Posted on 22 November, 2018

How to half your vacuum excavation costs on big sites

Earth Radar

Caption: Vac Group Roadworks Project

VAC Group has figured out how to cut non-destructive excavation costs by half on big sites (and for some reason, they’re telling customers how to do it).

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Non-destructive excavation has always been more expensive than traditional excavation because the site excavation work represents only 25% of the total cost. It’s much cheaper to rip into the ground with an excavator – and will always be. That said, using an excavator isn’t always possible in high-density areas where services are. The cost of striking a service is so prohibitive to a project, that vacuum excavation is the only option to mitigate that risk. 



But at VAC Group – we’re constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to reduce the cost of vacuum excavation to customers, so project managers start to see our service through a different cost/benefit lens than they do now.


Material disposal, within the vacuum excavation process, is responsible for the highest cost – as the liquified material is heavy and bulky. To reduce logistics and disposal costs – VAC Group developed an onsite system called the ‘Soil Transfer’ system, which speeds up the vacuum excavation process, saving time, money and resources, and returns spoil to useable fill more quickly.

Big machine, big savings

Any experienced project manager will know that saving money onsite is less about the hourly rate for a machine and more about machine productivity –  because bigger gains can be made across the whole project in reducing the amount of time any machine is deployed to a task. 

CALL OUT QUOTE: 75% of all time in a vacuum excavation project is associated with disposal of the materials – this is where VAC Group has focused its efforts on productivity.


We knew – if we could develop a process or machine that could significantly reduce the time in disposal on big sites, then we could carve out the cost of vacuum excavation for our customers.

While hydro excavation and other soft digging equipment can be used to excavate the ground safely, the ability to map utilities prior to opening the earth is very important. EMI technology is one of the most popular location services, with this technology generating, sending, and receiving an electromagnetic radio frequency through the ground. 


This technology is ideal for locating utilities that contain metal and other conductive materials, such as electric lines, telephone lines, and gas lines. EMI technology is not without its cons, however, and is unable to locate plastic pipes, or anything more than 5 metres underground.


Radar Mapping

Our soil transfer system is so effective, that it revolutionises cost in the excavation process in the following ways:


Radar Mapping
Radar Mapping

If you have a massive vacuum excavation project coming up, and you want to rip up your existing vacuum excavation quotes and put some money back into your project margin – give VAC Group Operations a call today and ask them about their soil transfer system.


Contact VAC Group today to arrange a personalised obligation-free quote.

Note: Certification to ISO 9001, 14001 and AS/NZS 14001 is limited to South East Queensland Operations.

PO Box 528, Ormeau QLD 4208

VAC Group is Australia’s leaders in non-destructive digging, vacuum excavation, utility locating and underground services protection.

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