You’ve likely seen them around your city at one time like a high school friend you see every few years randomly in the grocery store, but for the most part, they generally go unnoticed. We’re talking about vacuum trucks. These vehicles are immensely important in crucial operations and transportation and even rescue situations. So if you’re wondering “what is a combo vac truck?” good news, we have the answers below.
What Is a Combo Vac Truck and How Does it Work?
Combo vac trucks are just large, typically three-axle, trucks that clean or suck up liquids and/or sludge at an industrial level. They are actually very simple mechanically as they work and function similar to a shop vac, just larger and with an added high-pressure water wand. Combo vac trucks, in particular, use both high-pressure water and a strong vacuum to get jobs done.
The vacuum onboard works through a powerful pump that removes air from the holding tank, which creates a vacuum inside. When the primary and secondary shutoff valves on suction hoses are opened, the tank is forced to equalize the pressure inside—which results in suction. This lets the truck suck up sludge and other liquids with ease.
The stronger the pump, the more powerful the suction, and the better the truck’s ability to handle tougher jobs.
What is a Combo Vac Truck Used For?
Combo vac trucks are more often used in the oil and gas sector due to their ability to handle more industrial jobs with their combo of water and vacuum power. Most often, they are used for industrial cleaning, thawing out frozen sewer lines, and cleaning catch basins, culverts, and storm drains.
They’re also useful in the municipal sector for handling large-scale clean-up operations like sewer or septic systems. Plus, they’re handy for drilling operations and hydro excavation for sucking up debris and sludge.
Vacuum Truck Rescue Operations
Believe it or not yes, the functions of a vacuum truck can actually save lives in rescue and hazardous materials operations. Because of both their cleaning and suction power, they can clean up environmental hazards and spills to prevent chemicals from reaching waterways and drains.
Combo vacuum trucks have even been called in to help deal with pits or trenches collapsing on workers. Their precision in dealing with the damage and helping people escape has saved workers’ lives.
Both combo vacuum trucks and regular vacuum trucks play an important role in keeping people safe through their operations. Although relatively unnoticed, their functions are crucial in special roles no other vehicle could accomplish.