FAQ

Q: What is Vacuum Excavation?
A: We excavate using non destructive means such as air and water. Unlike using a tractor or a drill rig, this form of excavation poses no danger to underground utilities. The vacuum sucks the dirt and/or water into the truck which can be transported elsewhere or used as backfill. Using this method, we can make holes very deep but not large in diameter. This allows existing infrastructure to be daylighted and left in place for inspection, repairs, etc.

Q: What is the difference between Vacuum Excavation and Utility Locating?
A: Utility locating is an electronic above surface means to give us a presumed location of a buried utility without disturbing the ground's surface. The difference is Vacuum Excavation is disturbing the ground in a non destructive way to expose the utility lines and prove that it's there. Utility locating, according to the law, does not prove the location of the utility. So if someone is digging near an existing utility that has been marked by locating, it is the responsibility of the person doing the digging to verify daylight or prove the location of the marked utility. Unless digging is an accepted non destructive way.

Q: What is Daylighting?
A: Daylighting means that something underground needs to be exposed so you can see it. It’s literally shedding light into what’s below.

Q: What do I do if I wanna dig a hole?
A: First you need to understand about the hole you want to dig. Is it a difficult location to dig in? Is it a hard location to get access to? (Ie: in your backyard and have to go through the house or you can only walk to it and it’s 300 feet away from anything.) Is it a very difficult hole you’re trying to create? (Ie: really small and deep or underneath the floor of your house, a short tunnel under something.) Is there something in the ground you don’t want damaged? (Ie: underground utilities, large tree roots, foundations, archeological remains.) Will the hole become a danger to other things once it’s made? (Ie: next to a wall, under a wall that needs to be supported, the hole being deeper than 5ft making a risk for it to collapse on you and kill you, only room for a small but a small hole is all you need just deep.) Do you only need a hole long enough to see a utility and immediately backfill into it? Call 811 before you dig! It’s in the law that you must always call them before digging. That way you’ll be sure to not put any utilities at risk of being damaged or destroyed which will become dangerous and expensive to repair or replace, even if the method is non destructive.
As for the hole you want to dig: If it’s a tiny hole, use a shovel in your yard. It’s considered non destructive means. Drink lots of water. If it’s slightly bigger you can still dig it with a shovel. You might want to hire a contractor to do it for you. If it’s any hole larger than a small one we recommend hiring a contractor. We are a contractor.

Q: What is 811?
A: “811 is the phone number you call for before digging to protect yourself and others from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines.” This is quoted from the 811 website http://call811.com/before-you-dig. Please review this page for more basic information about 811 and their procedures. You can also find this link on our resources page along with other important information.

Q: How do we know if we're the right company to call to dig for you?
A: If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait to call 811. Vacuum excavation is typically not faster than a large excavator or backhoe. However, vacuum excavation can make cleaner holes and we won’t break anything when we do it. We’re a specialty excavator company.

Q: Do we have to call 811 to hire SFVE?
A: We qualify as non destructive company for digging...BUT we do insist that you call 811 first regardless.

Q: Do you have the right hole for us to dig? A: If any of the following circumstances are met, we might be the right contractor for you and can have a look at the site for free if you’re near the Santa Fe area. We only want to do the jobs that we think are the best company for.

Q: Do you fix vacuum cleaners?
A: No we don’t. However there are a couple of places that can repair your vacuum. There is Duffy’s Vacuum Sales and Service located on Vegas Verdas Dr. Their number is 505.471.7560. There is also Waldo’s Vacuum located on West San Mateo Rd. Their number is 505.310.6104.

Q: What models are your trucks?
A: There are two aquatech b-10 models and one vacmaster 4000. (Either quote other website on their definition or link them to the info to share more about what the trucks can do) One of the aquatech b-10 trucks have been heavily customized (insert image of truck, showing section between back of cab and large holding tank. Basically the middle of the truck). This customization makes it a dry truck, which means it doesn’t have to suck up any wet material thanks to the filter installed. Due to the removal of the water pump and jetting system, This truck would also be known as a bag house truck.

Q: What are your rates?
A: Our rates will vary depending on what services are needed to get the job done and how. We do charge whatever the rates will be by the hour. Feel free to call us and we’ll be happy to discuss with you about your rates further.

Q: Do we have to pay a security deposit for your services?
A: No.

Q: What hours of the day are you available to work?
A: If it’s scheduled with an advanced enough warning, it could be any time and any day of the week. Additional charges for this might be included.

Q: How soon can you be scheduled to work any job?
A: Because we have a first-come-first-served approach to our services, though often our customers end up with same day response or next day, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a few days lead time.

Q: Can you work in any type of environment?
A: Yes, theoretically, in the state of New Mexico.

Q: Do you work in Santa Fe county only?
A: No, we can work anywhere in the state of New Mexico.

Q: Do you rent equipment?
A: Yes. Have a look at what we can lend in our rentals page for more details.