While there is sometimes a case for buying dewatering pumps and associated equipment outright, renting offers so many advantages that it should always be given close consideration. This is the view of Lee Vine, MD of dewatering and dredge pump rental specialist IPR.
He says that IPR is seeing a strong shift towards the rental model. “We started up just seven years ago and, since then, we’ve had to continuously add pumps to our fleet to meet ever growing demand from a range of industries, most especially mining and construction,” he states.
“We now have more than 200 pumps in our rental fleet, able to handle almost any pumping task. Our line-up includes submersible drainage and dewatering pumps, slurry and sludge pumps and diesel-driven pumps. We also offer dredging systems and hydro mining solutions.”
Vine believes that one of the prime advantages of renting is that it eliminates the need for upfront capital expenditure, which – depending on the type of equipment that is required – can be considerable. “Many companies – particularly if they are start-ups or are experiencing tough trading conditions – simply cannot afford to make this type of financial commitment,” he says. “If this is the case, rental is the ideal solution.”
He points out that purchasing does not make business sense if the equipment required is only used on an intermittent basis. “If you’re going to buy pumps, for example, then you need to get the maximum utilisation out of them. If you only have an occasional need for pumping, then I would strongly recommend renting. It is madness to buy expensive equipment and then leave it standing for long periods.”
Ownership also brings with it the problems of maintenance. “Pumps need to be maintained and this normally means that people with the required competence need to be permanently employed to undertake this task,” he says. “When you rent from IPR, we provide this service. Our skilled and experienced technicians undertake all servicing and maintenance on site on a 24/7 basis. We also, of course, ensure that machines are in tip-top condition before being sent out to customers.”
When it comes to pumping, there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ and Vine says this is another compelling reason to rent rather than buy. “IPR can draw from its extremely wide range of pumps and other equipment to provide solutions that are exactly tailored to the customer’s needs. By contrast, we often notice that companies that elect to purchase their own equipment end up using pumps that are totally unsuited to the task at hand. They are using them because that is all they have available.”
By renting from IPR, customers also get the benefit of the latest technology. “Obviously, not every unit in our fleet will be the very latest model but, generally, our inventory consists of new or relatively new machines offering – amongst other things – excellent fuel efficiency,” says Vine. “Customers can rest assured that we will never supply out-of-date equipment that is no longer fit for purpose.”
While rental is the backbone of IPR’s business, the company also sells pumps and other equipment. It is the sole agent in southern Africa for the well-established Atlas Copco diesel-driven pump sets as well as the Atlas Copco range of submersible pumps.
As Vine comments, “We’re certainly not saying that customers should always rent. Under the right circumstances, direct ownership of assets such as pumps can be the best route to follow. We recognise this, which is why we are geared to either rent or sell.”
IPR is based in modern premises in Jet Park, Johannesburg, where it has a well-equipped engineering workshop which allows it to provide fully customised pumping and dredging solutions to ISO 9001 standards.