2008 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study



The 2008 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Market Study looks to provide accurate information regarding the opinions and preferences of carpet cleaning specialists, as well as a more up-to-date view of the market.

 The study sample consisted of 9,532 active members of the ICS Cleaning Specialist domestic qualified subscriber base of professional carpet cleaners and smoke/water damage restoration specialists. 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 85 percent of survey respondents.

Sixty-seven percent of those responding cite carpet cleaning as their primary business, while restoration and overall floor care logged 21 percent and 6 percent, respectively (Chart 1). Sixty percent of responding companies have one to four employees, while 22 percent claim 10 or more.

When asked what percentage of their residential work is performed with a truckmount, 86 percent of those responding said they use a truckmount on 75 percent or more of those jobs. Seventy-eight percent – a 10 percent increase from last year – say 50 percent or more of their commercial work is done with a truckmount (40 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 64 percent, while direct-drive or PTO designs showed a slight increase in popularity from 2007 with 39 percent (multiple responses were allowed, as many respondents operate more than one machine). Study respondents operate their truckmounts an average of 1,071 hours a year, down from 1,423 last year. Thirty-five percent expect their truckmount to log between 5,000 and 9,999 hours before needing to be replaced, while 34 percent – roughly the same as in 2007 – expect 10,000 hours or more out of their machine before replacement is necessary.

Heat exchange is cited as the primary heating method by 86 percent of those responding, with propane, fuel oil and electric heating making up 12 percent (Chart 2). And operators are still running their machines hot: 49 percent of those responding operate their truckmounts at temperatures averaging between 200 degrees and 219 degrees; a full 30 percent operate their truckmounts at an average temperature of 220 degrees or higher, compared with 22 percent in 2007.

Twenty-five percent of those responding claim to use a secondary heat source, compared with just 9 percent in 2007; of those, almost half use heat exchangers and 20 percent use a propane heater, while 30 percent claim various other sources, including electric, fuel oil heaters, etc.

If a cleaning professional operates a truckmount, odds are that cleaner drives a cargo van. Cargo vans make up 81 percent 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, 71 percent; pressure washing, 25 percent; and duct cleaning, 13 percent (Chart 3).

One is the still the magic number as far as wands are concerned. Single-wanders make up 68 percent of those responding (Chart 4), up from last year’s 63 percent. Of those who say they will use more than one wand, dual wands are used 22 percent of the time, on average. 

As mentioned earlier, truckmount operators expect their machines to last for a long time, and it shows in their responses concerning their next purchase. Twenty-seven 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 43 percent of respondents, while 31 percent expect to make a purchase within one year.

But how much will it cost? Of those responding, 32 percent expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $19,999. Fifteen percent name $10,000 to $14,999 as their range, with 4 percent finding less than $10,000 to be their comfort zone. A whopping 48 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.

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