Who to Hire for the Job?
When you hire a hydro excavation company you aren’t just buying a hole in the ground. You are buying a safe hole in the ground, and one created by a machine that may cost nearly half a million dollars, so it comes with a price tag. Even so, there are ways to make your budget dollar go further than you may have thought possible, as long as you make smart decisions.
Need hydro excavation?
Fourteen years ago there were probably 25-30 hydrovac trucks operating in the U.S. Today there are more than 500, and even more who say they can do hydrovac when they can’t. Hire someone with a hydro excavator. Don’t hire a guy with a sewer jetter or a water blaster or a vacuum truck with a pressure washer. Hire the guy who has the truck that was built for your application. You wouldn’t hire somebody to dig a hole and then hand him a rake. The job requires a shovel. We are talking about the same principle here. Use the right tool for the job. Hire a hydro excavator to expose underground utilities and put those other trucks on the jobs they were designed for. At the end of the day your jobsite will be safer, cleaner, dryer… and it will be cheaper.
News Flash: All hydrovac trucks and crews are not the same.
Even among trucks designed to be hydro excavators, there are differences. Does the truck have water pressure and water flow that can be dialed up or down depending on the soil conditions? This can be critical in excavating older and deteriorating underground lines. Does the truck have enough water and debris capacity to dig at least half a day without having to leave the jobsite to dump? Too much drive time off the job can cost you more than you think. In the winter, does the truck have a boiler on board to heat the water to a temperature that will melt frozen ground? If not, you will pay more than you need to for the excavation, guaranteed. Ask truck questions of your potential supplier and make sure you get clear and detailed answers before going to work.
Even more important than the truck is the crew running that truck.
Those two people (and don’t hire a hydro excavation company that sends a truck out with less than two people) are 75% of the secret to efficient, safe and productive hydro excavation services. If they are experienced, they know their truck and how to get the most out of it: water pressure, water flow, water nozzle design and configuration, nozzle orifice size, proper vacuum hose handling, water conservation (not using too much water for the job at hand). Every one of these factors is important.
Contrary to what you may have been told, it’s not about the hourly rate.
It’s actually about the cost of the specific amount of soil that was moved on your job. The cost should be calculated, or estimated, in dollars per cubic yard. If hydrovac Company A charges $300 per hour and removes two yards of soil in that hour, their actual cost is $150 per yard. If Company B only charges a “bargain” $200 per hour but moves only a yard of soil in that time, they seem drastically cheaper by the hour, but their actual cost is $200 per yard, so company A is a better deal because they are more efficient with your money. We see this discrepancy constantly, and it is the single biggest error that the customer makes when hiring a hydro excavation company; they overpay by tens of thousands of dollars sometimes, just because they never measure the actual productivity of their contractor. Find out how efficient your potential hydrovac contractor is before work starts, if possible. Ask for an estimate, or even a hard bid. Hold your service provider to his promises, and look beyond the hourly rate.
The Damage Prevention’s website posted this article and the following is reference to it:
Clark, Mike. “Hydro Excavation is Expensive” The Damage Prevention.
N.p., Winter 2014. Web.
Hydro Excavation is a process that utilizes pressurized water to break up and vacuum up the soil into a debris tank. Therefore, this provides a non-destructive means to safely locate utilities and accurately excavate an area. Hydrovacs can eliminate the unknown or unintended consequences from any project involving drilling, trenching or excavation.
There are many advantages of using hydro excavation in today’s world. Monster Equipment, LLC has gathered three key benefits to help you make the best decision:
1. Hydro Excavation is Precise
Hydro excavation uses high-pressure water and suction to create openings in the soil. The result is a slurry of water and soil that gets suctioned up into a holding tank for disposal. Since the high-pressure water is intense and focused, the result is a highly precise excavation. Backhoes and cats have to navigate around piles of dirt and can damage underground utilities. This heavy equipment can ruin the surrounding area.
Hydro excavation works extremely well in rain gardens, parks or areas in need of drainage sumps and trenches. Small slits and trenches are excavated without damaging the surrounding area.
2. Hydro Excavation is Efficient
Probably the most amazing aspect of hydro excavation is the speed at which the intense streams of water impact the area and suck away dirt. What can take days of digging takes hours with hydro excavation.
Aside from the time saved, hydro excavation is efficient because it can handle a variety of soil types, from clay to sand. Additionally, hydro excavation maintains its efficiency even in freezing temperatures.
3. Hydro Excavation is Non-Destructive
As mentioned earlier, hydro excavation is precise and won’t damage the surrounding area. Hydro excavation will also prevent damage underground. Unlike metal shovels or claws, high pressure water does not damaged coaxial cables, pipes or other underground utilities. This is especially helpful if you are unsure of what is beneath the soil.
Hydro excavation services can assist you in locating utilities should you need to make any repairs.
To talk more about your interests in hydro excavation services, please Contact Us. Thank You!
Mechanical excavators are wonderful pieces of engineering. They can chew through asphalt, be fitted with attachments that will break up concrete and, most importantly dig big holes in the ground very quickly.
Trouble is, buried infrastructure, even metal and concrete piping is no match for these beasts. No wonder then that they are responsible for many of the thousands of incidents globally every year of underground infrastructure being damaged during excavation.
Sometimes the pipe itself is the reason for the excavation: it might be damaged or leaking. Pipes are generally fairly close to the surface, so the excavation needed is fairly modest. In these situations the use of a mechanical excavator has been rather colourfully compared to “using a chainsaw for removing a person’s appendix.”
That’s a bit extreme, but it did come from PicoParts a company advocating an alternative and much more pipe-friendly technology: hydro excavation. The article also points out that mechanical excavators are a danger not only to the infrastructure, but to those seeking access to it, and that they can cause damage without actually hitting a pipe: “vibrations generated during operation can also cause mechanical defects in the area where they are working.”
Hydro excavation is the use of high pressure water coupled with the use of a ‘giant vacuum cleaner’ to remove the resulting mud. “The high pressure of the water causes the displacement of the debris, whilst the vacuum removes it to enable digging,” the site explains. PicoParts makes the tungsten carbide nozzles used in high pressure hydro excavation machines.
“The water does not cause any further damage to the pipe being repaired and engineers can work faster without the risk of injury associated with mechanical excavation,” it says “Engineers can then simply expose the pipe, find the defect and fix it.”
PicoParts claims that Hydro Excavation is rapidly replacing mechanical excavation in a number of applications including; sign/pole installations, pipe/sewer repairs, underground facilities maintenance, cold weather digging, slot trenching, potholing/daylighting and remote digging.
For more information about hydro excavating trucks or rentals contact Monster Equipment, LLC Today