extended out to vacuum the debris into the unit’s debris body tank where it is either disposed of or placed back on to the excavation site. Excavation has always been a technique in construction and infrastructure projects, but more recently excavation with hydrovac units, called hydro-excavation, is gaining popularity due to its precision and safety benefits.

Common Uses of Hydrovacs

We’ve outlined several common uses of hydrovacs in construction and infrastructure environments and ways in which they benefit operators.

Hydrovacs are ideal for slot trenching. Slot trenching is the process of digging narrow trenches for the purpose of installing pipeline, cables, posts, and underground utilities. Hydro-excavation is the best option for slot trenching due to its precision. In addition to being the most precise technique to complete slot trenching, hydro-excavation can dig narrow dimensions not able to be done by other methods. This relieves the need to backfill, as only the locations that need to be excavated are touched.

A hydrovac can also be used for the installation of signs, utility poles, fence posts, and other components that need to be placed into the ground at a certain depth. A hydrovac unit can precisely excavate the right diameter and depth with ease. In the same way that hydro-excavating can accurately excavate for slot trenching, a hydrovac only affects the immediate jobsite, eliminating the need to backfill unlike with traditional methods used for piling hole digging.

Potholing and daylighting are becoming the most common tasks for hydrovac operators. This is the technique of exposing already installed underground utilities before beginning new infrastructure work or repairs to said utilities. Hydro-excavation is called non-destructive digging as the water and vacuum used to excavate does not cause damage to these utilities. Unlike traditional methods such as shovels and backhoes which can cause grave damage to underground utilities and their operators, hydro-excavation can safely excavate around the utilities and expose them. Utilizing a hydrovac for these types of projects is efficient, accurate, and safe.

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