Vehicles: The most important image of a chimney sweep company is a clean and lettered vehicle. There are benefits and drawbacks to owning a cargo van verse a full size pick up truck with camper shell. The cargo van is a good if you are looking to store more supplies and equipment. The extra room allows for more on-site repairs. When a technician arrives in a van, it adds to his credibility and he is perceived as more professional from the customer. A van is also a great traveling billboard for your business and can hold a 40-foot ladder. The only down sides are that trucks ride smoother and safer. You are less likely to be involved in an auto accident with a truck than with a van. You also have greater visibility with a truck and ladders are easier to load and unload. Either way, definitely spend the money to letter your vehicle. It adds to professionalism and is a great form of advertising.
Ladder racks: Whether you choose van or truck mounted ladder racks, make sure it can safely hold 300 pounds. Check our website ChimneySweeps.org to find the latest models and recommendations. It’s great to find ladder racks that have ladder locks and bungee eyelets. Some ladder racks mount to Vans and some can mount to pick up trucks. There are even ladder racks that are removable by simply removing a bolt and slipping the
Ladders: Some of the main tools you will use in the chimney sweep business are your ladders. A chimney sweep will need a 32-foot ladder, a 24-foot ladder and a stepladder. The stepladder can be either 4 foot or 6 foot. If you choose the 4-foot, then you might have trouble reaching taller chimneys from the roof. If you choose the 6-foot stepladder, it becomes harder to store, harder to carry on the roof, and can be hard to work with on repairs of shorter chimneys. It’s a personal preference. With your 32 and 24 foot ladders. Most chimney and roofing companies tend to use
Aluminum ladders. Some will use fiberglass but they are heavy and expensive. The aluminum ladders can be dangerous if you are near power lines. Be VERY careful near power lines. When you decide to purchase your ladders, you will notice the tips of the ladders are different colors. There are red, yellow, green and blue tip ladders. Check our website for our recommendations regarding brands. The different colors represent weight capacity. OSHA states red tip is only for homeowners and not for commercial use. The blue tip has a 250-pound capacity, yellow has 225 and red has 200-pound capacity. Regardless of weight, we recommend blue tip for the 32-foot ladder. The stronger ladder allows for a sturdier feel when you climb to a second story room. The 24-foot ladder can be of any type as long as you intend to use it for one-story roofs. I do not recommend using the 24 for a two-story roof and definitely do not recommend using the 32 for a one-story roof. This sounds like a no brainer but it happens all the time and people get hurt. There are people who try to just buy a 28-foot ladder and use it for both. It does not work because you cannot reach many two-story homes. Don’t bother with a 20-foot ladder because it is way too flimsy. Finally, there will be times when you are going to need a 40-foot ladder. Get a feel when this requirement is more frequent than not. If it becomes very frequent, you might carry one on your van. Always secure ladders to your vehicles!!!