2004 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study

Chart 1
The 2004 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study commissioned by ICS magazine takes an up-close look at the preferences and opinions of floor-care professionals as they pertain to truck-mounted carpet cleaning equipment and accessories.

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 total sample consisted of n=397 professional carpet cleaners and smoke/water damage restoration specialists.

It is important to understand the makeup of the sample responding in any study. A full 98 percent of those responding are individuals involved in the purchasing decisions concerning truckmounts. Company owners and/or presidents make up 85 percent of survey respondents.

Chart 2
Seventy-four percent of those responding cite carpet cleaning as their primary business, while restoration and overall floor care logged 13 percent and 5 percent, respectively (Chart 1). More than 40 percent of responding companies have two to five employees, while 23 percent of respondents claim to operate with 10 or more employees.

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. Seventy-one percent claim more than 50 percent of their commercial work is done with a truckmount (of those, 38 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 72 percent, while direct-drive or PTO designs make up 36 percent (multiple responses were allowed, as many respondents operate more than one machine). Study respondents reported operating their truckmounts an average of 1,147 hours a year. Thirty-seven percent expect their truckmount to log between 5,000 and 9,999 hours before needing to be replaced, while 34 percent expect 10,000 hours or more out of their machine before replacement is necessary.

Heat exchange is cited as the primary heating method by 75 percent of those responding, with propane and fuel-oil heating making up less than 20 percent (Chart 2). More than 42 percent of those responding operate their truckmount at temperatures averaging between 210 degrees and 220 degrees; 28 percent, a 33 percent increase from the 2003 study, claim to operate their machines at an average temperature above 220 degrees.

Less than 14 percent of respondents claim to use a secondary heat source; of those, 41 percent use propane, 22 percent use fuel oil, and 37 percent claim various other sources, including diesel, hot water, blower exhaust, etc.

If a cleaning professional operates a truckmount, odds are that cleaner drives a cargo van. Cargo vans make up 89 percent of the responses when those surveyed were asked what type of vehicle their truckmount is located in. Box trucks, trailers and minivans trailed far behind.

Chart 3
Carpet cleaning is not the only service cleaning professionals operating truckmounts provide. When asked what, if any, additional services they perform using their truckmount, upholstery cleaning was cited by 98 percent; water damage and flood restoration, 78 percent; hard-floor and tile cleaning, 47 percent; pressure washing, 24 percent; and duct cleaning, 8 percent (Chart 3).

One is the still the magic number as far as wands are concerned, but dual-wand usage is increasing. More than 67 percent of those responding claim to use only one wand (Chart 4). Of those operating with more than one wand, 100 percent of the time they are using two.

Chart 4
As stated above, truckmount operators expect their machines to last for along time, and it shows in their responses concerning their next purchase. A full 38 percent of those responding are not sure or don't know their time frame for purchasing a new truckmount. Almost 37 percent plan to purchase a new truckmount in one to two years, and 13 percent expect to make a purchase in less than one year.

But how much will it cost? Of those responding, 35 percent expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $19,999. Thirty-one percent cite $10,000 to $14,999 as their range, with 6 percent finding less than $10,000 to be their comfort zone. Only 12 percent 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 area, is for each to better understand the other. The ICS Market Study series is opening doors to allow just that.

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