Hydroexcavation equipment can clear the earth around oil and gas pipelines, and can be a very effective means of removing sludge, slurries, mud, gravel and other waste. However, when the job calls for the removal of large amounts of material, tried-and-true excavators and loaders are ideal. Whether you need traditional excavating, loading, grading, debris hauling or hydroexcavation equipment, here are several products to consider.


  Vertical-style lift arm loader

The S850 M-Series loader from Bobcat features a rated operating capacity of 3,875 pounds and an operating weight of 10,008 pounds. Thanks to vertical-style lift arms, it offers a lift height of 144 inches, giving it the most lift height of any Bobcat loader. It is powered by a 92 hp water-cooled diesel engine. Routine maintenance has been minimized to enhance operator productivity. The cooling system provides increased efficiency and higher performance. The design also makes it easier to clean out, with an oil cooler that swings up, allowing the operator to clean the areas between the oil cooler and radiator. 866/823-7898; www.bobcat.com.

  Vertical-lift skid loader

The V270 GEN:2 vertical-lift skid loader from Gehl features a Yanmar 72 hp diesel engine, a rated operating capacity of 2,700 pounds and a little over 10 feet 10 inches of lift height. The engine incorporates diesel particulate filter technology that is environmentally sound and does not require fuel after-treatments, such as urea. It offers the “T-bar” control option, in addition to joystick and hand/foot control options. A fully customizable digital in-cab display provides coolant, fuel, battery, environmental, engine regeneration and other system information in real time for an overview of complete system performance. An updated self-leveling option provides an on/off switch in the cab. Standard hydraulic flow is rated at 23.5 gpm and high flow at 35 gpm for attachment performance. 800/628-0491; www.gehl.com.

  Compact wheel loader

The 8-foot-tall 304K compact wheel loader from John Deere is designed specifically for lower-clearance applications. It features rigid front and rear axles to meet the 8-foot height while lowering the center of gravity and increasing stability and the tipping load limit. It comes standard with an open operator station designed to withstand the elements, featuring weather-resistant gauges, extended rooftops, nonskid floor mats and optional vandal proofing. The 64 hp, 48 kW unit boasts an Interim Tier 4 diesel engine and a two-speed transmission with a top speed of 12 mph. If one wheel slips when navigating soft terrain, limited slip differential transfers that wheel’s power to the opposite wheel to restore traction. Articulated steering assists in turning ability and offers flexibility when picking up or positioning loads. A push-button actuated skid-steer style coupler comes standard on the boom. 800/503-3373; www.johndeere.com.

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  Pipe grapple forks

Pipe Grapple Forks from Werk-Brau Co. are ideal for bulk handling long pipe, as well as wide- and small-diameter poles/pipes. They also come with adjustable fork tines for added control. Features include double action for full control of loading, regulated clamping pressure and arms that extend almost completely vertical to permit separate use of forks when required. They offer double pivot points with six heat-treated bushings and pins. The double pivot points adjust to the size of the load, ensuring the best possible clamp for carry. They are available in either machine specific pin-on or coupler-equipped configurations. 800/537-9561; www.werk-brau.com.

  Skid-steer loader

The Tier 4-compliant S220R-1 skid-steer loader from Yanmar America Corporation features a spacious operator’s cab and is engineered with a 70.7 hp Yanmar diesel engine carrying a rated operating capacity of 2,200 pounds. The universal attachment plate keeps the operator versatile in operation and job functionality. 800/872-2867; http://us.yanmar.com.


  Heavy-duty excavator

The DX225LC-3 excavator from Doosan Infracore America Corporation features a 167 hp engine, paired with power modes that provide ideal performance and fast workgroup speeds for heavy-duty work. Its four work modes, including digging, breaker, shear and lifting, allow maximum efficiency and fuel economy. An electronic clutch fan reduces fuel consumption and noise levels, while providing cooling system improvements. 770/831-2200; www.doosanequipment.com.

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  Mining-duty excavator

The EX1200-6 excavator from Hitachi features a cab layout, controls and monitor from the Zaxis-3 line of construction excavators, while the main frame, undercarriage, swing gear and modular design of the engine compartment, radiator and oil cooler and control valve place it squarely in the mining camp. It is available in both front-shovel and backhoe configurations, and features a swing/boom priority selection mode and backhoe boom and arm geometry. It has an upgraded undercarriage to handle increased bucket and lifting capacities, and hydraulic hosing to the boom for increased reliability. www.hitachimining.com.

  Low-emission excavator

The R380LC-9A excavator from Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas features a low-emission, low-noise, 290 hp Cummins QSL9 Interim Tier 4/Stage IIIB engine. Operators can choose between three engine modes – Power, Standard and Economy – which enable it to switch between full power and reduced fuel consumption according to the user’s preference.  It boasts an operating weight of 86,200 pounds, a breakout force of 49,300 pounds and a maximum dig depth of 27 feet, making it ideal for pipeline applications. It offers bushings designed for extended lube intervals of 250 hours, and polymer shims to resist wear and reduce noise. It also comes standard with extended-life hydraulic filters (1,000 hours), long-life hydraulic oil (5,000 hours) and more efficient cooling systems and integrated preheating systems. 877/509-2254; www.hceamericas.com.


TMX mini-excavators from Innovative Equipment feature a quick-hitch system that can be hooked behind a standard 1/2-ton pickup, van or light-duty tow vehicle. They eliminate tracks by utilizing zero-turn technology for access to tight locations and lawns. Weighing only 2,941 pounds, they feature an 8-foot digging depth and 6,600-pound digging force. The unit features a 7-foot-2-inch loading height with a swing radius of 140 degrees, allowing access next to walls and other obstructions. An auxiliary hydraulic tool circuit has the ability to power hydraulic tools including jackhammers, pumps and saws. 888/359-3002; www.iequipt.com.

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  Crawler excavator

The 81,800-pound SK350LC crawler excavator from Kobelco Construction Machinery USA features a fuel-efficient 270 hp, Tier IV HINO engine and a hydraulic system that reduces energy loss. With a digging force of 50,582 pounds, a dig depth of 24 feet 10 inches, a 1.57- to 2.09-cubic-yard bucket and a swing speed of 10.0 rpm, it ensures quick cycle times to keep productivity levels on point. It also comes with an independent travel feature that allows it to travel, dig and lift simultaneously without losing power. 281/888-8430; www.kobelco-usa.com.

  Zero-tail-swing compact excavator

The 350Z NXT2 zero-tail-swing compact excavator from Mustang is equipped with a 23.9 hp electronically controlled Yanmar Tier IV emissions-compliant diesel engine that provides 20 percent less fuel consumption than the previous model and features an electronic throttle for precise control. When activated with a switch inside the cab, ECO mode will reduce the engine speed by 10 percent without sacrificing power. Auto deceleration mode improves fuel economy, lowers noise levels and reduces emissions by lowering the engine speed to idle after four seconds without hydraulic movement. It includes a proportional auxiliary hydraulic rocker switch that makes changing attachments easier, allowing the operator to adjust the flow for optimal attachment performance. Features include the Power-a-Tach hydraulic quick coupler, a high-strength boom with sliding cylinder guards, and the high-performance hydraulic system with two variable and two gear pumps for simultaneous operation without loss of power. 800/628-0491; www.mustangmfg.com.


  Grading blade

Grade Blades from Hall’s Grade Blade come in six sizes to fit any brand of backhoe-loader or mini-excavator, and four sizes for 9-ton excavators and up. The blades cover the teeth of the bucket to give it a smooth edge. The blades install in less than 60 seconds with no tools. Squeegee blades have 30-degree wings to control dirt, etc.; leave no windrows; and increase bucket capacity 25 percent. The blade is guaranteed to reduce backfill time, leave no teeth marks and eliminate the need to rake, shovel, spread sand or run a compactor. 319/470-3033; www.gradeblade.com.

  Skid-steer grader blade

The SitePro SSGB-8A skid-steer grader blade from Worksaver turns a skid-steer into a high-performance grading machine for subgrading and asphalt preparation. The 8-foot six-way hydraulically controlled moldboard with 25-degree rotation/tilt and in-cab remote for precise control, is controlled by a proportional current valve. The moldboard is shear-pin protected to help prevent damage. It is ready to accept a laser control system for perfect grading. It also features a reversible beveled cutting edge for long life and 1/2-inch connect-under-pressure flat-faced hydraulic couplers. An end plate and laser pole kit, both offered in pairs, are also available. 217/324-5973; www.wssitepro.com.

Dump Trucks/Trailers

  Industrial dump truck

The 122SD industrial dump-body truck from Freightliner Trucks features engine choices up to 600 hp and 2,050 ft-lbs of torque, with a GVWR up to 160,000 pounds. Its back-of-cab chassis options make it easy to configure for most applications. It has a wheel cut up to 50 degrees to perform routine maintenance. The exterior includes a skid plate option, as well as bumper and radiator guards to limit damage. Options include work lights, dual hood latches and precleaners built into the hood air plenum. 503/745-8000; www.freightlinertrucks.com.

  Side-dump trailer

The side-dump trunnion-mounted trailer from Jet Company maintains a constant tub speed throughout the dumping cycle. This decrease in tub acceleration greatly improves trailer stability. It also features a rounded tub with no center divider for easy tub clean out, maintenance-free self-lubricating tub and cylinder pivot points, external tub supports that make hauling long items easier, and high-strength 1/4-inch abrasion-resistant steel for additional tub strength and dent reduction. 515/332-3117; www.jetcompany.com.

  50-degree dump body

The 5/6 Yard Box Dump Body from Ledwell is available with multiple chassis options. The company will paint and decal the body to the customer’s specifications. It comes standard with a 50-degree dump angle and is built with high-strength steel. It features a hauling capacity of 5 to 6 cubic yards, a side height of 24 inches, tailgate height of 31 inches, Pintle hitch and a front-mount 18-ton telescopic hoist. The tarp cover can be spring-loaded, manual, air or electrically operated. 888/533-9355; www.ledwell.com.

  Half-round dump trailer

The Macsimizer Half Round dump trailer from MAC Trailer is designed with a radius bulkhead that offers a low-profile front end complete with a lower center of gravity. This will provide a 7-inch-lower front end and a 6-inch-lower back end with 31 inches less flat space on the bulkhead compared to a standard flat bulkhead. It has a tare weight as low as 8,900 pounds (less liner and tarp), offering the volume of a traditional square dump with the load-release benefits of a round body, keeping the material centered throughout the entire dumping cycle. 330/823-9900; www.mactrailer.com.

  Articulated hauler

The F-Series articulated hauler from Volvo Construction Equipment features four models, ranging in capacity from the 26.5-ton A25F to the 43-ton A40F. They are equipped with D11 (A25F, A30F), D13 (A35F) and D16 (A40F) Tier 4i engines featuring Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology (V-ACT). Automatic traction control is standard. In normal mode, it selects fuel-saving 6-by-4 drive and only engages 6-by-6 drive when operating conditions call for it for increased productivity with minimal fuel consumption and longer operating life. Longitudinal differential locks are applied automatically depending on conditions. The dump lever is electrohydraulic, allowing for in-cab adjustments of dump body heights and promoting smooth lowering of the dump body. 828/650-2000; www.volvo.com.

Hydroexcavation Equipment

  Wash/hydroexcavator vacuum system

Wash/Hydroexcavator tanks from Camex Equipment have a range of capacities up to 3,405 gallons, with a 1,000-gallon compartment for water and the other compartment at 2,405 gallons plus 3 percent for debris, complete with one antisurge baffle mounted on a reinforcing pad. The water compartment contains a 21-inch manway with a ladder inside the tank and ladder rungs outside for access. A recessed float level indicator is located on the driver’s side of the unit. The tank features a 2-inch suction/discharge valve and a 2-inch drain valve. The tank is epoxy lined, and is designed to withstand 25 psi internal pressure at full vacuum and 15 psig external pressures. The primary shut-off is a 10-inch heavy-duty internal shut-off with a 6-inch stainless steel float ball/cage assembly and neoprene rubber seat top in front of the tank with a single 8-inch air-actuated butterfly isolation valve with the switch located on the deck. 877/955-2770; www.camex.com.

  Hydro/vac unit

The HV-55 HydroVax from GapVax is constructed of ASTM A572-Grade 50 steel, and features a 12 1/2-cubic-yard debris body and water tank options ranging from 400 to 1,400 gallons. It comes standard with a displacement vacuum pump rated at 5,250 cfm with 28 inches Hg. The filtration design includes five cyclones, which prolong the life of the filter bags and eliminate the threat of material entering the vacuum pump. The tailgate is fully opening with a field-adjustable hinge and dual cylinders, and also has four fail-safe, individually adjustable locks that assure a complete seal. Options include interior polymer coating throughout, cold-weather recirculation package, sludge pump, auger unloading system, body pressurization system, remote pendants and wireless remotes, washdown system and stainless steel body. 888/442-7829; www.gapvax.com.

  Combination jet/vac truck

The Aquatech F-10 from Hi-Vac features a front-mounted reel designed by Aquatech. The 180-degree rotating front-mounted reel facilitates easy unit placement. Reel capacity is designed and engineered for up to 800 feet of 1-inch hose. The top-loading boom powers up and down and extends to 26 feet from the pivot point. The single-engine drive dramatically decreases fuel consumption, maintenance expense, weight on the chassis and the initial chassis price. The water pump consists of a continuous flow, triplex reciprocating design and is rated up to 80 gpm at 2,000 psi. An optional unloader valve allows for complete control of water flow and pressure independent of the vacuum power. Tanks are constructed of high-strength, UV stabilized polyethylene, with optional fixed internal baffled aluminum tanks. 800/752-2400; www.aquatechinc.com.

  Vacuum excavator

Generation 2 vacuum excavators from McLaughlin feature a Tier 4 engine that provides enhanced fuel consumption and a new engine enclosure to help reduce engine noise levels. A large access door provides improved accessibility to conduct service and maintenance. Contractors can also lock the enclosure doors, helping to deter potential vandalism. They feature a three-stage filtration system that allows for both wet and dry vacuum excavation. First, material enters the tank at 130 mph where large soil particles lose velocity and fall out of the filtration system. Next, the air moves to a prefilter cyclone, where the remaining small particles drop into a collection tank. Finally, the prefiltered air enters a washable micron-poly filter that traps the remaining fine particles. 800/435-9340; www.mclaughlinunderground.com.

  Cold-weather combination unit

The Presvac Hydrovac is designed for cold-weather operation. It features low point drains, heated cabinets and a diesel-fired water burner (boiler 440,000, 700,000 or 980,000 Btu/hr). It uses stainless steel water tanks to prevent rust and corrosion of the water and piping system. The hydraulically driven triplex water pump system is designed to generate flows from 10 through 20-plus gpm and pressures up to 5,800 psi. The high transfer case-driven airflow and high vacuum blower allows extraction of all types of soils, gravel, rock, clay, water and silt through loading or pneumatic conveyance. The material knockout features in the debris tank minimize carryover to the cyclone and blower filter. It has a heavy-duty 8-inch boom (up to 25 feet long) with six-way hydraulic power, and is operated using wireless controls for all boom functions, water pump (soft start), vacuum breaker and truck engine speed. 800/387-7763; www.presvac.com.

  All-weather hydroexcavator

The HX-12 hydroexcavator from Ramvac features an all-weather environmental enclosure that keeps its entire water system protected from the elements. It also can get into locations other trucks can’t with an overall length just over 36 feet. It is equipped with a fuel-saving 4,400 cfm and efficient hydrostatic drive. Units offer seven different blower options. 800/323-1604; www.ram-vac.com.

  Hydroexcavating tool

The Soil Surgeon hydroexcavating tool is designed to fit any sewer combination truck equipped with a telescopic 6- or 8-inch boom. The tool has a 1-inch water connection. The operator controls water pressure and power with truck controls. Features include 6-foot Tuff Tube with handles fabricated to the tube to guide the unit down for potholing or side to side for trenching. Six jets boring inward cut the soil, while six jets boring outward bring the tube down. Bumpers on the bottom protect the jets and lines the tool might contact. 949/363-1401; www.soilsurgeoninc.com.

  Combination vacuum truck

The Mud Dog 1600 vacuum/hydroexcavator combo from Super Products features a 16-cubic-yard debris body, standard 1,500-gallon water capacity and a rear-mounted boom that offers 335-degree rotation, 27-foot reach and upward/downward pivot that enables operators to achieve greater work area access and deeper digging without the need to halt production to reposition the truck. It can deliver up to 18 gpm of flow and 3,000 psi of pressure, while its 8-inch positive displacement vacuum system provides airflow up to 5,800 cfm and 28 inches of vacuum to ensure the thorough removal of a wide variety of materials. An ejector plate system smoothly pushes the load out of the collector body and into the disposal site. It has the ability to raise and tilt its collector body to unload into disposal areas with barriers or berms. 800/837-9711; www.muddogeasy.com.

  Hydrovac unit

The F4 hydrovac unit from Tornado Hydrovacs carries 13 cubic yards of mud and more than 2,000 gallons of freshwater. Components include a water tank from which you excavate, a mud tank in which the excavated spoils are held, a water pump, a boiler to heat the water and a positive displacement vacuum blower to pull the spoils to the tank via a boom. 877/340-8141; www.tornadotrucks.com.

  All-season hydroexcavator

The HV-145 from Transway Systems is an all-season hydroexcavator that operates at less than 85 dBA. It features a 6,400 cfm, 27-inch Hg high vacuum blower with direct-drive transfer case. Water pressure is achieved by a hydraulically driven triplex pump, delivering 10 gpm at 6,000 psi. Water is supplied from a 1,200-gallon HDPE baffled water tank with 1/2-inch sides and 3/4-inch bottom floor. The 26-foot telescopic boom allows for operation in remote areas. Water is heated by a 525,000 Btu diesel-fired burner for all-weather operation. Components are enclosed in an insulated, heated, walk-in storage enclosure with diesel-fired heater, marine-grade plywood floor and metal components that are powder coated prior to installation. 800/263-4508; www.transwaysystems.com.

  Excavation unit

The X-Cavator from Vac-Con is available in configurations from 5- to 16-cubic-yard capacities, with hydrostatically driven three-stage centrifugal compressors. A variety of hydrostatically or mechanically driven positive-displacement blowers up to 28-inches Hg are also available. It can also be configured with dual positive-displacement blowers with airflow up to 7,000 cfm. Low-volume, high-pressure water systems with up to 4,000 psi are available with cross-linked polyethylene water storage tanks with up to 1,500 gallons of capacity. It is available with a Power Flex Boom that extends up to 28.5 feet from the machine and rotates up to 315 degrees. The boom articulates up to 110 degrees and will lift up to 34 feet into the air. Booms are available with up to a 10-foot extension, and 8- and 10-inch tube diameter. 904/284-4200; www.vac-con.com.

  Dumping hydroexcavator

The Vacall AllExcavate hydroexcavation truck features a high-dump option that allows the operator to use a wireless remote control to raise the debris tank as much as 76 inches above ground level, and then shift the tank horizontally 21 inches beyond the rear bumper. That enables it to dump debris into roll-off containers, typically with an edge that’s 60 inches above ground level. It uses just one engine and can generate water flow at 10 to 25 gpm and pressures up to 3,000 psi. Used in combination with strong vacuum, it can loosen and remove dirt, rocks and other material from around utility lines and foundations. Standard and optional debris bodies and water tanks are available. The AllSmartFlow CANbus intelligent control system is standard, monitoring water usage and minimizing downtime for water tank refills. 800/382-8302; www.vacallindustries.com.

  Full-size hydroexcavator

The HXX Hydro-Excavator from Vactor Manufacturing provides a platform for safe, easy potholing, waterline repair, slot trenching, directional drilling, sign and pole installation, pipe and line installation and other large-volume excavation. It provides up to seven hours of continuous operation with onboard water. Features include a 12-cubic-yard debris body fabricated from corrosion- and abrasion-resistant steel; a 1,200-gallon high-density polyethylene (HDPE) water tank that retains heated water temperature, reducing the likelihood of freezing during operation in harsh winter weather; and a top-mounted, 7-foot hydraulic extendable boom that provides 320-degree rotation. Heated pump cabinets and a built-in boiler allow it to work on frozen ground in subzero temperatures. It is available in positive displacement and fan configurations. 800/627-3171; www.vactor.com.

  Hydro/vac unit

The POWERVAC hydro/vac unit from Vacuum Sales Inc. can be used in wet or dry environments for hazardous and nonhazardous applications. It features stainless steel and carbon steel construction (ASME DOT 407 – 412 certified), positive displacement high vacuum blowers, a capacity up to 4,600 cfm, vacuum up to 28.5 inches (95 percent) continuous, and pressure unloading with a rotary vane vacuum/pressure pump. It also has high-capacity intake and exhaust silencers, and filtration and vacuum lines. It is designed for continuous operation at maximum vacuum, with five bearings for belt or direct drive, oil lubricated bearings and gears, oil-free air discharge and air injection cooling, and requires no relief valve. A full range of rotary vane pumps is available with pressures up to 35 psi. 800/547-7790; www.vacuumsalesinc.com.

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