Whether you’re clearing debris or excavating underground infrastructure, you want to have the right tools for the job. When your worksite involves maneuvering around fragile pipes, collecting tough debris or simply cleaning up after a larger project, the machines you use should be powerful yet precise.
Vacuum trucks are the accurate solution you need. Combining the strength of pressurized water with the power of pneumatic suction, these machines can help you get the job done safely, neatly and efficiently.
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Vacuum trucks are innovative machines used to break up, collect and haul away soil and other debris. Their basic design includes a truck with a large collection tank that’s hooked up to a vacuum hose. Putting pressure inside the tank allows the vacuum to suck materials into the tank to complete jobs such as clearing roadways of debris.
Many vacuum trucks also come equipped with a pressurized water hose attachment. When spraying the water wand, the water pressure can break apart packed ground soil and other tough materials as an alternative to digging. The water hose and the vacuum work together to simultaneously break apart debris and remove it from a work area.
Since the vacuum systems are attached to trucks, these machines are also useful for clearing waste from sites and transporting it to places for safe and proper disposal.
When you’re deciding what type of vacuum truck to use, you have several options with different specifications. Choose a truck based on the needs of your jobs. Vacuum trucks come with different tank sizes, hose lengths and suction strengths. Some are designed to transport hazardous materials, while others should only be used to collect non-hazardous debris.
Most vacuum trucks fall under this category. Hydro excavators use a strong, precise stream of water to break apart debris and carry it away with the vacuum component.
Hydro excavators have many applications in a variety of industries. Many are used specifically for flushing and cleaning sewers, which, for public health reasons, often need to be emptied or unclogged. While not always required by certain municipalities, regularly cleaning sewers and septic tanks can be an asset to communities and ensure clean, reliable sewage systems.
Hydro excavators are also commonly used to dig holes and trenches in the ground to install, replace or repair pipes and wiring. Working near delicate utilities can pose costly risks, but these tools provide an accurate touch so you can get the job done quickly, cleanly and with little to no damages to the surrounding area.
Different water jet heads serve different purposes, from breaking down dirt surfaces to fighting through tough debris buildup.
Some hydro excavator trucks can accommodate a water recycling system to make sewage cleaning operations even more efficient and environmentally friendly. As the truck vacuums water from sewer lines, the recycler filters it and then uses it in the water jetting process. To ensure a clean workspace, trucks with a water recycling system also include a separate clean water tank for final rinsing after the space has been excavated.
Another type of vacuum truck, dry vacuum trucks don’t use a pressurized stream of water to break up dirt and debris, and instead use their vacuum component to collect dirt, small rocks and stones, asphalt pieces, and leaves.
Often seen in street cleaning operations, dry vacuum trucks conveniently clean up debris from curbs, ditches and other places where waste commonly collects.
Though they’re called dry vacuum trucks, many vacuum truck models can still collect wet substances, slurries and even water in addition to dry substances such as powders, dirt and other loose debris. The term “dry” refers to the waterless method of collection.
Vacuum trucks have most likely played a role in many aspects of your life. From the street signs you follow on your way to work, to the electrical and water services your company uses every day, the successful implementation of these services most likely included a vacuum truck.
Some of the most common uses for vacuum trucks include:
Over time, septic tanks and sewers fill with waste that, if left for long periods of time, can become viscous and difficult to collect. Waste can also clog sewer pipes and disrupt the sewage flow in an area.
Vacuum trucks break down thick layers of waste and mix them with water to facilitate easy removal. Once the tanks and pipes are cleared out, they’re hosed down to eliminate as much residue as possible. The trucks then transport the collected sewage waste to treatment plants, leaving behind clean pipes and tanks.
One of the primary uses for hydro excavator vacuum trucks is removing dirt from an area to create holes in the ground for underground maintenance work. Much of the infrastructure that powers our everyday lives is buried underground, and vacuum trucks provide a convenient way to access these systems.
Prominent underground access work for hydro excavators includes:
While precision for small-area work is a key benefit of vacuum trucks, you can also use these machines to clear away larger areas of soil.
During construction projects, such as breaking ground and laying the foundation for houses and other buildings, hydro excavation trucks can quickly and efficiently remove soil from these areas. Vacuum trucks are especially useful when you’re breaking ground in an area that already has underground pipes or wires you need to work carefully around.
Landscaping projects also require precision when laying the details of a carefully designed outdoor space. Vacuum trucks can create specific holes or excavate exact areas for plants and other additions without disturbing the surrounding plants or structures. Careful work the first time around results in less cleanup after you've completed the job.
After major construction or landscaping work, you may have a large amount of excess debris left over. To ensure the space is entirely clean, you can use a dry vacuum truck to clear the area of remaining waste.
Removal of debris is also important after large storms or other weather events. Vacuum trucks can help provide emergency relief to roadways and properties hit hard by flooding or the effects of strong winds and rain.
The tanks of vacuum trucks provide a secure place for waste and debris to collect. Many vacuum trucks are designed to safely collect and transport substances that pose hazards to the surrounding area. For most communities, increased tank security when gathering and moving regular sewage waste matters in waste management. However, vacuum trucks can also aid in the disposal of other hazardous substances.
In the fuel industry, hydro excavation vacuum trucks are often used to safely and gently uncover oil and gas lines. The pressurized water system can even clean out oil and gas tanks, while the vacuum sucks away the remaining fuel to dispose of it properly.
Additionally, across any industry, working with poisons is a risk. When a hazardous material spills, cleaning it up thoroughly should be a top priority. Vacuum trucks can swiftly collect spilled substances and store them in their secure tanks to transport them away from sites where they could cause harm.
Vacuum trucks use pneumatic suction, meaning they get their suction power from compressed air. Industrial vacuums work similarly to other types of household vacuums and shop vacs. The truck's power source moves a fan or a pump, which pulls large amounts of air out of the tank. As the air particles move out, their density increases inside the tank and decreases outside of the tank, creating a vacuum force.
The vacuum truck tank has two valves. Once you open these, the compressed air inside the tank will leave the tank to equalize the inside pressure with the outside pressure. As this happens, the suction end of the vacuum will pull the nearby materials into the tank.
Hydro excavator vacuum trucks use a combination of an air vacuum and a high-pressure water system to break up and form a slurry from the debris to be cleared away. Then, the truck sucks the debris into a tank to dispose of it elsewhere.
When using the hydro excavator, you’ll have two components to keep track of--the water hose and the suction hose. First, the truck pressurizes water enough for it to break through layers of soil when released. The pressurized water acts as a digging agent, breaking down the soil.
You spray the soil or debris with the water wand to precisely hit the spots you want to clear. As the soil loosens and mixes with the water, the air vacuum sucks it into the debris tank.
Proper maintenance is critical to ensure the tank, hoses and valve connections are leak-free to create as strong a vacuum as possible inside the tank.
While the exact operating instructions may vary for different vacuum trucks and the jobs you use them for, here are some basic steps to keep in mind:
Park the truck as close to the worksite as possible. Different trucks have different vacuum operating lengths you'll want to adhere to. Many trucks can still operate at a distance from the worksite, but you’ll want to follow your truck’s specifications for best results.
When you want to complete a digging or cleaning job, vacuum trucks can help you run all operations smoothly. Vacuum trucks give you the advantage because they are:
Renting equipment is your convenient and cost-saving solution. You can rent a vacuum truck for as long as you'll need it for a specific project, making renting an attractive alternative to buying a machine you may only use a handful of times. When you rent, you also only pay the rental fees, without being responsible for repairs, maintenance and insurance.
If you want to use a vacuum truck but don't have access to regular storage space, renting can also help you do your job without investing in long-term storage solutions you would only use for a few pieces at a time. The convenience of renting allows you to take on occasional projects that require a vacuum truck, so you have the freedom to take on more jobs whenever you want.
Additionally, if you already own a vacuum truck that's currently out of commission for repairs, renting another one is a way for you to continue with projects and meet your deadlines while reducing your downtime. Keeping up with routine equipment maintenance should be prioritized just as much as finishing jobs, and renting additional equipment lets you do both.
Vacuum trucks help you get the job done with accuracy and efficiency, whether you’re performing routine maintenance, clearing an area of debris or laying the foundation for vital utilities.
At The Cat Rental Store, our highly skilled team is ready to help you. We offer rental products from over 70 trusted brands, making The Cat Rental Store your one-stop shop for all your company needs. Improve your productivity with rental equipment featuring the latest technology, and talk to our experts to find the machines that work for you.
See the difference a powerful and precise machine can make in your work. Get a quote from us today to learn more about renting vacuum trucks and more!