What Is Remote Digging?

understand what's underneath trademark trinity subsurface

What is Remote Digging?

Remote excavation occurs in a sensitive area where the risk is too high to use standard excavation techniques, or normal excavation is not possible. A remote vacuum excavation can be a safe and effective alternative to mechanized excavation. Mechanized equipment can damage and disturb plantings and landscaping.  A remote dig can reduce the impact to surrounding areas.  In some cases, a remote dig can reduce the overall cost by removing the need to repair access points and rutted grounds.


A remote dig is needed when the excavation location can not be reached directly with mechanized equipment.  Extensions can be added to the suction hose and compressed air line to extend the reach of a vacuum truck.  In some cases, the reach can be extended 100 feet or more with little or no loss in vacuum.  Vacuum excavation machinery takes several forms from trailer mounted rigs to truck mounted rigs.  There are even small portable rigs that rely on separate air compressors to generate vacuum and digging pressure.  


Some examples of situations where Trinity Subsurface has employed remote vacuum excavation to meet our customer’s needs include:


●      Digging footers for remote pipeline supports in sensitive areas of industrial sites.

●      Remote digging for fence posts at substations where access is limited.

●      Excavation inside basements of occupied buildings where the removal of spoils might interfere with daily operations.

●      Exposing utilities on steep terrain where vehicle access is not possible.

●      Cleaning out catch basins in hard-to-reach areas.


Vacuum Excavation is a form of nondestructive excavation using compressed air to loosen the soil. The soil is removed using vacuum hoses to a storage tank.  In the case of air vacuum excavation, the spoils can then be replaced into the excavated hole once a utility is exposed.  This negates the need for additional fill materials, saving time and money.  It also eliminates the need for disposing of spoils off site or remotely.


While we can do Hydro excavation, we rarely do for several reasons.  It is not as safe as air excavation.  Water is abrasive and can damage conduits and cables.  The trucks tend to be too large for easy access, requiring more open job sites. The spoils are not reusable and have to be dumped.  If holes need to be backfilled, they must be backfilled with other fill, adding to the time and expense.  Trinity Subsurface always looks to save its customers money and time while keeping the worksite safe.


Back to Blog