What Is A Vacuum Tank and What Is It Used For?

Trailer Engineering | 22nd September 2020


700 Litre Skid Base Vacuum Tanker

A vacuum tanker, more commonly known as a vacuum truck, performs so many vital tasks in our lives, yet you probably don’t give them a second thought. Everyone will have seen a vacuum truck at some point. They perform important tasks like removing build-up from sewers and septic tanks, suctioning water other forms of industrial and environments environmental clean-up. While vacuum tanks for trucks are one of the main uses vacuum tanks, there are many types of vacuum tankers available, which can be transported on a trailer or flatbed and used in-situ.

So how do these machines make our lives and jobs easier, and what can they be used for.

How Do Vacuum Tanks Work?

Vacuum tanks used high-pressure hoses, making them perfect for excavation without any damage. A pump is used to create negative air pressure, giving the vacuum extreme suction power. The more powerful the pump, the more powerful the suction achieved by the vacuum.

Vacuum Tanks for Sewerage

One of the most common uses of vacuum tankers is to clean up septic tank systems and sewers. The sewage vacuum tank removes build-up and sludge from the system, helping it to work efficiently and prevent backups and flooding. They are also used to empty portable toilets on sites or for the aviation industry. The material is then disposed of safely into the sewer system. The construction of the vacuum tanks means that they are able to remove and store potentially hazardous waste.

Vacuum Tankers for the Industrial Industry

Certain drilling jobs or those involving hydro excavation, use a jet vac tanker to remove water, sludge and debris from the site, making it safer and cleaner to work in. They are also used to suction away liquids and debris to expose utility lines that need to be replaced or repaired.

Vacuum Tanks for The Emergency Services

That’s right, the humble vacuum tank is used to help deal with environmental disasters and rescue efforts. Vacuum trucks can suction up spills of oil, hazardous waste or other dangerous materials. They have also been used to help rescue people by suctioning dangerous water and sludge from a site, allowing people trapped in trenches and mines, to be rescued safely.

If your home or basement is flooded, vacuum tanks can be used to pump excess water from your property, reducing the amount of long-term damage.


In the event of a flood or storm, large scale vacuum tankers can be called in to protect important areas and wildlife. They remove excess liquids from the site before they can do irreparable damage.

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While often they are mounted onto trucks, that is not always the case, there are many stationary models that can be used or are mounted onto trailers. The vacuum tank plays an important role in our lives and work. Without them, our sewerage systems would not work properly, and lives would not have been saved. There aren’t too many pieces of equipment with such a large-scale influence.
With more and more uses being found for vacuum tanks every day, they will remain an important part of our sewage, industrial and environmental industries.

Interested in finding out more about vacuum tanks? Get in touch and speak to a member of the Trailer Engineering team today on 01384 564765 or send us an email on sales@trailereng.com. We looking forward to hearing from you.


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