The Vacuum Truck Process

Vacuum trucks, also commonly known as a ‘vac’ truck, are a versatile vehicle that is used by towns and municipalities for street cleanup, sewer overflows and other such dirty jobs. Most of the public recognizes this equipment due to some of the famous spills that have happened and the astonishing job done by these vehicles to clean up the spill. The next logical step might be to wonder how this piece of equipment is able to perform such an important task. Following is information about the functioning of this vehicle.

Process Explanation

When a vacuum truck is turned on, the twin/triple fans blow high air pressure causing air to flow through the intake nozzle and hose. This air flows through a series of chambers which include the storage tank and then continues on through the micro-mesh filter system before it flows out into the surrounding area.

To elaborate on this process, a closer look must be taken on what happens when the vacuum truck extracts dry material from the ground. When the machine’s intake nozzle is directed at the dry material, it is pulled via the air flow into the machine. The material then travels through the hose and is deposited in the main storage tank. The smaller particles continue to travel and will then be deposited into two smaller tanks. All the dust-like particles that are still carried by the air flow will be filtered by the micro-mesh filter system. After the air flows through the filter, it will go back to the atmosphere, filtered and clean.

Pump System Information

Usually the vacuum pump system that is installed in a particular vacuum truck is designed to perform the work quickly and efficiently. Manufacturers intentionally place certain limits or specifications on the pump system for future monitoring so that the pump system will function at normal capacity while in operation.

There are two types of vacuum pump systems that are commonly used: the liquid ring and the rotary vane versions. The best vacuum pump for a truck is dependent upon the business needs for which it will be used. The liquid ring versions are now more popular in the industry because they are oil-free, not noisy, and more proficient in accomplishing the necessary task. The pump system for the liquid ring is more intricate and also has a need for more area and water for proper functioning.

On the other hand, the rotary vane version is easier with maintenance; however, a major disadvantage is that it produces more smoke and is noisier at times.

Tank Information

A vacuum tank size varies and is dependent on the truck and pump system capabilities. The tank needs to have the volume of space that is essential for storing material. The tanks usually take 3 to 20 weeks to manufacture depending on their complexity. There are a number of size standards in diameter that are available that fit comfortably on the truck and are suited to a particular pump system.

Beside the lower rear head, wear-and-tear inside the tank usually happens around the one-third level of the barrel. Waste material is usually abrasive and the velocity with which it enters the tank will also contribute to tank deterioration. Linings can be used on tanks; however, that only contributes to the cost. It is more important to realize that tank life should not be extended beyond how it was designed either by repair or by the use of linings. The best option is to decommission the tank and have it replaced.

Don’t limit learning about vacuum trucks as this equipment has a very significant role in many industries. With the proper understanding of its essential parts and how it functions, finding the right vehicle to suit projected needs should be readily obtainable. Knowledge will lead to the right vacuum truck selection!

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