Getting down with non-destructive digging

With various choices of machinery available, high-quality reliable equipment is key to completing a project in the most efficient manner.

Getting down with non-destructive digging: Hi-Vac Hydro Excavation

Getting down with non-destructive digging

Vacuum excavation, a form of non-destructive digging (NDD), is the safest way to dig. The technique offers a fast, effective and affordable excavation option, but choosing the right piece of equipment can mean the difference between a job done well and incurring extra avoidable costs.

At the forefront of trenchless technology, Vermeer supports and partners with contractors in the delivery of significant infrastructure projects and challenging jobs. Vermeer has a vast product range to cater to the utility infrastructure installation industry, including a variety of horizontal directional drills, track trenchers and vacuum excavators.

Hydro Vacuum Excavation 

Hydro vacuum excavation is a common approach on many metro construction and maintenance job sites as it helps to protect existing underground pipelines and sensitive utility infrastructure. With various choices of machinery available, high-quality reliable equipment is key to completing a project in the most efficient manner.

As of May 2019, Vermeer was appointed the sole Australian distributor of Hi-Vac’s hydro excavation range and wastewater infrastructure solutions. Hi-Vac is a leading manufacturer of truck mounted hydro vacuum excavators, including the X-Vac range and Aquatech, which use high-pressure water and vacuum technology.

To add to the offering, Vermeer Equipment Holdings is now a part of RDO Australia Group, with local parts and service facilities available in 18 locations including Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Albury, Melbourne, Adelaide and Launceston.

The most productive machine on the market

Hi-Vac’s X-9 high CFM vacuum truck has been tailored especially for the Australian market to meet the unique needs of Australia’s non-destructive digging (NDD) and liquid waste contractors. Although the machines have been available in the US for more than 40 years, the X-Vac X-9 was specifically designed to take full advantage of the Volvo FM 8×4, giving it perfect balance for loading.

The X-9 features a 5775CFM high-performance blower, with a Roots WHISPAIR positive displacement blower that can maintain an unprecedented 2,000 CFM at 27 inHg of vacuum – more than 30 per cent higher CFM under load than previously seen in Australia.

Each X-Vac vacuum excavator is fitted to a Volvo FM540 8×4 truck, specifically chosen for its quality and reputation in this application, and more importantly, its ability to provide the high-power output required to support Hi-Vac’s impressive blower output. The 7,500 L spoil tank (corrosion and abrasion resistant) comes with a lifetime warranty, while the rear sludge pump and tank vibrator provide ease of emptying to ensure operations run smoothly and efficiently from start to finish.

Design perks include 3,800 L polycarbonate freshwater tanks and a dual side water fill system with backflow prevention. Work is made easier with an 8 inch (204 mm) boom with hydraulic in/out, up/down and 360° rotation, which – coupled with a 16-function wireless full remote control system – ensures operator efficiency on site.

The X-9 also features an air purge pump primer to protect against cavitation and three-stage filtration, including cyclonic separator and final filter.


For more information on Hi-Vac’s range of hydro vacuum excavators, contact Anthony O’Grady on 0498 911 112  or via e-mail at