How Do Vacuum Trucks Work?

If you’ve ever worked for or run a construction-based business, you’ve probably had to use a vacuum truck. Vacuum trucks are highly useful when you need to move large amounts of liquid in short periods of time, or even if you need to dig precise foundations for large construction projects. Other than the people who need to use these trucks, does anyone really know how they work? We here at High Country Vac Services offer waste removal and other hydrovac services everywhere in the Calgary area. Let our team of experts show you how these trucks work, and the different jobs they can accomplish.


What Kind of Vacuum Truck Do I Need for the Job?

Depending on the type of job you need to get done, there are different types of vacuum truck. Hydrovac trucks are generally used to extract sewage and clean storm drains, sewer lines and catch basins. Basically, they’re used for wet material.


Alternatively, for dry material, you can use an industrial vacuum truck. While they can also be used for wet materials found in sewer lines and drainpipes, they were designed for construction sites, chemical plants, manufacturing facilities, farms and other industrial work sites. It’s a more versatile type of vacuum truck. Let’s move on to how they work.


How Does the Vacuum Truck Work?

Before we get into how it works, let’s go over the different parts of the truck:

  • The cab: this is the part of the truck where the driver sits and controls the functionality of the vehicle.
  • The pump: the pump draws power from the engine to provide suction to the vacuum. 
  • The primary: this is the primary chamber that catches all the material that is vacuumed out of a given area. It includes a mechanism that prevents sewage from making it to the pump if it gets too full. 
  • The secondary: a smaller chamber that protects the pump in case the primary chamber mechanism fails. 
  • The discharge valve: this is where used to empty the collected material.
  • The intake valve: this is where the operator attaches the hose to begin the extraction.

The pump provides suction power to the vacuum, which is extracted from your worksite and into the primary chamber. As the chamber fills, there is a mechanism that stops any sewage from making its way to the pump, where it could cause extensive damage. Once the job is done, a discharge valve is used to safely dispose of the waste that has been extracted. 


For all your commercial waste removal needs, call High Country Vac services, your hydrovac experts in Calgary. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our Services page.