Tag Archive for: #vacuumexcavation

A day in the life of a vacuum excavator operator

The LMD Annual Review 2021-22 featured a photo-montage of a day in the life of an LMD Vacuum Excavation Driver; from inserting the tachograph right through to refuelling and clean down.

Rediscovering Atlantis in…Skegness

LMD removed sand covering the Atlantis Adventure Golf attraction in Skegness

Safety is our top priority

LMD’s Health and Safety Manager, Ian Buchanan, explains the steps LMD takes to ensure the health and safety of its operatives at all times.

LMD publishes its Annual Review 2021-2022

LMD has just published its Annual Review for 2021-2022. There are articles on key projects, health and safety and much more besides. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Interview with Mick Dysart, LMD Managing Director


Mick, your company, LMD Vacuum Excavation, is based in Staveley some five miles from the centre of Chesterfield. Has the area always been home?


I have lived in Chesterfield all my life, mainly in the village of Brimington where I still live today.


Vacuum excavators are expensive and complex pieces of equipment that have only been used in the UK for fifteen years or so. How did you get involved in such a specialist sector?


Up until about five years ago I think you could have described vacuum excavators as specialist pieces of equipment. Today, however it is becoming the norm for excavation work on housing developments, utilities, motorways and more.

I saw my first vacuum excavator at the SED plant show back in 2006. It was a single fan with limited power and a ‘floppy’ suction arm. I wasn’t impressed at all as it was being demonstrated incorrectly.

I was working for M&B Groundbreaking at the time. In April 2007, M&B bought their first vacuum excavator, this time with a power arm and double fan. You could see the potential straight away. M&B immediately ordered two more, and then another five. Eight in total.

I still have three of the original M&B vacuum excavators in the LMD fleet and completely overhauled the first one last year.


So how did you get from working from M&B to setting up LMD Vacuum Excavation?


M&B were principally a gas mains replacement contractor and weren’t really set up to provide vacuum excavation as a separate service.

In July 2015, with the support of my wife Sandra, I took the plunge and purchased three vacuum excavators from various sources. Business was slow to build and by the end of 2017 we had only grown to five vacuum excavators, one of which was purchased from Dijon, France.

From 2018 onwards, however, we have achieved strong growth every year. We doubled the fleet to ten by the end of 2018 and doubled it again to twenty by the end of 2020.

In the eighteen months that have followed, we have grown to 40 vacuum excavators. The 40th was delivered on 3 August 2022. I am planning to have 44 vacuum excavators in the fleet by the end of 2022…and maybe more!


What changes have you seen in the market since 2015 and how do you think it will develop in the years to come?


The biggest change is that vacuum excavation is now considered to be best practice and is mandated by developers, utilities and highways contractors alike.

We are going through a period when there is not enough capacity in the market – even with forty vacuum excavators.


What is LMD doing to ensure it stays ahead of the competition?


LMD Vacuum Excavation is now big enough to employ its own training specialists, health and safety manager, and team of internal and site-based fitters. I am particularly proud of our apprenticeship programme for fitters as that is the route I followed after school, qualifying as a Motor Vehicle Technician through Chesterfield College.

Not only do we have the second largest vacuum excavation fleet in the UK, our fleet is the most diverse. We have powerful tracked excavators that can work on the railways or off-road; we have six-wheel drive vacuum excavators to cope with difficult terrain; left tip excavators for work on motorways and so much more. This diversity, our focus on achieving and retaining industry accreditations, and our commitment to the quality of service we provide; all these factors combined set us apart from the pack.

There is no respite, however. We have to continue to improve in every aspect of our operations. My goal is for LMD to become synonymous with quality vacuum excavation; the ‘go to’ providers. If we can achieve this, we’ll need a far bigger fleet in the years to come.

LMD takes delivery of its 40th vacuum excavator

LMD Vacuum Excavation has taken delivery of its fortieth vacuum excavator. LMD is already acknowledged to have the UK’s most flexible and agile fleet of vacuum excavators, and the latest arrival reinforces its credentials as the fastest-growing vacuum excavation operator in the country.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield visited LMD’s operations in recognition of the landmark occasion. They were greeted by LMD Managing Director, Mick Dysart, and his wife Sandra whose support has been fundamental to LMD’s success. The Mayor, Tony Rogers, climbed into the cab of the MAN TGS 26.510; no mean feat for a man of 83 years of age. Mick explained how the vehicle worked and the Mayor and Mayoress then had a demonstration of the power arm and tipping mechanism in action.








LMD Vacuum Excavation was established in 2015 with the purchase of three used vacuum excavators. Initial development was slow, but from 2018 onwards strong growth has been achieved year-on-year. LMD doubled its fleet to ten by the end of 2018 and doubled it again to twenty by the end of 2020.

According to Managing Director, Mick Dysart, LMD has its sights fixed on further expansion:

‘By the end of 2022 I am planning to have at least 44 vacuum excavators in the fleet. It may be more; it depends on the ability of manufacturers to meet demand.

When LMD first started up, we had to educate users and convince them of the merits of vacuum excavation. Today, vacuum excavation is considered best practice and is mandated by developers, utilities and highways contractors alike.

My goal continues to be that LMD becomes synonymous with quality vacuum excavation; the ‘go to’ providers. If we achieve this, we’re going to need a much bigger fleet in the years to come.’

Depending on the exact specification, each vacuum excavator costs between £400,000 and £500,000. This demonstrates the commitment of LMD Vacuum Excavation to the construction industry and the economy of the East Midlands in general.

LMD Vacuum Excavation’s Day at the Races


Fifty-five LMD team members and their partners enjoyed a fantastic day at Doncaster Races on Saturday 17 July. According to Managing Director, Mick Dysart, the day out was arranged to thank the team for their hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic:

‘Covid-19 has brought uncertainty and opportunity in equal measure in the sectors in which we operate. Agility has been the key to dealing with both, and the team has provided the flexibility which has enabled us to maintain high levels of service for our customers throughout lockdown. In the stress and pressure of the day-to-day it is all too easy to overlook the effort and sacrifice being made by the team, and the race day provided an opportunity to show the team that their hard work is recognised and valued.’

LMD sponsored the feature race of the day, the LMD Vacuum Excavation Handicap. Mick and wife Sandra, who was chief organiser, were asked to choose the best turned out horse. They selected Colony Queen, which turned out to be the winner of the race itself. Mick and Sandra presented the successful stable girl with a £200 prize for her efforts, and their generosity received a mention in the pages of the Racing Post.

The race itself wasn’t without controversy with the then race leader, Aerion Power, mistaking the half-furlong post for the finishing line allowing Colony Queen to run past. The jockey received a twenty-eight days ban for, ‘failing to ride out on a horse that would have finished first.’

‘I think everybody enjoyed the day. It was great to be able to relax and socialise together for the first time in eighteen months or so, and lovely to see the team spirit and camaraderie.’

You can watch a replay of the race, including the dramatic finish, at LMD Vacuum Excavation Handicap.

New LMD vacuum excavator in build at MTS

LMD Vacuum Excavation continues to grow its fleet. The latest addition, an MTS Dino8, is currently under construction in Germany.