Author Archives: Paul Brouwers

How Hydrovacs Are Used in Oil Fields

Did you know that there is a safer and more effective method for digging than huge backhoes and heavy machinery? Hydrovacs are a great solution for industries like oil & gas that need to dig around underground utilities and obstacles without causing any damage.

Let’s talk about what hydrovacs can do for you or your company.

What Is a Hydrovac?

A Hydrovac is another name for a Hydro Excavation Truck. A Hydrovac’s main purpose is to excavate an area in a much faster and more efficient way than traditional methods.

A Hydrovac functions by using high-pressure water to break up or displace dirt, soil, or ground. At the same time, the Hydrovac uses an extremely powerful vacuum to immediately suck up and remove the material. The result of this process is a machine that almost instantaneously removes material.

How Do Hydrovacs Benefit the Oil & Gas Industry?

Using hydro excavation via a Hydrovac can eliminate much of the risks involved with excavation. There is no metal or sharp equipment touching the excavation area. So there is much less chance of damaging underground utilities.

There are even a hand-held versions of Hydrovacs that allow workers to be very precise in removing material. This is particularly useful when removing dirt around utility lines such as gas or cable lines.

Because of this, Hydrovacs can perform piling hole excavation due to their ability to dig holes of varying diameters and depths. This is something that is very difficult to almost impossible to do with any other machine.

Save Time and Money

Using larger equipment or other heavy machinery like a back-hoe can prolong work projects due to the much larger area of impact. Workers could spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess that these machines can make. This means your company will spend more time and money on workers to maintain the jobsite, rather than on completing the actual project.

A hydrovac truck can be used when preparing the ground for a new building or structure, creating the trenches for the foundation of the structure being built.

Hydrovacs also can perform something called Soil Trenching. This is when a very narrow trench needs to be dug in order to lay pipe or cable down into the ground. They can do this very quickly, and can even use hot or warm water to get through the frozen ground during the winter.

Use in Cold Weather

Cold weather can bring your excavation project to a screeching halt, as the frozen ground can be hard for even the most powerful machines to break up. Hydrovacs can use hot water functions that will enable your crew to keep working in the dead of winter. This could give your business a competitive edge if other companies in your area don’t have the ability to work with frozen solid ground.

Hydrovacs are also useful because they are much more maneuverable than a backhoe or Bobcat. Larger machines require you to have a very large and open space for them to work.

Hydrovac trucks have a boom that can extend horizontally or vertically. This enables you to get into tight spaces where other excavation machines can’t.

What Purpose Do Hydrovacs Serve in Oil Fields?

Maintaining things like gas and oil lines is extremely important as they can quickly become costly and hazardous to repair. Hydrovacs are the best solution for your needs if you’re doing any kind of excavation in or around oil fields.

Environmentally Friendly

Around 1.3 million gallons of oil spills every year from pipelines and vessels in the US. This usually happens as a result of improper or infrequent maintenance. Hydrovacs make it easy for you to remove dirt and debris from around pipelines so that you can perform maintenance and make repairs.

Because they use less power and energy than larger equipment like backhoes, they are a good choice if your company is trying to reduce its carbon footprint.

More Efficient

Hydrovacs are a non-destructive excavation option, allowing access old pipelines easily in order to maintain or replace them.

Hydrovacs also allow you to access or build new pipelines. A Hydrovac can do this without disturbing what is already there with precision piling or slot trenching.

Many Hydrovac trucks come equipped to deal with waste efficiently, which is very important when working in oil fields. They also actively clean any hole or trench that they dig.

Oil & gas companies are increasingly aware of their environmental impact which is why many utilize Hydrovacs to maintain safe and responsible digging.

Standard digging equipment can take hours when having to maneuver around underground utilities like pipelines. It is crucial when a leak or issue happens to be able to get to the source of the problem as quickly as possible. What could take hours to accomplish with traditional digging equipment can be done in a matter of minutes when using a Hydrovac system.


The oil & gas industry can be a particularly hazardous work environment when compared to other industries. So it’s important that the safety and well-being of your employees are at the forefront of your mind.

Hydrovacs are much safer than any other type of digging equipment. They’re also easier to operate meaning that you can train numerous employees to be able to use a Hydrovac.

Many types of heavy machinery used for excavation require a license to operate. When a licensed operator is late or calls out sick for work it can really slow down or completely stop work at the job site. Hydrovacs can increase productivity in these situations as more employees are able to use the equipment.

Where to Get Hydrovacs

Hydrovac trucks are available for purchase or for rent. If your business often requires excavation work, you will want to consider purchasing a Hydrovac. But if you only need digging done sporadically, you can rent Hydrovacs.

If you’re curious about how a Hydrovac truck can benefit you, contact us to learn more.

tree-lined road covered in snow during the winter
How to Winterize Your Vac Truck

Is your vacuum truck ready for winter? As you know, driving and working in the winter can cause harm to any machine. Cold temperatures make it hard for engines to start. Snow and ice will limit your traction, but then salting the roads can cause rust. It’s important that you prepare your equipment for this weather change, and that includes winterizing your vacuum truck to avoid potential issues.

We’re here to help! Keep reading for our guide on how to winterize your vac truck.

Winterize Your Vac Truck: The Water Tank

The water tanks on vac trucks need all-year maintenance, not only in winter. If you’re not using the water tank make sure you drain it completely. This will prevent water from freezing and expanding in the hoses and tank, which could cause damage or burst the hose.


While it might be the easiest option to leave the water in, this can cause issues. Here are some reasons to drain your tank after each use in cold temperatures:

  • Inlet filters and gaskets get damaged, letting debris and dirt into the tank. This then can clog the rodder pump, seals, or oil cooler.
  • Materials could get into the tank via air vents. Snow, rain, and wind carry contaminants that can harm your water system.
  • Using water from unfiltered sources can carry harmful bacteria and chemicals. This can present a health and safety issue.

If you drain the water in your tank and refill it with new, filtered water, you’ll extend its lifespan. Dirt and debris can cause severe wear and damage on any machinery.

Don’t Get Iced Over

Winterizing the tank also removes the chance of water freezing in the system. Drain water from all the valves and plugs, as the excess water can freeze up too.

When water freezes it expands, and this can put pressure on any components it’s trapped inside. In the worst case, this can cause components to break apart and burst, leading to costly repairs.

Make sure there is a flow of water when you open the system so you can see the ice isn’t clogging things up. Then leave all the plugs and valves open, letting the water drain out. If your pump system freezes, don’t try to use your truck.

Winterize Your Vac Truck: Checking Fluids

There are many types of fluids in your vac truck. Make sure you’ve checked them and they’re ready to ride through the winter.


In general, vehicles use a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze to get proper cooling. In winter though, you may need a higher amount of antifreeze. This maintains the engine and radiator, preventing them from freezing over.

The 50/50 ratio should hold up in temperatures as low as -25 F. But if temperatures drop lower, you’ll need a 70/30 ratio. This offers protection in temperatures as low as -75 F.

There are freeze plugs in your engine designed to burst if internal fluid freezes. This protects the engine, but if the cooling system freezes it’s a different story. You could face serious damage, resulting in needing a new engine block.


How viscous oil is relates to how fast or slow it flows through your vac truck. Higher viscosity means slower movement. Because colder temperatures can raise viscosity, you want to use winter oil.

In cold startup situations, this protects your machine and reduces wear and tear. This includes protecting components like the injection system, battery, and starter.

If the oil gets too thick it puts more strain on your engine. It’s harder for it to lubricate the parts it needs to. A higher viscosity can also raise the pressure within your system too.


It’s common for fuel to get overlooked when preparing vac trucks for winter. But this is especially important when it comes to how to winterize a diesel truck. Diesel contains paraffin that, like oil, can thicken as the temperature drops.

Now gel-like in consistency, the diesel can clog the fuel injectors making it hard for your truck to start. To avoid this, you want to use a high cetane diesel in the winter.

Use winter blends that use 2D and 1D fuel. You should also supplement this with additives like anti-gel and cold-weather substances. Before you do this though, check your manual and consult a professional.

Winterize Your Vac Truck: Components

Before the worst of winter sets in, take the time to give your truck components a look. Get any small issues sorted so they don’t turn into big ones once the snow and ice hit.


When it comes to how to winterize a truck, most likely yours runs on diesel. As seen above, when it gets cold the paraffin causes thickening.

If this clogs your filters and lines, your engine won’t start. Replace your dirty filters with clean ones and use a winter additive to protect them.


Look for any damage like wear, gashes, or cuts to avoid blowouts or air leaks. Also, check your tread depth, as this determines the grip they can provide on winter roads.

It’s worth switching to ice or snow tires if you’re living in extreme cold. The recommended depth on these tires is 6/32″ as this compresses the snow and releases it as the tire rolls over it.


You could see a reduction in battery capacity of 20% in freezing winters. The colder the battery, the slower the chemical reaction to start the engine.

Make sure you get your battery tested before the worst weather sets in. If it’s not up to standard get it replaced. You can also consider a battery heater to help keep it warmer.


Salted roads and breaking rarely lead to a good ending. Brakes suffer more from corrosion and rusting as salt and chemicals de-ice the roads.

These substances can wear away between the brake pads and shoe table, pushing them apart. This then locks up your brakes. Check your brakes work regularly and keep them clean.

Winterize Your Vac Truck the Right Way

Now you know the steps to take to winterize your vac truck.

Make sure you’re checking all your components regularly. It’s cheaper to fix a small issue than wait and have something larger crop up. Also, invest in a professional service, to give your vac truck the best chance to get through winter.

To keep up to date with the latest tips and tricks on maintaining your truck, check out our blog. We’ve got you covered for all your vac and utility truck needs.


CUSCO Turbovac vacuum truck
How are Vacuum Trucks Used in Storm Cleanup?

Storms are one of the most common and damage-causing natural catastrophes that take place in the United States. Because of how common they are, being ready for storm season as well as the aftermath is important. Many people may not know of all the ways cities and companies prepare for possible storm damage. One tool to prepare for storm season is the use of vacuum trucks.

These trucks help prepare areas for the upcoming season as well as help with the effects of these storms. To learn about what vacuum trucks are, how they work, and the benefits of using them, continue reading.

What Are Vacuum Trucks?

The vacuum truck is a type of truck that uses a pump and tank to clean up any debris left in septic systems or by passing storms. The pump collects what needs to be cleaned up, and then the tank holds this debris. The debris is then transported to the disposal site.

Types of Vacuum Trucks

There are three types of vacuum trucks:

  • Hydro Excavation trucks
  • Combo Sewer/Jetter trucks
  • Environmental/Industrial trucks

Hydro excavating trucks involve the use of high-pressure water jets. These water jets help excavate underground areas. This form of excavation is non-invasive, making it more a popular approach to excavation.

Combo sewer/jetter trucks use high-pressure water jetting and high-power vacuuming to clean out sewers and pipes. The debris is pushed out by the jet and then vacuumed up.

Environment/industrial trucks are used to clean up any dangerous liquid or debris. These trucks are commonly used for emergencies and to clean up any damage that is hazardous.

Preparing for Storm Season

Cities and companies must begin preparing for storm season as soon as they can.

One way vacuum trucks help prepare for storm seasons is through waste management. If a septic system is not properly managed, it can be damaged by heavy rain and flooding. These trucks help manage septic systems throughout the area making sure they are ready to endure any storms that occur.

Emergencies During Storm Seasons

These trucks do more than just clean out and manage septic systems. When there is an emergency caused by storm damage, vacuum trucks are important in resolving the issue.

These trucks play an important role in rescue missions and other emergencies caused by storms and other environmental disasters. Vacuum trucks help clean up dangerous debris left behind by storms.

Benefits of Vacuum Trucks

Vacuum trucks have advanced technology that makes large and dangerous jobs easier. These trucks offer a variety of benefits to large-scale cities, municipalities, and so on.

Here are some of the beneficial effects they offer.

1. They Handle Big Messes

These trucks are the go-to option when it comes to storm cleanup. Because of their high-pressure water jets and high-power vacuum pumps, they are able to handle large messes better the other cleaning options.

Because of the technology these trucks use they can clean up any liquid, solid, or sludge brought in by a storm that needs to be handled immediately to avoid further damage.

2. They Manage People’s Septic Tanks

As mentioned earlier, these trucks have the purpose of cleaning out septic systems. If a septic system is not managed properly, damage can occur.

Damage that can occur:

  • Sinks and toilets drain slowly
  • Floor drains overflow
  • Flooding of sewage outside

Avoiding this damage is simple if proper waste management takes place.

3. They Help With More Than Cleaning

Vacuum trucks have more than one use. They can help with drilling and excavation jobs.

When these jobs are complete, it is very common for debris to be leftover. Once the job is complete, vacuum trucks are brought in to clean up the debris that otherwise would be difficult to remove.

4. They Save Lives

When these trucks are called out for an emergency, they are vital in saving those in danger. Whether hazardous debris is keeping emergency services away from the rescue site or those in danger are trapped in the debris, vacuum trucks are there to help.

The vacuum trucks can quickly and efficiently clean up the debris so the next steps in the rescue can take place.

Prepare for Storm Seasons Right

Vacuum trucks offer many benefits to cities, municipalities, and industries, especially those that are harshly impacted during storm seasons.

Preparing for upcoming storm seasons is a must, and vacuum trucks are perfect for preparation. Contact us today for any heavy equipment needs.


Aquatech B-10 combo sewer cleaner truck
Critical Unblocking Equipment: When and How to Use a Sewer Cleaning Truck

It’s one of the most critical services any city, building, or home sewage system will need. But only a few know how to deal effectively with unblocking a sewer using a sewer cleaning truck. Unblocking a sewer using a jetvac combination or sewer cleaning truck can make all the difference.

There’s almost nothing more critical than finding the correct system with the unblocking equipment needed. It’s necessary for most sanitation needs, especially if you’re dealing with an unexpected blocked sewer. A sewer jetter cleaning vac truck is the most beneficial and efficient equipment you can use for these issues.

Please read on if you’re interested in learning more about how you can better maintain and fix any sewer blockage in your city, building, or home.

Sewer Cleaning Truck

There’s no doubt that maintaining any sanitation system will need specialized equipment. What is the best equipment for both maintaining and unblocking any sewage system issues? It’s generally understood that unblocking sewers or solving maintenance issues relates to the equipment you use.

To fully understand how sewer jetting trucks work for cleaning sewers, it’s vital to know more about a sewer jetting truck’s process. A sewer jetting cleaning truck uses a high-water pressure hose that is specially fitted with a sewer-jetting nozzle. The specially fitted nozzle is capable of pushing into a dirty sewer pipeline.

It’s the high-pressure water that gives the sewer cleaning truck its power so it can dislodge, vacuum, and flush away all the dirt and particles. The end result is an unblocked or properly maintained system.

Jetvac Combination Sewer Cleaning Truck

Most of the time you need the industrial vacuum truck for maintaining or unblocking sewage systems. It is the jetvac combination sewer cleaning truck that is one of the most effective and efficient pieces of equipment you can use.

Every sewer system sooner or later needs to be unblocked or cleaned through regular maintenance. The jetvac allows you to perform jetting and vacuuming at the same time. If you can perform jetting and vacuuming at the same time, you’re able to create an effective and efficient cleaning process.

If you want to rent or use a jetvac combination sewer cleaning truck, you need one that’s user and operator friendly. You also want reliable features on the truck offered by the truck’s robust components. It’s also important to have various debris and water sizes for your water and vacuum pump options.

The vacuum truck can usually release water pressure around 75 gallons per minute or more.

The vacuum works on almost everything and washes it away. That’s where the vacuuming truck system combination comes into play. The vacuum truck will suck the dirt, dislodged sewer debris, and force it into disposal containers.

Sanitary Equipment

Vacuum trucks and sanitary equipment are why we have safer and cleaner sewers. Sewer cleaning helps the environment regardless of what the blockage is or where it’s at. Sanitary and cleaning equipment today usually provides street flushing, chemical, and water-spraying services.

These solutions can sometimes help with a transfer or serve as transfer pumps. Sanitary equipment is always used after a full assessment has been done. This allows you the chance to decide what will be the most efficient and effective method to carry out the cleaning requirements.

There’s no greater service you can provide the environment than making it clean and sanitary for humans to live. Every municipality deserves to be safe to work in too. Inevitably the use of sanitary equipment will come into play if you need to move solid materials through a collection system.

Collection Systems

Often a collection system is provided for a safe treatment and disposal area. Many sanitary equipment systems use structures such as maintenance holes, lift stations, traps, and clean-outs.

This helps transport wastewater. You can even combine systems that can handle both sewer and wastewater as well as storm runoff water.

City Cleaning Equipment

Every piece of sewer cleaning equipment can be as different as the city it services. The common denominator in city cleaning equipment is that it will be able to dislodge, clean, vacuum, and go deeper into the sewer to do it all again if needed. Sewer Jetting trucks are just one piece of city cleaning equipment.

When stoppages happen from sewer blockages, they can result from pipe obstruction that varies from roots to broken pipes. That’s why your city cleaning equipment must effectively match your city or customer’s sewer cleaning need and issues.

Your Next Sewer Unblocking or Cleaning Step

It doesn’t matter if you want to use a sewer cleaning truck in a difficult and challenging environment or just need a maintenance schedule. What does matter is you’re able to get the sewer cleaning truck when you need it and how you need it. It’s more convenient and effective to have a single-source integrated network of rentals, sales, parts, and services. One that can help you get equipment customization, financing, or remanufacturing if needed.

Reach out to Custom Truck One Sources 24/7 available to you in twenty-six locations throughout the U.S. The unblocking sewer truck combined with the customer service support you need is one click away. Don’t wait one more day to find out how vital a sewer jetting truck service can provide your home, business, or municipality.


closeup of a young man throwing a wet wipe to the toilet, in a white tiled restroom
Coronavirus Update: The COVID Clog

2020 will go down in history as a year with many firsts.  Coronavirus, quarantine, home schooling, essential workers, COVID Clog.  Wait… what was that last one?  Yes, as if we don’t have enough on our overly stressed minds in this time of mass hysteria. It seems we also have a looming sewer system dilemma.  Some are calling it the COVID Clog.  Cleverly named after the COVID-19 toilet paper shortage of 2020.

Let’s not dive down the rabbit hole of why there is or was a toilet paper shortage.  Nobody knows. So let’s not try to understand it, let’s just discuss what it’s doing.

Social media is full of memes about using everything from paper towel to socks in order to…*{cough}*…address the mess.  Though many of us have found these entertaining as we scroll through our days under house arrest, some aren’t laughing at all.  The reality is people are actually flushing things that shouldn’t be flushed.  This is a common problem for the keepers of our country’s over 800,000 miles of public sewer infrastructure, but not to this degree.

There are reports of sewage systems clogging across the country as Americans face a toilet paper shortage. “Toilets are not trash cans,” the Environmental Protection Agency said in a tweet March 24th, using the hashtag #wipesclogpipes.

Most people don’t fully understand or don’t really care what happens when they push the handle on the porcelain god, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.  There’s a serious amount of infrastructure and resources at work to move and treat that flush so that it can be safely released back into the ecosystem.  Americans send over 32 billion gallons of waste to treatment facilities per day.  Nobody wants to block that flow to its final destination.

The inability to monitor or control what is flushed leaves the flow of yesterday to the technology of today.  Municipalities have used Combo Sewer Cleaners for years to maintain their infrastructure.  Now it certainly seems they will be the front line of defense against the “Great COVID Clog” of 2020.

Here at Custom Truck One Source, we have the equipment on hand to help those fighting the fight nobody wants to talk about.  With units positioned at nearly all of our 26 locations, we can help the contractors and municipalities cut through the clog.  Our sewer cleaners provide up to 80gpm move the mess and the most powerful vacuum systems in the industry to remove it.  Contact us today to schedule a demo.


Tornado Global F4 EcoLite Hydrovac truck with a positive displacement blower mounted on a Peterbilt 567 chassis
Taking Care of Your Hydrovac’s Positive Displacement Blower

The positive displacement blower – a machine used to move gas or air – is probably the most taken-for-granted component in your hydrovac truck. They usually work quite efficiently. So why fix something that isn’t broken?

It is this very attitude that often ends up costing vacuum truck owners a lot of money. Without regular maintenance, positive displacement blowers are as susceptible to wear and tear as any other piece of machinery. And when it fails, work basically comes to a standstill.

Of course, you should always go through the operating manual so you are up to speed on what to do should your blower start acting up. But below we have provided you with some additional general guidelines on how to keep your positive displacement blower in excellent working condition and how to recognize the signs when something isn’t quite right.

#1: Overhung Load

Excessive overhung load is something you need to watch out for, as it is a common, and often overlooked, cause of drive shaft rotating equipment failure. Rotors are a major component of a positive displacement blower. Excessive overhung load mainly takes a toll on the drive shaft bearing, which tolerates the brunt of side loading. This can be passed on via the rotors to the gears. The end result is massive wear and tear and possible gear and bearing failure. Basically, your positive displacement blower could be damaged beyond repair. Something else to be alert for is excessive loading on the drive shaft. This can cause the rotors to touch each other, and the blower could shake and come to a grinding halt.

# 2: Lubrication

All machinery requires lubrication to stay in perfect working order. In the case of positive displacement blowers, bearings and timing gears need to be kept lubricated at all times. There is also the possibility of too much or too little lubrication, so it’s always good to consult the manual to find out the levels required. The manual will also provide you guidance on the amount of oil needed and the viscosity and quality of lubricant best suited to the blower. Using the wrong kind of oil could cause serious damage, like putting diesel in a gasoline-powered car would. As a rule of thumb, synthetic lubricants are recommended for the gears and gear end bearings of your blower.

Remember, the blowers you buy come without oil. Forgetting this can lead to catastrophic consequences for this key piece of equipment. As soon as you receive the blower, make sure you add oil before you put it to work. You can imagine what kind of damage failing to add oil could do to your brand new blower. In most cases, that damage is irreversible.

# 3: Pressure

A faulty relief valve in your blower can lead to over-pressure issues, which can seriously damage the rotors. Over-pressure can lead to rotors coming in contact with one another, the cylinder, and maybe even the head plates of the blower. You need to make sure the relief valve is of the correct size and fitted properly, so you don’t have to pay the price later. You could also put in a pressure relief valve to make doubly sure there are no over-pressure issues.

# 4: Vibrations

Your blower should emit smooth vibrations. Too much, and you know something is wrong. Perhaps a part has come loose inside. A part bouncing around in your blower could damage all its components. Think of a stone rattling in a can. An ugly sound or vibration means something is amiss. Stop the machine and check immediately.

# 5: Employee Training

While service centers are always available, they may take time to repair and return your damaged blower. Even routine maintenance takes time. It’s always good to have the employees who will be handling this crucial piece of equipment know how each and every part of the blower operates. This can save time and money, as an employee who is aware of how the blower functions is more likely to take proper care of it.

A blower is not an extremely complicated piece of equipment. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open for anything out of the ordinary, and your blower will deliver a consistently top-notch performance. A daily check of your blower before putting it to work will ensure you are ready to tackle the workday ahead.

* Source: Terry’s Tips, Hydrovac Nation


Tornado vac truck with rotating nozzle
How to Get the Most From Your Vac Truck’s Rotating Nozzle

Any piece of machinery that rotates is subject to wear and tear. Think of ballplayers and their frequent rotator cuff injuries.  The rotating nozzle used in a vac truck is no different.  It requires regular maintenance. Though small in size, it is an important part of your vac truck and requires as much attention as larger components, if not more.

A malfunctioning rotating nozzle can cost you thousands of dollars, and not necessarily just for replacement. A defective nozzle can lead to wasted water and reduced performance while potholing, trenching, etc.

Here are some tips on how to best care for your nozzle.

  • Choose the correct nozzle – Using the wrong nozzle for a particular job can lead to a multitude of problems, so it is incredibly important to start off with the right one. A rotating turbo nozzle, for instance, is perfect for potholing due to its flow pattern. A zero-degree nozzle, on the other hand, helps you easily cut through dirt, saves water, and is high impact. Clearly, different rotating nozzles have different functions, so choose wisely.
  • Abide by pressure ratings – These are provided by manufacturers of nozzles, so make sure you comply with the guidelines. Going over the specified rating will permanently damage the nozzle. It’s best to maintain levels below the specs as this automatically extends the life of the nozzle. Think of it as your car and its given maximum speed. Travelling at this speed all the time will cause your engine to burn out.
  • Beware of heat – Being aware of how much heat is the limit for your nozzle is imperative. 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) is typically considered the ideal temperature. Manufacturers give different heat ratings, and some of those may seem high. If they seem too high, they likely are. While the nozzle can operate at these temperatures, it won’t be for long. You need to be alert to your nozzle’s heat tolerance.
  • Do not submerge – A nozzle is not a digging implement like a shovel, so jamming it into water or soil will result in gunk entering, which can seriously damage parts inside. A rule of thumb is to maintain a distance of 2 inches between the nozzle and the surface.

General Operating Issues

The best way to handle any problem with the nozzle is by following manufacturer guidelines. Many companies also have call centers to help you with an issue or, in some cases, social media pages. As you can see, there are plenty of options to deal with any problem with advice directly from the experts.

Flow Rate

Water flow is one of the keys to knowing if your nozzle is working properly. It should always be steady. You don’t want to end up with a trickle while in the midst of a job. Monitor the water flow from time to time to reaffirm that it’s still consistent. Manufacturers usually provide ideal settings, making it easier for you to know if the water flow is as it should be.

Also, keep a close eye on spray pattern. The last thing you need is for the nozzle to start spraying outside of the targeted area. It may take a bit of work, but bring out your tool kit and measure the spray pattern width. Again, manufacturers are there to help you. If you sense something is not right, report the problem to them, and they will conduct special tests. If anything is wrong, they will gladly fix it for you.


The nozzle needs to be thoroughly checked as soon as possible. Any wear and tear can affect performance. Many manufacturers provide a maintenance program which you can follow. Overuse can wear out a nozzle, so be prepared to eventually replace it. It is a good idea to have spare nozzles of the same specs in stock. Having them available can make for quick, simple replacement.

Pressure Control

You can control the speed and pressure of the rotating nozzle. Of course, this depends on what job you are doing. It has been found that a lower liquid velocity out of the nozzle leads to it lasting longer and makes it less vulnerable to rust and general wear and tear.

Feed Liquid

Depending on the job, different kinds of liquids (feed liquids) are used. Some liquids contain harsh chemicals which can seriously damage a nozzle. This calls for dilution. Check the liquid container for exactly what concentrations you should use for the job at hand. Failure to dilute properly could not only damage the nozzle but also the area you are working on.


A clogged nozzle is an ineffective tool. The nozzle has to be cleaned out at regular intervals with brushes or probes. Many nozzles come with built-in strainers to trap particles. Clean out the strainers after every job. Once a strainer is full of dirt and debris, your nozzle could suffer serious damage.

Treat your nozzle right and you’ll see the financial returns. Good luck!


Source: Hydrovac Nation


Hydrovac by Mountains
Hydrovac Truck Payload: 4 Tips To Get It Right

While hydrovac trucks have more than proven their worth in areas like potholing, trenching, directional drilling, and daylighting, their payload capacity can still be tricky. Not having a clear understanding of how much load a hydrovac truck can carry exposes operators to overload-related accidents or getting caught at a truck scale and being hit with a fine that can run into five figures!

Below, we provide some tips to make sure you know exactly how much of a load your hydrovac truck should carry and ways to get it exactly right to avoid any mishaps down the road.

# 1: Trust The Manufacturer

Whichever company manufactured your hydrovac truck would have provided specifications on the payload. Most manufacturers provide the total tank capacity and actual useable capacity. Naturally, you need to go by useable capacity or you could run into problems with overloading. Going through the manual brochures provided with the vehicle or even a calling the manufacturer’s helpline will give you an idea of how much to carry.

# 2: Inbuilt Features In Your Truck That Help

Hydrovac truck manufacturers provide features that help you gauge how much you can carry, for example, a shut-off system to make sure you do not fill your tank above capacity. Once you reach the payload limit, your truck does the work for you and immediately shuts off, much like the flush tank in the bathroom at home.

A float ball in the tank is the key. It floats upward along with the water until it seals the suction pipe at the top of the tank. This not only stops airflow to the blower, but it also stops you from contaminating the cyclone separator.

The float ball is housed in a small cage that dangles from the top of the tank. To ensure there is no way you can go wrong, 18 to 24 inches of tank space is left that cannot be used. When it comes to payload capacity, this is a key feature in your truck and is an absolute guarantee that you do not load to maximum capacity.

# 3: Think Yardage

In football, coaches and players think of yardage in every play. Yards are also important when loading your hydrovac truck. For example, you may think your 12-yard is full to capacity but in reality, the load would be 10.5 to 11 yards. A midsize tank with a capacity of 10 yards would actually hold 8.5 to 9 yards, and so on.

These figures are not to sell you short, but for your safety and ensuring compliance.

# 4: Figure It Out For Yourself

There are some simple steps that will allow you to know the actual capacity of your hydrovac truck. First, you have to make sure your tank is totally clean before weighing the vehicle to determine the empty weight. Jot it down somewhere or save the figure on your phone.

The next step is to find an open body of water with which to fill your tank. Of course, you need to be sure the water being used is from a legal source, so you need to contact state, province, county or municipal officials for permission. Also, the last thing you need is to run into trouble with a landowner if you try to take water off private property. Be sure it is fresh water and not produced or saltwater, which provide different weights.

With your water source all in order, operate the blower and load your tank until the vacuum stops. The float ball moves up and the suction stops. Then return to the same weighing scale where you got the empty weight. This is essential as scales can be calibrated differently and you could end up getting a misleading weight. Remember, every percentage point counts when it comes to weight!

Just to help you with the math, a cubic yard of freshwater weighs 1,683.85 lbs. Now, all you have to do is take the difference in weight between the full and empty tank and divide by 1683.85 lbs.  An easy calculation and the number arrived at is the usable yard amount of your tank.

Now, with that weight off your mind, you can confidently hit the road!


X-Vac X-8 Hydro Excavation Vacuum Truck
Vacuum Truck Maintenance: A Quick Checklist

Vacuum trucks, the clean-up Ninjas of a variety of large-scale jobs, are essentially tank trucks with a pump that pneumatically sucks sludges, slurries, etc. They then transports these materials by road from one location to another. Vacuum trucks, such as hydrovacs, combination sewer jetters, coded/non-coded and DOT vac trucks, are an indispensable piece of heavy equipment for cities, municipalities, construction companies or any sort of jobsite for that matter that needs an efficient clean-up solution, but they need proper maintenance to make sure they perform optimally and for the full extent of their expected working life.

Maintenance for these vacuum trucks is a year-round job. Specific upkeep measures have to be taken at certain times, and the list we’re putting down below will help you keep tabs on this without ever dropping the ball:

Daily Maintenance

The equipment has to be shut down fully and properly once the day’s work is complete. The drain valves have to be opened up and you have to make sure the systems are water-free. This is especially important during winter, when any residual water that’s still in the system can freeze and cause significant damage to your vacuum truck. If your truck is not going to be working for longer than a day, the tailgate should be propped open with the rear door support, and the debris body has to be partially raised and blocked.

Monthly Maintenance

It’s extremely important that you don’t skip the task of checking fluid levels on a monthly basis, as when they’re low, you run the risk of springing a leak. Wear and tear on intake hoses is another item on your checklist because they are made of rubber and fabric. Rotate the hose often, to reduce wear on one particular spot. Other tasks include checking the air breather, checking the electrical wiring, cleaning out the debris body, and making sure that the water and air separator cyclone unit is functioning optimally.

Annual Maintenance

Change the hydraulic filters, so that all the remnant fluid from the hydraulic tank and fluid reservoir can drain out. Once that is complete, fill with fresh fluids. If you’re not going to use the vacuum truck during extreme winter weather, it is necessary to clean the body of the vacuum truck and apply a fresh coat of primer to avoid corrosion caused by water and snow damage.


Looking to buy a new or used vacuum truck?

Contact us!

Custom Truck One Source is America’s first and true single-source provider of trucks and heavy equipment, and we’re standing by to help you make the best selection from our extensive inventory. Find the equipment that is most suited to your business, and we’ll help you with financing too!


X-8 Hydro Excavator - Custom Truck One Source
Hydro Excavation: A Brief History

Hydro Excavation is a very efficient system of digging. It targets high-pressure water to break soil masses apart. Then it applies a powerful air vacuum to suck up the debris and transports it off-site to a debris tank. And its use is becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons in utilities, plumbing, installation, landscaping and construction job sites.

Compared to traditional digging methods, this system is a lot more cost-effective. It does not require as much manpower (for manual shovel digging, for example) or heavy equipment (like backhoes).

It is non-mechanical, eco-friendly and safe. And it does the job faster, with minimized impact on the surrounding environment.

But how did hydrovacs and the concept of Hydro Excavation evolve?

Here is a brief history:

You can trace Hydro Excavation’s back story to the Gold Rush in California, between 1848-1855. A James W. Marshall discovered gold in Coloma, CA, in January of 1848. The news spread so quickly that over 300,000 people from the U.S. and abroad poured into the state with dreams of discovering gold for themselves.

People extracted a total of $ 2 billion worth of precious metal during the Gold Rush, which peaked in 1852. A lot of indigenous excavation systems were tested and tried to work larger areas in the shortest possible time.

One of these systems, called Hydraulic Mining, used steam pump-pressurized water to break up soil much faster than manual digging could ever accomplish.

The Gold Rush started phasing out by 1855, but the idea of Hydraulic Mining remained. Its incredible potential in excavation applications was pretty obvious. With growing technology, the first Hydro Excavation machine – called the ExcaVactor – was built in 1969.

During the next ten years or so, the industry adapted vacuum trucks and sewer cleaners for hydro excavation use. The vacuum equipment was removed from these vehicles and installed in all-terrain vehicles, so they could be used in remote, hard-to-reach job sites.

By 1990, Hydro Excavation machines had become more sophisticated as companies began to manufacture trailer-mounted units and trucks to accommodate them.

Today, their utilization has become abundant in the United States and Canada. More and more companies are offering Hydro Excavation services because the advantages of this system are undeniable. In the coming years, we expect the technology to improve even further, make excavation and soil removal even faster, easier, and safer for both workers and the environment.

Need Hydro Excavation Equipment?

Custom Truck One Source has you covered!

We’re America’s first true single-source provider of specialized truck and heavy equipment solutions and we’re standing by to help you!

Call us at 844-282-1838 or email us at [email protected].