dollars and sense

Can you really put a dollar amount on damage prevention? Sure you can. In fact, it happens every time a utility line is damaged with a backhoe, bulldozer, auger, directional boring machine or shovel. It won’t take long before you find out exactly what it costs when you don’t prevent damages. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ can quickly turn very much “in your face” if a buried product pipeline or utility line is, let’s just say “unintentionally discovered.” That’s precisely what drives Hydro-Exc, both literally and figuratively.

Hydro-Exc.—short for hydraulic excavation—was formed in 2003 by Mitch and Colleen Ravesloot, along with Tom Vanbuskirk. Having spent over 20 years in the site utility field, Mitch discovered an increasing need for an alternative method for excavation. It didn’t take long before he figured out a way to repurpose a sewer-jetting truck to be used to dig holes.

Until recent years, a sewer-jetting truck was used primarily to clear clogged sewer mains using a high-pressure stream of water and to suck leaves and debris out of clogged storm catch-basins. It was around that time that several manufacturers devised a nozzle system, similar to the kind used for a power washer at the car wash, to intensify and focus the stream of water used for sewer-jetting. This high-pressure series of water streams are used to break up the earth, while the vacuum hose sucks the spoils into a storage tank.

Using pressurized water for digging is exponentially faster than vacuum excavation alone.

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