You may have seen or heard a large vacuum truck being used around your neighborhood or passed one on the road as it was being used. They are not always obvious, but in many cases, they do have a telltale whining sound like the vacuum cleaner in your home. There are many ways they can be used, but here are a couple of the most common.
Clearing Storm Drains
If you live in an area that has large storm drains along the side of the road, seeing a vacuum truck cleaning this drains would not be uncommon. The trucks are fitted with a boom and pipe that can be moved hydraulically in just about any direction. The crew cleaning the drains may remove the metal grate or, depending on the size of the nozzle and pipe, they may work from between the holes in the grate. In both cases, the result is the same. The pipe is inserted into the drain and leaves and other foreign matter are removed using a suction pump. The material is gathered up in the tank, and when it is full, the tank is emptied in a landfill or other designated location.
Another use for these large vacuums on wheels if to move liquid from one tank to another. The trucks rotary vane pump is perfectly suited to drawing liquids through it and into the tank on the truck. The liquid can then be transferred to a new holding tank or properly disposed of if required. An example of this might be a truck used to clean and drain a septic tank or other underground tank. The spinning pump creates suction in the hose and draws the material through it to a tank on the truck. It is stored in the tank until it is full then dumped in the proper location and treated properly.
Saving Lives and Protecting Property
While you may not realize it, the big, red fire truck you see in town can be a vacuum truck at times. While not used in the same way as that truck that is cleaning the storm drains, the rotor pump in the truck can be used to draw water from sources like lakes, ponds or other bodies of water. The water can be used to fill the tank on the truck, or it can be drawn in on one side of the pump and pushed out the other side through a hose to another truck. In any case, the suction created by the pump of the truck is indeed a vacuum and can remove water from homes or other structures, supply a fire scene with water to battle a blaze, or just fill up the tank on the truck for use later.
To learn more about vacuum trucks, contact a company like Steel View.