Five tips to engage the right Hydro Vacuum Excavation contractor for your next project

Following on from our post Hydro Vacuum Excavation – when and how to use it we thought it would be worthwhile to give some tips on what to look for and what to ask when trying to find the right company to perform vacuum excavation on your next project.

1. Are the services in house?

Many earthmoving and service locating companies advertise vacuum excavation as a service, but they actually outsource to a third party. This can mean escalated costs and increased time in dealing with multiple contractors. Even if you are told they will take control of the process, scheduling conflicts and back and forth are still more than likely to occur. Not to mention that feeling of being misled! It can create distrust in a company and even the industry, which is unfortunate. So always ask if the company owns the vac truck or has to outsource to a third party.

2. Experience, experience, experience!

A company might be long standing in the region but could have a high staff turnover, leading to machines being operated by inexperienced workers, whom, through no fault of their own are unsure of the primary objectives to be achieved. This will certainly lead to increased time on site and therefore cost.

So ask, what the company’s background is and how long has the vac truck operator been using that sort of machinery? What sort of experience do they have, is it in construction, labour hire, or do they just hold a heavy vehicle licence?


3. Are you Dial Before Dig (DBYD) certified?

If your specific hydro excavation needs are for underground service locating, then absolutely ask if they are Dial Before You Dig certified operators! This is crucial in determining the difference between an efficient and effective service, to a long, messy and drawn out process. Often a DBYD certified locator may still need to be called out to verify the services that have been exposed! Blowing out project schedules and budgets.

4. Cost

This is an obvious one. Industry rates would start from about $150p/h + GST, if it is below that then check that the above three points have been met! There can be added costs for backfill or materials, depending on the nature and size of the project. A premier company would be able to give you a reasonable estimate if the scope of the project is clearly delineated.


5. Vac truck sizes

There are different types and sizes of hydro excavation machinery. There are trucks with all components built in, or there are trailer mounted units. Trailer mounted units are smaller, which for small projects are perfectly fine, however for larger projects will require more dumps and refill, increasing time and cost.

Picking a professional and experienced vacuum excavation contractor will ensure better outcomes for your project.

At Utility ID we offer premium hydro vacuum excavation services at industry leading rates. Our DBYD certified operators are highly experienced in the construction and service locating industries meaning you will receive the highest quality service and advice.

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