Operation Guide for a Billy Goat VQ802SPH Vacuum

Billy Goat may not make the VQ802SPH anymore, but that doesn’t mean this model can’t still be put to work. Here’s what you need to know to use this self-propelled vacuum safely and effectively.

Safety and Use

When using this machine, wear eye, ear and breathing protection. For improved protection from dust, Billy Goat makes a cover to direct the outflow from the bag toward the ground.

Things you should NEVER do when operating this machine:

  • Run the engine in an enclosed space, which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Operate the engine near a gasoline spill, open the fuel cap or refuel the engine while it is running, transport the vacuum with fuel in the tank or smoke while filling the tank. Any of these activities can cause the fuel to ignite.
  • Operate the vacuum with the bag or any part of the hose assembly removed, operate the vacuum if it is vibrating excessively, start the engine without the bag and quick disconnect in place, or place hands or feet inside the nozzle intake, debris outlet or any moving parts. Doing any of these risks severe injury.
  • Vacuum hot or burning debris, explosive material or toxic material. This can cause severe damage to the vacuum.
  • Exclusively vacuum sand, trash, cans, metal, glass and other hazardous materials. The vacuum can handle these materials, but only in small amounts mixed with other debris.
  • Operate the vacuum at slopes greater than 20%. This risks having the vacuum fall over.


The engine speed is controlled by the throttle lever on the left side of the handle. It should be set to “Fast” when starting, then lowered to the minimum speed required to handle the work load.

The stop switch is located on the remote shift control panel.

The fuel valve and choke lever are located on the engine on the carburetor. The fuel valve should be set to “On.” The choke should be set to “On” if the engine is cold, or “Off” if it’s being restarted after running for more than a couple minutes.

Once all the controls are set, pull the starter rope to start the engine.


Nozzle height is adjusted by turning the bright red knob on the base of the vacuum. Loosen the wing nut on top of this knob, then turn the knob clockwise to raise the nozzle or counter-clockwise to lower it. Once the nozzle is in the correct position, tighten the wing nut.

For maximum effectiveness, the nozzle should be close to the debris without impeding airflow into the nozzle. On flat surfaces, the nozzle should be 1/2-5/8 inches (12.7-15.8mm) above the ground. The wheels on the front of the nozzle should be at least 1/8 inch (3.2 mm) above the ground.

To pick up large debris, open the nozzle gobbler door using the lever on the left side of the handle. This door needs to be shut before the vacuum will pick up small debris.

Debris Bag

Bags are wear items, and should be replaced when they tear or become too clogged to flow properly after cleaning. When using a new bag, run the engine at 1/2 throttle for the first half hour of use to help condition the pores in the bag surface.

Air must flow freely through the bag for maximum effectiveness: if the bag is dirty, wash it and let it dry completely before use. The bag will need to be washed more frequently when the vacuum is used in dusty areas. If the bag is still clogged, clean it with a pressure washer.

Before removing the bag, shut off the engine and let it come to a complete stop.

Always empty the bag before putting the vacuum in storage.


This vacuum has 5 forward gears, neutral and reverse.

To shift between forward gears, release the bail. This disengages the clutch and engages the parking brake. Move the shift lever, located on the right side of the handle, to the desired gear. Shift into idle if you need to make tight maneuvers. To start moving, engage the bail to release the brake and engage the clutch.

To shift in reverse, release the bail and set the throttle to idle. Press in the wire stop at the side of the shift lever, then move the lever back into the reverse position.

Fifth gear can move the vacuum at speeds up to 5.1 MPH (8.3 KPH.) This is faster than walking speedĀ and is not recommended for picking up debris.

Where to Buy Parts for the VQ802SPH

When you need anything for a Billy Goat, new or old, you can find it at www.BillyGoatParts.com. We’re a certified dealer both for their products and for the engines used to power them. Our parts lookup system has built-in parts diagrams to help you verify your parts order, or you can view parts manuals for older Billy Goat products like the VQ802SPH directly from our website. We ship parts across the U.S. and Canada.

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