Of all the trucks on the streets, the vacuum truck is highly underrated for their importance to the commercial vehicle industry. They are extremely versatile pieces of equipment that perform some of the most dangerous and yet dirty jobs in the world. This equipment usually handles both hazardous and non-hazardous material, making them very useful in municipalities for industrial clean-up and life-saving activities. These vehicles are environmentally friendly because they ensure that the health of the general public is not compromised.
A vacuum truck has a wide range of uses. It is able to perform several types of jobs that other pieces of equipment are unable to do. The following are a few of the uses of this versatile vehicle.
- Street Cleanup – Sweeping the streets in urban areas is one major job this truck is able to handle. The suction system can efficiently vacuum deep crevices, curb sides, blind alleys, dead-ends and under street debris. They are frequently used by municipalities because they can easily remove bulky litter along streets such as bottles and cans. Additionally, vacuum trucks can clean garbage using the built-in hydro-jet as well as easily suction piles of leaves in suburban areas.
- Septic Tank Cleaning – To prevent a septic tank from overflowing and to promote its proper functioning, this equipment can aid in the maintenance process. The equipment can vacuum scum, wastewater and sludge out of the septic tank to maintain and improve the lifespan of the tank system. Pumping the tank periodically by using a vacuum truck can also prevent clogging and contamination from occurring and enhance normal functioning.
- Trench Collapse Rescue Operations – During trench cave-in rescue operations, the Fire Department deploys several of these vehicles to save victims. Instead of using shovels to excavate and recover the victim, the rescuers can utilize high-tech tools to rapidly rescue the trapped individual. During this kind of operation, first responders have a sense of pressure due to the heightened danger that comes with this life-saving activity. As an emergency response, pneumatic vacuum trucks are used to excavate and remove soil that has covered the victim.
- Catch Basin and Storm Drain Pumping – When there is a hurricane, flash flooding usually occurs due to non-stop rain. After the flood has subsided, catch basins and storm drains are filled with debris, which if not immediately addressed, will significantly block and clog the sewer system impeding the normal flow of rain water. In this scenario, vacuum trucks can aid in emergency clean-up. This equipment can clean one catch basin per hour, which would take a normal person approximately two to three hours to clean. It can suction mud and then the built-in hydro-jet can pressure wash the side of the storm drain walls.
- Oil Spill Cleanup – Currently, oil is considered to be one of the most precious substitutes in the world. The value of oil is nothing compared to the devastating effect it has if it is spilled or leaked into a body of water. A gallon of oil is capable of making an acre-sized oil slick that is very appealing to fish because it bears a physical resemblance to food. This is very dangerous to marine life and the coastal environment. Oil spills, just like the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, can be cleaned up using this equipment. Clean up crews can utilize a method called "containment and skimming" to remove oil slicks. These include on-site burning and the addition of biological cleaning agents which are considered to be environmentally threatening and risky. There is only one option that is considered as safe and that is the use of vacuum trucks.
Vacuum truck usage is diversified. It is unique and versatile as it can handle a wide variety of jobs that are often taken for granted by most of the population. The operation of these vehicles can make a significant difference in keeping both industrial and municipal waste problems from becoming more dangerous!