Trailer vacuum excavator from Ring-O-Matic provides the power of a larger unit.

Vacuum excavation continues to increase in popularity, but the big price and large footprint of a lot of units can be obstacles. Ring-O-Matic hopes to give those looking for a smaller, more reasonably priced unit a chance to get in the game with the HiCFM 850VX, on display at the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show.

Applications for the HiCFM 850VX include keyholing or potholing buried utilities, cleaning out storm drains and catch basins, drilling fluids, valve boxes, slot trenching, or assisting in environmental cleanup, making it a versatile option for customers looking to complete a wide variety of projects. According to the makers, it is designed to handle the workload of a large truck-mounted excavator.

“This is an excavator that can do anything a truck can, but in a smaller package and on a smaller scale,” says Jim Zylstra, Ring-O-Matic sales and marketing manager. “It is ideal for contractors or municipalities that can’t afford a large excavation truck, or don’t have a CDL, but still see the benefits of vacuum excavation.”

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The trailer-mounted version of the HiCFM 850VX can be pulled with a standard 3/4-ton truck, with less than 1,200-pound fully loaded, optimally balanced tongue weight. The tandem-axle, pintle-hitch-mount trailer is built on an 8-inch C-channel frame, designed for reliability and longevity. A 15-inch, 7,480.5 gpm Gardner Denver blower, powered by a water-cooled, 50 hp industrial CAT Interim Tier 4 diesel engine, supplies vacuum power.

“Because it is trailer-mounted, we believe it’s actually more maneuverable than a large truck unit,” says Zylstra. “Trailer units are our bread and butter, but we wanted to offer something that provides the same kind of power as a truck unit. It’s gotten a huge response at this show.”

The unit has several features aimed at increasing operator productivity while decreasing maintenance time. Operator controls are located at the front of the machine in a lockable workstation cabinet, and a twin-cylinder hydraulic hoist unloads the tank, making unloading spoils quick and easy. Two 250-gallon water tanks allow the unit to work independent from the location’s water supply, if necessary. The unit has a Cyclo-Separator air filter, which is rated to 3 microns with a 17,000-square-inch capacity. Its compact and low-profile design provides operators with enhanced visibility for added job site safety, as well as stability when navigating rough terrain. It includes a silencer package and reverse flow, which makes it easy to empty the tank, clear obstructions from the vacuum hose, and backflush the filters.

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“We put a lot of features in this unit designed to make it easy for the operator to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible,” says Zylstra. “It helps take complicated jobs and makes them doable with one man.”

Options available to customers include the Viper potholing tool, which offers an easy-to-use emulsifying gun; curbside remote auxiliary hydraulics for increased job site utility; a 6-inch vacuum hose upsize from the standard 4-inch hose; fully hydraulically controlled boom; an in-tank clean-out system; and a sewer jetter. According to Zylstra, the unit is an upgraded and upsized version of a long-popular vacuum excavator.

“It’s basically the result of taking years of customer feedback to build the exact unit they were asking for,” he says. “It is simple to operate and provides big production. We feel that it’s bulletproof.” 800/544-2518;

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