Powerful Blowers Differentiate Hydrovac Contractor From Competitors

From its inception, Canada’s West Coast Hydro Services has not skimped on the equipment it puts on its hydroexcavation rigs

Powerful Blowers Differentiate Hydrovac Contractor From Competitors

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When Chad Porter established West Coast Hydro Services in 2005 in Port Kells, near Vancouver in British Columbia, he felt it was critical to make a good first impression by being different. After all, he was going up against some stiff competition, including a long-established, well-known hydroexcavating business.

Porter decided to differentiate where it really counted: At the end of a vacuum hose. He spent an extra $30,000 to equip his first rig with a Robuschi 145 blower, which generates 6,450 cfm of vacuum power.

How did that work out? Well, the company’s two other trucks also feature the same Robuschi blower.

“Having a lot of vacuum power makes a huge difference,” Porter says. “My customers always ask how big a blower I have because they’re familiar with the advantages that more powerful blowers provide (in terms of productivity). It all boils down to one thing: You can never have too much power.” 

That’s especially true when West Coast “swampers” are tasked with vacuuming dense, wet blue clay that’s prevalent in the Canadian province, Porter says.

“The other day we had to suck up some hard clay and the customer didn’t want us to use any water because he was trying to keep the hole dry,” Porter says. “It took almost everything that blower could give to pull up all that mud. We were able to do it, but that clay definitely was working the blower — by the time we finished, it had sucked up half a tank of fuel.

“The customer had another company out the day before we were there and they couldn’t do anything with that clay. So that big blower definitely gave us an advantage.”

The ability to work faster and more productively also translates into better profitability, as well as repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers.

“Time always is of the essence out in the field,” Porter says. “Customers always comment on how fast we work — it’s another thing that separates us from our competitors, who mostly have 3,300 cfm blowers. You have to be different to succeed.”

Read more about West Coast Hydro Services in the January 2021 issue of Dig Different magazine.


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