When Did People First Start Using Hydro Excavation for Various Applications?

When Is The Big Question

Today, seeing a hydrovac truck performing some routine digging work at a construction site is commonplace. However, many people would be surprised to know that the technology hasn’t been in use that long, even though the principle of using high pressure water for utility digging precisely and other types of digging requirements has been around for many years.


It was the Californian miners who first exploited this technology in the mid-1800s, for the purpose of mining for gold. Named “hydraulic mining,” the method involved steam powered digging machines that would dig through the hard ground much like the hydrovac trucks of today.


Despite this fact, the first actual hydrovac machine was only developed in 1969. Named the ExcaVactor, it was basically a crude, but efficient version of today’s well-known hydro excavation machines. Over the next couple of decades, the design became more and more widespread and streamlined. It was particularly popular in Canada, where construction and landscaping experts noticed that the method could be used to get through the cold and hardened Canadian soil for faster reqults.


In time, the technology was adapted to be used on mobile vehicles such as trucks for easy transportation and to get the hydrovac units to where they are needed more efficiently. As a result, hydrovac is gaining even more in popularity these days, and the technology is being adapted to a growing number of applications.