The Vac-Ex Files: Ditch Witch


Jason Proctor, Product Manager

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Market Insights: Coming out of the recession in 2008 through 2010, the use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for utility installations provided a springboard for the increased use of vacuum excavation for damage prevention — increasing the demand and sales of vacuum excavation units. Today in the United States, damage prevention is the leading use for vacuum excavators, particularly in areas with strict regulations. Over the last 12 months, the slope of projected growth for vacuum excavators has lessened slightly with uncertainty pertaining to buying habits. This can be attributed in part to the slowing of the energy sector. However, demand for the machines remains strong — especially for use from a strong natural gas industry and utility installations as fiber-to-the-home and other telecommunication applications, replacements and upgrades take off.

Favorite Unit: I am most excited about our newest vacuum model, the Ditch Witch FXT65 Air, which is a truck-mounted excavator. This is the most productive unit in our lineup. Compared to its predecessor, the FXT65 has the highest airflow, improving performance by 20 percent. As a truck-mounted unit, this model can navigate compact jobsites while providing the option to tow additional equipment to the jobsite. This versatile model is equipped with high-powered, air- and water-excavation capabilities — ideal for locating utilities in below-grade worksites. The air functionality gives operators the flexibility to meet changing jobsite demands by enabling instant switching from hydro to air excavation, and from high pressure for excavating to low air pressure for hand tools and moles. It also offers a wider range of excavation capabilities by minimizing spoil removal, allowing operators to focus on excavating efficiently and effectively.

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