How Does It Work?

Master Locators provides vacuum excavation services with air or water for fast, non-destructive, cost effective and accurate location of underground utilities when utility conflicts exist or when precise excavation within congested area is required. A small area of pavement is removed by coring or jackhammer. We also offer a coring service where we can cut and remove a clean intact section of concrete to set aside. Vacuum excavation is digging by using a vacuum to break apart material with high pressure water or air. The soil will then travel through a hose which is mounted to a debris truck. After the excavation is finished the core is reinstated which eliminates that need to pour new concrete.

Why Do I Need Vacuum Excavation?

The only way to expose a utility is doing vacuum excavation to obtain quality level A subsurface engineering data via test hole in accordance with ASCE 38-02 standard guidelines for the collection and depiction of existing subsurface utility data. In using vacuum excavation you get horizontal and vertical measurements. Air and Hydro excavation virtually mitigates risk to accidental hits to underground utilities. It is also ideal for pre-clearing a boring hole. Any accidental hits to pipes and utilities can be very costly and add steps in repairs and delays so using vacuum excavation is a huge cost savings.


What’s the difference between Air & Hydro excavation?

Air is recommended  for utility test holes and or single excavations involving around 1 cubic yard per excavation. The hydro is used for larger excavations because it is more productive, especially in difficult, compact soil conditions, and holds more material due to its larger storage tank, keeping it digging for longer periods than air trucks.

What is the standard production rate? (How many holes or cubic yards can you get done in one day?)

This depends on the soil condition, depth and the site however once we know the scope we can give you an estimate.

Can you suck up soil/debris and move it?

We can move the soil/debris but we will not be able to vacuum anything heavy enough to damage the equipment. The speed of moving the soil/debris can vary depending on if the dirt is loose, how far the truck is from the area being excavated, and how far we have to transport it to the dump. Rocks or boulders greater than 8” in circumference can either significantly restrict production or will bring production to a halt.

Are all trucks the same?

For the most part, yes. However, it’s the technical ability and work ethic of the crews that matter more than the truck itself when it comes to production levels. For example, the production capability of any hydro truck can be significantly reduced if the crew is using more water than is necessary during the excavation process. You’re not paying anyone to vacuum water are you?