Suction Excavation​ – Case Study

The UK’s Premier Suction Excavation Operators

The following case study demonstrates the operational efficiency that can be achieved by the use of Suction Excavators.​

How Does it Work?

  • The lorries are fully self-sufficient, equipped with a range of
    tools to enable the breaking out of most surfaces.
  • The Suction lorries are powered by powerful twin turbo fans
    capable of producing 36,000 m³ of air volume per hr, creating
    huge suction force through the 250mm suction hose.
  • This power enables the lorries to literally suck loose material
    from the ground. The process is helped by using an air lance
    to loosen soil and other materials present.
  • This material is then transported into the body of the lorry,
    which has a capacity of approx. 8 m³ of excavated material.

All data has been based on the operational activities within the Bristol & Gloucester areas for a 40-day period in April/May 2007.


Description Data
Number of excavations carried out 580
Average number of excavations per day 14.5
Total hours in operation 307
Average number of excavations per hour 1.88
Average Number of Services clients required to be exposed per Excavation 1.58


The average number of excavations per hour has been analysed in more detail taking account of the various types of ground conditions that were experienced during the operation. Please see below:


Material Type Number of excavations Time taken (hrs) Minutes per excavation
Stoney clay 407 213.5 31.4
Large rubble 21 18 51.4
Clay 53 19 21.4
Loose rock 39 18 27.7
Mud & clay 10 4 24.0
Soil & rubble 50 34.5 41.4


With all excavations, the minimisation of environmental impacts plays an important part of the operation with regards to environmental damage, waste disposal and the use of natural resources for backfill and reinstatement operations. It should also be taken into account that the reduction in time taken on this type of work activity has limited the length of time the general public are exposed to the hazards and disruption the activity causes.

In analysing all of the 580 excavations undertaken with regards to size, the average size of excavation was as follows: