Precision Utilities Utilizes Hydro-Excavation for Emergency Utility Work

When it comes to emergency work for utilities, urgency is essential. “For that emergency work, it’s ‘we need you here now or needed you here yesterday,’” said Dan Lipe, co-owner of Precision Utilities in Mayer, Minnesota.

It was those types of pressing needs that went into Precision Utilities’ decision to get a vacuum excavator — in particular the TRUVAC HXX.

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Precision Utilities is a fairly new company that began in 2020 right before the pandemic hit. Lipe and his friend Cory Efraimson decided to combine their respective lengthy experience to strike out on their own. Efraimson is a master plumber with certifications for gas work as well while Lipe came from the water, sewer and excavation side.

Since its start, the business has been steadily growing. What began as residential work has now transformed into city contracts, municipality work and commercial buildings.

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Part of that growth was emergency utility work. While Precision Utilities used to rely on subcontractors, that process was too slow. With their own TRUVAC HXX hydro excavation truck, the team was able to respond quickly, which their customers appreciated.

“Now, it’s a matter of turning the key and going,” said Lipe. “Our customers are very pleased that we’re not waiting on subcontractors.”

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The immediacy isn’t the only benefit of the new truck. The safety provided with hydro-excavation was a key factor in their decision to purchase a TRUVAC.

“Digging around gas lines or power lines could without a doubt kill someone, cause serious injury or cause a career-ending injury. We have to be especially careful to not hit power, gas or fiber-optic lines. It’s crucial to dig safely. Our TRUVAC is essentially a truck that sprays water, vacuums and uses the water’s pressure to dig. As far as safety, it’s a necessity,” said Lipe. “We care about our employees, and we care about the environment. Safety is number one in the excavating world. You have to get with the times because everyone wants to get home at the end of the day.”

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Calling 811 to ensure the location of buried utilities before digging is another essential safety practice. The operators at 811 help identify gas lines, electric and other utilities before work begins.

Beyond safety priorities, Precision Utilities also factored in various weather conditions in Minnesota including ground that is covered in frost. That makes hydro-excavation an even better option when the hard ground is factored in.

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“The features on the TRUVAC are great,” said Lipe. “We looked at various trucks, and what it comes down to is service. That’s number one because everything that has moving parts is going to break. You end up going with who has the best service because the second a machine breaks down, you’re losing money. We would absolutely choose TRUVAC again.”

Aaron Windseth at MacQueen Equipment helped Precision Utilities when it came time to get their own truck. Chad Stoller trained the Precision Utilities team.

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Those interested in learning more about TRUVAC can visit

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