Businesses running forklift truck fleets are taking a long-term view on acquisition and operating costs according to the interim findings of a national survey published this week.
The on-line survey conducted by forklift manufacturer TCM shows that a significant majority of forklift buyers are now looking beyond the upfront ‘forecourt price’ of the truck and making tactical evaluations of total cost of ownership.
Ashley-Kate McCann, TCM’s Brand Manager explained; “we have always known that savvy buyers understand total lifecycle costs and factor this into their buying strategy. But what this evidence strongly suggests is that now the overwhelming majority of buyers are thinking this way”.
The research identifies that 81% of respondents thought that lifetime operating costs were more important that the truck purchase price. With less than half of respondents agreeing that purchase price was a deciding factor. TCM say it reveals an important rise in the discerning buyer population who are asking all the right questions about running costs and extras like damage charges linked to lease deals. But reliability and up-time were of most concern as these can have the biggest impact on both truck operating costs and business performance. A truck that is not in service means no materials handled.
“Reliability, service response capability and product durability are clearly at the top of truck buyers’ agenda as these can really impact on cost and performance, but closely followed by the key questions on energy consumption, maintenance and other service contract details which all compute to total lifetime costs that make a business case stand up to scrutiny”, she added.
The National Forklift Survey is being carried by TCM and is still on-going until the end of the year. There is time to participate and those that have a forklift fleet are encouraged to share their views via the tcm.eu website. The conclusive results of the survey will be widely shared later this year.