The process is simple - A Suction or Vacuum Excavator (see diagram below) generates a high volume flow of air by means of its single/twin/triple or even quad air fans.

Air flows through the machines intake nozzle and hose into a series of chambers, including the main material storage tank, before passing through a micro mesh filter system and then out into the atmosphere.

A Suction Excavator generates high volume air flow via its suction fans which are powered by the vehicles main engine. This air flow produces a suction that pulls material into the machines intake nozzle depositing it into a material storage container which holds between 7 - 10m3. Small soil particles are dropped into a further two smaller containers. The air then continues through to a bank of micro mesh filters that capture small particles and dust, before being released back into the atmosphere.

When an operator directs the machines intake nozzle at the ground to be excavated, the air flow vacuums the ground material into the vacuum excavator and this material is deposited into the main storage tank.

Small soil particles drop into a further two smaller tanks and any dust particles are caught in the micro mesh filter system before the air finally passes from the machine.

If the ground conditions prove to be more challenging, the trained operator will then use an air lance or other air tools that are connected to the vacuum/suction excavator. These tools will assist in breaking the ground free. This will then allow the air flow to catch the material and then remove it into the vacuum excavator.

This safe dig approach to excavation projects is now recognised as the best and safest method of excavating around buried services.

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