Drones Offer New Perspectives For Salvage Yards
Automotive recyclers, along with businesses nationwide, are using drones to show customers expanded views of their businesses. The use of drones for commercial photography and videography has exploded in recent years. As of December 31, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration says more than 900,000 drones were registered, and rates for commercial drone registrations could triple by 2023.
More Than A Pretty Picture
Drones can provide stunning overhead shots of salvage yards for marketing campaigns, social media posts, YouTube videos and websites. As the price of drone technology drops and battery life expands, it’s no surprise new business applications are also being developed.
Automotive recyclers can use drones to scan and map many acres at once, inventory vehicle locations, plan for construction or expansion and inspect perimeters and security systems. U-pull-it yards can also provide customers with updated visuals of current inventory and vehicle locations within the yard. And with companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart exploring delivery services via drone, auto recyclers may soon be using drones to carry salvaged parts to customers.
Laws & Regulations
While the uses for drone technology may seem limitless, the FAA has strict guidelines for their operation.
There are several common-sense rules: fly at or below 400 feet, keep your drone within sight, never fly near other aircraft or airports, don’t fly over stadiums or sporting events and stay away from emergency response teams.
In additional, pilots using drones for commercial purposes are required to pass a test and receive a Part 107 certification from the FAA. Most drones, with the exception of smaller toys, must be registered and have an FAA identification number displayed on them. Users caught flying a drone that isn’t properly registered, which includes a five-dollar fee, could face penalties up to $27,500.
Before taking off, check faa.gov/uas for the latest laws and regulations. Pilots can also download the free B4UFLY app for your smartphone to determine restrictions currently in effect for the flight area. In additional to federal guidelines, always make sure to check your state and local regulations before operating a drone.
If you decide to pilot your own drone, you’ll want to look for equipment that is easy to operate while also able to capture the quality of images and videos required for the project. There are a variety of options on the market in nearly every price range. Companies offering drone rental options are available for those not looking to buy their own equipment.
Before operating your drown, you’ll need to spend some time learning the ropes. Many communities have drone training programs aimed at teaching aspiring pilots the ins and outs of flying as well as the laws and regulations governing drone usage.
Once you’re ready, practice taking off, landing and keeping the drone steady while in-flight before trying to capture any images. Always watch your battery level and have a plan in place if your drone unexpectedly fails or loses power.
After you have the basics mastered, do some test runs. Experiment with angles and positioning as well as the drone’s settings and filters to get the best footage.
When To Call The Professionals
If purchasing and operating your own drone sounds too daunting, there are many professionals currently offering their services. When hiring someone, make sure to compare pricing and ask several questions:
Find out if they are FAA-certified and if they have all state or local licenses and permits needed.
Ask if they have liability insurance to cover any accidents. Many insurance providers now offer specific policies for drones, so make sure any professional you hire has the appropriate coverage.
Always request references and work samples, and make sure their style and expertise fit with the requirements for you project.
The commercial drone industry is expected to reach $13 billion by 2020, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Whether you pilot your own drone, or hire a professional, this new technology offers many new opportunities for auto recyclers.