Pioneer Invests $10m in New UK Pump Rental Business
Pump manufacturer Pioneer Pump is investing an initial 10 million USD over the next 12 months to jumpstart its major pump rental operation in the UK. The UK business is renamed Pioneer Pump Solutions to reflect the addition of rental services provided by four hubs across the UK: two in England, one in Wales, and one in Scotland. Tom Nicholson, an experienced pump rental manager who joined Pioneer one year ago as national sales manager for the UK and Ireland, is the new operations director of Pioneer Pump Solutions.
Simon Ruffles, managing director of Pioneer Pump Ltd in the UK, told IRN; “We have some very big accounts and customers in the UK, and for some of them their business model is changing. That’s why they are asking for rental.”
The rental fleet will comprise of 250 Pioneer-made diesel pumps and a further 240 electric submersible pumps from a still unidentified outside supplier. All pumps within the fleet will be specialist high-head, high-flow units primarily designed for mining, quarries and oil & gas applications.
Pioneer Pumps in North America will not follow the UK rental model and will continue to sell pumps to existing rental businesses and other customers there, says Dennis Mitchell, chairman of Pioneer Pump Ltd and a vice president of US-based sister company Pioneer Pump Inc. Mitchell will have global responsibility of the rental operations.
Mitchell confirms that if the UK operation proves successful, the pump company will consider extending the rental model to other non-North American markets. “We’re exploring other opportunities at this point,” he says.
The 10 million USD investment will be provided by Pioneer’s parent company, US-based Franklin Electric, which acquired Pioneer last year. More funds may be available for further growth after the first tranche investment.
“Further investment [from Franklin Electric] will be driven by demand, utilization and customers," Mitchell says. "At this point, we haven’t fully evaluated that investment”.
The UK fleet will be rented directly to large end-user customers and re-rented to private rental companies who don’t have larger pumps in their fleets. The fleet will also be available to Pioneer’s distributors outside the UK, some of which have established rental businesses.