Non-destructive digging (NDD) is also known as vacuum excavation or hydro excavation. This is a form of digging that ensures tree roots, pipes, cables or anything buried underground are not damaged when you dig around their vicinity. The damage caused to the things buried underground is very minimal compared to what could be the case if you were digging using a crowbar or an excavator.
Difference Between Non-Destructive Digging, Vacuum Excavation and Hydro Excavation
There is a small difference between these three types of excavation. The differences relate to the amount of water pressure used in each method and whether water is actually used to dig up the dirt.
How Non-Destructive Digging (NDD) Works
NDD uses a high-pressure jet of water from a gun/lance. The water is emitted at very high pressure and when pointed to the ground, digs up the dirt and turns it into mud. When the dirt has been dug up, a high-velocity vacuum is used to suck it up, which in turn leaves an excavated hole.
Check the video below for an overview of NDD.
Should You Use a NDD Truck?
You do not need to use non-destructive digging in every single project. A leading excavation company can advise you whether or not to use NDD for your project. There are a number of things you should consider to know whether or not NDD will be right for you. These include:
- The kind of project you are working on
- Amount of risk you are willing to take
- Your budget
If you would like to hire an NDD truck, you should know its cost. Generally, NDD trucks cost more per hour than excavators or backholes. Moreover, they cannot move much dirt per hour than an excavator.
However, the benefit of NDD is that it is faster and leads to less ground damage. The following information will help you know whether or not it will make sense to use NDD.
- If there are no underground services that are at risk of being damaged when the ground is excavated, choose an excavator.
- If there are underground services at risk in the area you want to dig but you are not paying wages, it would best to dig the area on your own using a shovel. Dig around the area to expose the services so that you know where they are located.
- Finally, look for an NDD truck if there are underground services in the area you want to dig but have not time to dig the area by hand and cannot hire staff to do the work for you.
Another benefit of NDD trucks is that they can work in areas where excavators cannot. Here are some examples when using NDD trucks triumph excavators.
- You are working in an area with overhead power lines
- You are digging too close to a building
- You need to dig the backyard of a house where an excavator cannot be used
There are also other situations where using an excavator will be impractical. For instance, if you have to dig around tree roots and those roots have to be left intact, you should choose NDD.
The above is an overview of what non-destructive digging (NDD) is all about.