September 2015 Vol. 70 No. 9

Equipment Spotlight

Tandem Axle FXT50

Tandem Axle FXT50 Vac Offers Versatility

Dual-purpose vacuum excavators have become a common sight on horizontal directional drilling projects, but most are trailer-mounted models used to keep work sites clear of drilling fluids escaping the bore hole and to dig potholes to expose existing utilities.

However, a growing number of contractors recognize the benefits of truck-mounted vac-ex equipment, said Jason Proctor, Ditch Witch product manager.

“A primary benefit is mobility,” Proctor said. “A truck-mounted vacuum excavation package can move quickly from site to site and from clean up to potholing or other soft excavations.”

Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) in Hooker, OK, chose a Ditch Witch FXT50 over a trailer-mounted model.
“We do a lot of potholing with the FXT50,” said Rick Wayman, TCEC manager of construction. “Many areas we work in are full of city utilities and vacuum excavation can quickly make potholes without damaging the lines being located.

“We also use it to dig piers for light poles. Locations where poles are being set also are in areas full of utilities and without this new machine, they would have to be dug by hand – there are too many utilities to use a backhoe.”

A TCEC crew also used the vacuum excavator to dig a 30-foot-long trench in an area filled with utilities.

Diverse applications
“Soft excavation,” said Wayman, “allowed us to dig the trench without damaging anything that was already in the ground. As a vacuum, we see the machine having almost unlimited possibilities.”

A FXT50 vacuum excavator on a single-axle truck has been available since January 2014.

“The new FXT50 tandem model offers several additional benefits,” Proctor said. “For example, the heavier truck can be used to pull the HDD unit to the job, unhook and proceed to pothole. After fluid clean up, it has the power to haul a full spoil tank to a disposal site. Also, tandem-axel models can be customized with toolboxes and to carry other support equipment.”

The FXT50 vacuum excavation system is powered by a 49-horsepower diesel engine. For hydro excavation, water is stored in a 400-gallon supply tank. Its belt-driven 1,020 cfm blower and water system produce water pressure capacity to 3,000 psi at 5 gpm. The spoil tank has a capacity of 800 gallons with maximum vacuum rated at 15 inches of mercury.

“The FXT50 vacuum excavator is a heavy duty vacuum of proven performance and durability,” Proctor said. “It is available as a package from Ditch Witch dealers, or can be mounted on the buyer’s truck and customized with tool boxes and other accessories. It’s another option we offer that allows our customers to have exactly the equipment they need. We’re in this together.”

Related Articles

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}