Vacuum excavation has become one of the most preferred methods for potholing and performing other more delicate unearthing tasks. Although the vehicles used for this type of work are derived from standard vacuum trucks, they are more specialized and provide greater power and control than the more standard types. Despite the fact that air excavators function in basically the same way as other vacuum trucks for sale, buyers still need to understand how this type of equipment works and how it should be maintained in order to get the most benefits when using it.
Power and Pressure
The sole job of a vacuum excavator is to suction material and in some cases, return the material that has been removed back into the ground. What is most important with these units is having enough vacuum pressure to remove all of the various materials. The pressure that an excavator can produce is measured by inches of mercury and determines how much material it can suction and how fast. Dry material can typically be moved with fewer inches of mercury; as opposed to wet material, which requires a more powerful pump that can generate more pressure.
Types of Vacuum Blowers
Air excavators are typically equipped with one of two different types of vacuum blowers. Positive displacement models work by sucking in air and debris, then releasing it again through a discharge valve as the debris falls into the tank. These are the preferred type of machines for potholing, as they maintain suction velocity more efficiently than the other kinds. The second type used on excavation vacuum trucks are centrifugal blowers. These blowers work by quickly rotating internal impeller blades that produce pressure and create suction.
As with other vacuum trucks, the size of the hose used with an air excavator must directly correlate with the size of the blower and the amount of suction generated. Considering this, hoses may be somewhat larger than those used on standard trucks since these blowers produce much greater suction. Hose size must also be chosen based on the type of material being suctioned, how heavy it is, and the amount of pressure required to lift it. Safe and effective use of air excavation equipment requires careful analysis of the job site so the right hose can be selected and the blower can be operated at the proper speed.
Air excavators require the same maintenance as any other vacuum truck, with special attention being paid to the expensive blowers. The most important maintenance tasks are to keep filters changed as required and to frequently lubricate the blowers to prevent overheating, which is a common and highly destructive condition. In addition, it is important to ensure that the belts are properly adjusted, since irreparable damage can occur if the belts are either too tight or too loose.
When used properly, air excavators are a preferred alternative over heavy equipment for detailed digging work such as potholing and other similar jobs. These high-powered versions of more common vacuum trucks have become favorites in the utility and construction industries. When searching for vacuum trucks for sale for this purpose, a company must consider the points referenced above to ensure they purchase the proper unit that can be put to work immediately!