New Standards Available for Vacuum Excavation and Sewer Cleaning Equipment

An Association of Equipment Manufacturers committee helped guide the standards through the publishing process of SAE, a standards development organization

New Standards Available for Vacuum Excavation and Sewer Cleaning Equipment

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With the assistance of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a second SAE standard has been published for vacuum excavators and sewer cleaning equipment. The publication of J3107 complements the already published J3106 Standard.

Members of AEM’s Underground Equipment Manufacturers Committee understood the need for standards for the growing vacuum excavation equipment industry. While vacuum excavators have been in production for many years, the full use of the equipment for assisting with safe excavation around underground utilities is a more recent trend, and the industry has responded with substantial growth.

AEM’s Underground Equipment Manufacturers Committee drafted the initial scope of the standards and then approached SAE, a standards development organization, to expand the efforts to the entire industry. Those efforts included several manufacturers and industry experts to build the standards. Since many of the manufacturers involved manufactured combination sewer cleaner and vacuum excavator machines, it was only practical to include both machines in developing the standards.

After many meetings, AEM’s SAE MTC9 subcommittee, successfully led by Susan Harmon of Charles Machine Works, completed and navigated the two standards through the necessary SAE channels and process. 

“This joint effort was an excellent example of how AEM facilitates the industry coming together to support the safety of our equipment and operators,” Harmon says.

  • J3106 Standard — Vacuum Excavation and Sewer Cleaning Equipment Classification and Nomenclature
  • J3107 Standard  Vacuum Excavation and Sewer Cleaning Equipment - Safety Requirements

For more information on the newly published J3106 and J3107 standards, contact AEM’s Bernie Bernhard at or visit


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