Product Spotlight - July 2020

Product Spotlight - July 2020

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Just like how a pitcher’s elbow takes a lot of stress, the boom elbow on a hydrovac unit typically is one of the machine’s most stressed components. Sometimes elbows even need to be changed out several times a year on highly used units. So when Glenn Gevik, president of EMCO, unveiled his take on the hydrovac elbow and flanges — an extra-thick, carbide-infused component — at the 2020 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show, it turned plenty of heads.

From a distance, the replacement elbow resembles any typical hydrovac elbow. However, upon further examination, the inside of the elbow has welded carbide strips on the top half. According to Gevik, the carbide makes the elbows substantially more durable.

“Through our testing of these units, we found that the carbide helps them last four to five times longer than a typical elbow,” Gevik says. “Typically you’d make an elbow more durable by wrapping an extra layer of steel on the back. Adding the carbide to the inside of the elbow itself protects the steel in that curve, making this a more durable design.”

According to Gevik, it’s all about abrasion resistance. A hydrovac working at full power vacuums up abrasive material, sending it through the boom and into the holding tank at a very high speed. With that material constantly rubbing on the tube, that steel can wear quickly, especially at the elbow and flange where the material takes a turn.

“I’ve spoken with hydrovac operators who have gone through dozens of elbows and hundreds of flanges on their trucks in a year’s time,” Gevik says. “Not only is that a huge expense, it’s also valuable time spent changing out those parts. I thought if I could produce parts that last longer, that’s money in their pockets.”

According to Gevik, the elbows and flanges are equally adept on wet or dry excavation jobs. He designs them as OEM products, which can be fabricated at different sizes and bolt patterns to fit on any manufacturers’ hydrovac units.

“The elbows are designed to last four times as long as typical elbows, while the flanges last 10 times as long,” Gevik says. “The response has been overwhelming. Obviously this is something these guys are looking for.” 


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