Although Australia’s transport equipment rental industry has recently left the boom phase behind and entered into a more mature stage of the economic lifecycle, it continues to keep the trucking community in suspense.
According to research firm IBISWorld, industry value added, which measures the industry’s contribution to the overall economy, is forecast to grow at an annualised 1.7 per cent until 2019-20 – attracting more and more competition to a market segment that is still widely synonymous with names like Budget, Thrifty, Hertz and Avis.
To keep ahead of the growing pack – especially in the medium-duty segment of the market – the established brands continue to work with trusted suppliers like Alltruck Bodies to update and broaden their product offering.
“With competition rising, particularly from the OEM side, many of the established rental brands are now focusing on expanding their offering to keep the competition at bay,” says Russell Gordon, General Manager of Alltruck Bodies.
“The reason why they keep coming back to us is that the market is becoming more and more diverse, so they need a supplier that is able to cover the whole range of truck bodies to the same high quality. On top of that, we are very close to the market ourselves, so we can help them anticipate demand and design a product that is fit for purpose and will earn its keep.”
Next to a broad product portfolio and a deep understanding of the rental market, Russell says Alltruck’s ability to respond to orders quickly and in high volume is a key selling point. “In the rental game it’s all about responsiveness. If you can react quickly to an order, paired with the right product offering and the ability to come up with customised solutions if need be, you have a winning combination.”
Phil Wallace, Managing Director of Avis Riverina, agrees. “More and more people need to rent transport equipment for a short period of time, so companies like Avis will continue to play an important role in commercial road transport. But to do so, we need the right equipment – and that’s where Russell and the Alltruck Bodies team come into play.”
He adds, “The reason we stick with Alltruck Bodies is because its portfolio is extensive. There isn’t much it cannot build in terms of specification. On top of that, Alltruck understands the end customer just as well as we do and tries to keep costs down.”
It’s a view that is shared by Avis’ competition. “We’ve been in partnership with Alltruck Bodies since 1991 and that’s mainly due to the variety and quality of the product offering. We have purchased all sorts of trays and vans from Alltruck and there’s never been an issue with the specs or lead times,” says Peter Gould, CEO of Australian Truck & 4WD Rentals – Hertz Truck Rentals.
“The demand for rigids is going up and with that our fleet size and spec. Some customers only require a truck for a specific project or a short-term contract, while others may need to hire vehicles to move office items or furniture from one property to another. We need to cater to all of them and be ready when they are, so having a flexible supplier is paramount.”
In line with Hertz’s remark, the ability to consult the Alltruck team and discuss market demands and product specs personally is what keeps Budget Rentals coming back. “Owner Tony Romano and the Alltruck team always make a concerted effort to understand how your business operates and who the customers are before going ahead with a build,” says Budget Truck Rental Franchisee, Phil Moloney. “In our industry, customers are generally private users, courier companies, supermarket chains or retail outlets transporting sensitive goods. Alltruck helps us understand them and their needs and ensures we have the right equipment to suit them.”
Variability is key in that context, says Evan Moore, General Manager of Lawrence (Vic) – Thrifty Truck Rentals. “It’s all about flexibility. Over time, Alltruck has helped us design the whole range from four to 16-tonne FRP vans, and fitted any optional feature we required,” he says. “Think tail gates, ramps and safety equipment – there’s a lot of variation and you don’t want to include a different fitter for each item.”
According to Alltruck’s Russell Gordon, the Big Four agree that fleet development is largely driven by end-users and their feedback. “Lots of different customers put in requests for different types of rigid trucks, and that’s where we, as a supplier, can add value to a rental firm. We are happy to take on any challenge and help them respond to customer demand swiftly – be it a large corporate order or a one-off job. I guess that flexibility, paired with consistent quality and real life know-how, is our key to success.”
As featured in Trailer Magazine