Underground projects are highly complex and involve more than merely taking an overhead line and placing it in the ground.
Provac Australia Pty Ltd was founded with a vision that preventing damage to services truly contributes to safe and economically feasible outcomes – benefiting companies, governmental agencies, contractors, homeowners and the communities we serve.
We understand that you might have questions about underground location or vacuum excavation and so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to assist you.
How does a Vac Truck work?
Hydro Vacuum Excavation uses pressurized water to break up the earth’s surface and soil which is then removed through a vacuum system and deposited into a debris holding tank to be disposed of at the end of the job.
What size Vac Trucks do you have?
At Provac Australia we have a selection of Vac truck sizes ranging from as little as 1000L trailer mounted units to as big as 12,000L truck mounted units. Our most commonly used truck size ranges between 5,000L – 8,000L units.
Will my job require non destructive digging with a Vac truck?
Digging safely with a vac truck is highly recommended when underground services are present within a job site dig area. It is your duty of care and responsibility to follow the appropriate steps of action to identify that there may or may not be underground services within your dig area.
How long does it take to dig with a vac truck?
Depending on the scopes of the job it can sometimes be quicker, easier and safer to use a Vac truck to excavate. The type of ground can also affect the time it takes to dig with a Vac truck. For example it can be much quicker to dig in and trough sand as opposed to digging in and through a rocky subsurface.
How long is the vac truck hose and gerni wand?
Our Vac trucks are all equipped with suction hose and gerni wand extensions. All of our trucks carry a minimum of 20m of extension hose but can carry up towards 60m of extension hose on board. Our gerni wands can be adjusted from 1.5m in length up to 3.0m in length.
How deep can you dig with a Vac truck?
Depending on the type of ground that you are digging in, A vac truck can typically dig up to 3.5m deep. On some projects our Vac trucks are used to dig in holes that have been mechanically excavated and properly shored and benched for our operators safety.
Can you dig a service trench to install new underground services?
Yes. Our services are often called upon by Electricians and Plumbers who are wishing to install new pipes and cables. We have dug trenches for some of our electrical clients that have been 1m deep and up to 80-100m long.
Can you dig footings/post holes for fences and platforms?
Yes. We are often called upon by fencing and signage contractors to dig the footings for new fences and signs that need to be erected around other underground services.
Do you have a vac truck small enough to access tight areas such as; gardens and private properties?
Yes. We have a top of the range Vermeer Trailer Mounted Unit with a 2000L holding capacity. This trailer unit is towed by a 4wd and is used to access properties and all your hard to reach places where a regular Vac truck would not be able to get to.
Can you suck away sewer waste?
We deal with sewer waste on a case by case basis only. We can work safely around damaged sewer infrastructure but we do not suck sewer slurry away from holding tanks and portable toilets.
How do electronic locations work?
There are a number of different methods we use to locate underground services. The best and most common way to locate an underground asset is by using electromagnetic methods. This is done by using a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is used to emit a signal through the pipe and cable which is then picked up using the receiver. Other methods we utilise include GPR (Ground penetrating radars) primarily used to locate non conductive pipes such as PVC water mains and poly pressure sewer rising mains. At Provac Australia we use the most advanced, state of the art electronic detection equipment. We accurately locate, mark and utility map all electronic locations on every job.
Do I need electronic locations before I begin excavations?
Yes. It is your legal obligation to use a Dial Before You Dig accredited Locator to locate all underground services before you commence any excavations. If you excavate without first consulting a DBYD accredited locator and an asset is damaged, you will be held liable for the damages and all costs associated with that damage.
Can you locate my house connections?
Yes. We often locate all underground service house connections for our clients. This is often required by home owners and property developers when looking to demolish or renovate external structures.
Can you locate optic fibre cables?
Yes. Although Optic Fibre cables are not traceable using electromagnetic methods, we have other tried and trusted methods for locating optic fibre cables. The most common way to locate optic fibre cables is by using a traceable copper reel which we can push up the pipe/conduit that the optic fibre is lay in. The copper reel is then traced using the electronic detection equipment and is accurately located like any other underground service.
How accurate are electronic locations?
Electronic Locations are extremely accurate in most cases but are still only classified as ‘Class B’ locations in the Classification of Subsurface Utility ‘AS 5488’ guidelines. Electronic Locations must be safely potholed via hand excavation or with a Vac truck so that a visible confirmation of the underground asset can attain a ‘Class A’ location in accordance with the Classification of Subsurface Utility ‘AS 5488’ guidelines.
How deep can electronic locators detect a pipe or cable?
Our state of the art Radio Detection equipment has been capable of accurately locating underground services up to 10m deep below the earth’s surface.