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Vac Dig pushes for standardised hydro excavation

Victorian hydro vacuum manufacturer Vac Dig has suggested that it’s only a matter of time before non-destructive hydro excavation will be standardised around the country.

Hydro excavation is already standard industry practice in New South Wales where contractors are banned from using traditional excavators for services jobs.

Vac Dig Engineer Luke Farrall said it would soon be the case for Victoria too, with most Melbourne utility companies already insisting on the use of hydro excavation to locate and expose underground services.

“Take the National Broadband Network (nbn) project; contractors have been using hydro vacuums for cable location and that’s where it’s really starting to take off now, because they have to locate the cables before they’re allowed to dig a hole,” he said.

“Most now use hydro vacs to excavate as well, because it’s pretty much non-destructive. We’re definitely going to see hydro excavation as the norm in Melbourne very soon.”

Based in Shepparton in country Victoria, Vac Dig has grown from a team of one to four in just over two years, supplying approximately six custom-manufactured hydro vacuum systems a year.

Its tailored units are specified to the client’s needs, including water storage capacity, vacuum pump, water pump pressure, type of steel and colour.

“Being a small team allows us to deliver exactly what a client wants from their hydro vacuum,” Mr Farrall said.

“This means we don’t put all the bells and whistles on like our competitors; simplifying the units keeps costs down for clients compared to an off-the-shelf product.”

“We also source all our materials from local suppliers, bar the hydraulics, and the units are made here in Australia for Australian conditions. We’re proud every time we see a job go out of the door.”

All Vac Dig’s units come equipped with JCB DieselMax engines ranging from 108-123 HP, providing increased power and lower engine speeds, in comparison to similar sized engines.

Supplied by Power Equipment, the engines, allow the units to operate at 100 per cent capacity, where only have the capability to run at 80 per cent.

“We use a bigger motor so you can drive the vacuum at full power, and run hydraulics and the pressure washer all at the same time.

“The size of the unit determines how many cubic feet per minute can be excavated, but the vacuum power doesn’t decrease,” Mr Farrall said.

Vac Dig has created what it calls an ‘idiot proof’ control system, with just six operational buttons as opposed to as many as 16, which prevents users from operating the tank and the boom at the same time.

For more information visit the Vac Dig website.

If you have company news you would like covered in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Nick Lovering at nlovering@gs-press.com.au

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