Whether you need a license to operate a vacuum truck or not can be a difficult question to answer. There is no specific license that you need to provide in order to operate a vacuum truck but experience and training is required in order to work on construction sites. Also, the weight of the vacuum truck will depend on whether you need just a class C driver's license or a heavy vehicle license.
Using a vacuum truck without any training is a recipe for disaster, they are complex machines with a number of functions. One wrong move can mean dangerous consequences for all involved. There are a number of training facilities that offer variations of vacuum truck training, which is the best way to become a qualified vacuum truck operator.
If you are wanting to hire a vacuum truck, the service generally comes as a wet hire - with an operator - as the machine is not something that a lot of people can use. Because of this, hire rates will always lean on the more expensive side but if you pick the right vacuum truck hire supplier you’ll see that you get your money's worth.
How to Become a vacuum truck operator
If you want to become a vac truck operator there are a few things you need to be competent and qualified in first. To start, most vacuum excavation companies require their operators to hold an 'MSMWJ303 operate a vacuum loading system' certificate. This certificate verifies that you are competent to:
- Prepare for work
- Complete onsite preparation
- Set up job in accordance with procedures
- Undertake vacuum loading job in accordance with procedures
- Complete job in accordance with procedures
A number of formal training providers offer the operate a vacuum loading system certificate. The certificate training generally takes two to three days to complete and after examination, you are certified to operate a vacuum loading system. Other training you may need to undergo includes Safe Work courses and heavy vehicle licenses. Once you are hired as a vac truck operator you will also receive on-the-job training on how a business's specific vac truck functions.
How to hire a vacuum truck operator
When you need to hire a vacuum truck with an operator there are a few things you can look out for to ensure you hire the best vac truck operator for your job. First, you need to roughly know the size of your excavation as this impacts the size of the vac truck that you will need to hire. This will, in turn, narrow your options for vac truck operators as well. Next, what is the clearance and accessibility to the excavation job? Some vac trucks have boom lifts and can only work within a small perimeter, whereas other vac trucks have extension hoses that allow them to work up to 100 metres from the vac truck.
When you are discussing the size and access of the excavation project with your potential vacuum truck operator don’t be afraid to ask about their previous experience. A vac truck operator that has the experience and skills is always a safer bet than someone who doesn’t. Adding to this, ask them where they are taking the waste spoil after your job and whether there are any added costs involved with the dumping. If you hire an experienced vac truck operator who is transparent about any additional costs you’re guaranteed a good experience completing your excavation project.
Ready to hire a vacuum truck?
Now that you know whether you need a license to operate a vacuum truck or not, it's time to hire a vacuum truck. With an operator or without, iseekplant have a number of vacuum trucks for hire across the country. Check out our extensive network of vacuum truck suppliers by using iseekplant's get a quote tool or give us a call on 1300 691 912. We have suppliers in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, and all around the nation ready to supply you.