For us to describe what we do, it is necessary for us first to describe the equipment that we use. Industrial hydroblasting and vacuum services is a fairly new industry; only within the last 25 years locally has it become a serious business. Our industry was formed with equipment that was developed as a tool in response to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act(RCRA), enacted in 1976. Because our equipment was developed with environmental concerns in mind, our business will continue to grow with environmental awareness. Industrial vacuum services is a service that is provided with a vacuum truck.
Vacuum trucks fall into two categories, dry vacuum and wet vacuum. We typically refer to a dry vacuum truck as an "Airmover" and we refer to the wet vacuum truck as a 70 barrel/130 barrel or liquid truck. Industrial hydroblasting is water washing using a diesel-powered water pump that is capable of producing wash water up to 40,000 PSI. Typically, hydroblasting is divided into pressure classes: 10,000 PSI, 20,000 PSI, and 40,000 PSI, commonly known in the industry as 10k, 20k, and 40k/ Ultra High.
A dry vacuum truck is a bobtail 18-wheeler semi with no trailer. This truck typically has a Roots Style Blower on it just like some household vacuum cleaners, the main difference being that a standard household vacuum cleaner moves about 100 CFM with a 1 1/2 inch hose and the dry vacuum trucks we use typically move 5700 CFM, through a hose from 3-8 inches in diameter. On our trucks, the blower is engaged with a transfer case on the truck just like a four wheel drive vehicle does to go from two wheel drive to four wheel drive, with the exception that instead of transferring power from two wheels to four wheels, our trucks transfer the engine power from the rear wheels to the blower. Airmovers are primarily loaded with a 6-inch corrugated plastic hose. Additional types of hoses and/or piping may be used depending on the abrasiveness or temperature of the material being vacuumed. Airmovers dump in the same way a dump truck does, it has hydraulic locks for the backdoor and a hydraulic ram that lifts the bed/tank to offload. One of the biggest limitations of Airmovers are that they cannot vacuum flammable materials because the air conveyance that is used to load them creates static charge. Some manufacturers of dry vacuum trucks are: Guzzler by Federal Signal, Gapvax, SuperSucker, Pressvac, and VacCon.
A wet vacuum truck is just like a liquid transport truck that is seen on the highways with the exception thata wet vacuum truck has a hydraulically driven vain pump that creates negative pressure inside the tank by removing the air from the tank allowing the truck to be loaded, at a rate of approximately 500-1200 CFM. The pump piping has a valve on it that enables the truck operator to reverse the air flow of the system, pumping air into the tank creating pressure in the tank to off load. The tanks of liquid trucks are equipped with two pop off valves that limit the amount of pressure on the tank according to the pressure rating of tank. Typically, liquid trucks only use 15-20 psi to offload and pop off valves will open at 25 psi and the second at 30 psi. Liquid vacuum trucks can be used to vacuum any liquid including flammable liquids. When off loading flammable materials nitrogen must be used to offload. Liquid trucks load and unload with 2, 3, or 4 inch chemical resistant hoses or petroleum service hoses depending on the materialbeing vacuumed. Some manufacturers of liquid trucks are Proco, Dragon, Keith Huber, and Pressvac.