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Why use suction excavation?

This method has proven to be totally safe and to date has eliminated service strikes, saving lives and millions of pounds across the UK

Non-invasive suction excavator technology is ideally suited for excavation work on job sites where existing buried pipe, cable and other utility lines are present.  When a utility is struck and damaged using conventional techniques there is the disruption to the supply, lost revenue, negative publicity and customer service issues.  For a contractor there are serious cost implications, job overruns, and the potentially irretrievable damage to its relationship with the client. Above all utility strikes can injure operatives and members of the public. Sadly, in some cases, utility strikes can kill.

All responsible contractors insist that site teams locate underground utilities and check plans before excavating but it’s an inexact science and mistakes still happen. Suction Excavator Solutions therefore provide an alternative safe digging method to mechanical and manual excavation techniques.

Suction excavators are over six times more productive than manual excavation methods even in heavy soils where pipes and cables are known to be buried. Utilities companies can achieve faster repair and service connection times; contractors are able to schedule work more accurately because site logistics are simplified.

Whilst safety is paramount, suction excavation also provides users with a host of further operational and safety benefits.

  • The suction excavation process can be finely controlled and the size of the excavation and the volume of material removed are therefore minimised: less excavated spoil means less environmental impact and reduced reinstatement costs.
  • Keyhole excavation produces a neater finish and less of the highway is lost to excavation therefore reducing traffic disruption. This is an ideal solution in town centres and cities and is welcomed by local authorities. The speed and flexibility of the suction excavator is ideal for works in high-profile locations and for works in the vicinity of sensitive structures. Urban sites are often complicated by restricted and difficult access. The suction excavator’s telescopic reach and flexibility means it can be effective in many areas where mechanical excavation is compromised.
  • Labour intensive manual excavation work that is often associated with health and safety risks is fast becoming a thing of the past. No man entry required into the excavation reducing many health and safety risks thus reducing personal injury claims.

Huge penalties for companies are avoided by using Suction Excavator Solutions

Performance comparison between manual and suction excavation

Chart showing performance comparison between manual and suction excavation

Manual excavation

1. Manual excavation, normal soil conditions, presence of buried pipes and cables: < 1 cubic metre of material removed per 6 hours

Suction excavation

2. Heavy soil, presence of buried pipes and cables: 10 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
3. Dry and heavy soil: 15 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
4. Wet and heavy soil or clay: 18 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
5. Moderately heavy soil, presence of buried pipes and cables: 24 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
6. Muddy soil, gravel and crushed rock: 36 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
7. Sandy soil: 60 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours
8. Water: 180 cubic metres of material removed per 6 hours