Brandt’s HX120 hydrovac: Maximum load weight meets minimal noise

brandt hydrovac

Brandt’s first entry into the hydrovac market delivers maximum legal load weights, lower noise levels as well as quick loading and unloading.

Introduced earlier this year, the HX120 was developed in response to the increasing need for a hydrovac that combines full-sized capacity with maneuverability in tight urban spaces. 

The hydrovac features a water tank capacity of 4,353 litres and an 11.6 cubic yard debris tank capacity, as well as an 8.5 metre boom reach with 340-degree rotation. 

As Brandt is both a dealer and a manufacturer, the company is able to gather input from technicians at its 138 locations around the world, as well as its more than 200,000 customers, to design new machines. 

“We’re not designing our products from a boardroom far away from the market. We’re designing them from a jobsite in collaboration with our dealership partners,” said Matt Semple, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Brandt

“It also means we have over 1,200 technicians fixing machines every single day. So, we tend to know what goes wrong. That goes back to our design team to make sure that we’re beefing up those areas or swapping out components before failures happen.” 

Brandt decided to develop the hydrovac to meet the growing needs of the utilities industry. 

“Hydrovacs are an industry that’s been growing across the North American market due to infrastructure upgrades, increasing amounts of telecom expansions and pipeline infrastructure that’s going into the ground every year,” said Curt Borys, Director of Product Marketing at Brandt.

To understand the features required by hydrovac end users, Brandt was able to work with its existing customers throughout the product development process. 

“The foundation of Brandt’s approach to any new product development is how we understand our customers, and how their needs can become our objectives,” Borys said. “We want to understand the benefits that we’re going to bring to a customer, not just a list of features.”

Real-time measurements

The HX120 helps underground excavation contractors work efficiently with maximized legal load weights and the capacity to take on larger jobs without load weight concerns.

The real-time measurement of water and overall truck weight enables operators to make quick, informed decisions, which reduces the risk of damage or overweight penalties. 

“Every part on this truck has been engineered to perform while reducing weight,” said P. Eng Evrhetton Gold, Brandt’s Lead Engineer for the hydrovac. 

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A unique feature included in the design of Brandt’s hydrovac is the ability to set local legal requirements for the chassis as well as its tare weight. 

“The truck will tell you from zero to 100 per cent how close you are to your legal road limit, giving the operator as much information as possible so they can make the best decisions,” Gold said.

Reduced noise

It is also the quietest hydro excavator in its class, a benefit in urban settings. 

“We delivered an enclosed cyclone filter and sheltered lower design. This drastically reduces the noise around the unit,” Gold explained.

As well, the vacuum pump exhaust is exported above the truck, while a dual PTO design allows the truck to deliver maximum performance at lower rpm levels. 

“This helps reduce the overall noise of this truck by up to 15 per cent versus our competition,” Gold said. 

Safe hydrovac operation

The rear-door lockout ensures safe servicing and allows operators to wash down the inside of the debris tank with ease. As well, the system requires less water to wash out after unloading than slope-unload designed units.

The hydrovac also includes an emergency shut off with multiple access points around the vehicle.

“The system will break back instantly protecting the operator, but then brings the truck down in stages to also protect not only our backend equipment baggage, but the chassis itself,” Gold said. 

In case of loss of signal from the remote, the truck’s air and wash systems will turn off until the remote is reconnected. 

“They do not need to come back to the truck to do that now. The last thing we want is an operator to be hung up on a nozzle or a valve and go to reach the remote and not be able to access emergency software,” Gold said.  

The automatic transmission, low overall height and compact wheelbase improve maneuverability, making the truck easier to operate.

“We delivered the shortest wheelbase in its class. It’s 20 inches shorter than a lot of our competition,” Gold said. 

More uptime

Reducing downtime was a common request Brandt heard from its customers. To boost uptime, the hydrovac features quick clean out with a full open rear door and vibration assistance. 

The fully powder-coated debris tank unloads quickly and has the ability to pressure offload into another truck, bin or land spread for fast turnaround.

The boom turret, constructed of AR steel, is designed with a removable access plate for cleanout and a shut-off plate that allows the operator to shut down the boom suction without shutting down the blower. 

As well, the hydrovac is designed with easy access points for service and maintenance allowing for quicker on-site servicing. 

“You ask for reduced downtime caused by inefficient operating procedures. So, what we’ve delivered here is the quickest and easiest truck to get digging,” Gold said. 

To improve efficiency at the end of the hose, the boom is built with a progressive diameter from the dig tube to the turret to reduce plugging while acting as a secondary vacuum chamber.

“Anything that goes up the uptake tube is getting to the chassis,” Gold said.