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INSIGHT - Toyota forklifts and Coates Hire

By Cameron Paxton, Director Of Sales, Toyota Material Handling Australia

We at Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) have been fortunate enough to develop a longstanding (and growing) relationship with Australia’s largest and most diverse equipment rental company, Coates Hire.

We are proud that Coates has adopted our forklifts as its majority brand – with over 600 2.5 tonne diesel Toyota forklifts being in its fleet, nationally. TMHA’s President and CEO Steve Takacs recently had a chat with Coates Hire 30-year company veteran and Fleet executive General Manager, Peter Davis, who recalled that TMHA’s history with Coates Hire stems back nearly 20 years.

TMHA’s business with Coates has ramped-up significantly in the last decade and Peter said Toyota Material Handling has made up the majority of its industrial forklift fleet over the last decade. He said the shift came after the business adopted more stringent procurement methodologies including long-range forecasting of its equipment requirements, and tenders which TMHA has been the most successful in for large orders.

Our relationship with Coates Hire has been helped by both our businesses having an acute understanding of hiring models. These similarities in our business models helps us better understand each other, so we can accurately assist with their goals and provide the best product solutions.

We know the emphasis they place on reducing total cost of ownership – which is one of our Toyota Advantage major tenets. The nature of their business is to focus acutely on numbers. Like any rental business, they’re in it to make money and we know if they can get a product on board such as ours, that gives them less down-time and they’re going to make more money and have more customer satisfaction.

Coates Hire’s Peter Davis agreed that one of the key reasons for choosing our forklifts is lower total cost of ownership, saying it’s crucial for the business to keep it as low as possible over the life of the asset. He pointed out that whilst up-front price is also an important factor, savings can easily be undone if inferior equipment ends up costing more money over a lifespan and those upfront savings can hurt your bottom line very quickly.

He also said the service and inspection accessibility of our forklifts is very important to the business because their model is typically short-term hire. They inspect equipment every time it comes back from a customer, before it goes back out again. This actually happens more frequently than servicing and because of that, it has to be efficient. Fortunately, Toyota forklifts are designed to quickly access and check easily. That way, Coates is minimising inspection labour costs.

Because Coates primarily rents Toyota forklifts out to customers in heavy industry, the equipment it chooses must be up to the task. Their equipment gets a hard life, so it’s paramount that it is tough and last the distance. That’s why the quality, durability and reliability (QDR) for Toyota forklifts has been such an important consideration. Peter Davis considers our forklifts to be market-leading in that regard and points out this also reduces total cost of ownership.

Another thing Coates likes about our forklifts is their disposability. Coates looks at repair and maintenance costs over the total life of a product, but they also look at its disposability at end-of-life. It’s well recognised that our forklifts retain a very high resale value compared with other products in the market. Even at the end of their peak life, there’s still a very high demand for our orange forklifts.

Another reason our two companies match so well is that Coates’ branch networks match TMHA’s in size and capacity. Coates has 600 of our forklifts around the country and we’re everywhere they are, providing the same level of service and support to their 160 branches, Australia-wide.

Safety is also paramount for Coates Hire for its employees and customers. They ensure all products they hire out must meet stringent safety standards for their customers, who have increasing safety expectations. Our safety innovations such as active stability control and operator restraints are a big advantage for Coates, helping them with compliance.

The last thing our business’ share is a belief in the importance of reputation. As blue-chip companies, we both have a reputation to uphold and are interdependent, as such. Peter Davis agreed that it’s important their customers see the forklifts it hires out as viable and reputable, and that Toyota Material Handling forklifts – being recognisable and readily acceptable – perfectly meet those criteria.

For more information on Toyota AGVs contact your local TMHA branch or call 1800 425 438.


TMHA President and CEO, Steve Takacs with CEO of Coates Hires General Manager - Fleet, Peter Davis