ICS Magazine

The 2012 Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Study

August 1, 2012
primary business graph truckmount study

There’s perhaps no word more synonymous with carpet cleaning equipment than “truckmount.” And the purpose of this year’s “Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Study” is to provide you with accurate information regarding the opinions and preferences of carpet cleaning specialists, as well as an up-to-date view of the market.

Our study sample consisted of 14,400 active, qualified ICS Cleaning Specialist domestic subscribers. A total of 254 completed the survey in full.

Like with any survey, it’s important to know the sample. For instance, among “Truckmount Carpet Cleaning Equipment Study” respondents, 62% cited carpet cleaning as their primary business, while 22% selected restoration, 9% overall floor care and 6% fell into the category of building services/contractor/janitorial (See Chart 1). Piggybacking off of this, on average, respondents indicated that 69% of their business is residential, while 31% is commercial.

When asked what percentage of their residential work is performed with a truckmount, respondents indicated truckmount use on 87% of those jobs. However, respondents indicated that truckmounts are used on 76% of commercial jobs, a 9 percentage point increase from 2011.

Slide-in truckmounts continue to be the configuration of choice among our respondents, as 73% of those surveyed said they operate this variety. However, direct-drive/PTO designs grew in popularity from a year ago – 38% of respondents claim to clean with this type, which is up 10 percentage points from 2011 (See Chart 2). Forty-four percent of respondents state that they own/operate only a single truckmount, while 28% claim they own two and another 28% claim they own three or more.

Annual truckmount usage is estimated at 1,236 hours per year. Respondents also claim to be able to run their equipment for long hours – 14,117, to be exact – before it needs replacing. This is up more than 4,000 hours compared to 2011, a clear indication that users are getting more life out of their equipment.

Respondents stated that heat exchange is the primary heat source on their truckmounts (85%), followed by diesel and propane heating (each 4%), kerosene (3%), electric (2%) and fuel oil heater (2%) rounding out the group. And while respondents have “liked it hot” in the past, in this year’s survey, 37% claim to operate their truckmounts at temperatures below 200° F – a 16 percentage point increase from 2011. In fact, the average operating temperature from respondents in the 2012 survey is 201° F.

While 80% of respondents claim to not use a secondary heat source, 5% report to use heat exchange and electricity, respectively, while 3% also claim to use either electricity or a propane heater. Rounding out the category, 2% report using either a fuel oil heater or diesel.

Just like in 2011, cargo vans (86%) still make up the choice of vehicle truckmounts are located in. Box trucks (24%), trailers (6%) and minivans (1%) make up the rest of the category.

Respondents also chimed in about how versatile truckmounts can be. For instance, in addition to carpet cleaning, 98% of those surveyed state that they use truckmounts for upholstery cleaning, 80% for hard floor and tile cleaning, 76% for water damage and flood restoration, 33% for pressure washing and 14% for air duct cleaning (See Chart 3).

The vast majority of respondents (86%) use a single wand, while 21% use dual wands and 6% use three or more wands.

While carpet cleaning professionals expect truckmounts to last for a long time, there is always the realization that eventually new purchases are required to be made. Forty-six percent of respondents state they plan to make a truckmount purchase within the next 13-36 months, while 27% plan to make a purchase within the next year. What about cost? Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed expect to pay anywhere from $20,000-29,999 for their purchase, while 26% named $15,000-19,999 as their projected expenditure.

In order to improve the relationship between the manufacturer and end user, understanding and communication needs to be there. That’s what the purpose of this study is – to achieve a better understanding in an always changing market.