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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vacuum Trucks Can Be Safe Guzzlers!

Vacuum trucks are primarily engineered to extract particles from one site then haul them to another location for disposal. In the United States, cities and municipalities use these vehicles to clean up sewage systems, streets, contaminated land, oil and petroleum spills, toxic waste, and chemical waste, among other things.

Although it would appear that this kind of job should be very easy to perform, when not done properly everything that has been achieved could be at risk to causing potential danger. Unlike any other industrial truck, these vehicles are very safe to handle if the proper safety rules and practices are observed. Following are several key points that vacuum trucks must follow to help increase their safety and productivity for a successful operation.

Importance of Diameter Size

The first thing to take into consideration is the diameter size of the line as this has a great effect on the suction ability of the vacuum truck. The force generated by a ¼ inch width hose is not the same as the force generated by a 3/8 inch width hose. The smaller the diameter size of the hose, the higher the suction pressure will be; the larger the diameter size of the hose, the lesser suction pressure will be produced.

Do Not Change Diameter Size During Job

The diameter size of the passageway should be pre-determined before performing the job. There are workers who change the line while in the middle of the job which is very dangerous. This will not only affect the suction power of the pump; it will also impact the vacuum truck itself. The suction ability of the line is inefficient if an 8-inch hose is altered to a 4-inch hose in the middle of an operation. The tubing will suffer from friction loss because the vehicle is programmed to intake an amount of air using an 8-inch hose but because a 4-inch version was used, the speed of air will be much different from it should.

Efficiency of Smooth-Bore Lines

The most common lines used for vacuum trucks consist of corrugated polyethylene tubing that is lightweight and easy to carry. If long lengths of this type of conduit are used, they will only destroy the vehicle's performance. Smooth-bore hoses are better when used for longer and tougher jobs since they are more efficient in terms of the suction ability of the truck.

Poor Performance from Increased Friction Loss

If there is an increased reduction in flow due to turbulence as air passes through the vacuum hose, it will significantly affect and decrease its suction ability. Friction is reduced by increasing the length of the tubing. If there is an increase in friction loss, it will lead to poor performance of the machine.

Safety is vital in increasing productivity. Accidents do happen and can be prevented by understanding the information listed in the four key points above. Safe work procedures in any vacuum truck operation must address the potential hazards that might be encountered during its operation. Proper adherence to these guidelines will allow vacuum trucks to be safe guzzlers!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Vacuum Trucks, go to the main website at:

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