Vacuum Excavation: The Roots of SoftDig®
SoftDig® vacuum excavation roots go back to 1959 when one of our founders helped design one of the first SoftDig® vacuum excavation trucks. Today, our state-of-the-art fleet of vacuum excavation trucks provide the Mid-Atlantic and Texas with low impact, minimally invasive, excavation services. Vacuum excavation is done for a variety of reasons, including clearing bore holes prior to geotechnical drilling, trenching around structures and utilities that must be protected from normal excavation, and to expose the utility in order to retrieve utility depth measurements and data of that nature.
How Vacuum Excavation Works
SoftDig® vacuum excavation trucks utilize a truck-mounted compressor/vacuum system that simultaneously compresses air, shooting it through a lance to loosen the soil, and sucks the dislodged debris through a vacuum system. The dual-purpose system allows SoftDig® to disturb the least amount of soil necessary, and replace the excavated soil as efficiently as possible. The process allows SoftDig® to deliver necessary location/position data to clients (necessary for ASCE 38-02 Quality “A” SUE services), while leaving only a marginal footprint at the job site. The same process is used in hydro-vacuum excavation, which replaces compressed air with jetting water.
Precision Trenching with Vacuum Excavation
For clearing areas prior to installing pier shafts for above-ground pipe or conduit racks
Done instead of or prior to excavating with heavy machinery for the installation of pipelines, conduits or cables
A perimeter trench used to provide engineering data about subsurface utilities in a given area
To verify subsurface clearances prior to the installation of pole foundations for light poles or traffic signals
Used to determine clearances above, below and between subsurface utilities at critical junctions for directional drilling
A safe way to uncover buried pipeline valves or sections of buried pipe for point repair operations