5 Tips for efficient Vacuum Excavation

The following are 5 tips to help achieve a good efficiency in your hydro excavation operations

1.Maintain Good Airflow

In vacuum excavation, movement of air is what transports the soil or debris to the spoil tank via the vacuum hose. A high velocity (in the order of 200 km/h) of air through the suction pipe is needed to effectively move the material you are vacuuming. If the hose becomes blocked or restricted then the airflow may reduce or stop and material in the hose will drop out of the airflow.

By allowing a good continual flow of air into the end of the hose you will keep the airflow up and keep soil and debris moving to the tank.

2. Use the right water pressure

Different soil types will require different water pressures to break up the soil.

If your water pressure and flow do not suit the ground you are working on you may end up using more water or take longer than necessary and thereby reduce the efficiency of your operations.

3. Use the right lance and nozzle

Lances and nozzles vary across the different manufacturers and lances can be long or short while nozzles include adjustable washdown, pencil, turbo and other types.

It is important to make sure you are using the length of lance suitable to the job to minimise fatigue and handling issues and also have the right nozzle to suit the pressure of the system and the task at hand. There is no sense using a short lance to dig a deep trench.

All nozzles will have an optimum pressure and water flow rating. If you are operating at 1500psi with a nozzle rated at 2500psi then you won’t get the best performance from the unit.

4. Select the right sized sucker truck

When choosing a vacuum or hydro excavator, think about the amount of spoil you will be generating and need to transport. Big machines are expensive, may be too large or heavy for the work site and may be underutilised however if the machine is too small then you may be spending more time travelling to dispose of spoil.

5. Have a suitable disposal point nearby

Consider how far your job is from a suitable disposal site. The closer the better as you will minimise the time off site required for disposing of spoil. If you are working in multiple areas it is worth identifying a number of suitable sites to work with.

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