A major rail infrastructure contractor has introduced a fleet of remote controlled, miniature vacuum excavators to its plant portfolio.
Dyer & Butler, part of the M Group Services Transport Division, has invested in a number of these machines and training has been delivered to teams across its highways, aviation and rail divisions. The rail team will use them for applications such as removing ballast from around signal and high-voltage cables, where the use of a conventional excavator could damage the cables and expose operators to the risk of electrocution.
The new machines are Vac-Ex AIR-VAC II vacuum excavators, procured and supplied by M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions, which is responsible for the supply and management of specialist equipment and vehicles across the whole of M Group Services, supplying its multiple businesses operating in the UK utilities, transport, data and telecom sectors.
Dyer & Butler managing director Richard Walker commented: “These compact and manoeuvrable excavators, along with enhanced excavation safety procedures and our further investment in flame arc clothing, is delivering significant benefits across our organisation.
“Our adoption of this technology ensures that services are safely exposed and reduces the potential risk of utility strikes, as well as minimising the potential for significant disruption, environmental damage and expensive delays to projects.”
Steve Broom, Dyer & Butler’s safety, sustainability and training director, added: “The risk of injury, incidents and disruption caused by damage to underground services is an ever present threat in our sector and we continually invest to enhance our working processes, training and equipment to ensure that our approach to working in these complex environments is both safe and innovative.
“The introduction of the AIR-VAC II excavators has been a game changer in the delivery of safe excavation, enabling our teams to work carefully, considerately and effectively in and around underground services.
“We believe that these machines, coupled with our experience and knowledge of safe excavation procedures around underground services, provides Dyer & Butler with a unique advantage in the delivery of schemes such as this.”