Interviews with Pump Manufacturers: Turnkey Solutions

Nov. 23, 2022
RER talks with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers about the latest trends in pump production, the growth in pump and specialty rentals, battery-powered products, what makes a good pump rental, and more.

 RER talks with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers about the latest trends in pump production, the growth in pump and specialty rentals, battery-powered products, what makes a good pump rental, and more.


Juan Quiros, VP of Marketing, Multiquip Inc.

Andrew Gastrow, associate product manager, Wacker Neuson

Matt Olivieri, product manager for mining, rental and construction products, Gorman-Rupp Co.

David Bush, senior marketing strategist, Honda Power Sports and Products Group

Glenn Wieczorek, managing director-president, Tsurumi America 

Win Blodgett, president, Holland Pump

RER: What are the latest products and developments in your company’s pump production?

Quiroz: In the compact pump arena, the 3-inch trash pump is the segment leader due to its versatility and performance. Over the years, there has been relatively minimal innovation in the way of product design. Multiquip recognized this and introduced pumps sound attenuation and features that are ideal for work being done in noise-sensitive or remote jobsite environments. We have two models, QP3THX and QP3TS, offering substantially reduced noise levels and longer run times compared to pumps powered by standard air-cooled engines. We also have a unique model, the QP3Ti, that has integrated float switches that have automatic start capabilities and can be used for both pump-up and pump-down applications.

Gastrow: Like all manufacturers, we are always updating machines to fit the market demand for quality and serviceability. In 2023, Wacker Neuson will pivot from OEM trash pump models back to its own tried and true industrial trash pump design which will be manufactured by Wacker Neuson. The PT centrifugal trash pump design is known for its quality and durability and includes a shimmable volute.

Olivieri: One of the latest developments in our Gorman-Rupp product line is the addition of the Diaphragm Primer. This is utilized over the Venturi/Air Compressor combination allowing the pump to evacuate air more quickly, therefore giving you less priming time. The Diaphragm Primer also uses less horsepower than the Venturi/Air Compressor design allowing the unit to be even more fuel efficient.

One other development is the addition of the eradicator solids management system to be used in our 4-inch and 6-inch engine-driven units. For jobs that have stringy solids that can clog at the eye of the impeller, this new design can help move the stringy material away from the eye of the impeller allowing the serrated edge of the wear plate to help break it up into smaller pieces, sending it out the discharge.

Bush: Honda Power Sports & Products markets a complete line of portable water pumps for a wide variety of rental, agricultural, construction and residential applications. The product line consists of rugged models in four different categories -- the gasoline-powered de-watering, trash, multi-purpose and the fully electric submersible series.

While most Honda general purpose de-watering pumps are designed for varying applications and typical water removal, Honda also produces a number of pumps for specialty applications. For example, Honda construction—or trash—pumps are used for quick clean out when pumping water contaminated with larger debris (including stones and other solid materials up to 1 1/16-inches in diameter). Honda stainless steel, electric submersible pumps are used for a wide range of residential and commercial sump applications.

Wieczorek: We have several new products that are currently in different stages of development. Some of the new products are in field testing now and we should begin to see these new products available to the markets in 2023. As for development in pump production, Tsurumi has added new practices and procedures to allow us to rapidly react to the demands of the market. Those new procedures should give us the ability to expand on our commitments to our customers.  

Blodgett: Our second acquisition was a small manufacturing and wellpoint dewatering company with a storied history. CDPW Inc. is more commonly known by their pump brand, Complete Dewatering. Complete is celebrating 100 years in the business in 2023 and updating their products with the latest engines and control packages. That has been one development. Another development has been what we call the “triple play”, which is in essence a diesel hydraulic power pack that allows the user to have one power pack to run a multitude of applications with three different pump families including hydraulically driven submersible pumps, prime-assisted suction lift pumps, and positive displacement rotary lobe pumps often used in well-pointing.

RER: Are there any particular trends you expect to see in pump production in the coming years?

Quiroz: The emphasis on battery-powered products affects every equipment category including dewatering pumps. California leads the push, but there remain significant hurdles to overcome in the area of battery design. Manufacturers have their engineers working to develop battery drives, but there is a pressing need to develop a standardized platform that can be used across various equipment lines. For example, run times for battery-powered equipment are still not comparable to conventional engines. How will manufacturers address continuous run applications and charging in remote areas or if there is a power outage? Additionally, the price difference compared to conventional engine driven equipment may initially limit their ability to add battery-powered product to rental fleets.

Gastrow: Possibly electrification of some sort that means full electric via battery-powered or partial electrification via pairing an engine with batteries. This trend, promoting quiet, zero emission power, is touching many different product segments in the construction industry, even ones where it may seem unlikely. But we have not seen this yet in the pump market.

Olivieri: A growing trend that we see is companies offering a full turnkey pump set up. The rental company will set everything up so that the customer can just come in and start the system up. The customer has piece of mind knowing that the job is set up correctly and they can focus on their part of the job rather than maintaining the pump set up. This also give the rental company a new source of revenue. Many people do not want to “hassle” with setting up the pump, so rental companies can charge for the setup.

Wieczorek: I think there will be added pressure to meet the ever-changing demands of the customer. This will put a premium on forecasting and working with component suppliers to ensure the flow of parts is not disrupted.  

Blodgett: I am privileged to be involved with and to serve as senior vice chair of the Contractor’s Pump Bureau, which is a committee formed in 1938 and part of AEM, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. We are fortunate to have many leading pump manufacture members and pump industry suppliers as members and we cover many topics of common interest to group members. IoT, the internet of things, is making a huge impact on pump systems whether they are engine driven or electric driven. We have seen new developments in user interface, machine control, bluetooth, telemetry, and next generation processors. All these developments are being incorporated in pump systems.

RER:  It seems that pump rentals -- as illustrated by the growing “specialty rental” segments of major rental companies – have grown a lot in recent years. Do you have any insight into why this growth has occurred?

Quiroz: General rental companies will always have the flexibility to handle a wide range of applications. However, customers in certain fields appreciate the application knowledge and experience that specialty rental houses can offer – it’s what separates them from the rest. When you can talk to one person who confidently understands both the pump and generator sides of the applications, it provides peace of mind to the rental customer. People want to know they’re dealing with experts in their field.

Gastrow: Pumps are a great rental tool since they are commonly a seasonal or emergency tool. Many construction companies have limited knowledge in the proper setup and rely on their rental partner’s expertise for this. Rental companies have trained staff to offer strong guidance and proper application assistance as well as set up. Construction contractors usually deal with flooded jobsites only periodically and would rather rent than own for storage and maintenance reasons. Additionally, most homeowners do not need to own a pump since they are usually needed for emergency situations such as a flooded basement.

Olivieri: The infrastructure of the nation is growing older. From worn out piping, failing bridges, and even common utility work, pumps are needed in a large majority of these jobs. Pump rentals can be a major source of income for a rental company that knows what it is doing. Many companies that offer pumps also will offer a complete “turnkey” solution providing a piece-of-mind for the customer and additional revenue for the company.

Bush: Honda Power Sports & Products markets a complete line of portable water pumps for a wide variety of rental, agricultural, construction and residential applications. The product line consists of rugged, easy-to-use models in four different categories—the gasoline-powered de-watering, trash, multi-purpose, and the fully electric submersible series. Honda pump offerings and sizes align with commercial and residential construction, in addition to a wide range of infrastructure projects. These segments saw significant and continued growth during the last several years that has fueled demand for pumps. 

Wieczorek: I believe contractors are using more specified type products to complete a job with a specific tool rather than using a more generalized tool to get the job done. This may be due to the cost of labor increasing and the specific tool designed to do a specific task will allow the contractor to use fewer labor hours with the specialized tool.

Blodgett: Pump rentals are often in critical applications where failure is not an option. Mistakes in pump rental execution can really impact a job negatively but successful pumping keeps a project on schedule and on budget. Some of the national rental companies have pursued and become stronger in the pump rental market and particularly in sewer bypass where there is a barrier to entry cost-wise to do major projects.

Also, if one properly maintains their pump and pump accessories, they can be long- lived assets that are attractive from a financial metric perspective. Investors realize “specialty rental” is a valuable, unique part of the market. Being successful at renting pumps takes a lot more than dropping off, picking up, and maintaining equipment. For me personally, I joined XPV Water Partners because I could see what their organization brought to the table to enable growth and performance.

RER: In many types of construction machinery, especially earthmoving and aerial machines, lead times have increased significantly, as along as 18 months to two years in some cases, often caused by supply chain issues and the difficulty in obtaining certain components and materials. Are you finding the same issues in pump manufacturing?

Quiroz: Ongoing supply chain issues affect component availability and lead times for manufacturers in industries. Multiquip, with its diverse product range, isn’t immune from these challenges. In some cases, we have all the components needed to manufacture the product and our production is impacted by insufficient availability of engines. In other cases, we could have ample engine supply and face component shortages elsewhere. This results in non-stop challenges to our purchasing and manufacturing teams, but thanks to their professionalism we’re often able to find creative solutions to minimize the impact to our customers.

Gastrow: We have not seen supply chain issues effect pumps as dramatically as compact and larger machines. Pumps require smaller pieces and less components and almost no electronics, so that also plays into it.

Olivieri: As with other companies, we have dealt with supply chain issues. No one is impervious to this. It has affected many different markets. To help combat these supply chain issues, we have also increased our stock to be able to have parts available to build up new pumps.

Wieczorek: There has been some delivery issues of pump components as well. Tsurumi America was fortunate that we ordered heavy in the fall of 2020 when the pandemic was going full speed. We felt the economy would come out of the pandemic with a great deal of demand and the curve would be very steep in the recovery. 

Blodgett: Lead time for pump wet ends is six to 14 weeks. Lead time for engines under 200 hp have been as long as 49 weeks. The uncertainty of engine deliveries has made material resource planning tricky and often the availability of minor components can cause further delay.

However, I was fortunate to tour the Caterpillar plant in Austin, Texas, recently, and they are certainly managing very well, and I hear other companies like Perkins are rebounding from global supply chain issues.

RER: There has been a significant growth in electric-driven machines in other product segments the past few years and this trend is likely to continue and accelerate. Is the same trend occurring in pump manufacturing and usage?

[Editor’s note: Both Quiroz and Gastrow addressed this issue in their second answers above]

Olivieri: Yes. Just like electric cars are becoming more and more popular, electric pump sets have become more popular too. It can be more cost effective to drop a power line for the pumps rather than expensive price of the diesel in today’s world. There are other benefits to using electric as well, such as lower cost of maintenance, and not having to worry about regeneration issues on Tier four final engines).

Bush: Honda Powersports & Products continues to consider all opportunities for battery-powered products, but presently the business continues to utilize gasoline engines. Water pumps also are generally operated at the maximum output, which requires significant power to sustain this operation, therefore, requiring longer-lasting batteries making it more difficult to make the transition due to the overall cost, size, and weight of pumps.

Wieczorek: We have seen an increase in demand for electric-powered pumps over engine-driven pumps. Fortunately for Tsurumi this is our specialty. We sell both engine driven and electric pumps however we are better known for our electric pump capabilities.  

Blodgett: For permanently installed pumps, electric driven machines have been the norm for a long time but machine controls continue to become increasing more powerful

Although there are very few temporary mobile pumping companies that specialize in dewatering with generators and electric submersibles this method in inherently efficient and flexible. Tier 4 Final engines like to be run under load. For over 75 horsepower engines with after-treatment like DPF, SCR, DOC, etc., underloading the engine is problematic. It’s no secret that given the choice most rental customers prefer older tier engines for ease of use and reliability.

However, some generator companies have been successful in artificially creating load, which helps solve this issue. In addition, some pump applications can be accomplished with small generators and multiple electric submersibles set up in parallel, which turn on incrementally as needed. Our recent acquisitions, Pump Service & Supply of New York, Sanders Power Equipment of Pennsylvania, and Pump & Power Equipment Corp. of Maryland are masters of these methods.

RER: Do you have any particular tips for pump rental companies to serve their customers better?

Quiroz: Larger pumps garner the attention – 6-inches plus – but keep an eye out for innovations in the compact pump segment as well.

Gastrow: Training rental center personnel on proper pump applications including pump sizing and use relative to pump type, fluid type; trash = 20-percent solids, dewatering less than 10-percent solids, gallons per minute, head pressure, fluid temp, fluid pH, types of pumps and accessories are very important for rental center operations. Knowledgeable staff can recommend and rent the right pump for the application. This not only helps the customer get the most out of the pump for that job, but will protect the pump from being used incorrectly, which protects the rental center investment. Additionally, by knowing and understanding their market, the rental center can manage their inventory by stocking the pumps that will be in demand.

Olivieri: My advice is for you is to make sure that you have the right people in place to make your pump rentals succeed. Knowing how to apply pumps in the correct application(s) is essential for the customer and for your return on investment along with maintenance costs. Applying a pump correctly will allow more repeat business from your customer base and allow the pump to perform as it should for many years to come.

Bush: Chiefly, know thy application when selecting a pump. Choosing the correctly sized pump for an application is equally as important as using the right type. One of the most important factors for consideration in making the right pump choice is the total head — a formula which equals the suction head plus the discharge head. Static suction head is the height from where the water (or other liquid) is drawn to the pump. Static discharge head is the height from the pump to the final destination of the liquid. Other factors that affect total dynamic head and discharge performance include hose diameter, length, material and sprinkler or nozzle use. Honda offers free pump calculation software and other sizing information at

Wieczorek: I would tell them to make sure you are providing a quality pump to your rental customers. The cost of downtime is getting more expensive and using a lower quality pump leads to added expenses. Also, I would tell them to make sure their pump provider can adequately support the pump. From engineering support to quick availability of pumps and parts they will need the added support to help in keeping their customer satisfied.

Blodgett: The companies I have admired the most in my career gained their reputation by being customer-centric and fostering a culture that results in performance, results, and accountability from their team. There is a balance between creating shareholder value and maintaining a customer-centric culture that delivers what we promise. The best companies are great at both.