Excavation work requires a high level of accuracy and precision, especially if there are underground utilities such as optic fibre cables, gas lines, and pipeworks. For these jobs, it can be extremely difficult and inefficient to use a traditional excavator. 

This is where vacuum excavation comes in, and why it’s so great. Not only are they great at digging, but they also do it more efficiently. We’re going to cover this in more detail below. Let’s start with how to improve productivity on a construction site with a vacuum excavator!

What is a vacuum excavator used for? 


Vacuum excavators use a non-destructive digging process (NDD) which has a range of uses, even especially within the construction industry. What exactly are vacuum excavators, though? 

Traditional machinery excavation requires the use of an excavator with a bucket, which is great at clearing out large amounts of earth. Whereas vacuum excavation uses water pressure and a powerful vacuum hose to remove debris, soil, rocks, and earth. This is a more controlled and precise process, meaning any jobs that require a small amount of room or have services located nearby, are perfect for a vacuum truck. 

Utility location

Construction projects can typically span a large area and be littered with underground services that are difficult to locate. Excavators with a bucket are prone to snagging and catching unseen services easily, which can be dangerous and potentially cost a lot of money to fix. Vacuum excavators are great at utility location work, as the NDD process isn’t harsh enough to break through or cut off any services. NDD rigs can excavate a hole and provide workers with a clear view of the underground utilities. 

Tree root care

Much in the same way vacuum trucks are great at locating services, they’re also great at excavating around delicate tree roots. Older methods of using hoes and shovels are inaccurate and damaging to the root system, potentially killing the tree if workers aren’t careful. Whereas NDD is a more gentle process that doesn’t do as much harm to the root system. 


Due to the flexibility of a vacuum truck, it’s no surprise it often gets used in smaller trenching projects. If the job isn’t too big and requires high levels of precision, an NDD rig is going perfect. The hoses on an NDD truck connect to a boom that can extend to a decent length, giving the operators room to get their work done without requiring much alignment and pre-set-up.

Pilot holling

Some machines, such as drilling rigs require pilot holing work before they can drill – either because they need to drill through hard materials like asphalt or require service locating. If asphalt is broken through, it leaves a mess behind that is difficult for a drill rig to clear out. Thanks to the power of the vacuum, the pieces of rubble and debris can be picked up with ease.

How can a vacuum excavator increase productivity?


Site managers are always looking for more efficient and productive ways to get work done. With that in mind, how are vacuum excavators beneficial to construction companies, team members and at improving productivity rates? 

Vacuum excavators are all about making work on the job site easier for everyone. It’s all about the kind of work NDD rigs do; service locating, pilot holes, trenching, and tree root care. These jobs are about supporting other pieces of equipment and people. 

NDD service locating is so popular because it can give you a clear view of the utility without damaging it. Knowing where all the services are located provides traditional excavator operators with a safe and clear area to get their work done in. You get the idea, a vacuum truck is all about helping workers to improve their productivity levels, whilst easing their workload. 

Is a vacuum excavator easy to use? 


Vacuum trucks are a fast and efficient piece of equipment, but are they easy to use? 

NDD equipment doesn’t require a lot of set-up and positioning before the work gets started. Yet, they’re still highly accurate and manoeuvrable. There are only a few steps. First is for the truck, or trailer to be parked nearby and then for the operators to extend out the boom arm and get underway. NDD work isn’t especially hard or complicated, so operating a vacuum truck is fairly

Discover Vermeer’s range of vacuum excavators


No wonder there has been a rise in the popularity of vacuum excavators. If construction companies are looking to improve their site productivity, NDD equipment is the right technology for the job. We at Vermeer WA & NT have a whole range of vacuum excavators and trucks that suit all different companies within the construction sector. 

VX70-1200 Truck-mounted vacuum excavators

Our VX70-1200 excavator is our flagship lineup, coming in a few different tank sizes. Their features and specifications make them perfect for a range of medium-large scale jobs involving earth and spill removals. Not only that, but their telescoping boom means that operators can be more controlling and precise in their work. 

VX25-100 and VX30-100 Trailer mounted vacuum excavators.

We know that some jobs require a smaller piece of equipment for better manoeuvrability. Is the job site in a car park, or maybe between two buildings where a truck can’t fit in? That’s not a problem. Vermeer engineers have done an excellent job at keeping the VX25-100 and VX30-100 form factor and weight down, without removing any functions. Even the larger tanks are compact and versatile. 

VX200-Mega vacuum excavator

It’s time to get out the big guns. With a 150 kW John Deere engine and 11,350-litre tank, no job is too big for the VX200-Mega. With such a large capacity, this vac truck can keep on vacuuming without issue. Perfect for jobs that require a lot of cleanups and NDD work, this rig will be available all day on-site without the need to flush out the spoil tank. 

Decided on some equipment? 


As we’ve covered, vacuum excavators are versatile pieces of equipment that are able to do a number of jobs with ease. By purchasing one of our vacuum trucks we guarantee your productivity and efficiency on the job site will be improved. Get in touch with us either by email: info@vermeer-want.com.au or by phone: (08) 9479 4994.


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