Product Spotlight - March 2020

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When a hydroexcavation contractor needs to perform work in hard-to-reach or environmentally sensitive areas such as swamps or marshes, it is often difficult to use large trucks. Mats can sometimes be placed down for the trucks to drive over to protect the environment from any damage the heavy machines may cause. Those mats are heavy, bulky and expensive, though, and they take additional time to utilize.

However, through a collaborative effort with Ledwell & Son, PRINOTH and Pipeline & Utility Rental Equipment (PURE), the pipeline and utility industries have a new tool to make digging easier. The TrakVac is a compact hydroexcavator built by Ledwell and mounted on a PRINOTH crawler carrier buggy. It combines the agility of a crawler carrier to access hard-to-reach areas with low-impact vacuum technology where traditional digging is more difficult, especially close to underground utilities and pipelines. The idea was getting a more compact hydroexcavation unit into some of the harder-to-reach or environmentally sensitive areas of pipeline construction.

“The total package of hydroexcavation with the ability to ‘Go Anywhere’ (which is PRINOTH’s slogan) makes the TrakVac a true initiative and an answer to the growing demands of the pipeline industry,” says Gary Gathright, Ledwell engineer.

The vacuum module is self-contained while mounted on the PRINOTH PANTHER crawler. The prototype utilizes the PANTHER T12 model but can be sized to be installed on several different models. The 1,600 cfm vacuum blower unit works similarly to Ledwell’s larger blower vacuum trucks with the addition of a 7 gpm, 3,000 psi, high-pressure water system and 1,600 cfm vacuum blower. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 55,000 pounds and a ground pressure of only 6 psi when loaded.

“Since so many areas don’t allow mechanical digging, the hydroexcavation option gives crews on pipelines, construction sites and other hard-to-reach locations maximum flexibility,” Gathright says. “Using the TrakVac, they can exca-vate footings, expose hidden utilities and effect repairs to a buried pipeline.”

The TrakVac is sold and rented through PURE, a partner company of Vacuum Truck Rentals, which played a key role in the concept and development of the TrakVac along with Ledwell and PRINOTH.

“We were approached by PURE to develop the TrakVac in partnership with PRINOTH,” Gathright says. “Each of us brought unique perspectives from fabrication to vacuum equipment to crawler carriers that enabled our team to provide a complete solution.”


TrakVac by Ledwell


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