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Vac Trailer Saves The Day and The Bottom Line


The nation’s sewer infrastructure is rapidly aging and funding to rehabilitate these clogged sewer lines is tight. Consequently maintaining proper flow is all the more critical.

A blocked sewer pipe flow can be restricted by many factors such as grease, dirt, sludge, minerals, damaged pipes and tree roots in sewer line. Larger communities own equipment specialized in sewer pipe cleaning. In smaller communities it may be subcontracted to a jetting services company.


Vac-Tron CS 800 Vac TrailerVac-Tron CS 800 Vac Trailer

A vac trailer mounted with a sewer jetter removes constrictions and cleans sewer pipes that are 4 to 72 inches in diameter. Sewer pipe cleaning is a fairly straightforward process - high-pressure water runs through a specially designed water spray nozzle that is introduced into the sewer pipe and propels itself forward. Depending on the type of pipe being cleaned the sewer nozzle will vary from 2500 PSI to 6000 PSI, strong enough to dislodge and move the material downstream.

Sewer JetterThe high-pressure water pushes the jetter hose and nozzle forward through the pipe. The sewer line cleaning operator starts at the downstream end of the pipeline flow so as the nozzle and jetter hose cleans the pipe upstream, the material washes downstream and a vacuum suction collects the debris into a vacuum tank on a vac trailer.

Sewer jetting machinery is offered in a variety of configurations. There are two main components in the sewer cleaning process; the first is the high pressure water jetter hose and nozzle, the sewer jetter, and the second component is the water suction hose attached to the vacuum tank truck or vac trailer.

Truck mounted units typically serve larger diameter pipes and the trailer mounted models work around smaller diameter sewer pipes.

Trailer mounted sewer jetters are gaining popularity due to their lower costs of operation compared to truck mounted vacuum machines. Municipalities on tight budgets are now, more than ever, looking at their budgets and concluding that a vac trailer meets the criteria of cost-effectiveness and also maneuverability. Today’s  performance of this equipment provides more than sufficient power, cost savings, and easy access to hard to reach work-sites.

Sewer nozzle selection

Worker using a Vac TrailerWorker using a Vac Trailer

When selecting sewer nozzles one must consider not only the PSI but also the water-flow needed to accomplish the job. For instance, when cleaning the sides of a pipe, a nozzle with outside pressure to the walls will properly clean the pipe. To remove a clog, a forward cutting water spray nozzle is needed. For roots in sewer lines, a specialized cutter is part of the nozzle and water flow must be a minimum of 45 gallons per minute.

Selecting a correct diameter jetter hose will affect water flow to the nozzle and it’s overall effectiveness.

Finally, selecting a vacuum fan with sufficient suction to lift material flushed from the pipe and matching the vacuum tank truck with the right amount of gallons per minute to avoid constant dumping of debris.


Nozzle and Hose Maintenance and Safety

Regularly inspect the water spray nozzle head for wear and also inspect the hose near the nozzle head since it is subject to the most wear and tear.

Operational safety is paramount- when guiding the nozzle into the sewer pipe make sure to only turn on the sewer jetter once the hose is inside the pipe or it will uncontrollably whip around and cause injuries, even fatally. If entering a manhole, test the air quality for dangerous gases that may cause severe vomiting, unconsciousness or death.

A vac trailer sewer jetter machine is the ideal solution for small diameter sewer cleaning projects. Consider that a sewer jetter system can also be utilized for hydro excavation and also for catch basin cleaning and daylighting utilities.


Machine Specifications

A vac trailer may have airflow up to 6,200 CFM and a 15 inch or 28 inch HG vacuum. Power packs can vary from 50 hp to 350 hp and can convey material 600 feet to 1200 feet.
They can convey ballast material, liquids or other bulk materials with hose runs to 1200 feet or more at rates of 25 to 30 tons per  hour. These runs are vertical or horizontal and either single hose or split to multiple hoses.

A typical vac trailer is self-contained and most models can be towed by a 1 ton truck. Wet or dry materials are vacuumed and directly discharged into a truck, dumpster, or other collection containers and conveyors. Certain models offer cyclonic separators for either wet or dry filtration and have onboard compressors to clean filters.

O'Brien JVLT Vac TrailerO'Brien JVLT Vac Trailer


Vac Trailer Applications:

Hydro blasting
Steel mills
Sewer pipe cleaning
Railroad car cleaning
Spill recovery
Vacuum excavation
Hazardous waste
Emergency response
Industrial pressure cleaning
Cement plants
Primary metals
Site remediation
Oil and gas

Cities, companies and contractors who serve them are discovering the versatility, maneuverability and cost savings of of the vac trailer.


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