RER Interviews Scott Reynolds, president of Teupen USA about the growing aerial market, new technological developments, customer training, low-level access and more.
RER: How do you assess the current market for aerial work platforms in North America and globally?
Reynolds: The general market trend for aerial work platforms is upward as the rental industry continues to respond to a higher customer demand and overall construction growth. At Teupen, we are experiencing progressive growth as product and solution awareness continues to increase. Since the North American‘s office establishment in 2009, Teupen increasingly experiences steady year over year growth.
Globally, Teupen is experiencing growth in Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe. Areas in Eastern and Southern Europe continue to be very soft. Interestingly, I believe most of the new product development and introduction is occurring in the European markets where there seems to be much quicker adaptation to new concepts and innovative solutions. Whereas, in North America, the use of traditional AWPs is so ingrained in everyday activities that users are slower to look for other alternatives.
Where is the market trending upwards and where is it trending downwards?
Our office specifically covers the North American market, and proportionally, we are seeing equal growth and adoption by both U.S. and Canadian markets. Certainly, there are some concerns and possible softening in the oil and gas industry over current crude prices, but overall there appears to be a fairly robust outlook. We are experiencing seemingly equal demand from all geographic areas in North America.
What is new with Teupen in terms of products?
In 2015, Teupen introduced a new, state-of-the-art lithium battery system and the new TL54AJ lift model. The TL54AJ specifically added new height and outreach standards in a single door product range. Teupen Germany just introduced a new 24-meter (72-foot platform height) machine at Intermat in Paris. Teupen will offer this unit in North America beginning in the first quarter of 2016.
Later this year, Teupen also plans to announce exciting new product introductions for 2016. These concepts will be unveiled at Bauma 2016 in Munich.
Any particular technological trends you would like to talk about, now or future?
In 2014, Teupen developed and placed interactive computer displays in the basket control station of our straight booms. After receiving astoundingly positive feedback, we will expand this display into other machine models (TL63A and next year’s TL72A). The computer display provides operators with real time feedback on movements the machine can make, gives operating characteristics and contains the “coming home” function which allows the operator to return the machine to its stowed position with the push of a button.
Teupen is also using the latest technology in high-density, low-weight steel for our boom designs. This advancement allows us to develop even lighter machines with increased basket load capacities.
The modern market is steadily moving towards greater communication, and in particular, to telematics systems. Teupen is investigating how to maximize the benefit of these systems within the framework of operating parameters, machine safety and maintenance requirements and is seeking a totally integrated system which communicates overall machine performance.
How about after-market support and safety initiatives?
Teupen just released our first two series of Operator Familiarization Guides (both English and Spanish language versions). These guides are downloadable on any Apple device and are intended to be a supplement for rental reps and sales persons who conduct Operator Familiarization with end users. We will be adding additional guides for our straight boom series in Q1-2016.
Additionally, Teupen is in the process of completing a video-based machine operational overview to provide customers with another training resource and operator refresher tool.
Do you see any particular new growth markets, in terms of places and market segments where AWP usage is growing or has strong potential for growth?
For Teupen and the compact track lift segment, almost all of the Americas provides for a significant growth opportunity, and there still remains tremendous market potential in rental and end user segments. However, product awareness is still the biggest obstacle. We’ve found the challenge becomes how to communicate the economic value to both market areas (rental and end users), increase awareness and grow machine population.
Over the last six years, Teupen has witnessed the number of track lift suppliers in the U.S. grow significantly. The combined marketing efforts are accelerating progress for building awareness, but there still remains tremendous work to be done to fully reach the potential market share.
What new trends of interest do you see in the equipment rental market?
The equipment rental industry appears to be trending towards both ends of the height spectrum when it comes to AWPs. At Teupen, we’ve noticed there is certainly a growing interest and demand for both low-level access and compact-dimension access. However, there is also a continued trend towards even larger height booms. I think both ends of the spectrum offer a little more compelling ROI case and a differentiator for rental companies who enter these segments. I believe industry leaders are actively seeking unique products, processes and efficiencies that set them apart from their competitors. This pursuit is shaping technology, communications and ease-of-use solutions into sought-after development trends.