Safe and Comfortable Hydroexcavation

Make sure your hydroexcavator and combo truck operators are properly equipped for all conditions.
Safe and Comfortable Hydroexcavation
The possibility of being struck by flying debris is constant for hydroexcavator operators. Whether it’s a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, having the right equipment to ensure water and dirt don’t spray directly into your face is crucial.

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Operating a vacuum excavator or combo truck isn’t just a job. It’s a lifestyle. It isn’t for everyone. It can be dangerous, and having equipment you can depend on to keep you safe and comfortable is an absolute must.

A good truck

Don Schlomka, owner of Schlomka Vac Truck in Hastings, Minnesota, says the truck is the key. “You have to have a good truck you can count on and good operators to run it.”

When you’re a hydroexcavator operator, your truck is like an extension of yourself. It’s imperative to know the correct way to run and maintain it, and to prep it for the next day’s work.

In order to make sure his guys are 100 percent prepared for whatever they’ll face, Schlomka provides continual training on every aspect of the trucks and their proper operation.

“I have a good relationship with the guys I buy my trucks from,” he says. “They will send over a trainer to come by and run through training anytime I call and ask.”

Schlomka’s trucks are state of the art. He says he’s proud to be able to provide his operators with the technology that allows them to do their jobs safely and efficiently, and provide customers with a quality, affordable service.

Grounding pads

Working with water and electricity is always dangerous. In order to keep operators completely safe, they should be equipped with grounding pads at every job site.

If the unthinkable happens and a power line is accidentally hit, the grounding pad will instantly ground out the electrical current with no harm done to anyone. Providing excavators with this important feature is just one more way to protect the operators.

Weather protection

The natural elements are an operator’s everyday adversary. The only way to compete with the snow, rain and cold is to arm yourself with the highest-quality gear. According to Curran Clark of Crossfire LLC in the Four Corners region of Colorado, having rubberized neoprene boots, rubber-insulated gloves and a good pair of Carhart waterproof bibs are all a necessity.

“The weather is a major factor in our day-to-day operations. Rain. Snow. Cold,” Clark says. “We dig with high-pressure water when it’s 20 below zero, and we do what we can to keep ourselves somewhat comfortable. Cold hands and feet could mean an operator is done for the day.”

Kirk Cundiss, another operator from Crossfire, agrees and says in addition to keeping your feet warm and dry, protecting them with a good pair of steel-toed boots is essential. “Not only are steel-toed boots OSHA-required, but they provide a level of safety to our operators. Our guys utilize their feet to shield themselves, and in the past I’ve seen people get injured with water due to not wearing the right boots.”

Operators staying safe

For all excavator operators, the possibility of being struck by flying debris is constant. You must have the proper equipment to adequately protect yourselves and your faces.

Whether it’s a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, having the right equipment to ensure water and dirt don’t spray directly into your face is crucial. And don’t forget earplugs. Every operator has his own preferences when it comes to safety wear. The important factor is having something that does the trick and keeps you safe and comfortable.

Equipment always makes a difference. In the case of working against the weather and in situations that can be challenging and uncomfortable, you deserve to have the best of the best when it comes to gear, tools and equipment.


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