Providing a Long Reach

Providing a Long Reach

With the growing need to excavate without damaging underground utilities and pipelines, more contractors are turning to hydroexcavation. However, operators can be limited by bulky hydroexcavator trucks with limited boom reach. That’s why the VE115 Vacuum Extension boom from Schwing America is becoming a popular choice for accessing work areas in rural and urban settings.

The four-section roll-and-fold boom provides 126 feet of reach vertically, 115 feet horizontally and 89 feet below grade. It connects to any vacuum excavator with a minimum 5,000 scfm, positive displacement blower. High-pressure water and air connections are on the rear of the chassis, with plumbing to the boom tip.

“On a standard hydrovac, you can reach about 26 feet with a stiff boom,” says Phil Serre, Long Reach Vac Division Manager for Schwing America. “Instead, we are capable of covering 1 square acre without having to move or reposition.”

The technology is also available on the company’s VX115 Vacuum Excavator — an all-in-one unit with air and water systems onboard. It offers 6,176 scfm with its 28-inch Hg blower, along with a 750-gallon water tank, 420,000 Btu diesel-fired boiler and a 18 gpm at 4,000 psi water pump. With this unit, you hook up a 25-yard roll-off container, which allows for near continuous operation at large job sites. 

“Instead of the conventional hydrovac with a small holding tank that must stop vacuuming operations and leave the job site to unload, we just exchange the roll-off vac box and let the much cheaper roll-off truck remove up to 25 yards of material at a time while we continue the vacuuming project,” Serre says. “We only have to stop long enough for the box exchange.”

In addition to tight urban areas where it may be difficult to maneuver a hydroexcavation truck, Serre says he sees several other applications for the technology.

“We have also had a lot of interest from roofers and roof contractors wanting to remove rocks from multistory buildings,” he says. “With the addition of a self-contained, high-pressure blast ring affixed to the end hose, we’ve had customers clean waste tanks and holding ponds. The unit is fully remote controlled, and the operator can sit at a safe location and simply pressure wash and vacuum the tank, or even steam clean it. So far everyone loves their capabilities.”



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