WHAT IS VACUUM EXCAVATION?

Vacuum excavation is a safer, more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient method of excavating.

A vacuum excavator is a construction vehicle that removes heavy debris and material from a hole in the ground in urban and suburban areas. Fast excavation is guaranteed without the risk of affecting or damaging any unforeseen utilities.

WHERE CAN IT BE USED?

  • Tunnel building
  • Installing trenches & pipeline
  • Install new utilities & work around old ones below ground
  • Waste transfer & disposal
  • Building renovation
  • Tree root renovation
  • Emergency services
  • Disasters

EXCAVATION COMPARISON

Vacuum excavation virtually eliminates the risk of damaging underground utilities, while mechanical digging with hand tools or backhoes could potentially damage to those utilities.

Vacuum excavation is much less invasive than traditional methods of hand-digging. It also offers a lower cost with a higher level of precision with less surface restoration needed afterward.

The table on the right demonstrates how much material can be excavated on a daily basis using the manual hand-dig method compared to vacuum excavation and ultimately what the average cost incurred is per cubic metre.


COMPLETE JOBS FASTER

Vacuum excavation is much faster than other excavation methods especially manual digging and can be essential for reducing disruption to homes, businesses, and services, especially within urban areas.

The amount of material removed during the excavation of a site can depend largely on the material being excavated. Whether it’s sandy soil or much heavier soil with buried pipes or cables it’s still the preferred choice and much faster than traditional manual methods. See the chart for a comparison of how much material can be removed within 6 hours.

SAFETY ADVANTAGES OF SUCTION?

Vacuum excavation is the safest method of digging around live utilities as it allows you to remove the earth from around existing pipes and cables without damaging the underground utilities and causing any unnecessary health and safety or environmental incidents.

Instead of arduous physical work with shovel and air hammer both of which can damage underground cables or the risky use of an excavator, the soil is simply suctioned away with the suction excavator.

The use of suction excavators is up to 16 times more effective than conventional excavation methods and replaces the time and cost-intensive work done by hand in different sectors.

Suction excavators are safe, very fast on-site, ready for immediate use, operate in an environmentally harmless way, offer a high level of industrial safety, require little space and suck through small openings.

Vacuum excavation always leaves behind a clean construction site and ensure that fewer machines and deployment of personnel are necessary. Instead of 3 workers, an excavator and a truck, you only need one suction excavator and its operators. This reduces your carbon footprint and is the most environmentally friendly way to dig around live services.

 

 


 

 

Our suction excavators have a long reach the four moveable joints have a reach of six metres to enable convenient operation from a safe location. The suction hose is firmly guided from the cover right up to the suction crown and can, therefore, be placed exactly in the suction point. The fully hydraulically guided jointed hose carrier is the optimum solution for working well at distances between 0 and 6 metres.

With a swivel range of 180°, the jointed hose carrier is specially adapted to site conditions. This allows the machine also to work safely where space is limited. The suction hoses are developed especially for a high load.


 

If you are working with a vacuum excavator in a confined space location, Vac UK has several options for you. One is to use a long hose which we carry with our trucks.

We can supply up to 200 metres of hosing so you can suction soil and other materials from the remotest locations. We use this hosing to go into confined or difficult to access areas that have safety advantages as it stops the workers from having to go into the health and safety danger zone when they don’t need to.

We also have remote control units that can be used to position the vacuum excavator in the perfect spot for suctioning the material without any people having to position the hose in place.

This is ideal for using a vacuum excavator in highly hazardous locations.

The number of ‘safety-related electrical incidents’ caused by underground cable, joint or link box damage reported under the requirements of the Electricity, Safety, Quality, and Continuity Regulations 2002 to the HSE.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF VACUUM EXCAVATION

Vacuum excavation has many environmental benefits over traditional, more disruptive methods –

  • Removes the ground between trees and shrubs – minimising root damage
  • Fewer lorries needed on site, therefore, reducing the carbon footprint
  • Grab loader is more time-efficient – minimising disruption to the public, traffic and greatly reducing third party damages
  • Size of excavation up to a third smaller than those using conventional methods
  • Sites are smaller improving pedestrian access and two-way traffic flow
  • Excavated material is transported directly into the truck and tipped in an allotted zone so the site is cleaner

It also reduces the need for manual hand digging, thereby lessening the associated health risks for construction workers on site.
Most importantly, for both industry operatives and the general public, vacuum excavation is exponentially faster than other excavation methods, which is essential for reducing disruption to homes, businesses, and services.

Vacuum excavation has so much less of an environmental impact than its traditional mechanical counterparts so it’s a great choice for anyone with a vested interest in protecting their green credentials.

Environmental impact

HOW DOES VACUUM EXCAVATION WORK?

Vacuum excavation firstly uses a high power blast of air directed into the site in order to loosen soil and break up any large materials. An air vacuum hose is then passed into the site and used to suck up the loosened materials out of the hole and into a specially designed tank, ready to be transported elsewhere or saved for refilling the site later.

 

WHY CHOOSE VACUUM EXCAVATION?

  • Manual/traditional excavation methods are more prone to strikes
  • Hand tools account for the greatest number of utility strikes – despite pre-excavation scans
  • In 2017 contractor fined £600k when subcontractor hit electrical cable & was injured
  • Approx 4 million excavations every year to install or repair buried utility pipes and cables
  • Average utility strike costs £30k but can run into millions
  • Approx. 12 deaths and 600 serious injuries annually from contact with electricity cables

THE BENEFITS OF
VACUUM EXCAVATION

VACUUM EXCAVATION IS SAFER

  • Maximises operative safety by minimising manual handling
  • Extension tube made from p.e. pipe to reduce utility damage
  • Extension tube insulates vehicle and workforce when working in high-risk areas
  • Hydraulic power arms to increase maneuverability & reduce manual handling
  • Over 60% reduction of utility damage compared to traditional methods

VACUUM EXCAVATION INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY

  • Superior efficiency to manual work
  • Reduces staff workload
  • Easy to collect and remove solid and liquid substances
  • Greatly reduces construction time
  • Ready to operate immediately

VACUUM EXCAVATION IS MORE EFFICIENT & LESS DISRUPTIVE

  • Excavate in a third less space than a mini-digger
  • Cleaner more compact sites, therefore less disruption and waste
  • Stand-alone machine operation
  • Combine with soil engineering equipment impact moles keyhole liquid soil
  • Multiple uses

Our Brochure

Want to browse all we have to offer at a time that suits you? No problem! Simply download our brochure to find out more about our Vacuum Excavators.

VAC UL Ltd Brochure Download

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