Instead of worrying about maneuvering large machines, some contractors are opting for smaller trailer-mounted units when first getting started in the vacuum excavation game.
Investing in a large hydrovac unit isn’t always feasible for contractors like Jim Tieffel who don’t do a lot of hydroexcavation work to begin with. Currently when Tieffel, a plumbing contractor in Alabama, finds an underground pipe that needs replacing, he calls upon others to handle it. But he’s ready for that to change.
“I’m tired of paying out that money when it’s something that I could easily take on,” Tieffel says.
So at the 2019 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show that was held recently in Indianapolis, a top priority for Tieffel was to check out the various trailer-mounted vacuum excavation options on the market — something much more economically realistic for his business. Among the options were units from Ditch Witch, Tornado and Vac-Con, to name a few.
“Contractors are paying $50,000 a year to contract out these services, but they can buy trailer units for as little as $120,000,” says Mike Richards, a sales rep for RED Equipment, a Vac-Con dealership in Iowa. “They pay for themselves and they last a long time.”
Operating trailered units to expose and replace damaged waterlines is only one way the machines can be used. There are many others. Manufacturers have even started to see arborists use them to plant trees.