Hydro excavation has its roots in the petroleum industry, where it has been used for years to expose, with no damage, underground oil pipelines and valves.
In recent years, hydro excavation has found its way into mechanical excavation applications including exposing underground utility lines and fiber optic cables, sign & pole installations, pipe & sewer repairs, underground facilities maintenance, and much more.
Hydro excavation is a safe way of excavating in a place where the location of sensitive utility lines is unknown. To avoid strikes to underground lines and prevent injury to personnel, more and more contractors are turning to hydro excavation to prevent costly damages and downtime.
Hydro excavation machines come in variety of trailer-mounted or truck-mounted models, each with various degrees a capability and reliability. What most hydro excavating machines have in common is they all feature the use of a high-pressure water pump and a high-powered vacuum system. The water system feeds one or more nozzles for blasting away soil, sand, and even some types of rock. Frequently a hand-held “water knife” or “digging lance” working at 2,000 psi or more, is used to dig holes or slots in the ground. The water creates a slurry (a thin sloppy mud capable of being pumped), which is sucked up by a high-powered vacuum system. The resulting slurry of water and debris is vacuumed into to a debris tank, which typically is hundreds of gallons in capacity, and driven away for disposal. Many hydro excavating trucks such as GapVax HV-56, Vacall AllExcavate and Vactor HXX will have a debris capacity above 10 cubic yards and a water capacity exceeding 1,000 gallons.
Since the boom in the natural gas industry began, the demand for hydro excavation services has grown exponentially. Significant investment has been made in hydro excavating equipment by contractors throughout the shale regions such as the Bakken, Marcellus and Eagle Ford Shale. All this added demand, has created a long waiting list with hydro excavating equipment manufacturers.
For more information about hydro excavating trucks for rental or purchase contact Monster Equipment, LLC today 1.888.393.4425