What is the “Smart Dig Wand” Dead Man Switch?

Mar 9, 2022




It’s no surprise that hydro excavation equipment operators have one of the toughest jobs in one of the most demanding industries, where attention to detail has a direct impact on operator efficiency & workplace safety. Hydro excavation equipment raises the chances of injury due to the very nature of the industry, especially when using handheld equipment such as high-pressure water jets. The use of dead man switches is becoming an essential tool to protect operators, but many of the switches available lack the intuitiveness and wireless performance needed in the event of an accident, where critical events can happen in the blink of an eye. This is where the Smart Dig Wand dead man switch steps up to the plate, giving operators peace of mind by automatically stopping water flow when detecting unsafe motion.





The “Smart Dig Wand” is a wireless, motion-sensing remote control for mounted on the hydrovac dig wand between the pipe and the ball valve, and protects operators by automatically detecting drops/loss of control and instantly shutting off the water pump and reducing the risk of injury for operators.

Our easy to install add-on system enables operators to focus on the job at hand, rather than on the specific mechanics of the equipment being used. The “Smart Dig Wand” provides hands-free operation, allowing operators to work without having to stop to rest their tired trigger finger in the middle of operation. Additionally, it’s built with plug & play compatibility, allowing for easy installation in just 5 minutes, with no wiring changes required.





The “Smart Dig Wand” is designed for operators of handheld hydro excavation equipment in response to a clear need within the industry. Through Aarcomm’s powerhouse of radio remote technology expertise, intense market research and discussions with various equipment owners, operators and OEMs, Aarcomm went to work to develop a wireless remote control dead man switch unlike any other in the industry!

Using built-in motion sensors and carefully designed configuration parameters, the “Smart Dig Wand” is a tool that will not only reduce the probability of workplace accidents and improve operator well-being, our wireless dead man switch will also help to protect property and reduce the waste of valuable resources.





The “Smart Dig Wand” uses two built-in motion sensors to aide in drop detection: a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope. The accelerometer measures the change in speed in any direction, such as if a high pressure dig wand shoots out of an operator’s hands. The gyroscope detects unsafe motion by measuring the difference in angle from a specified axis, such as if the dig wand is tilted beyond 60 degrees from a vertical axis. If the unit detects that the angle or acceleration parameters have been exceeded (aka: a “drop”), it will send a signal to the receiver to instantly shut off the water pump.

We’ve taken this technology a step further by adjusting the internal logic system according to application preferences or job site demands. Adjustable configuration parameters include the G-force setting, min and max tilt angles for vertical and horizontal planes, LCD light settings and a company logo on the loading screen.

By attaching the “Smart Dig Wand” to the bracket between the dig wand pipe and the ball valve, operators can put their focus on doing their best work, with the knowledge that Aarcomm technology is by their side if a critical event were to take place.





Aarcomm has always integrated an intentional 2-step process when powering up our wireless control systems. One of the driving forces behind the design of each one of our radio remote controls is our dedication to reducing injury and taking care of operators, which is directly reflected in turning on each Aarcomm system. This 2-step sequence verifies that the START and STOP buttons are working correctly prior to operation. This method also minimizes any accidental powering up of the unit, thereby saving battery power and subsequent recharging times.



  1. Press and hold the RED button
  2. Press and hold the GREEN button
  3. Release the RED button
  4. Release the GREEN button



  1. Press the RED E-stop button once to shut down the Smart Dig Wand unit. The display on the Smart Dig Wand will be put into in sleep mode and will not draw any power from the battery.

* If a drop is detected, the operator will need to manually reset the “Smart Dig Wand” which involves a very simple button sequence.



  1. Hold the bottom two GREY buttons for 2-3 seconds (until the progress bar on the LCD screen has reached 100% or is “filled up”)
  2. Release the bottom two GREY buttons once the black progress bar is filled

The operator will then have 5 seconds to get into position before the “Smart Dig Wand” starts sensing a drop again.




The solution is Simple & Smart   –   Reach out today for more information on our wireless, rugged & intuitive dead man switch! Contact sales@aarcomm.com or call us at 1-800-604-9218 to speak with us directly about how the “Smart Dig Wand” can give you and your operators more peace of mind!


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