Pump It Up

Portable pumps are often rentedto customers to assist themin meeting specific projectrequirements. Many successfulcompanies augment their core fleet withrental equipment such as pumps forspecialized projects or a short duration.Customers do not always want to purchasea pump because they may not have theknowledge, manpower or time to serviceand maintain it properly, so they rent.

Even for customers who eventually planto purchase a pump, rentals offer a wayto try equipment before it’s purchased.Additionally, equipment rental companiesoften rotate fleet, providing the customerwith newer pump models. Rentalcustomers also get the latest technology andpeace of mind that the rental equipmenthas been well maintained and serviced bya knowledgeable authorized dealer.

/** Advertisement **/
Companies with limited capital but agrowing number of projects can use rentalequipment to capture new business andreserve their available working capital,thus making renting an excellent methodfor growing a business.

With this said, many customers areventuring outside of their normal linesof business in search of new business,and thus rental companies must havequalified employees knowledgeable inall the specialty aspects of pumps, pipesand fittings. They must be able to answernot only the customers questions but beexperienced enough to anticipate and askfor information that the customer needsbut might not realize.

/** Advertisement **/


Ask Questions

In order to ensure a customer receives theright pump for the job, many questions needanswered. Equipment rental centers needdetailed, accurate information about flow,lift and pressure required to accomplish theapplication. With this information, trainedpump rental center personnel can providethe right pump and piping for a successfuljob. Without detailed information and aknowledgeable staff, a customer may endup with a pump that either cannot do thejob or cannot do it efficiently.

Before-You-Rent Checklist forBasic Pumping Jobs:

1. Application — what do you need toaccomplish with the pump?
2. Material — what type of liquid will bepumped and what are its properties?
3. Location — where are you pumping toand from?
4. Distance — how far will the fluid bepumped?
5. Time — how quickly does the liquidneed to be moved?
6. Environment — are any specialconsiderations or equipment needed for the jobsite?
7. Noise — are noise levels an issue?
8. Hose/Piping — what type and size ofhose or pipe is needed?
9. Placement — where on the jobsite willthe pump be placed?
10. Endpoint — where will the liquid bedischarged?

Make sure to fully understand all thespecifics about the intended applicationbecause the more pumper manufacturersknow, the better they can be atrecommending the right pump for the job.

What Pumps are OutThere?

Pump capabilities vary from specializedto highly versatile, and from low pressureto high pressure. While some work wellfor moving water with debris, others willclog under those same conditions. Somecan pump fluid up steep elevations,while another model cannot. Choosingthe correct pump for the customer’s jobcan help ensure success, and learningthe differences in pump models will helpyou make the correct recommendation. Apump that is not designed to move solidsmay cost less, but it will likely clog andbreak if any type of debris is channeledthrough it.

/** Advertisement **/

Common pumps available for rentalare wet-prime centrifugal trash, dryprimecentrifugal trash, diaphragm andsubmersible pumps.

Of these pumps, dry-prime centrifugaltrash pumps are most rented by utilitycontactors. Rental prices of these portablepumps vary greatly depending on the size,type and application. A rental rate for a 6-in.trash pump can run from $1,200 to $3,000a month. Additional features such as soundattenuation and auto start will also affect therate. The rental of accessories such as hosesor fuel tanks may also be needed.

/** Advertisement **/

Below is a general pump selection tablethat identifies which type of pump is bestsuited for a specific application.

Going Deeper

Some equipment rental centers chooseto specialize in pump rentals and providelarger, portable pumps. These pumps canbe as large as 18-in. in suction size diameter.With the availability of larger pumpswith higher performances and enhancedfeatures, more complex applications canbe tackled.

Before-You-Rent Checklist ofComplex Pumping Jobs:

(In addition to the 10 checklist questionsabove, be sure to discuss these additional11 items)

1. Primary equipment (pumps)
2. Standby equipment
3. Pressure requirements for pumping thefluid
4. Turnkey installation requirement
5. Fusion of Piping
6. Transportation/Mobilization
7. Environmental Concerns
8. Fueling
9. Maintenance
10. 24/7 Pump Watch
11. Technology features such as automaticstart/stop, monitoring, auto-notificationand telemetry

/** Advertisement **/

Renting pumps requires expertise andcommitment and that’s why distributorsand rental dealers are chosen by the pumpmanufacturer very carefully. If you’reconcerned about pricing, understandthe best overall value is usually not thecheapest priced since certain applicationsrequire certain pumps to perform the jobmost effectively. For instance, look intoefficiency and fuel consumption.

ApplicationType of Pump
End Suction CentrifugalDiaphragmTrashSubmersible
Abrasive Liquidx
Clear Liquidxxxx
Coffer Damsxxxx
Deep Wellsx
Fast Seepage Ditch Waterxx
High Solid Contect Liquidxxx
Mucky Liquidxxx
Muddy Liquidxxx
Silt Waterxxx
Slimy Liquidxx
Slow Seepage Ditch Waterxx

And don’t forget the accessories. A varietyof sizes and lengths of suction and dischargehose or pipe are required along withquality fittings to connect the equipment.Sound attenuated pumping units may benecessary for noise-restricted applicationssuch as those in neighborhoods or nearschools and hospitals.

There is no substitute for workingwith an experienced rental companywhen analyzing plans and specifications,anticipating challenges and ultimatelydeciding what pump equipment is best foran application. A customer should expectprompt response to service calls and aproactive willingness to help them overall.

Kirsten Petersen Stroud is Marketing Managerat Thompson Pump.