Since the dawn of time humans have used tools fashioned out of riven wood or indeed animal bones to dig. As time and engineering moved forward and the art of metal working was developed, the spade as we know it today came into existence. Used for a variety of functions and jobs from digging holes to plant food, trenches for walls and foundations for housing to burying the dead, it is and has been an extremely useful tool.
Eventually digging technology was advanced by in the 1800’s by Mechanical Engineers inventing Steam Shovels followed by Hydraulic Excavations which made the art of digging a hole much easier and less back- breaking. These diggers have a variety of uses, trench digging, demolition, mining to name a few - saving time and energy.
By the 1990’s technology had once more advanced giving us Non- Destructive Digging (NDD) through the design and implementation of Vacuum Excavation Trucks. It was a simple of idea of using water and suction that has brought a whole new meaning to the word ‘dig’. A high-pressure water gun blasts the soil to a slurry and the vacuum hose pulls all the waste out of the trench or hole and pulls it into the steel tank on the truck.
Both of its predecessors have their down falls- spades are particularly difficult to use on hard, impacted soil or rock and there would be an incredible amount of physical effort to dig on sometimes impossible terrain. Traditional digging machinery does not discriminate – everything that gets in the way is dug up and destroyed- pipes, telecommunications cables, electric boxes and tree roots just do not stand a chance against the machine.
This is where Non-Destructive Digging comes into its own as it gives the operator complete control of the digging process. For example, if you need to dig a trench close to a protected tree, then NDD allows the operator to do this without harming the roots. A specially designed wand works around the root systems without damaging the root cambial. If there is an underground telecommunication cable that need fixed urgently, NDD will carefully remove the earth from around the cable, giving easy access without destroying other buried utility pipes.
The use of high-powered water to dig ensures the process is clean, efficient and cost- effective – no more days needed to complete a simple job or piles of earth to remove or unexpected broken pipes to fix - saving businesses time, money and stress.
Spades and diggers will always have their place but in this day and age where time is money and safety is key, Vacuum Excavation is most definitely the smart way to dig!