When it comes to construction, excavation is an important part of the process, and it might play a bigger role than you might realise. It is a lot more than just digging a hole because there is a lot more planning and work involved in ensuring that excavating is carried out correctly and safely. Excavation companies play an integral role in the success of construction projects, let’s discover what is excavation and what role it plays.

Excavation Explained – Why is it Important?

The excavation process involves the moving and removing of soil and rock from an area where construction is going to take place. There is more to it than this as it can include clearing an area through drilling, grading, and trenching. Each project will involve using heavy machines and equipment such as bulldozers and excavators.

How Does the Excavation Process Work?

There are many elements that make up the excavation process such as site preparation, drilling, and trenching, and it is required in the construction of roads, sewer lines, and drainage. However, the process will include:

Preparation – A professional construction company will work with a range of other services such as land surveyors before they begin any work. This will ensure that the work is planned safely and that any obstacles in the area are removed such as trees and boulders.

Excavation – This will involve excavating, drilling, or digging, but it will begin the process of moving and removing soil and rocks. They will undertake all grading and smoothing while they will remove dirt and debris. The area will be prepared in accordance with the construction project.

Trenching – Where trenches are required for foundation footings, they will undertake the process of soil removal and all other debris

Essentially, before an excavation takes place the process will follow these steps:

  • Setting corner benchmarks
  • Ground surveying and top levels
  • Excavate the area to the agreed depth
  • Mark up the cut-off levels
  • Mark the boundaries of the construction site

Excavation Equipment

Backhoe Loader

The backhoe loader is the main tool that forms part of the back loader hoe. This is used to remove compact, hard material, and it can be used to lift heavy loads.


If your construction project requires the removal of large amounts of rocks and soil than a bulldozer will be used. This has a large metal blade on the front that is used to push material.


Again, if you have large amounts of earth to move then a trencher can help with this. It has large metal teeth that are made of steel and these tear into the ground, making it possible to dig trenches that can be used to lay utility pipes, cables, or drainage.

Skid-steer Loader

If part of your construction project requires work in a compact area then a skid-steer loader might be required. This can be used for digging, but it is lightweight and manoeuvrable, while it can be used with different tools.

Vacuum Excavator

If materials such as earth and debris need to be removed from a hold then a vacuum excavator can take care of the job. A large pipe is placed into the hole before materials are then sucked into a storage area located within the vehicle. We often do trench work, we have our City Sucker for compact areas, and our tracked vac for rough terrain.

Crawler Loader

Crawler loaders are used on rough terrain where the tracked chassis enables them to move with ease. Therefore, they can be used on the unstable ground while they also have the ability to excavate large materials such as rocks and heavy soil.

What Makes Excavation Projects Successful?

The process of excavating land is not a simple process, and it requires certain expertise to get it right. To make it successful, the requirements of the project will have to be mapped out so that all parties have a clear understanding of the work involved. The work schedule should be created so that it is clear and easy to follow. In addition to this, the right drainage will have to be implemented along with stormwater management to help avoid problems with soil erosion and the structure that will be built.

Why Vacuum Excavation Is The Right Choice For Your Project?

If you work within the Civil Engineering or Utilities industry, you may have heard of Vacuum Excavation. This modern excavation method has been rapidly gaining popularity over the last few years, proving to be a viable alternative to manual or mechanical digging.

But why is Vacuum Excavation the right choice for your next project?

1. It is faster than manual digging – The Vacuum Excavator’s remote-control suction arm works by breaking up the earth surrounding the buried services and sucking up the debris through a pipe and into an inbuilt chamber. The suction arm is capable of excavation up to 2m3 per hour, which makes it a much quicker alternative to the more traditional digging methods.

2. It is a safer method – Vacuum Excavation only requires one operator and foregoes the need for mechanical diggers or manual digging. This means that the risk of injury from collapsed trenches or service strikes is greatly reduced.

3. It is a more reliable method – Due to its autonomous nature, a Vacuum Excavator is capable of excavating with precision and repeatability, reducing the risk of human error.

4. It is more cost-effective than manual digging – As Vacuum Excavation is much quicker and more precise than the more traditional methods, costs can be kept to a minimum with less risk of unexpected fees from damage or project delays.

What Do Excavation Companies Do?

An excavation company will handle the entire excavation project. It will be managed from start to finish, ensuring that the work is completed in line with the timescale and requirements of the project. They will manage the site preparation, grading, trenching, and drilling. They will also provide the required machinery to undertake the work which will include the likes of excavators and bulldozers.

How to Choose The Right Vacuum Excavation Company?

When choosing a vacuum excavation company, you have to make sure that they are suitable for your project. Experience is important when selecting a vacuum excavation company as the more experience they have, the more likely they are to be able to meet your needs. You should research the company and then look at whether they have any testimonials or customer satisfaction ratings. In addition to this, they should also have the right equipment and hold all necessary licences and insurance as this will ensure that all the work they carry out is protected but also to the necessary standards. Finally, consider the cost of the work and how that compares with other companies.

“We are pleased to see more people adopting the use of Vacuum Excavators. Excavation safety has always been of the utmost importance to us here at PIER (UK) where we are pleased to see the rest of the industry adopting similar practices. We are proud to have the UK’s largest fleet of Vacuum Excavators, and we can provide a solution for almost any terrain, whether it is on a highway, in city centres, or even off-road.”

— Sean Quinn, Managing Director of PIER (UK).

As the industry leader in Vacuum Excavation, PIER (UK) will listen carefully to their customer’s requirements and provide a solution that is suitable for the job at hand.