3 Disadvantages of Locating Utility Lines With Backhoes

Backhoes and shovels used to be the best ways to find buried utilities. But being the best didn’t make them good options. The next time you have a project where you need to locate the utilities, find an alternative to backhoes and hand digging because:

3 Disadvantages of Locating Utility Lines With Backhoes

1. There’s no guarantee of accuracy.

Backhoes are a great tool for when a lot of dirt needs to be moved and there aren’t any surprises waiting in the dirt. But if there are pipes, cables, or wires buried underground, backhoes will snap them just as often as they uncover them. Either the utilities will get punctured or snapped at the digging site or the backhoe will stretch a cable too far and it will snap somewhere else.

While hand tools are much less risky because you’re moving less dirt at once, there is still a high chance of damaging the utilities during the process of uncovering them. The risk increases if the ground is rocky or frozen.

2. Precision work takes too long.

Backhoes can’t be used if you need precise results, even if the operator has years of experience. Hand digging tools like shovels offer more control. But this switch comes at a high cost in terms of man hours and your overall schedule. Hand digging is inefficient, especially if it has to be done carefully.

3. Electrical cables are too hazardous.

Electrical cables are one of the most dangerous work site hazards. While pipes and other cables are just as liable to break, exposing live wires is dangerous for everyone nearby. This can lead to direct liability suits. Even the indirect consequences are too hazardous, such as an injury claim from workers who were suddenly left without light or power. Whether you’re using a hand tool or a mechanical vehicle, digging will eventually result in electrical dangers.

Hydrovacs and other vacuuming excavation tools are a much safer alternative, and they keep you on schedule. Go to 4 Warriors Hydro Excavating to learn more.

What Is Potholing and Which Technique Is Best?

Excavating can be challenging and, quite literally, dirty work. Before a crew can begin construction, they have to know exactly where to excavate in the first place. Even this comes with risks, as striking in the wrong spot could result in disaster for the workers and for the surroundings. Fortunately, there’s one technique that makes this a far safer task.

What Is Potholing and Which Technique Is Best?

An Introduction to Potholing

Using a process called potholing, crews are able to locate underground utility lines not only much more quickly but more accurately as well. This is done by excavating holes (generally 12 inches deep) to confirm the location, depth, and type of the line before beginning construction. Under previous methods such as using charts, there was a much greater chance of digging in the wrong location. More than simply wasting time and energy, excavating incorrectly could lead to danger. Power or utility lines might be struck, leading to outages and electrical harm to the workers.

Potholing Techniques

There are several potholing techniques available, although each has its drawbacks. Digging with manual tools is usually accurate enough, but is exhausting and can take far too much time. Digging with a backhoe is faster, but is also cumbersome and creates a greater risk of exposure and environmental damage. Eventually, vacuum excavation came along and made significant improvements. It used pressurized air to destroy dirt and rock and clear the way. The debris was then vacuumed onto a truck and used for backfilling.

Why Hydro Excavation Is the Way to Go

Vacuuming excavation has been a boon, but we now have an even better method! It works in much the same way as the vacuum technique but possesses additional benefits. The key difference is that water is used to clear the dirt rather than air. Because of this small yet ingenious change, the results are more accurate and cost-effective. Not only that, it works with most soil types and minimizes environmental damage and employee risk even further.

When excavation needs to be done, 4 Warriors has the knowledge and skills to make it happen! Our highly-trained has been operating for more than six years, working on some of Texas’s biggest projects. Feel free to contact us anytime. We are ready to assist you on any and all of your needs.

Reliable And Safe Hydro Excavation Services

Being a family based business, and founded on the roots of Christianity, 4 Warriors Hydro Excavation is impacting the industry through the blessings of the best operators, technicians, and top of the line equipment, and we humbly accept being the most reliable, safest, and cost efficient hydro excavation service that the industry has to offer.

Reliable And Safe Hydro Excavation Services

With extensive experience in hydro excavation, 4 Warriors strives to exceed our client’s expectations each and every day. We know how important time is, and we value yours, in the most cost-efficient way possible. Continuous diligence in our training shows the desire for advancement in safety precautions, solely for the level of care we have for you and your business.

4 Warriors value the need to provide proficient, reliable, and dedicated services. Our team never rejects learning opportunities, and we seek specific industrial training, and extensive site-specific certifications such as:

  • TWIC Certifications
  • OQ Certifications
  • Drug Testing
  • JSA Procedures

At 4 Warriors we strive to build a bridge of excellence from our business to yours, not only to impact the industry, but also the lives of those we meet along the way. Our heartfelt tried and true concern for the people we meet is the effervescent light behind who we are.

Excavation Services are often required of many businesses, for many typical, and non-typical reasons. Whether it’s for Day Lighting, Pot-holing, or Trenching, 4 Warriors Hydro Excavating is fully equipped, fully trained, and fully dedicated to the bettering your business and its productivity. Please contact us, and allow 4 Warriors to battle all your reliable and safe Hydro Excavation needs!

Locating Utility Lines With Hydro Excavation

Digging to find underground utilities can be tricky, so it’s important to know exactly what you are doing. The whole process of potholing involves finding these underground utilities safely to determine their location. By using the wrong method, it could be disastrous for the workers, utilities, and the surrounding facilities.

Using a method that is safe, but still efficient is the preferred method in this fragile environment. Causing the electrical system to go out at a hospital can be devastating, but could happen if certain procedures are not followed.

Locating Utility Lines With Hydro Excavation

What is Potholing?

Potholing is used to excavate 12″ holes for the location of underground utilities which verifies the location, type, and depth. The methods for performing this important procedure include; digging by hand, the use of a backhoe and vacuum excavating.

Methods for Potholing 

Digging by hand requires manpower and is safe, but the time required to perform this method can be time-consuming. Hand tools used in this process are a minimal risk for damage to the utility.

The backhoe was the most popular method but can cause damage to the utility. This is a risky method that should be avoided.

Vacuum excavation is now the most popular method for minimizing damage to these underground utilities. The use of high-pressure air breaks up the dirt and rock, which is then vacuumed into a container on a work truck. This container holds the dirt until it is ready for backfilling.

Hydro Excavation is superior for finding the location of underground utilities. This procedure uses water to break up the soil instead of air pressure. This makes it the best method for Potholing for many reasons.

  • This procedure minimizes damage
  • Saves time and money over other methods
  • Is more accurate
  • Less dangerous to employees.
  • Breaks down most types of soil
  • Environmental friendly

4 Warriors Hydro Excavating has extensive training for all types of industries, contact us.

A Hard Day Spent Trenching Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard

The job site stretches on, flat and yet unblemished, the project is about to begin. Many boots, trucks and tracks will cross this ground in the following year as the ground is shaped and churned, then raised to a new height, as a neighborhood center, hospital, public high school, or backyard oasis. Yet, beneath those boots and heavy wheels, will lie the network of cables, pipes, and foundations which make life in these future spaces liveable.

A Hard Day Spent Trenching Doesn't Have To Be So Hard

The problem is, with the first arrivals at the site, there are still many unseen obstacles to laying down the systems for modern living. Looking at the site plan, the trenchers see existing utility lines, old trees with large root systems, and countless other unknown objects likely buried in the ground. As the excavator engines fire up in the hum of a Texas morning, and as the crew mans their shovels to assist, the first trench is dug deep to allow for the plumbing of the new structure. Scoop after scoop of dirt is removed monotonously and the trench lengthens slowly. As the sun rises overhead, sweat is on the brows of all the men working. The afternoon comes and then halts quickly. A fiber optic cable cutting across the field was marked ten feet too far north on the plan, and the flags marking the line were run over by a truck delivering material. Now the expensive cable has been ripped out by the teeth of the excavator bucket. It will be hours before the company which owns the line can arrive and fix it, at a hefty price. All the men stand there idle and hot, their progress dead in the water.

But if this crew had been using vacuum excavating, they may not be standing so idle. The use of pressurized water would have jetted right around the line, never severing or ripping it. They could keep moving along without having to fight the dirt’s resistance; the water doing the tough work for them. In the matter of a day, the vacuum excavators would have all the plumbing done, while a crew with the old bulky diesel digging machine would just be finishing up one main line, with many more battles against the dirt ahead.

Trenching is the part of construction which is unseen in the end product, but it is the part which makes the end product function. Shouldn’t the unseen be finished and out-of-the-way as efficiently as possible? We are here to help you begin to see your plan become a functioning reality, as quickly and efficiently as possible, because you and your vision matter to us!

What Is A Vacuum Excavator And Why Is It The Best Method?

The excavation business is one that has undergone many changes over the years. With new advances and changes in the sophistication of machinery, there are now machines created to do double the work in half the time.

What is a vacuum excavator and why is it the best method?

A vacuum excavator is a piece of specially designed machinery that works to remove dirt and debris to clear an area. It also serves remarkably well at finding utilities whose exact location is unknown. This method of excavation is one that has proven to be much more cost efficient because there is less room for error. With its powerful suction pulling up loose content paired with “teeth” that are in place to cut through earth and make smaller intake, this design maximizes productivity while minimizing the risk for damage to property or injury of operator.

There are numerous business types already taking advantage of the unique ability of the vacuum excavator. Pipeline companies to utility outfits are currently enjoying the benefits of this incredible, cutting edge machinery.

Since induction in the late 1990’s, the vacuum, or suction, excavator has undergone design changes pertaining to filter types, gravity separation, and air flow requirements that have created a mega-machine capable of the most difficult excavation projects.

 4 Warriors Hydro Excavating is a family owned, Christian based company. They are a leader in the field and committed to exceeding customers expectations. We are ready to address any questions or inquiries for excavation services. We welcome you to contact us by visiting our website today to explore the many services we offer and to get a quote.

Vacuum Excavation- the Smarter, Safer Way

Traditionally, utility excavation requires a large digging machine, such as a backhoe. To dig large trenches in the ground creating a hazardous work and home environment. Even under strict supervision and skilled guidance, large digging machines pose a risk that could lead to costly damage and ugly eyesores. Other methods include manual digging, requiring a large group of workers, long hours and many tools such as pickaxes, shovels, and sledgehammers.

Vacuum Excavation- the Smarter, Safer Way

By utilizing vacuum excavation, a specialized process of soft excavation that uses pressurized water to break up dirt, gravel, and debris, while efficiently, and immediately extracting the loosened material with a high-powered vacuum. This method allows for a smaller group of workers and fewer machines to deliver ground-breaking results. A safer, smarter, and more efficient means of excavation.

Click this link to contact us, and our family of highly trained specialists, with more than six years of combined experience will work for you. Our extensive training, and tough employment policies provide us with the cutting edge in skilled labor. We stay ahead of the curve and provide site specific training to ensure you receive the best service possible. 4 Warriors takes tremendous pride in their customer service and intends to uphold the standard set by the Louis family.

Holding close to our traditional and Christian values, we here at 4 Warriors Excavating strive for excellence and safety. Blessed with the ability to provide a safer service to families and contractors. Let 4 Warriors serve you, with better safety, lower cost, and a friendly smile.

An Overview of Hydro Excavating

Hydro-excavation is one of the most common sense ways of accomplishing one of the most basic of man’s activities, digging a hole! In ancient times, most of our holes were small. Perhaps we were digging for roots that we could use as food to feed our families or perhaps we were digging a hole in the side of a cliff so that we could have temporary shelter. As the times we live in have become more complex, however, so have the ways we utilize holes.

Hydro Excavating: An Overview

Holes serve as the basis for almost every construction project and hydro-excavation is one of the most eco-friendly and time-effective ways of digging them. Whether you are digging a hole for the installation of utility posts, building the family home or constructing a high-rise building, hydro-excavation should be one of your number one choices in terms of methodologies. It can replace most of the noisy and ground-jarring types of other equipment that are commonly employed in the field.

Hydro-excavation is about as natural of a process as there is in the construction field. One has only to watch the waters of a stream slowly work away expanding and changing its sides to witness the power of water. Ecologically, we would call that process stream erosion. In construction, we call what amounts to basically that same process, by a simpler term. That term is “smart.” In effect, what that stream is doing is hydro excavating soils to suit its purpose.

I’ll never forget the time my young daughter came into the house with tears in her eyes because she said the water garden hose had crawled down a hole and she could not get it out! When we went outside to determine what she was talking about, we discovered that the hose was indeed embedded in a hole, embedded so deeply that even us adults couldn’t pull it out! We were living in Florida at the time and the sandy soil and the unattended hose had combined to perform a feat that seemed almost supernatural! Basically, however, that is what hydro-excavation is. Not supernatural in any sense of the word, but a very effective and quiet way to dig holes!

We have specialized equipment that pressurizes the water. Then we carefully put that water to work digging the hole so that it meets the precise criteria you have specified. Simultaneous to digging, we are at work pumping out the excess water and soil and storing it cleanly and efficiently in a large tank. Later, according to your preference, we can use it for irrigation and fill either right on site or at another location.

Contact us and let us tell you more about the benefits of hydro-excavation, about its reliability, its safety, and its cost effectiveness! Go ahead and use a shovel to dig those holes to plant your rose bushes but if you are thinking a little larger in scale, we will be glad to do the job for you!

Advantages of Vacuum Excavation

The process of vacuum excavation is a process wherein an excavating test hole is compressed with a great deal of air in order to loosen the dirt.  A system is used to take in the soil by way of a tank.  The procedure is considered a safe technique and is, relatively-speaking, one of the safest methods of excavating.  It is used as a way to properly expose a utility.  Many companies involved in excavation have made use of the process.  It is a fact, that most companies making use of air vacuuming have reported a high success ratio.  Many excavations have been executed where the utility underneath the ground has not received any damage whatsoever.

Advantages of Vacuum Excavation

The equipment used includes a source for the power, air and vacuum systems, tanks for the soil, demolition and drilling tools which are driven by air, and, naturally, control systems.  The components housed on the air vacuum truck are safely mounted.

The advantages of what is termed as test pitting, also known as vacuum excavation are numerous.  Test pitting is the way excavation companies expose a utility.  The list below provides the reader with the advantages of vacuum excavation pertinent to verification.

  • One feature, and pointed out above, is that the utility receives no damage whatsoever.
  • Secondly, no moving parts make contact with the utility being exposed.
  • The process is usable on all utilities.  Utilities where vacuum excavations are used include:  gas, thermal distribution systems, water, power, and communications inclusive of fiber optics.
  • A small hole used in the process is standard.  The hole measures only twelve inches by twelve inches.
  • Vacuum excavation, by its very nature, is far less disruptive and is relative to a much safer and cleaner work site.
  • The cleaner, quieter method of vacuum excavation makes the entire environment free of traffic congestion.
  • The process allows for an easy patch–either permanent or temporary.
  • Due to its simplicity, vacuum excavation provides the client with a very cost-effective means of exposing a utility.

The application in way of vacuum test pitting for verification of a utility is practical during the design stage as well as the planning stage.  Critical information is obtainable, necessary for proper design and project planning. The process provides a reduction of undue surprises.    In turn, delays during the phase of construction are minimized as well as associated costs.

Utilities which conflict with new installations are moved successfully and placed in service prior to construction.  The proposed design, additionally, is changeable in order to correspond properly with conditions verified within the field.

When the depth of a utility is not properly determined during the design phase, then making use of vacuum testing, during construction, serves as a preventative measure in that it blocks cost-prohibitive damage to occur to the existing utilities.    There are advantages, too, of using vacuum test pitting during the construction phase:

  • The vacuum excavation procedure is a safe way to expose a utility just as it is safe during the verification phase
  • The utility suffers no damage from the process;
  • It is possible to expose the utility, prior to excavation of it, with a backhoe or a trencher
  • The utilities can be verified and profiled prior to boring operations.

In order to get the ball rolling, it makes sense to get a hold of professionals.  Interested parties will wish to contact us  in order to attain more details about the operational aspects of vacuum excavation.

Safety When Potholing For Speed and Accuracy

Potholing For Speed and AccuracyBefore the recent holiday season, the City of El Paso closed off a major street for a little under a week for pre-construction activities. The city’s Streetcar Project called for the utility company to relocate utility services. First, the utility company had to make sure they knew where those utilities were located.

This tedious process is expedited through the use of hydro vacuum and excavation equipment. How does this work?

  • The surface layer is removed with help from a jackhammer.
  • Soil, gravel and fill are pushed free and made loose by focused water sprays.
  • The spray, gravel, soil and fill are immediately excavated with vacuum power, leaving little disruption to surrounding areas.
  • Exposed pipes are mapped with highly accurate GPS systems.
  • Since the gravel, soil and spray were vacuumed into a sealed container, it is available to readily backfill the pothole.
  • The hole is refilled and patched.

The entire process is an efficient, economical way to prep an area for construction. With little to no damage of surrounding areas, minimal ground disruption and accurate mapping there is no need to go back and repair the area. For high-traffic or congested areas, minimal disruption translates to happier clients, commuters and others who use the area.

For major projects, the quicker and more accurate the prep work the less likely the project will falter at later stages. It may be a tedious step but potholing correctly the first time around is a very important step in the process.

If you still find the idea of drilling into perfectly good surfaces simply to get a better idea of underground utility locations a frustrating step in the construction process then you should consider hydroexcavation potholing techniques.

For more information about efficient geo-location and smooth potholing for your upcoming construction project, please contact us.