Force One - Safe Dig Day 2022!

On Thursday 15th September 2022, Force One, in collaboration with a number of our customers including Willmott Dixon, Barhale Ltd and others, invited Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors, including some of the country’s leaders in the civils and construction industries, to spend the day with us. The aim of the day was to demonstrate specialised safe dig equipment (Suction Excavators), our approach, and safe methods when using these machines generally. Together with how and where these machines can be used to greatly help reduce and even remove the risk of service strikes.

As we all know utility strikes are something that all contractors hope to avoid but some are inevitable due to a whole host of reasons, machinery and human error are just a few of them. According to the latest Digging Up Britain report, based on research by the University of Birmingham, the true cost of a utility strike is reaching almost 29 times more than the direct cost of the strike. With that in mind, the true cost of a £2000 direct repair is closer to £58,000. Obviously, none of this considers the risk to life, and the impact on customers, amongst other things. Creating a safe system of work that reduces strikes, near misses, improves employee safety and reduce environmental damage is something we take seriously at Force One. The possible applications for suction excavation across projects is constantly evolving and growing and we want to ensure customers have a good understanding of their use to constantly improve safety when excavating services.

On the day we were able to show a range of our machines demonstrating different safe dig scenarios; from a standard excavation over buried services, to material removal from an excavation over 80 meters horizontal distance from the position of one of our Specialist, High Powered Quad Fan suction excavators.

Getting a large suction vehicle to some excavation locations can be almost impossible and an example of this could be excavations in fields or on uneven ground where a standard road suction excavator just could not be used. However, we demonstrated how the use of our rough terrain 8x8 vehicle is an option in these circumstances.

Alongside our range of specialist machines, including high tip, left and right tip, plus machines with self-drive hydrostatic drive systems, being demonstrated, we had various supporting equipment on display which are used in conjunction with our suction excavator including:

  • High Performance Air Lance
  • High Pressure Water System
  • Remote Nozzle Units – radio controlled.
  • Safe dig nozzles
  • Long reach nozzles

In addition, we were happy to have members from the CPA exhibiting and answering questions on their service and membership, plus underlining their guideline report on the safe operation of suction excavators including the need for operatives of these machines to have the CPCS A78 qualification and two man teams.

Also exhibiting were Radiodetection and Spillard Safety Systems. Their demonstration of systems and equipment drew a lot of interest from those attending.

Holding this size of event was a first for Force One and represented the largest demonstration of suction excavators and related safe dig systems held in the UK by an independent operator of these machines.

With over 100 people attending from various sectors within the industry the day proved a great success with very positive feedback with many stating the event had broadened knowledge and will help in how and where suction excavation services will be applied in future.

With the success of this event, together with the lessons we have learnt in its organisation and the feedback received from those attending we intend to hold similar events in the future.

For more information about our excavators, the supporting equipment listed above, suction excavator hire or to discuss how we can help on your project, please contact a member of the Force One team on 01354 655441 or email us at We are always happy to help.

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