EP Equipment has a global dealership network that extends across the world. Totaallift, part of the Nijland Service group, has been a well-established sales and service company in the North East of NL for many decades. Founded 75 years ago Nijland Service focused largely on construction machinery and servicing but as demand increased, owners Tom and Esther Nijland expanded their business and developed the company to extend to forklift rental, sales, and services with EP Equipment at the forefront.
Speaking with EP Regional Sales Director Michael Smith he said, “Totaallift is continuously building and growing their company based on their widely recognized service excellence which has continued since they entered the Material Handling business 2 Years ago. When Esther and Tom Nijland visited our DC in Belgium with the intention to partner with EP, I was pleasantly surprised by the questions and in-depth conversations we had concerning the aftermarket support. Tom & Esther were already convinced of EP’s growing success as a manufacturer and distributor in Europe but wanted to make sure that EP could provide the service in line with the company’s reputation. What a match! From day 1, Totaallift has invested heavily in human resources, marketing, technical training, and stock (equipment and parts). This has been the foundation of their success, exceeding the expected sales results. Also, the decisions to represent the complete EP product line from entry level pallet trucks to order pickers and Li-Ion forklifts has allowed them to do business with a wide scope of companies.”
EP’s Marketing and Community Manager Katie sat down with TotaalLift Owner Tom Nijland and Salesman Sven Wilmink to hear more about their EP experience so far.
Tell me about the history of TOTAALLIFT, what is your story so far?
Tom: Totaallift was established in 2018 from our main company Nijland Service where we focused on construction machinery and servicing. Nijland Service has 75 years of industry experience and I am the third generation running the business with my sister after it was started by my great grandparents. Totaallift now distributes across all of Holland and has been working with EP since 2019.
How did your partnership with EP come about? Why did you choose us and how have we grown together so far?
Tom: Through my contacts abroad I met Julian Büter, who was a salesman for a company selling heavy equipment machines together with EP logistic material. When he told me that EP was being used by huge brands such as Coca-Cola I just had to hear more. This is where Sven came in. When I found EP Equipment and heard about how amazing it is, I gave Sven the opportunity to take TotaalLift into the forklift market for the very first time. EP was our first venture into forklifts, customers would always ask why we don’t sell forklifts and until we saw EP and the quality and of course the price it was because I was uninterested. Since finding EP Equipment this is no longer the case.
Sven: I welcomed the opportunity Tom gave me, but I must admit in the first week I was sceptical as I hadn’t heard much about EP. Tom told me if I didn’t like the equipment, we could always change but as soon as we sold one pallet truck the demand was instant. The customer was so happy with the truck that he told everyone he saw to call us to get their hands on one. Customers were calling asking for EP and as soon as we sold our first forklift, we decided to become an EP dealer.
Tom: We sold our first truck and then we decided to become an EP dealer. This was the wrong way round for most, but it has really worked for us. We are now the Master dealer for EP in the East of Holland.
What do you like the most about working with EP?
Tom: For me It is the journey of EP. I love being able to offer a whole new product that is different to anything else on the market and that other competitors simply don’t have. TotaalLift now offers customers a new product at a better price so they no longer have a reason to say no. We tell our customers to not expect 100 models, they should expect 10 models that are good. Quality over Quantity.
I have a lot of contacts as Totaallift is so well established. Our customers know TotaalLift and know that we are reliable, and our service is good. This means that they are willing to listen to us and take our advice to choose EP. Our customers trust us but once they see EP products, they know they have made the right decision. Our partnership with EP goes both ways and EP has become our ‘A’ brand for forklifts.
Sven: When we visit companies that tell us they don’t need a new forklift they need a used one, this is when my ears prick up. If they are looking for a used forklift, they are paying around 12-15,000 Euros and they get a used machine they don’t know much about. Customers initially may say no when we try to sell them a truck, as soon as they see our prices for a new EP Machine… well then, we get coffee.
What products or services do you like the most and why?
Tom: The EFL Series is Unbelievable. For the price which is way below a diesel forklift you can’t ask for more. The price point is so great, that customers always ask if the price we are giving is without the wheels as they just don’t believe it! People can’t believe the quality at such a great price point; I tell customers that if they don’t like it, they can return it to me after 6 months as I have that much faith in the EP Product. I have even made forklift sales to my biggest competitor in excavators who visited our site 3 times with his mechanics and just couldn’t believe the quality of the EP trucks.
Sven: I agree the EFL series is my favourite. The EFL 181 was my introduction to EP and the opening to where TotaalLift and EP are today. The EFL series is an eye opener for anyone in this industry and we look at this as the best machine for our rental customers with maintenance free battery and integrated charger. The EFL 302 is perfect for our end users and our customers love the trucks.
How is EP different from other brands you have worked with in the past?
Tom: With other brands we have worked with if we reported a problem with the machine, it would take 5 years to solve and even then, it would still not be right. With EP the problem-solving speed is like no other manufacturer. EP moves quickly and this is just what the market is like now, but the speed of EP is not compromising the quality. The older brands in the market try to make money off service contracts but TotaalLift is not interested in forklift service when we can send our engineers to the bigger machines we provide. EP is maintenance free for us and our customers, we make our money on the sale of these great trucks and save our resources sending engineers to fix trucks again and again. Instead of seeing us at breakdowns, our customers are more than welcome to see our team for the annual BMWT safety check and the forklift training we provide!
Why do you think your customers are choosing EP?
Sven: As Tom said, the maintenance free feature of EP is a huge selling point for our customers. It means that the total cost of owner ship is so low that people can afford a brand-new truck as they will be saving money throughout the year that they would have spent on servicing and repairs. At the end of the day our customers want to buy machines that they can use every day that are reliable, and EP has proven itself to be this.
Tom: Most companies don’t want to spend a fortune on a forklift as their profit is in the product that they want the forklift to move. When we offer a reliable truck at a low price they immediately want to know more. Although EP is made in China it acts just like a European company with a great European team and amazing after care. Any doubts I get from a customer I just hold up my iPhone. The iPhone is made in china and EP is simply iPhone quality, the best of the best, that is what I tell sceptical customers.
Have you got anything exciting coming up?
Tom: We are very excited that we finally have introduction of the EFL 252 here, so we have ordered a special truck in all black that we plan to fit with high power lights and other add-ons. Maybe we will do a pink one soon…
If you want to join the lithium-ion revolution and be part of our EP Global dealer network just like Totaallift, contact our team today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Totaallift B.V. Bentelosestraat 58B, 7497 MR – Bentelo
Visit Totallift online at: www.totaallift.nl