Company Finds Many Applications For Hydro-Excavating

April 2013, Vol. 68 No. 4
A Goliath Hydro-Vac crew at a NuStar Energy pumping and storage facility near Wolsey, SD.

Volk said he hasn’t encountered a job yet that’s too big for his fleet to handle. “We recently had three trucks – including the two Vactor 2112 HXX units – working on a month-long project, six days a week for Northern Natural Gas in North Branch, MN. We were uncovering 20-inch gas mains that needed service, including the application of new coatings on the pipelines. This was the biggest project yet for our equipment and they did a great job for us.”

Before starting Goliath Hydro-Vac, Volk worked for an excavation and demolition contractor. He became interested in hydro-excavation through a friend at a local gas utility company who told Volk about a Canadian hydro-excavation contractor who had been hired for some work.

Operator comfort
Goliath Hydro-Vac’s crew includes five operators -- including Volk -- and four laborers. Typical projects require a two-man crew. Volk said the company provides safety and operator qualification training through third-party training organizations. Some customers, such as the gas companies, provide their own safety programs for Goliath Hydro-Vac’s operators.

“We’re big believers in keeping our operators happy and comfortable,” Volk said. “That’s what keeps them productive on the job. That’s why we’ve spec’ed our trucks the way we have. Our operators are ecstatic to have such nice equipment, especially the automatic transmissions and the quiet cabs.”

Volk appreciates working with a company like Vactor that’s been in business a long time with a good reputation. “Vactor’s factory support is great – we get trouble-shooting assistance and quick response when we need parts. The technicians at the factory are extremely well-educated about their products. They used to work in manufacturing, so they really know the equipment from the inside out,” he said.

A Goliath Hydro-Vac technician hydro-excavates a utility trench during a recent project for Magellan Pipeline in North Dakota.

“We did a lot of research before choosing the Vactor hydro-excavators. We like the way they’re set up. We really like the water recirculation system that can be run while the truck is on the road. In our northern climate, we have to be very careful about the water freezing during the cold winter months, but the recirculation system on our Vactor trucks makes that a non-issue. In some other trucks that we used previously, we would have to hurry back to the shop whenever the water in the tanks started to freeze, or we’d be looking at some expensive repairs.”

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