Interview with Michael Hjelm: Trouble-Free Dewatering

RER recently interviewed Michael Hjelm, key account manager North America, Grindex Pumps, about Grindex’s built-in motor protection system, the trend towards high-quality pumps, and the growing contractor preference for rental.

RER: What is new in your company’s line of pumps and what is unique about it?

Hjelm: The Grindex dewatering pumps are very easy to use, handle and maintain. The unique features of the Grindex dewatering pumps include built-in controls eliminating the need for separate starter panels, which makes the handling at jobsites easier. A common issue with dewatering pumps is that they cannot run dry. Grindex pumps have a unique air valve that allows the pumps to run dry for long periods of time without any motor damage. On top of this we have a built-in motor protection system called SMART that make sure the impeller can only run in the correct direction of rotation, a Phase Guard that prevents 1-phase operation and a temperature Guard that stops the pump at overheating. In addition to this, the hydraulic wear parts are made of abrasive-resistant hard iron. We call it trouble-free dewatering.

What are the most important recent trends in pump technology and what are the most important trends to come?

The rental market is moving away from low-cost, low-quality throw-away pumps to more durable, high-quality pumps that are easy to use, install and service and that have a low life-cycle cost.

How is the equipment rental market changing for pump rentals and what trends do you see upcoming?

A trend that has been on-going for some time is the horizontal integration of smaller pump rental companies that are being acquired by larger national rental companies. Another trend is that more and more contractors turn to pump rentals instead of investing in their own fleet. The rental companies are renting more in to the industrial market.

What level of training and knowledge is required for a rental company to be successful in pump rentals? What level of training should rental companies provide to their customers?

To be successful in pump rentals a rental company would need to acquire competence with regard to the market segments, pump applications, capacity of defining and sizing the most appropriate pump package for the pump applications. The rental company must be able to provide all necessary resources in a timely manner, including customer and service support.

What markets for pump rentals do you see as most important in the coming years — i.e., construction, industrial, homeowner/light contractor, energy, etc.?

The most important pump rental markets will be the construction and industrial markets.

How do you see the economy in the foreseeable future?

The market for pump rentals will increase as most end users see the benefits of renting instead of maintaining their own fleet.

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