Understanding Vacuum Excavation and The Benefits of a Vacuum Excavator Rental

If you need to excavate in a small space or with limited environmental damage, the process of vacuum excavation is what you’re looking for. 

But what is vacuum excavation? Why should you rent a TRUVAC vacuum truck instead of buying one?

Continue reading to learn the answers to these questions and many more.

Understanding the Process of Vacuum Excavation 

The process of vacuum excavation is also sometimes known as hydro excavation or non-destructive digging.

It combines highly pressurized water with a powerful air vacuum to remove soil instead of digging it out. Unwanted materials like mud, dirt, and slurry are easily removed from even the smallest spaces.

How a Vacuum Truck Works   

A vacuum truck may also be called a sucker truck, vac truck, or suction excavator. They’re used to perform the process of vacuum excavation.

To facilitate their intended use, vacuum trucks are outfitted with specialized equipment that other pieces of heavy machinery don’t have. These powerful trucks come equipped with a compressed air lance, waste storage chamber, and vacuum suction. They’ll also have either twin or triple air vehicle fans.

The vacuum truck starts by using the highly pressurized water to break apart the soil. Then, the dirt is sucked up using the air vacuum and stored inside the waste storage chamber. Once the chamber is full, vac truck operators will take the waste to a specified dumping area. 


When Is Vacuum Excavation Used?

There are many potential uses for vacuum excavation. Primarily, they’re used in places where there isn’t a lot of room to dig or where it would be dangerous to use pieces of machinery like backhoes or bulldozers.

A few of the more common uses for vacuum excavation include:

  • Around cable networks and buried pipelines
  • Rail track maintenance
  • Confined spaces where other heavy machinery (like backhoes) wouldn’t fit
  • Sewer clearance
  • Deep excavation
  • Clearing around tree roots
  • Basement work
  • Excavating when it’s necessary to limit the impact to the environment

These are only a few of the most common places you’ll see a vacuum truck used. There are many other potential applications.

Benefits of Renting a Vacuum Excavator vs. Purchasing One

Knowing how useful a vacuum excavator is, the question becomes whether you should rent or purchase one for your company to use. The answer will depend on several different facts.

If you’ll be using your vacuum excavator routinely, it may make more sense to purchase. Generally, only large construction companies will use their vac trucks enough to warrant the investment, however.

Renting a vacuum excavator comes with many benefits when compared to purchasing one for most companies. These include:

  • Less downtime if something breaks because the rental company will fix or replace it
  • Lower operation costs
  • No substantial initial investment necessary
  • No need for ample storage space on-site 
  • Access to the latest models and technology without spending a fortune

These are only the most common benefits. There may be more benefits of renting a vacuum excavator on a case-by-case basis.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Vacuum Excavator Rental Company

The benefits of renting a vacuum excavator don’t mean anything if you don’t choose a quality rental company. Shoddy rental companies may provide faulty equipment and poor customer service.

Faulty equipment can lead to an increase in downtime that pushes your deadline back. It’s also hazardous to run large pieces of machinery that aren’t functioning correctly.

Poor customer service from your rental company means a lot of stress and frustration. Any issues that arise may not be handled promptly, or at all. 

To save yourself the stress of working with a low-quality rental company, it’s essential to vet the one you plan to use thoroughly.

Haaker Underground provides operator training upon pick-up of the vehicle. That training will depend on the experience of the operator — if you’ve operated something similar before, we’ll talk about your experience and take it from there. If you’ve never used a piece of equipment like this before, we will walk you through all the steps you need to use it safely and effectively. During the “walk around,” we will answer any questions you have, and we can even send one of our team members out to your job site on the first day to make sure you are operating the vehicle correctly and getting the most out of it for your project. 

All of our vehicles undergo regular, routine service by our maintenance team. We rent trucks by the day, week and month, and the service we do depends on how long a vehicle has been rented for. Making sure the truck is completely cleaned, hosing off the debris body inside, hosing off the seal on the door – these are responsibilities that must be completed each day of the rental. We also ask renters to complete a weekly schedule of maintenance tasks during their rental periods. Completing these tasks ensures your rental unit can perform at its best. 

If you experience issues with your vehicle at the job site, simply call us and we will do our best to walk you through the solution over the phone. If that doesn’t solve the issue, we will send one of our mobile maintenance trucks to your site so you don’t have to worry about moving it. In the event that the mobile maintenance team cannot solve the problem at your site, the vehicle will be returned to Haaker Underground and we can get you back on the road with another unit while your truck is being worked on. We do everything we can to reduce downtime on your site and get you back to work quickly. 

Haaker Underground Rental Requirements 

Please be aware of our rental requirements: 

Valid class B license with tank and air brakes approved

Customer’s US DOT and CA numbers must be used supplied

Approved customer credit endorsement

Insurance: Before a rental unit may be released, a certificate of insurance with the following minimum insurance requirements MUST be received: 

  1. General Liability Auto Liability Coverage of no less than $1,000,000.00
  2. Physical Damage Insurance (Property Ins) in the amount of no less than $400,000/unit
  3. Haaker Equipment Company must be named as an “Additional Insured” and “Loss Payee” 
  4. Unit serial number and/or chassis VIN number or a phrase stating “All Leased/Rented Equipment from Haaker Equipment” MUST be listed on the certificate. 

We appreciate these parameters being followed, which assures us that our company is protected should an accident occur with a rental unit. Please be advised that any damage due to negligence or improper equipment usage will be at the expense of the rental customer. 

Have More Questions About Vacuum Excavation or Vacuum Truck Rentals?

Vacuum excavation is a process used in situations where it isn’t feasible to use larger equipment like dozers or backhoes. Renting a vacuum truck from a reputable company is generally the best option when compared to purchasing.

Do you have more questions about vacuum excavation? Or would you like information on renting one of our top-of-the-line vacuum trucks?

Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have!