Some might call the use of hydro excavators for various types of construction and utility projects a growing trend. The truth, however, is that hydro excavation is not a fleeting concept. What might have once been considered a niche method has quickly become an integral and widely adopted function of the excavation process. The industry simply can’t deny the speed, efficiency and safety benefits associated with leveraging hydro excavators over more conventional machines.
Hydro excavating trucks are equipped with a high-pressure water source to wield greater accuracy and control in the digging environment. The soil is siphoned through a vacuum hose and transported into a debris tank for eventual backfilling purposes or disposal. This method is, by far, one of the smartest choices for uncovering underground utilities, as it embraces a softer approach that mitigates damage and safety risks. It saves project teams on critical time and money while minimizing the potential for laborers to experience dangerous working conditions.
Here, we’re breaking down the finer points of exactly how hydro excavators enable project managers and their people to complete many types of construction and utility jobs in a more expedient, cost efficient and safe manner.
Hydro Excavators & Your Need for Speed
The best way to understand the value in hydro excavators is to highlight the hazards and limitations of more traditional excavation tools like manual shovels, backhoes and other blunt machinery. These options pose risks for both inaccuracy and property damage, both of which can slow down a project immensely. There’s also the immense effort and man hours involved in conventional digging approaches that often require extra time for backfilling after project completion. These processes are unnecessarily prolonged and allow too much opportunity for delays.
Hydro excavating, on the other hand, eliminates the bulk of these job hindrances. For everything from daylighting, excavating and slot trenching, to installing pipes or poles, maintaining utilities and other site applications, hydro excavators make the process smoother and quicker. This is a fundamental reason why it has become more and more popular and accessible across the industry.
Following are some of the most essential ways hydro excavators promote speed and save time on the job:
- They are highly versatile, with useful applications for working on and around utilities and pipelines, telecommunications cables, signs and poles, and landscaping projects, and they can be leveraged to complete cold-weather digging, directional drilling and excavation in tight or congested spaces.
- They are immensely more precise. Rather than digging blindly and holding out hope that nothing gets damaged, job workers using hydro excavators can dig slots and trenches to find or install lines and pipes without excessive risk of destroying property in the process and causing unexpected delays.
- The machinery is easier to use and easier to maintain, all while preserving the utmost in power and function. Therefore, it can shave hours to days off a project timeline.
- Hydro excavators have the unique ability to speed up project turnaround times by eliminating time spent cleaning up piles of soil and debris or repairing any damage caused by huge industrial machines.
Hydro Excavators & Your Care for Cost Efficiency
As we’ve already pointed out, hydro excavators are major time savers. That, in and of itself, provides the benefit of greater cost efficiency. But that’s not all there is to highlight when it comes to the cost savings associated with the practice of hydro excavating.
Let’s discuss the more muted expense of potential property damage and/or noncompliance. In other words, when it comes to less precise methods of excavation, there’s the baked-in risk of having to pay more than is necessary due to digging inaccuracies that result in accidental hits, punctures or breaks to subsurface property.
In addition to the expense of repairing damage, there’s also the possibility of causing disruption to vital services for both consumers and public safeguards, which can come with a hefty price tag. Plus, you could be looking at fines and repercussions for noncompliance with state and local regulations that govern the protection of underground lines from damages caused by excavation work.
All of this equates to diminished cost efficiency for a project. With hydro excavators, however, you have the means to prevent these types of efficiency challenges via a softer approach. They essentially result in fewer repairs and backfilling, as well as reduced or avoided expenses for the material and labor of restoration jobs. With hydro excavating processes, you prioritize speed, accuracy, minimal environmental impact, compliance and, ultimately, service—which is a bottom-line benefit that can’t be ignored.
Hydro Excavators & Your Responsibility for Safety
Last but certainly not least, there’s the important issue of job safety. One of the most compelling reasons for increased adoption of hydro excavating practices is the increased focus on safety regulations and requirements for excavation methods near identified utilities. A greater spotlight on the issue of safe digging has driven a more pronounced need for hydro excavators in a number of project environments.
There’s no doubt that heavy machinery and inaccurate excavation processes pose serious risks to on-site workers. Explosions, fires and digging-related deaths and injuries are a dangerous reality in this line of work. The only way to mitigate these threats to worker safety is to utilize the kinds of tools and technology that are non-destructive and highly precise. This is the role of hydro excavators, which approach digging in a powerful yet immensely softer and safer way.
In addition, hydro excavators can be positioned at a distance from the actual excavation area, which enables work crews to minimize the traffic and congestion that can lead to dangerous accidents and mishaps. When worker wellbeing is so vital to the job at hand, it’s necessary to rely on an experienced team of people leveraging the safest excavation practices.
For the above reasons associated with speed, efficiency and safety, hydro excavators are revolutionizing the world of construction and utility work. This technology brings incredible advantages for managers and crews associated with a range of jobs involving excavation. That’s why the word “trend” no longer applies to this smart concept in the construction and utility arena. Hydro excavating is now the must-have for responsible, bottom line-focused teams conducting the business of excavation.
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