Setting Your Sights: McLaughlin Vacuum Excavators


Before breaking ground on a new project, it’s important to know what buried utilities are hiding underground. Services such as One-Call are a great starting point at identifying a utility’s location, but they are not foolproof. Vacuum excavators, on the other hand, can be essential to your fleet, helping to expose utilities so you don’t cause serious and costly damage.

Vacuum excavation technology has been around in some shape or form since the 1950s. Vacuum hoses are often seen around work areas suctioning the earth to expose a utility in a fast, safe and surgical manner. Operators can safely identify and positively locate a utility — avoiding the potential of damaging it during a dig.

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Over the next several pages, vacuum excavator manufacturers provide their histories, summaries and specs for their product lines. Take a look at these machines and consider the benefits they offer when keeping crews safe on the job and utilities in working order.


Customizable Truck-Mounted Units Deliver Power and Performance

For more than 90 years, McLaughlin has developed a reputation for designing and building dependable, low maintenance trenchless solutions for the power, gas, telecom, water, sewer and oil markets. Today, the company offers a full line of utility locators and vacuum excavators for safely finding and exposing existing infrastructure, as well as a number of other trenchless installation products. McLaughlin manufactures Hole Hammer pneumatic piercing tools, Mighty Moles and pit launch directional drills for trenchless installation of conduit, cable and HDPE pipes. In addition, McLaughlin has a full lineup of auger boring machines and 360-degree On-Target steering systems for installation of steel casing.

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Currently, McLaughlin manufactures vacuum excavators with spoil tank capacities ranging from 250 up to 3,000 gal to provide the right solutions for contractors’ applications.

Product Spotlight: ECO50

McLaughlin recently introduced the Vermeer ECO50 vacuum excavator to answer the utility market’s demand for a compact truck-mounted vacuum excavation system that focuses on improved performance, fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance. The ECO50 units are powered by Kubota 49-hp auxiliary engines and matched with 500- to 800-gal spoil tank capacities, which can be mounted on a new or used truck chassis. The 4-in. vacuum system of the ECO50 features a powerpack with proper horsepower necessary to run the components and reduce excess fuel consumption. Standard McLaughlin features are maintained with the ECO50, including the exclusive three-stage cyclonic filtration system and the patented cam-over hydraulic rear door.

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“Some jobs are going to require larger vacuum excavators with 6- and 8-in. suction hoses and, therefore, more horsepower — PTO-driven vacuums make more sense in those higher horsepower applications,” says Jeff Wage, vice president at McLaughlin. “A 4-in. vacuum system can run off a 49-hp engine. A contractor using a 270-hp PTO-driven truck engine to power the 4-in. vacuum on a jobsite all day would waste fuel. The ECO50 vacuum excavator offers contractors power and productivity in a compact solution for their urban jobsite applications.”


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