Questions to ask your spray drone operator before you hire them
With new drone spraying business seemingly popping up every day, it can be hard to figure out who the legitimate operators are. A few simple questions can quickly help you find a professional spray drone operator and save time and money down the line.
Do they have public liability and professional indemnity insurance?
Being properly insured is essential in case something goes wrong. If the spray drone was to crash and damage your property or hurt someone, your operator needs to be fully insured to cover the expense of rectifying the situation. Without this, you may not be able to get compensation to fix any damages that result.
Are they fully licensed by CASA? Do they have permits to aerially apply chemicals?
Not being properly licensed can lead to two sets of issues.
The first is that without having done the proper training, the operator may not know all of the rules and regulations that they need to follow to avoid damage or liability.
The second is that you may not be protected by insurance if it turns out they’re operating without the correct licenses. A condition of almost every insurance product is that the insured party needs to be authourised to conduct the activities covered by the policy.
It’s quite common to charge for chemicals as a separate item to the spray work. There are many reasons for this. Customers may want to provide the chemicals themselves. The exact amount of chemicals required for a job may not be known until the end. A generic brand may be out of stock, and a more expensive one needs to be used to get the job done.
Just be aware that you might be up for chemical costs on top of the spraying costs. In some cases the chemicals can end up costing more than the spraying services.
Are you allowed to spray the chemicals you want to in this area/at this time of year?
Some herbicides can only be applied via ground based vehicles or by hand, and are not allowed to be applied aerially. The datasheet will explain which herbicides can be applied aerially and at what rate.
Your spray drone operator should be aware of these restrictions and select the chemicals that are appropriate for the area and time of year.
Making sure you’re fully covered in case of an accident, that you know the total costs upfront and that the herbicides you’re applying are suitable will save you a ton of potential grief if something goes wrong. If you’re not sure about whether your drone sprayer is legitimate, just ask to see proof of their insurance and qualifications. Any good operator will be happy to provide them.
Field Master Systems believes that to keep the industry progressing and growing, everyone needs to do the right thing. By giving your business only to accredited operators, you’ll be helping the industry grow in a sustainable way, and reward those who are doing the right thing.
Do you have any questions that you ask spray drone operators that we’ve missed? What other important information do you need to know before you hire someone? Let us know.