2007 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study

August 2, 2007
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The 2007 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study identifies current and emerging trends in the carpet cleaning industry based on the opinions, preferences and purchasing behavior of carpet cleaning professionals and restoration specialists.

The size and scope of the study dictates that only a fraction of the study can be reproduced here; see the “ICS Market Study” box at the end of the feature for more information.

The study sample consisted of 1,500 members of the ICS Cleaning Specialist domestic qualified subscriber base of professional carpet cleaners and smoke/water damage restoration specialists. The study received a 21 percent response rate. Keep in mind that, in many cases, multiple responses are allowed.

It is important to understand the makeup of the sample responding in any study. A full 100 percent of those responding are individuals involved in purchasing decisions concerning truckmounts. Company owners and/or presidents make up 86 percent of survey respondents.

Seventy-one percent of those responding cite carpet cleaning as their primary business, while restoration and overall floor care logged 17 percent and 9 percent, respectively (Chart 1). Thirty-five percent of responding companies have two to five employees, while 21 percent of respondents claim 10 or more.

When asked what percentage of their residential work is performed with a truckmount, 82 percent of those responding said they use a truckmount on more than 75 percent of those jobs. Sixty-eight percent – a 3 percent decrease from last year – say more than 50 percent of their commercial work is done with a truckmount (36 percent say they use a truckmount 100 percent of the time on their commercial jobs).

Slide-in truckmount configurations are still the most popular with those responding, at 74 percent, while direct-drive or PTO designs showed a slight decrease in popularity from 2006 with 32 percent (multiple responses were allowed, as many respondents operate more than one machine). Study respondents operate their truckmounts an average of 1,423 hours a year, up from 1,079 last year. Thirty-seven percent expect their truckmount to log between 5,000 and 9,999 hours before needing to be replaced, while 40 percent – compared to 35 percent in 2006 – expect 10,000 hours or more out of their machine before replacement is necessary.

Heat exchange is cited as the primary heating method by 81 percent of those responding, with propane, fuel oil and electric heating making up 17 percent (Chart 2). And operators are still running their machines hot: 50 percent of those responding operate their truckmounts at temperatures averaging between 210 degrees and 220 degrees; however, just 22 percent operate their truckmounts at an average temperature of 220 degrees or higher, compared with 24 percent in 2006.

Only 9 percent of those responding claim to use a secondary heat source; of those, 50 percent use propane and 11 percent use fuel oil, while 39 percent claim various other sources, including engine heat, heat exchangers, etc.

If a cleaning professional operates a truckmount, odds are that cleaner drives a cargo van. Cargo vans make up 88 percent – the same as last year – of the responses when those surveyed were asked what type of vehicle their truckmount is located in, with box trucks, trailers and minivans trailing far behind.

Carpet cleaning is not the only service provided by cleaning professionals operating truckmounts. When asked what, if any, additional services they perform using their truckmount, upholstery cleaning was claimed by 96 percent; water damage and flood restoration, 75 percent; hard-floor and tile cleaning, 61 percent; pressure washing, 23 percent; and duct cleaning, 10 percent (Chart 3).

One is the still the magic number as far as wands are concerned. Single-wanders make up 63 percent of those responding (Chart 4), though that is down from last year’s 74 percent. Of those who say they will use more than one wand, dual wands are used 98 percent of the time.

As mentioned earlier, truckmount operators expect their machines to last for a long time, and it shows in their responses concerning their next purchase. Forty-three percent of those responding are not sure or don’t know their time frame for purchasing a new truckmount.  Those who plan to purchase a new truckmount in one to two years make up 32 percent of respondents, while 25 percent expect to make a purchase within one year.

But how much will it cost? Of those responding, 28 percent expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $19,999. Twenty-two percent name $10,000 to $14,999 as their range, with 6 percent finding less than $10,000 to be their comfort zone. A whopping 45 percent, however, expect to pay more than $20,000 for their new machine.

The best way to improve the relationship between a manufacturer and an end-user, in any arena, is for each to better understand the other. That’s just what the ICS Market Study series strives to achieve; better understanding in a continually changing market. If you liked this article, circle 158 on the Reader Inquiry Card.

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