JJE’s No Dig Hydro Excavation Technology Reduces Utility Strikes, Saves Time and Money

Vactor Hydrovac HXX QX

The amount of money wasted on costly utility strikes is staggering. According to the CGA (Common Ground Alliance) utility strikes have resulted in $1.7 Billion in property damage, 1906 injuries and 421 deaths. Hydro excavation technology was developed primarily for the oil and gas fields in Western Canada, but when it was brought to urban infrastructure projects, it was revolutionary. And not just for safety, but for efficiency as well. This is because there are fewer human factors and less clean up and site restoration required once the excavation is complete.

No Dig Hydro Excavation Can Prevent Job Site Accidents

With hydro excavation, mechanical excavation and hand excavation is eliminated by the use of a truck equipped with a water reservoir and debris tank. Using high-pressure jets, the water breaks up the soil, and powerful suction pulls the debris into a large holding tank. Joe Johnson Equipment (JJE) sells Vactor, Westech and Guzzler hydro excavation trucks and trailers that are equipped with adjustable water nozzle pressure to meet the safety requirements in your area, and prevent damage to lines. Take, for example, Vactor’s DIGRIGHT Technology.

No dig hydro excavation is ideal for daylighting of underground utilities because it reveals exact locations of utilities but with much less danger to workers or infrastructure. This is done with high-pressure water and suction instead of equipment that can hit and damage buried utilities.

Other useful applications for hydro excavation:
● drilling holes for fence posts and signposts
● coring
● potholing
● slot trenching
● pipe location

The hydro excavation method of excavation accounted for 0.2% of accidents in 2016, which is shocking when you compare them to the 40% of accidents caused by excavation using backhoes and trenchers.

Hand-digging has often been considered a safe alternative, but it should be done with archeological care and the person digging tends to be much rougher than is safe. Additionally, hand-digging requires that a person be inside of the excavated area, and this increases their risk of injury due to hitting a utility line or a trench cave-in.

Hydro Excavation is Better for Environmentally-Sensitive Areas

With hydro excavation, there’s no mechanical digging, and no trenches lined with contaminated soil, so there’s no run-off into sensitive areas such as waterways or sewer systems. All of the soils are pulled up into the debris tank and safely removed. Excavation using this method also reduces the area of disruption, meaning less of the site requires restoration, and less natural plant and animal habitat is affected.

Hydro Excavation Also Saves Time and Money

If time is money, then hydro excavation is the champion of both. While it’s still critical (and the law) to call for locates, once this is done, your work can move quickly.

One of the biggest challenges is manpower. Industry labour shortages can be difficult. Finding the right people, getting the right equipment, and getting the weather to cooperate can cost you. A hydrovac is designed to work in all kinds of weather, even in cold weather, when mechanical digging just isn’t an option.

Using hydrovac technology, you’re also saving time and money on site restoration. With this method, the excavated area is smaller and is less affected by materials.

A recent study by the City of London says it best: “…The hydrovac unit effectively replaced the hand digging requirement being completed in 1/3 of the time and with 1/2 of the crew. The cost of using a shovel and backhoe compared to a hydrovac unit on the identical job is 4.1 times greater.”

A final point on the costs of hydro excavation in urban or commercial areas. Since the digless technology allows for a smaller hole and eliminates the need for waste storage on the site being excavated, it is a cleaner job that takes less work to restore, making it less disruptive to traffic and commerce.

JJE offers a wide array of no dig hydro excavation solutions ideal for large-scale applications, as well as urban and municipal applications. Ask the experts at JJE for more information on how new or used hydrovac trucks can speed up your excavation projects. View Our Products Here.


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