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. The coring service that we offer allows us to cut and remove a clean, intact section of concrete to set aside and use to fill the hole once the excavation is finished. 

Vacuum excavation uses a vacuum to dig by breaking apart earth material with high pressure water or air. The soil will then travel through a hose which is mounted to a truck that holds the debris. After the excavation is finished, the typical method to repair the hole is with cold patch. If coring is done, then the core can be reinstated, which eliminates the need to pour new concrete.

Why Do I Need Vacuum Excavation?

The only way to safely expose a utility is by doing vacuum excavation. Vacuum excavation gives 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 on the utility. 

Air and Hydro vacuum excavation mitigates risk for accidental hits to underground utilities. It is also ideal for pre-clearing a boring hole location. Any accidental hits to pipes and utilities can be very costly and add steps with repairs and delays, so using vacuum excavation can be a huge cost and time savings. 

Interested in vacuum excavation service for your project? Contact us or schedule service today!


What’s the difference between Air & Hydro excavation?

Air vacuum excavation is recommended for utility test holes and/or single excavations involving around 1 cubic yard per excavation. Hydro vacuum excavation is used for larger excavations because it is more productive, especially in difficult, compact soil conditions. It also holds more material due to its large storage tank, allowing it to dig for longer periods of time than air trucks can.

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 project site. If you are interested in finding out how long your specific project would take, feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to provide you with a free estimate.

Can you suck up soil/debris and move it?

We are able to move 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 the soil/debris 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?

No, we have a variety of air and hydro vacuum excavation trucks available that we use. The more detail you can provide regarding your scope will help us in selecting the best truck for the job. However, you also have to factor in 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?