Year in Review: The Top 10 Stories of 2016

Year in Review: The Top 10 Stories of 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to take a few moments to look back on what made the headlines this year. These are the news stories you clicked on, liked and shared the most in the past 12 months. From how-to articles to maintenance checks and more, here are the top 10 stories from

10) On the Job: Pipe Bursting Saves Customer’s Driveway

We found this story in Phoenix, Arizona, showcasing a plumber replacing an existing pipe that was flaking by using a TRIC (Tools) trenchless pulling system to install a new 4-inch SDR17 drainline instead of cutting and digging up the customer’s concrete driveway.

9) Attachments Turn Excavators and Skid-Steers Into All-Purpose Tools

Skid steers are powerful little machines and are almost a must for any contractor. With a wide range of attachment options now available from manufacturers, these machines are being used for many jobs.

8) Tornado Hydrovac Trucks Put New Spin on Dumping Debris

When Duane Ruckman started DR Hydrovac in Strathmore, Alberta, he wanted a truck that could withstand the harsh Alberta environment. He found that with the Tornado Hydrovac trucks. He now owns a fleet of four of the machines.

7) Trenches Don’t Have to be Deep to be Dangerous

Trenching continued to be a big topic in 2016 with many accidents and deaths reported throughout North America because of poor trenching technique. This story highlighted a contractor from Arkansas who survived a trench collapse and is now sharing his experience and tips.

6) The Art of Pricing

Figuring out pricing on services can be a tricky thing to do, even for hydroexcavation contractors. We talked to a few hydrovac operators about how they come up with pricing and some tips they have for fellow contractors.

5) GapVax Expansion Opens Opportunities

GapVax started because owners Gary and Rose Poborsky had difficulty finding the type of reliable equipment they needed to support their growing environmental services business. Nearly 30 years later, the Pennsylvania-based vacuum truck manufacturer has grown and has wrapped up the first phase of a 160,000-square-foot addition to its manufacturing facility in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

4) Underground Hazards Make Safety Vital on a Directional Drilling Job Site

For directional drilling contractors, safety is paramount on the job site. It’s not only about keeping workers protected from the potential hazards, but also about effectively completing a job. If you can’t get the work done safely, where is the assurance that more work will be coming your way in the future?

3) Digging Machine: Built For Any Job

This Westech Vac Systems hydroexcavator caught the readers’ attention when it was posted in July. It’s a monster of a truck operated by Scott Hydro-Vac of Fort St. John, British Columbia. The truck was built on a 2014 tridrive Kenworth chassis.

2) Trying to Stay Busy

Times were challenging for those hydroexcavation companies working in the oil and gas industry in 2016 as the market continued to decline early in the year. Many oil and gas companies throughout North America cut back on work and projects, leaving hydroexcavation contractors with less to do. Many moved into other services to try and make up for the work they were now missing.

1) A Drill Bit For You

Directional drill bits may be a small piece of equipment on an excavation job, but finding the right one can make a significant difference in a project’s success. There are drill bits for sandy soil conditions to tough clay conditions. This article, posted in August, gave tips to contractors on what to look for when selecting drill bits.


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