Case study

Surface Pumps - Service calls made in the nick of time

Since 1970, family-owned Surface Pumps, Inc. has distributed and serviced pumps made by some of the world’s most prominent pump manufacturers. The growing company serves oil, industrial, municipal and food service markets, primarily in central California, but stretching as far as Oman.

Playing the numbers

Cold calling is a game of numbers and timing. Make enough sales calls, odds are you’ll make some at just the right moment. That’s the case of a call Konecranes Charles Shorter made to sell crane inspection services to Surface Pumps. While fortunate for Konecranes, Shorter’s timing could not have been better for Surface Pumps.

John Wren, who was hired a few months before to manage and upgrade Surface Pumps’ safety program, said, “I had so many needs on my plate. They made the cold call at the right moment.” He added, “I already had a suspicion that our current inspections provider was not doing a good job.”

A timely meeting

Soon after the sale, Konecranes technician Glenn Ruple met with Wren before scheduling his first inspection. They talked by a 5-ton P&H™ overhead crane in Surface Pumps fabrication area.

“Glenn was on the ground and looked up, and something looked odd to him,” Wren recalls. Ruple took a closer look and found that the cotter pin, holding the equalizer sheave pin and main pulley in place, was broken. “The sheave pin was easing out, and that day we had been lifting many tons of product,” Wren said. “The pin was more than two-thirds out of the original placement.”

A priceless catch

The crane had been, lift by lift, inching closer to dropping an 8,000- to 10,000-pound load. Ruple got right to work. “It was an easy problem to fix,” Wren said. “It probably took Glenn five to 10 minutes to fix it.” But, Wren added, “It was a big catch. There’s not even a number you can put on that.” Plus, Ruple found that the same crane’s brake was locked in the “on” position. “That wasn’t a big problem in itself,” Wren said. “It just meant the operators were working against the brake.” And eventually that would lead to failure.

One sale leads to others

Since this introduction to Konecranes service two years ago, Surface Pumps has purchased five Konecranes XM workstation and jib cranes with CLX hoists to upgrade the productivity and safety of operations.

And with training from Konecranes, Surface Pumps employees conduct daily inspections to extend the life and productivity of their lifting equipment. Wren has come to appreciate that Ruple’s “big catch” was more than a matter of luck and good timing. “Glenn is very thorough in his inspections.” He adds, “Konecranes is a top-tier company to do business with.”

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