Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has been appointed as the authorised distributor of all Taylor-Dunn products. With the exception of Victoria -TMHA will become the exclusive national distributor for Taylor-Dunn transport and material handling equipment after recently entering an agreement with Taylor-Dunn's US-based parent company, Polaris Industries.
Former Taylor-Dunn retailers will no longer have rights to sell its products locally.
TMHA GM Corp Compliance & Project Development, Bob Walmsley, said the agreement will bring a great deal of confidence to existing and prospective Taylor-Dunn customers in Australia. "There is a large population of Taylor-Dunn products in-market here and we want to reassure all customers that their needs will be met," said Mr Walmsley. "Over the last 12 months there has been some customer concern about a lack of commitment to Taylor-Dunn products but Toyota Material Handling Australia's agreement with Taylor-Dunn's parent company to integrate it in our product portfolio and making it part of our network means we will now ensure all customer needs are supported to Toyota's usual high standards.
"It will extend confidence to existing customers and those seeking to replace their Taylor-Dunn equipment."
The entire range of Taylor-Dunn products will be available via TMHA's national branch network, although Mr Walmsley expects the local market - given its comparative size to the US - might require only 30-40 percent of available models. "Obviously we'll need to focus on what works best here in Australia," he said.
TMHA is already highly familiar with the Taylor-Dunn range of products, having a significant component in its large rental fleet, and the exclusive distribution agreement will further entrench its expertise in the product. "Rather than going through a dealer or being reliant on a dealer, we can now sell Taylor-Dunn products outright," said Mr Walmsley. "We will source directly out of the US Taylor-Dunn factory for product and parts. And we will have direct access for all technical support and advice.
"We already have systems in place for servicing our Taylor-Dunn rental fleet and this will be bolstered with training for all our technicians on how to fully service its equipment range.
"We have already had Taylor-Dunn's technical training experts out here conducting factory training sessions with our service technicians. That's a huge increase on the knowledge we had before and this is just the start. We will also be following up with our own internal product and sales training.
"It also means we won't have to set up separate service networks. Our 450 existing technicians will be able to service Taylor-Dunn in addition to our existing product ranges, so if customers have a combination of equipment there will be efficiencies and familiarity, there."
Taylor-Dunn's US commercial and government sales leader, Thomas Deredec, said the exclusive arrangement will greatly increase the brand's demonstration fleet. "We'll be able to demonstrate the range throughout the country, whereas before we only had two locations where we carried some demo product," said Mr Deredec. "This will be much more convenient for customers and demonstrates our commitment to the market. There has been a large investment in spare parts for the market. We're doing it the proper way."
TMHA's Mr Walmsley said the new arrangement will also mean shorter delivery times for new customers. "We will be holding significantly more stock here. In future, we might at one time have 50-100 vehicles in stock or in the pipeline, whereas previously we would have to order a piece of equipment from a dealer. Maybe the dealer would have the product in stock, maybe they wouldn't. Before, if a customer was after a fleet of equipment then obviously those numbers wouldn't be in stock, so it would be all ex-factory."
The addition of Taylor-Dunn's equipment range to the TMHA stable further rounds-out its already comprehensive product offering. "Taylor-Dunn are well-known and well-populated products in Australia and also within in our own rental fleet. The products have unique features and benefits in terms of their concept and how they fit in our range of offerings. They are products that Toyota doesn't make, so are highly complementary to our existing range of other material handling equipment.
"The diversity and versatility of Taylor-Dunn products ultimately provide more choice for our customers. What you can do with the products in the range and what you can mount on the equipment is really only limited by imagination. You can take a base vehicle and mount an attachment on, or in it, and you've got something highly specific to your individual needs. We can supply the vast majority of market requirements, if demanded."
Taylor-Dunn's Mr Deredec said the company is the USA's leading provider of commercial and industrial vehicle solutions, with a broad portfolio of electric and gas-powered burden carriers, tow-tractors and personnel-vehicles.
The business was started in America in 1949 by R.D. Taylor, who built a small electric-powered cart for his poultry farm. Other farmers sought such carts and he was soon supplying local, then wider, industries.
The company later adopted lean manufacturing methods, precision manufacturing equipment and engineering software. This allowed for rapid prototyping of highly customised vehicles from engineered drawings. This system is still used, today.
In 2016 Polaris Industries acquired Taylor-Dunn, adding industrial vehicles to accompany its range of power-sports equipment.
In the US, Taylor-Dunn now supports a variety of applications such as hospitals, airports, schools, warehouses, manufacturing plants and the military.