Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Chimney sweeps praise DC 1800 for being the cleanest and quietest dust extractor
Established in 1895, Wilkins Chimney Sweep says it is the only professional firm of chimney sweeps in West Berkshire, passed down through the Wilkins family for many generations. Peter Harris started working for Wilkins Chimney Sweep in 1995 and, after having gained three years' experience, bought the business in 1998.
As the business grew, Peter wanted to ensure he was using the best equipment possible and began to investigate the purchase of vacuum cleaners that would not only make his job cleaner, but quicker and easier.
Being a member of the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS), Peter spoke to the chairman and it was recommended that he test the DC 1800 from Dustcontrol UK - the UK arm of the Swedish parent company - and a similar model from a competing company.
Peter explains: "Most of the members of APICS were using competing models at the time, but one sweep was using the DC 1800 and recommending it to others, which is how I heard about it.
"I tested the competing model and was not impressed in the slightest, either with the machine or the salesman. The machine itself was the loudest I'd heard for a long time - I had already been warned to wear ear protectors, but the salesman was demonstrating the machine outdoors and I struggled to hear anything he was saying to me! We couldn't use a machine like that, especially not in someone's home."
Remembering the DC 1800, Peter looked into reviews and was impressed. He decided to contact Dustcontrol UK and Phil Haskins visited Peter to demonstrate the equipment.
"The DC 1800 seemed so much easier to use; it was more compact, quieter and generally seemed like a good vacuum," continues Peter. "I wasn't going to settle for anything except the best - I'd already decided on that and was willing to continue looking - but thankfully I managed to find what I was looking for.
"With the DC 1800 though, it's not just about the machine, it's the customer service you get with the product and Phil was great; really knew his stuff."
In December 2010, after having expanded the business for many years and ensuring the company had the best equipment, Peter and his wife Louise franchised the business.
"We did this in order to expand around the UK, whilst still maintaining the quality for which Wilkins Chimney Sweep are known locally, says Peter. "We still uphold the traditional values of the business set in 1895, and our sweeping practices remain the same - except now we use a vacuum to complement the traditional rods & brushes, and we travel by van instead of bicycle!"
When the business initially franchised, Peter and Louise expected franchisees to be attracted from nearby areas, however they soon found that they were generating interest from all over the UK. As of August 2013, Franchises are dotted all over the UK, from Whitley Bay to Worthing.
"When a new franchisee comes on board, we provide them with the DC 1800 and the rest of the kit that they will require. Phil from Dustcontrol UK understood what I needed in order to franchise the business and has greatly assisted with this. With business being stronger than ever, I have been known to order more than one DC 1800 at a time, and have purchased a total of 12 DC 1800's to date."
Chimney sweeps can typically find themselves cleaning between eight and 12 chimneys a day. With the current innovations in dust control and dust extraction, all clients expect a highly professional job, which is also clean and as quick as possible. Using the DC 1800 allows for the job to be quicker and a lot cleaner as the machine does most of the work, whereas previously the chimney sweep had to manage the soot, get it into the hearth whilst sweeping the chimney and then remove it whilst protecting the room. All of this is now done with the machine.
The cyclonic action of the machine 'packs' the soot and debris picked up, ensuring that the drum needs emptying less often. The HEPA filtration system ensures that no dust enters the customer's home.
"Dustcontrol UK provides top of the range equipment," concludes Peter. "The reliability & versatility are unmatched and even my clients are impressed with the machine, particularly how quiet it is.
"I have since gone on to highly recommend Dustcontrol UK and the DC 1800 to various members of APICS; it's the cleanest and one of the quietest vacuum cleaners I've found."
7th November 2013