Vactor Machine Diversifies Company’s Industrial Cleaning Services

A truck Koberlein Environmental Services initially purchased to tap into the oil field services market now is a key part of the company’s industrial cleaning offerings

Vactor Machine Diversifies Company’s Industrial Cleaning Services

Chris Ravenscroft, owner of Koberlein Environmental Services in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

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As Chris Ravenscroft steered his company, Koberlein Environmental Services, toward new markets to diversify the firm’s business base, he knew he’d need a powerful business partner. That turned out to be a Vactor 2100 Plus combination vacuum truck equipped with a hydroexcavating package.

Initially, the company, based in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, bought the truck to enter the oil field services market.

“We needed a machine with a long boom and high-lift capabilities for vacuuming things like drilling cuttings and mud, plus a water jetter for line cleaning capability,” Ravenscroft says. “That truck got us over the hump in terms of getting into that market.”

Now the truck is primarily used to perform industrial cleaning jobs at power plants and utilities, vacuuming up materials such as sand and stone from stormwater sluice pipes, hydroexcavating, and jetting and vacuuming large-diameter sewer pipes, he says.

Built on an International truck chassis, the unit features a 12-cubic-yard debris tank, a 1,500-gallon water tank, a Roots blower manufactured by Howden (4,200 cfm), and a water pump that produces pressure of 3,000 psi and flow of up to 80 gpm. It carries 600 feet of 1-inch-diameter hose.

“It’s been a good machine — very reliable and relatively simple to operate,” Ravenscroft says. “The hydroexcavating capability is beneficial, too. We don’t do a lot of hydroexcavating, but we’re starting to do more and more. It’s a trend moving in the right direction.”

Along with the vac truck, Ravenscroft says jetting nozzles made by Enz Technik, coupled with crawler-mounted pipeline inspection cameras made by Proteus, form the backbone of the company’s industrial line cleaning services.

In particular, Ravenscroft cites the Bulldog recycling rotating nozzle from Enz as a good investment, as well as an Enz nonpercussion milling cutter.

“Along with the truck, the camera and nozzles have formed the foundation for our company’s line cleaning services,” he says.

The company invested in the truck in 2011. The cost was about $375,000, but Ravenscroft says the return on investment more than covered the initial cost. And as the company considers purchasing another combo vac truck soon, he hopes to invest in one that performs and generates revenue as well as the Vactor 2100.

“It has definitely been a moneymaker and a workhorse for us,” Ravenscroft says.

Read more about Koberlein Environmental Services in the December 2019 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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