Micro vacuum excavation to assist smart metering works
Morrison Utility Services (MUS) and M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions have joined forces with Vacuum Excavation specialist Vac-Ex to deploy micro vacuum excavators on smart metering works in the London area.
The micro ‘AIR-VAC’ has been commissioned to support MUS smart metering teams working on behalf of Thames Water in often busy and congested locations in and around London.
The unit offers safe, non-aggressive and non-invasive excavation around buried utilities and non-removable obstructions and is ideal for metering works, stop taps, slit trenching and trial holes for investigation work and service pits. The compact, towable and self-contained unit offers the capacity to hold its own spoil and the facility to tip from height into a wheelbarrow, skip or trailer.
As well as enabling faster, more efficient excavation, the equipment minimises the risk of cable strikes as there is a reduced need to put shovels in the ground; noise and waste is also reduced.
Morrison Utility Services Executive Director Adam Gosnold comments: “Vacuum excavation is becoming increasingly essential in the often confined and congested inner London areas that our smart metering teams are working in. Each year, our smart metering teams make over 61,000 excavations whilst carrying out their work on behalf of Thames Water. Whilst our teams’ cable strike performance is good, innovations such as this will help towards our target of zero.
“The micro-design of the AIR-VAC offers a more agile, HAV’s (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) free method of vacuum excavation in and around buried live services that will prove particularly useful for our teams conducting small digs in built up, tight access areas. We are very excited by the new efficiencies that this tool will bring.”
Morrison Utility Services Head of Customer Services Dan Rhodes comments: “The reduced size and improved agility of the micro AIR-VAC is delivering significant customer service benefits to our smart metering teams working on behalf of Thames Water. The unit’s self-contained design is also helping to minimise the impact of the work being carried out as no spoil is left on site which addresses the issue of site tidiness – a key priority across all of our contracts. From a customer service viewpoint, this is a great example of the ways in which we can take customer feedback and incorporate it into new and progressive ways of working.”
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