Droning on Drones
JUPITER, FL – February 1, 2019 – How many of you received a drone over the holidays? Have you noticed how popular they have become over the last 5-10 years? They are all over and the prices are coming down dramatically like most tech toys do. But are these just toys or can you use them as a tool for your business?
Have you been on the Spray Foam World Wide Facebook page yet to see all the drone videos of spray foam roofs? Many users such as Josh Cotner, Steve Goold, and Gjergji Shimi have displayed their drone videos of roofs they’ve worked on. With one look you can see how these tools are gaining popularity and becoming quite useful.
Not sure what a drone is? A drone as an unmanned aircraft consisting of four to eight helicopter rotors evenly spaced around the exterior circumference. The multiple rotors keep the drone horizontal while allowing it to move in all directions similar to a helicopter, but without the need to rotate to move different direction. This makes it perfect for carrying a camera and capturing videos. They come in all sizes as you would expect and are able to carry various payloads. You may have heard that Amazon has been experimenting with delivering packages using drones.
They cost anywhere from $10 for a palm-sized toy to $4000 and up. There are many options available, but for what a spray foam contractor needs, you can get one for around $500-2000. Needless to say, the more you spend, the better camera, control, speed, range, etc. you have.
So, imagine having a remote-controlled flying machine with a camera attached to its undercarriage that you can fly around and take videos of anything you want. They’re fun to fly and depending on your level of creativity, you can create amazing aerial videos.
I know spray foam contractors like to have fun all the time, but here are a few things you can do with a drone that may be more than just fun and beneficial for your business:
Create great marketing videos for your website and social media. Take before and after shots of roofs you’re about to spray or even after pics of insulation jobs you’ve done to show off the size of the house or building. Better get permission first from the building owners first.
Do some quick troubleshooting. Are the owners complaining about leaks? Fly your drone up to take a quick peek to see if an AC unit or some debris has fallen on the roof. You’ll probably still have to climb on the roof, but it’s still something fun to do.
Documentation. Take some aerial photos or videos to document how the roof appeared directly after you finished the job. An aerial picture of the job immediately when you are finished can help you diagnose issues down the road.
Now that you are convinced you need a drone, make sure you visit the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System’s website at www.faa.gov/uas to get official. Depending on what kind of user you will be, you may have to get a drone pilot’s license. You can use this tool to determine what category you fall into: www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/user_identification_tool. For our readers (no law enforcement or educators) there are two main categories most of you will fall under—a recreational or commercial user. Let’s break down the differences:
A recreational user uses a drone just for fun as a hobby. You may fly it around the neighborhood to make fun videos. If this is you, the FAA requires that you review the rules for flying drones and to register your drone. The registration costs only $5 and lasts for 3 years.
Most of you, however, will fit into the commercial category. Here you will be taking videos for your work as described in the three points above. In addition to learning the rules and getting your drone registered, you will have to take and pass a knowledge test to obtain a pilot certificate. This certificate is valid for 2 years. The renewal requires you to take the test each time.
Once you’re official, get to it and start having fun. If you get a drone and start taking videos of your job, please share them on social media outlets like the Spray Foam World Wide Facebook group for us all to see and learn from, and very likely criticize (all in good fun, of course). •