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Fort Morgan-based manufacturer Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc. is partnering with international distributor Vermeer Corporation to produce a new line of truck-mounted vacuum excavators this year.

Vermeer announced this week it has purchased a minority share in Vacuum X-Traction and signed an agreement for the local manufacturer to provide the new trucks exclusively for sale through Vermeer industrial dealers. The international company gained two seats on the four-person Vacuum X-Traction Board in the deal, said Vacuum X-Traction President Juan Mota.

  • Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc. is rennovating a new warehouse and manufacturing space on US Highway 34 in Morgan County. The company recently received an investment from international distributor Vermeer Corporation. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc. plans to operate an assembly line in this warehouse space on Highway 34 in Morgan County. The company recently received an investment from international distributor Vermeer Corporation. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

  • Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc. manufactures hydro vac machines and trucks such as this model VX-2416 multi-purpose unit shown in a recent company brochure. The VX-2416 can be used to clear large pipelines or operate as a traditional hyrdo vac. (Courtesy: Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc.)

  • Vacuum X-Traction Products, Inc. President Juan Mota shows a rendering of the new VXT500 unit, branded with the Vermeer Corporation's logo and color scheme in his office on Friday, Feb. 14. The Fort Morgan-based company recently partnered with Vermeer. (Slade Rand/The Fort Morgan Times)

Mota said he is excited to expand the local company’s distribution capabilities and to help introduce the new digging products to Vermeer’s line.

“Their dealer network is enormous, so the potential to just blow up the market with the hydro vacs that we produce here, its just the sky’s the limit,” Mota said.

Vacuum X-Traction makes soft digging equipment, which uses vacuum pressure and water to dig holes, tunnels or other needs at job sites. The company began in 2014-15 as a partnership between two local equipment producers, Integrated Chassis Solutions and Xtreme Welding. Mota said soon after Gary Harms founded Integrated Chassis Solutions, he approached Xtreme Welding about a potential partnership.

That relationship grew to become Vacuum X-Traction, which produces and manufacturers hydro vac trucks in Morgan County. Harms serves as chairman and CEO of Vacuum X-Traction, and Mota is the company’s president.

“We are excited to partner with Vermeer and its dealers, who are well equipped to offer and support our range of high-capacity solutions designed to help customers work more efficiently and cost-effectively,” Harms said.

The deal with Vermeer gives Vacuum X-Traction a five-year timeline to bring production to 25 trucks per month. Mota said he and a local team created the first single model of the new line of trucks here in Fort Morgan this past year, and that he’s looking forward to selling them through Vermeer. The new VXT500 Vacuum Excavator was unveiled at a trade show in Indianapolis earlier this week.

“In addition with this partnership with us, with Vacuum X-Traction Products, Vermeer will have the largest, most complete vacuum excavation line in the world,” Mota said.

Mota said Vacuum X-Traction will still operate as if it owned 100% of the company under the new deal with Vermeer. He said the company will continue producing machines on site in Fort Morgan in a new assembly line at a facility they are now renovating on Highway 34.

Vermeer will rebrand all of Vacuum X-Traction’s product line, including the new truck-mounted vacuums, with the Vermeer Corporation’s logo, color scheme and naming conventions, Mota said. He said Vermeer, based out of Pella, Iowa, is currently the largest trailer vacuum manufacturer in the world.

“They’re growing a lot, and they see the need for bigger hydro vacs in their fleets, because they only have trailer vacs. So partnering with us with gives them the 8-inch to 10-inch market, which opens up the oil and gas industry to them,” Mota said.

Vacuum X-Traction will begin supplying Vermeer trucks to Vermeer dealers in mid-2020 with an initial focus on North American markets, according to a Vermeer Corporation release.

“From utility, to oil and gas, to industrial plant and environmental clean-up applications, these VXP products are proven to meet the specific demands of customers looking for high-capacity vac solutions that will improve their productivity,” said Doug Hundt, president of Vermeer Industrial Solutions.


Vermeer Trucks Small Enough to Get the Job Done

Vacuum excavation continues to grow in prevalence and popularity, but huge hydroexcavators and jet/vac trucks aren’t always able to get into all the tight spaces municipal utility crews need to work.

Vermeer by McLaughlin has addressed the need for smaller yet fully equipped and completely capable machines with the ECO Series of vacuum excavators. The skid-mounted vacuum excavation units can also be equipped for sewer cleaning work and are built for easy installation on both new and used truck chassis — even all-terrain vehicles for more remote work.

Everything is designed around the goal of efficiency.

Municipal Sewer & Water talked to Jake Jeffords, regional sales manager at McLaughlin, about the new series of excavators.

MSW: What was the philosophy in developing this series of vacuum excavators?

Jeffords: The ECO Series gives an owner/operator the ability to utilize a proven truck-mounted vacuum excavator that also delivers fuel savings of more than 50 percent compared to PTO-powered options in certain applications. The ECO Series also features lower maintenance costs compared to truck engine service and the versatility to mount on new or used truck chassis or on off-road crawler carriers.

MSW: Is Vermeer (McLaughlin) trying to establish a larger footprint in the municipal market?

Jeffords: The municipal market has been key to our success over the years. The ECO Series is just one component of the full lineup of McLaughlin vacuum excavators. This variety allows our company to meet the many needs of all our customers.

MSW: What are the advantages of a smaller truck-mounted unit?

Jeffords: Smaller truck-mounted vacuum excavators not only have the ability to work in tighter spaces but also give owners the flexibility of hiring drivers without a commercial driver’s license when they adhere to spoil weight regulations.  

MSW: What specific types of tasks is this unit designed to tackle?

Jeffords: The ECO Series is effective in all the same tasks/markets as its trailer-vac counterpart. It serves the utility market, in particular, by providing a productive way to safely dig around and expose existing utilities.

MSW: Was the design driven more by excavating functions or sewer cleaning capabilities?

Jeffords: The ECO Series was designed with utility work in mind. We know this market needs a compact vacuum excavation system that focuses on performance and improved fuel efficiency.

MSW: Why put a skid-mounted unit on a truck instead of building the whole unit directly on the truck chassis?

Jeffords: The ECO Series has great versatility since the entire skid can be mounted to many different chassis. This gives a customer the ability to mount an ECO Series vac to a new truck, a used truck they currently have in their fleet, or even to a nonstandard all-terrain vehicle for pipeline work.

MSW: How are the units spec’d out?

Jeffords: 1,025 cfm with 15 inches of Hg, the patented cam-over hydraulic rear door, the three-stage cyclonic filtration system, and the in-tank washdown system and auto belt tensioners. There is also the option to select the hydraulic boom.

MSW: What features set this series of vacuum excavators apart?

Jeffords: It has a proven power system that uses a pony motor package that doesn’t rely on a truck’s PTO drive for power. The Kubota 49 hp (36.5 kW) diesel engine burns 50 percent less fuel per hour than a 270 hp (149.2 kW) diesel truck engine, which can yield up to $13,000 per year in fuel savings. The Kubota engine delivers constant power to the vacuum excavator, versus the lower, intermittent power provided by a truck PTO drive. And it only requires routine maintenance every 400 hours, compared to diesel truck engines with service intervals every 125 hours.

MSW: What jetting equipment is included if people choose that option?

Jeffords: Customers can pick between a 12 gpm or 18 gpm sewer jetter. If this option is chosen, the machine is equipped with 500 feet of 1/2-inch jetting hose, a lead section and one standard nozzle.

MSW: Is there room for an onboard freshwater tank?

Jeffords: Yes. Freshwater is standard on all ECO Series vacuum excavator units.

MSW: How do each of the units in the ECO Series differ?

Jeffords: The primary differentiating factor for each of the ECO Series models is horsepower range.

  • ECO50 Series has a 49 hp (37 kW) diesel engine
  • ECO80 Series has an 85 hp (63 kW) diesel engine
  • ECO100 Series has a 99 hp (74 kW) diesel engine

There is also the ability to add a sewer jetter on the ECO80 and to add air excavation on the ECO100.

MSW: How will municipal utilities benefit from owning one of these units instead of or in addition to a larger jet/vac truck?

Jeffords: The ECO Series gives municipal utilities the ability to operate an efficient piece of equipment in compact areas. With certain configurations, there is no need for a commercial driver’s license (depending on spoil tank size and GVWR of truck). This gives them the ability to expand the performance of their utility locating process while keeping operating costs low.

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Vacuum Excavators

High quality vacuum trucks and trailers for hydro excavation, non-destructive digging, liquid waste, and more.

The demand for non-destructive digging (‘NDD’) solutions has seen a surge in demand for vacuum excavation across a wide range of industries and applications.

This growth has been driven by factors including the increased mandating of NDD and hydro excavation by primary contractors and municipalities, occupational health and safety regulation, the roll-out of fibre networks and availability of vacuum excavators in an increasing array of sizes and configurations.  Often, once a contractor or municipality buys their first vacuum truck or trailer, it’s use expands to applications beyond the original intended use, realising new revenue streams and/or efficiencies for the organisation.

Vermeer Vacuum Excavators save contractors time, labour, material handling costs, and most of all, reduces surface disruption in areas with improved landscapes and reduces the risks of damaging utilities during the excavation process.  Whether it’s potholing for a fibre installation or supporting a HDD rig, Vermeer has the hydro excavator you need. With units ranging between 400 and 11,000 litre spoil tank capacity and the CFM to match, we have your vac ex requirements covered.

Read more about the many applications of vacuum excavation, the components and technologies, and considerations when choosing a vacuum excavator in our Guide to Vacuum Excavation applications and technologies.

You can also see the same information, as well a learn more about Vermeer’s range of trailer and truck-mounted vacs, in our eight-page Vacuum Excavation Solutions brochure (PDF, 5mb).

We’ve also presented articles and case studies below where Vermeer hydro excavation solutions have helped boost our customers productivity and profit.

Vermeer V250 Vacuum Excavator / Sucker Truck

Vermeer Introduces High-Capacity, Truck-Mounted Vacuum Excavators


(UC) - Vermeer Corporation announced it has purchased a minority equity investment in and signed a distribution agreement with Vacuum X-Traction Products Inc. 

Through the agreement, VXP will supply a series of Vermeer truck-mounted vacuum excavators to be sold exclusively through Vermeer industrial dealers. The first of these products, the VXT500 Vacuum Excavator, will be introduced during the 2020 WWETT Show in Indianapolis on February 18.

The VXT500 is an eight-inch vac with an eight-yard spoil tank capacity. It is ideal for utility applications where a higher capacity machine with a smaller footprint is desired. The VXT500 joins a family of VXP-manufactured vacs featuring vacuum blowers that deliver 5,000-6,400 cubic feet per minute and spoil tank capacities ranging up to 16 yards. In addition, VXP has built and will offer a vacuum excavation truck equipped with a pressurized detachable box, and a truck with an extendable long-reaching boom for specialty applications.

Based in Fort Morgan, Colorado, VXP was founded in 2014 by Gary Harms and Juan Mota. They will continue as majority shareholders and product development leaders through the new partnership with Vermeer.

“We are excited to partner with Vermeer and its dealers who are well equipped to offer and support our range of high-capacity solutions designed to help customers work more efficiently and cost-effectively,” said Harms.

VXP will begin supplying Vermeer machines to Vermeer dealers in mid-2020 with a focus first in North America, and later expanding into other regions of the world where large truck-mounted vacs are in high demand. For more information about these products, please visit

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Vermeer added a new midsize model to its truck-mounted vacuum excavator line with the introduction of the VXT300 truck vac. Outfitted with an eight-cubic-yard spoils tank and a six-inch dig tube, the new vacuum excavator can carry up to 800 gallons of water.

With an overall height of 11.5 feet, the new machine is one of the lightest truck vacs on the market and is designed for contractors who drill multiple holes per setup and need large volumes of drilling fluid. The VXT300 also represents a new generation of vac trucks for Vermeer which will replace the VXT8 Mega series.

A Kenworth T370 truck chassis with a 350-horsepower diesel engine and 6-speed 3000 RDS Allison transmission undergird the vacuum system. The truck’s PTO powers a Roots 624 vacuum blower that generates a maximum flow of 3,500 cfm and suction pressure of 18 inches/mercury. For crew efficiency, the PTO also allows the vac to keep running while repositioning the truck between holes on jobs where multiple holes are being excavated.

The spoils tank cam-over-hydraulic door and in-tank washout keep things clean with the VXT300. Optional features include a winter package with a water heater as well as an onboard PTO driven air compressor.

Vermeer's Full line Truck \u0026 Trailer Vacuum Excavators Built by McLaughlin


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