End of season, and I just wanted to touch base on how the SkyVac system went since I bought it mid-summer.
It was $7000. HUGE chunk of change. I had faith though after doing all my research as the previous versions were electric and you had to buy an external generator just to power it. I bought the gas powered interceptor model.
The engine is fantastic. first or second pull start every time. The suction is amazing, but it does have its limitations, but that’s based on the debris, not the vacuum itself. Clumpy, thick, wet, matted up leaves will clog the nozzle fast, but you have to learn to attack debris from the side, not from the top down dipping into the gutter. Pine needles also suck, no pun intended, especially if they’re wet and clumpy.
It takes me about 5-6 minutes to set it up and same to break it down. I usually have about 10 minutes or so of downtime each job due to emptying the drum, or running water through the system to give it a rinse to increase its efficiency. It also takes a minute or two to drop the hose and wheel the system to the next area you’re working in, then reattach the hose to the unit and get back to work.
I’m a one-man show at the moment, and my tallest ladder is 28’. I don’t want to go more than that, and I don’t even want to use ladders at all, really. Last year I turned down quite a few gutter jobs because I couldn’t reach them. Not the case this year. I had a handful of jobs that were 40’+ feet this year, and they were not an issue.
The unit paid for itself this year easily, and I even unfortunately have left money on the table because I could not get it all done. I had 4-5 gutter calls come in just 2 days ago. I will not go up and chisel ice blocks out of gutters. It’s not worth it to me. If we get a couple of warm days where the gutters thaw out over the next couple of weeks, I will go back and try to get as many of the remaining jobs done that I can.
Most of my jobs average about $250, and I have a $150 minimum. I had quite a few $350+ jobs this year. the last day I worked before the snow hit, I had 4 jobs…$200, $275, $300, and $250. I started at about 730-8:00am, after it had warmed up just a hair. I was done for the day at 2:30, and had about an hour of driving to/from jobs, not counting time to first job and time to get home from last job.
If you can market yourself as this being a SAFE method to clean gutters, you will win a lot of favor with clients. They like hearing no ladders are on their house, no customers are walking their roofline, gutter edges are not being crinkled by guys not using standoffs.
I know it’s a huge price, but I feel it was definitely worth it.
Here’s a handful of pics I took from the first week or so using it: Imgur: The magic of the Internet