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Industrial vacuum excavator Bristol saves a family of 3 snakes using eco-friendly VAC UK vac-ex! An amazing story!

21st Aug 2020

Vac UK saves family of snakes on motorway job

Our eco-friendly VAC UK vacuum excavator Bristol saved a family of grass snakes on motorway job yesterday.

During the nightshift last week at 1am on a Highways England motorway job near Royal Portbury Docks in the Bristol channel a large snake, that looked like a Black Adder showing its fangs and hissing loudly had been sucked up the Vacuum Excavator Hose. As important as it is to meet the deadlines for digging the trail holes for the new motorway roundabout improvement works, the safety of the local wildlife takes priority.

Our eco-friendly industrial vacuum excavator Bristol saved grass snakes on Highways England motorway job yesterday.

VAC UK’s vac ex digs at a suction speed of 375KW with an airflow of 42.000m3 per hour so everyone was guessing the poor snakes days may be numbered. In collaboration with the clients environmental advisors we stopped for the night until we managed to see if we could save the snakes.

Grass snakes saved on Highways England job by industrial vacuum excavator Bristol

This involved climbing into the container to spot the snakes before gently tipping the spoil container to remove the snakes and return them to their natural habitat. Before the snakes were seen the stories through the night of how loud they were and how large they were were had been getting more more exaggerated. In the end it turned out they were grass snakes, sometimes called the ringed snake or water snake a non-venomous snake often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians and not thankfully motorway workers.

Eco-friendly Vac UK worker saves snakes on Highways England job

It was lucky that VAC UK were using a vacuum excavator rather than a traditional vacuum excavator as otherwise the snakes would have been cut in two. It goes to show that vacuum excavation as well as being the safest and most productive way to excavate a trench, it is also the most environmentally friendly. It even got reported in a BBC News article ‘Snakes saved after being sucked into industrial vacuum’!

Its excellent and also heart warming to see how seriously Highways England and our clients take the care of the local wildlife. The works were stopped for 12 hours between 1am and 1pm the following afternoon until we were sure that the snakes were safe. This involved consulting the animal wildlife experts. Another amusing part of the story is when the snakes are scared they let off a pungent smell and in the end the smell of the snakes was worse than the fear of their fangs.

Environmentally friendly vacuum excavator Bristol VAC UK at it’s best!

As well as being safer and often more cost effective, vacuum excavation is also the most environmentally friendly option.  In addition to being able to save a family of snakes with a Vac Ex you also:

All of the above reduces your carbon footprint keeping both your clients and the Antarctic penguins happy.

All of VAC UK’s vehicles are the latest model and are less than 12 months old. So unlike many of our competitors, they all have the new Euro 6 engine which also helps reduce the pollutants you send into the atmosphere.

Grasssnake caught on camera by vacuum excavator Bristol

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