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 2,000 industry professionals: 1,000 from the ICS Cleaning Specialist domestic qualified subscriber base of professional carpet cleaners and smoke/water damage restoration specialists, and 1,000 from a nationwide sample of professional carpet cleaners pulled from InfoUSA. The study received a 16 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. Ninety-nine percent of those responding are individuals involved in the purchasing decisions concerning truckmounts. Company owners and/or presidents make up 81 percent of survey respondents.
Sixty-one percent of those responding cite carpet cleaning as their primary business, while restoration and overall floor care logged 26 percent - double that of 2004 - and 5 percent, respectively (Chart 1). More than 30 percent of responding companies have two to five employees, while 40 percent of respondents claim 10 or more employees.
Slide-in truckmount configurations are still the most popular with those responding, at 70 percent, while direct-drive or PTO designs showed a slight increase in popularity over 2004 with 40 percent (multiple responses were allowed, as many respondents operate more than one machine). Study respondents operate their truckmounts an average of 1,025 hours a year. Forty-one percent expect their truckmount to log between 5,000 and 9,999 hours before needing to be replaced, while 30 percent - 4 percent less than in 2004 - expect 10,000 hours or more out of their machine before replacement is necessary.
Heat exchange is cited as the primary heating method by 80 percent of those responding, with propane, fuel oil and electric heating making up just 18 percent (Chart 2). And operators are running their machines hotter than ever: 40 percent of those responding operate their truckmounts at temperatures averaging between 210 degrees and 220 degrees, while 32 percent operate their truckmounts at an average temperature of 220 degrees or higher, compared with 28 percent a year ago.
Just 10 percent of those responding claim to use a secondary heat source; of those, 33 percent use propane, 33 percent use fuel oil - a 50 percent increase from last year - and 39 percent claim various other sources, including heat exchangers, catalytic converters, heat coil, etc.
Carpet cleaning is not the only service that cleaning professionals operating truckmounts provide. When asked what, if any, additional services they perform using their truckmount, upholstery cleaning was claimed by 96 percent; water damage and flood restoration, 81 percent; hard-floor and tile cleaning, 51 percent; pressure washing, 30 percent; and duct cleaning, 10 percent (Chart 3). Except for upholstery cleaning, every service area showed an increase from last year's results.
One is the still the magic number as far as wands are concerned, but dual-wand usage is increasing. Single-wanders make up 68 percent of those responding (Chart 4). Of those who say they will use more than one wand, they use dual wands 28 percent of the time on average.
But how much will it cost? Of those responding, 30 percent expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $19,999. Twenty-three percent name $10,000 to $14,999 as their range, with 8 percent finding less than $10,000 to be their comfort zone. A full 39 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.