Meet The Experts Behind Safe Excavation With Mike Rowe

Using a vacuum to suck dirt from a hole may seem strange, but it is one of the innovative ways excavation is now occurring. The process often referred to as vacuum excavation, uses a combination of suction and high-pressure water and air to move dirt and other material away from underground facilities in order to expose their exact locations.

Brian Showley helps explain and demonstrate how vacuum excavation is used, and how it results in greater safety for those involved in the line locating and excavation process. Learn from Brian some key steps that can, and should be taken by all when excavating, including coming up with a plan of when and where excavation will occur, what to do when crossing other underground facilities, and activities that should occur in the “tolerance zone” surrounding a buried facility.

See the video here:

Vermeer Corporation Announces Acquisition of Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC


Press Release / Pella, Iowa – (Nov. 12, 2018) – Vermeer Corporation announced its purchase of Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC, and its plans to bring the Florida-based company together with McLaughlin Group, Inc. which was purchased by Vermeer in 2017. This acquisition and integration of the two companies builds on the Vermeer strategy to provide a comprehensive suite of vacuum excavation technology, equipment, training and support to the growing underground utility and soft dig markets.

Founded in 1997, Vac-Tron has grown to become a respected brand known for innovative, high-quality vacuum excavation products sold and serviced across underground utility markets. Headquartered in Okahumpka, FL, Vac-Tron offices and production facilities employ more than 100 people. For the last 13 years, Vac-Tron products have been sold almost exclusively through the Vermeer dealer network.

McLaughlin, a drill tooling and vacuum excavation company founded in 1921 and located in Greenville, South Carolina with more than 100 team members, brought nearly a century of industry knowledge into the Vermeer fold last year.

“This acquisition allows us to leverage the innovation, market expertise and production capabilities across our McLaughlin, Vac-Tron and Vermeer brands to meet increasing customer demand while giving our dealers a more efficient, single-point connection to a full product lineup. Coming together solidifies the long-term strategy and commitment to support customers and dealers in a unified way,” said Jason Andringa, Vermeer Corporation president and CEO.

Operating under the combined group Vermeer MV Solutions, the organization will continue to provide Vermeer-branded vacuum excavation equipment and technology through dedicated Vac-Tron and McLaughlin series product lines as well as McLaughlin branded utility accessories and auger boring systems.

Vermeer MV Solutions will operate under one combined leadership and sales team led by General Manager Dave Van Wyk. Leadership at both Vac-Tron and McLaughlin will come together and serve as a unified team, bringing the strengths and best practices together in the areas of innovation, design, manufacturing, sales and customer support. The Florida and South Carolina locations will continue production as they work together to meet the growing demand within the soft dig markets.

“We’ve been proud to have the Vermeer name on our equipment for the past 13 years. Now, we are proud to formally be a part of the Vermeer family. We look forward to investing with McLaughlin and Vermeer to deliver the technology and equipment our customers need as we provide the highest quality product for the customer,” said Tim Fischer, Vac-Tron president.

“When my son, Donnie, and I started Vac-Tron Equipment in our garage, we could not have imagined the crazy and wonderful ride God had in store for us. We are very excited to have Vermeer as the new owners. Knowing that they are a faith-based and family-owned company assures me that the Vac-Tron team is in good hands. We are now ready for the next big adventure,” said Don Buckner, founder of Vac-Tron Equipment.

About Vermeer

Vermeer Corporation delivers a real impact in a progressing world through the manufacture of high-quality underground construction, surface mining, tree care, environmental and agricultural equipment. With a reputation for durability and reliability, that equipment is backed by localized customer service and support provided by independent dealers around the world. To learn more about Vermeer Corporation, visit To dig into the Vermeer story, visit

For more information, please contact:
Ryan Benbo – Sr. Marketing Director
Vermeer Corporation | O: (641) 621-8518
[email protected]

Australia Dealer, SPOUTVAC, Offering VAC-TRON Vacuum Excavators

MAY 2017 | VAC-TRON is proud to announce a new dealer for the Australian region.  Having serviced customers since 1987, SPOUTVAC in Australia has the knowledge to help when choosing a vacuum excavator.  Contact us below or contact the dealer directly to demo a unit in your area of Australia.

9 Wellsford Drive East Bendigo Victoria Australia 3550

Ph: +61 3 5443 4033

Municipalities empowered by Vacuum Excavators

Cities are digging safer and more efficiently by arming departments with vacuum excavators.  In the rarest of cases, fire departments are using vacuum excavators for trench collapse rescues.  The more common use though is the need for potholing, sewer jetting, storm drain cleaning, and many other applications.

Some regulatory agencies require potholing when a path of a bore trench closely parallels or crosses existing underground utilities.
  Cities are taking the necessary step in getting access to vacuum excavation equipment.  In a small city meeting recently in Kansas, permission was granted to the Water Department to purchase a VAC-TRON LP573SGT.

“Basically, Wally’s been after me to get one of these since I’ve been here, but with all the underground utilities going in and all the fiber optics, it’s become a necessity for us to pothole and find the phone lines, gas lines, before we even start digging our own main lines,” Water Department Director Calvin Burke said. “So what we’re looking at is a combination pothole VAC-TRON machine. It’s a high pressure washer where you take the wand, and you work it and then work the back part, stick the hose on the nozzle, and just suck the dirt right out of the hole.”  –

Tri-County Electric Cooperative, a cooperative utility based in Hooker, Okla., recently put in service a truck-mounted, large vacuum excavator model.

“Being on a truck provides good mobility,” said Rick Wayman, manager of construction. “We do a lot of potholing with the machine. Many city areas we work in are full of utilities, and vacuum excavation can quickly make potholes without damaging the lines being located.

“We also are using it to dig piers for light poles,” Wayman said. “Locations where poles are being set also are in areas full of utilities, and without the new machine, they would have to be dug by hand—there are too many utilities to use mechanical equipment.” –

The Public Works crew in the image below in the City of Temecula, California uses a Vac-Tron PMD 500 GT vacuum truck with a 500-gallon debris tank, 225-gallon freshwater tank, and a jetter putting out 15 GPM/2,200 psi. They capture cleaning water at the outlet of the basin box to keep it from reaching the creeks.


The City of Temecula, Calif. use Vacuum Excavation to clean out catch basins
The City of Temecula, Calif. use Vacuum Excavation to clean out catch basins (Image Source:

To learn more about vacuum excavation and adding a Vac-Tron to your fleet, go here to schedule a demo in your area.


New Ways To Dig That Will Save Lives

underground explosion vacuum excavation safer
An explosion in Fresno County, CA that killed one and injured a dozen people.

There was another story in the news recently highlighting the danger of unsafe excavation and also highlighting the much needed changes with how to locate and dig around gas and utility lines.  In Fresno County, CA, county workers were using a front end loader when a gas line was struck by the equipment, killing one man and injuring a dozen workers.  It’s no question that if the line was properly located and a vacuum excavator was used to dig around the line then a life could have been spared.  States and cities should require a vacuum excavator on all underground projects.

Vacuum excavation is defined as the process of using air or high pressure water to break apart soil and then debris is sucked up into the tanks.  This method of excavation is commonly referred to as soft excavation technology and accepted as being much safer than traditional digging around underground facilities.

Vac-Tron Equipment has been the industry leader for vacuum excavation for over 20 years, innovating new ways of safer digging for companies globally.  It is much less invasive in nature when compared to other traditional methods of excavating, has higher precision, and is leading to decreases in the amount of disposal of materials and accordingly much less surface restoration.

Vac-Tron’s equipment is made in the USA and distributed by over 40 nationwide dealers and 110 dealer outlets with new dealers being added internationally.

Vac-Tron recently announced 12 new innovations for vacuum excavation at the ICUEE show this year in Louisville, KY that will continue to keep the industry pushing ahead for safer digging.  Here are a few highlights of new vacuum excavation innovations that were announced.

Vac-Tron HTV 573 PTO Truck:  A NEW series of PTO truck driven systems available on Ford or Freightliner chassis. The full line of the HTV (Hydro Truck Vac) series has debris tanks ranging from 300 gallon to 1500 gallon in size. The Power Take Off of the truck drives positive displacement vacuum blowers that produce 1,000 to 3,000 CFM. These units are standard with a high pressure water system, full hydraulic rear door, reverse pressure, and the patented “Big Red” filter housing that cleans the air down to 00.5 microns (best in the industry) before it passes back through the vacuum pump.  Air compressors and Hydraulic booms are also available on most of the HTV series units.  Patent Pending.

Vac-Tron MT Series (Mud Trucks):  New Series with 6 debris tanks sizes of 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500 and 4000 gallons. Over 45 degree hydraulic tilt, full open hydraulic locking door, PTO powered rotary vane vacuum pump, 25 inches of mercury, and reverse pressure, your chassis or ours.  Great for cleaning up drill mud slurry.

A Wobble Head PROTOTYPE  which is an innovative digging tool.  Use a 6″ hose head to dig a 24″ hold by swiveling the end of the hose.  Patent Pending.

For more information about safer digging with vacuum excavation, contact us at 888-822-8766 or schedule a live demo.

Cement Plant uses Vac-tron unit for quick and easy cleanup

Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC is the industry leader in industrial vacuums. Now, you can bring its unmatched power and dependability to your jobsite. Our products let you easily and safely cleanup cement slurry and help to quickly remove the cement residue and dust. They can also be used during high pressure surface cleaning. Our units are completely self-contained and operate high-powered WET/DRY vacuum pumps with highly effective filtration systems. From 150-gallon compact systems to large capacity systems, Vac-Tron has the right equipment for the job.

Hydro-excavation used for victim in a trench collapse incident

Below is a great article showing another example of the many ways you can use you a hydro-excavation unit.

BY JOHN RYANHydro-excavation offers another option in rescuing a buried victim in a trench collapse incident. A truck-mounted hydro-excavator system uses a pressurized stream of water to wash the soil away from the victim. The soil and water are then removed simultaneously from the excavation, using a vacuum hose or tube. Although the technique is similar to that of using pneumatic excavators (vacuum trucks), the main difference is that in hydro-excavation, a pressurized water stream replaces a high-pressure air stream.Originally developed as a non destructive excavation method, hydro-excavation uses a highly controlled, variable-pressure stream of water of up to 2,000 psi to reduce the soil to a state in which it can be removed by a high-volume vacuum system. A typical hydro-excavator truck consists of a variable-flow water pressure pump, a vacuum system, and separate holding tanks for water and debris collection.


Vac-Tron Equipment, LLC, announces the availability of two new truck mounted Vacuum Excavators: the ATV 1830 (air) and HTV 1830 (hydro)

OKAHUMPKA, Fla., Month Day, 2014Action RearThese chassis-mounted excavation systems come fully equipped with an 1800-gallon debris tank, 6″ vacuum hose with full hydraulic boom, wireless remote controls and a 200-horsepower John Deere diesel engine. Other key features include a 2,400 cfm positive displacement vacuum pump, CAT water pump, and a fully hydraulic rear door. The ATV is also standard with a 300 cfm @ 230 psi Vanair air compressor for dry vacuum excavation.

Both the ATV and HTV are completely self-contained skid mounted units that can be mounted on a customer’s chassis or Vac-Tron will provide the completed truck and unit from their factory.For more information: 1-888-VAC-TRON or