March 2011, Vol. 66 No. 3


Vacmasters Introduces Powerful Air Vac System

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

Vacmasters has introduced a new air vacuum excavation system which becomes the most powerful model in the Vacmasters product line. It also is the largest commercially available air vacuum system on the market, said Trevor Connolly, Vacmasters vice president of marketing.

Connolly said the System 6000 is the first air vacuum excavator with the power to trench as well as dig potholes. Compressed air for excavation is delivered through a proprietary air lance to penetrate, expand and displace all types of soil. A System 6000 can dig a 12- by 12-inch pothole to a 5-foot depth in three to five minutes, depending on soil conditions.

“The primary benefit of excavating with high-pressure air is that large quantities of water are unnecessary, eliminating both the time required to continually replenish water supplies and the cost to transport and dispose of muddy spoils,” said Connolly. “In addition, air will not damage underground utilities as high-pressure water can, making air excavation safer for operators and other crew members. Water is a non-compressible fluid that can cut or otherwise damage utilities. Water also is conductive, making it potentially dangerous when working around buried power lines or equipment. Also, air will not damage the road base and won’t spread contamination plumes as water can do.

“When buried utilities are present on a job site,” Connolly continued, “there is no faster and safer way to dig than ‘airodynamically’ with the new Vacmasters System 6000. The trenching capability is useful in situations when mechanical equipment cannot be used because of site size or restrictions and excavating by hand is too slow and not cost effective. With the System 6000, one machine can both pothole and trench.”

The System 6000 is powered by a 250-horsepower John Deere diesel engine. Its compressor is rated at 350 cfm producing 250 psi air through an air lance for excavation, and 100 psi to power accessory air tools. Its vacuum is rated at 1,866 cfm at 15 inches of mercury. An auxiliary water system delivers water at pressures from zero to 3,000 psi and three gpm for clean-up work. The spoil tank holds 950 gallons while water tank capacity is 85 gallons.

Other features include:

• The system’s single-engine design uses a powerful John Deere turbo diesel engine which drives all systems;
• The hydraulic vacuum hose boom is operated via a wireless remote control system;
• Spoil tank lift and full-opening rear door are hydraulically powered;
• Dedicated compressed air supply with automatic oiler for air tools eliminates the need for a separate air compressor;
• Cross-body and underbody storage spaces provide ample room for tools and equipment and include jack hammer and tamper storage areas; and
• Optional equipment includes 4.2 kW AC generator, work lights, sandblast system and a barrel top soil interceptor to hold spoils at the site of remote excavations of up to 200 feet away from the system or be used to contain contaminated spoils.

Standard truck mounting is on a 52,000-pound GVW International diesel truck chassis. Connolly said buyers may specify a different brand of truck or provide the vehicle of their choice, as long as the chassis meets minimum specifications for mounting a System 6000.

“System 6000 equipment has been field tested in every soil type from compacted sun-baked soil to clay to ground frost,” Connolly said. “Depending on soil type, it dug standard potholes at rates between three and five minutes.”

The System 6000 equipment is available now directly from Vacmasters.

Located in Arvada, CO, Vacmasters is a leading manufacturer of air vacuum excavation systems. In addition to the System 6000, the Vacmasters product line includes three other air units: one compact model that can be mounted on either trailer or truck and two truck mounted models. In addition to air excavation, these air-vacuum systems also can be used to remove excess directional boring slurry and for a variety of other clean-out jobs, such as valve boxes, catch basins and general clean-up jobs.

Vacmasters; (800) 466-7825,

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