Customers and Distributors Make Godwin Pumps Part Of Their Contingency Plans


Bridgeport, NJ – When the Mississippi River crested and a Minnesota contractor called in an emergency rental request to a Godwin Pumps distributor, he was told a truck was on its way. The distributor then called Godwin for the equipment he needed. Godwin delivered.

Distributors as well as customers are accustomed to getting an immediate response from Godwin Pumps. "That's not unusual," said Bob Spatz, Godwin Pumps Chicago branch manager, who fielded the telephone call. "We've built our business on quick response to emergency situations, especially during the spring thaw when flooding can occur.

However, Godwin doesn't wait for an emergency to happen before putting plans into action. For example, Ziegler Rental, a Godwin Pumps distributor headquartered in Maple Grove, MN, met with one of its primary customers a month before the flood season in Minnesota.

Equipment Availability

Dave Lillquist, operations manager for Ziegler, had already contacted Godwin's Chicago branch to determine the availability of pumps and to advise of a possible flooding situation.

Ziegler had taken advantage of Godwin's Regional Re-rental Program before and was pleased with the results. The program gives Godwin distributors the opportunity to rent from Godwin at a discount from the national rental rates. It is ideal for distributors who may not have the right size pump immediately available within their rental fleet or are low in inventory due to unusual circumstances like a flood or other emergency situation.

Same Day Delivery

When the call came to Ziegler from Kieger Enterprises, Hugo, MN, one of the contractors on the emergency list of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Ziegler immediately notified Godwin's Chicago office. Six Godwin six-inch Dri-Prime Pumps were delivered to Kieger that evening. "Because of the nature of their business, the Kieger people expect an answer within five minutes," said Lillquist, "and we get it for them."

Pat Iwan, general manager of Kieger Enterprises, said they had the pumps on the road to customers within one hour of receiving them thanks to the quick turnaround from Ziegler and Godwin. "We responded to calls in seven states," he said, "because not only was the Mississippi cresting, but also the Red, St. Croix and Minnesota rivers, which join to form the Mississippi."

Within the next two weeks, Ziegler placed re-rent orders with Godwin daily for a total of 20 more pumps. These additional 26 pumps and the 34 Godwin pumps Ziegler initially had in its own inventory were sent throughout the Midwest - St. Paul, Granite Falls and Bayport, MN; Wahpeton, ND; Lansing, IA; and LaCrosse, WI.

Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers also planned for the worst. They purchased 39 Godwin Dri-Prime pumps and warehoused them in Chicago just for an emergency situation like this. When the flood hit, Godwin Pumps, with a long history of working with the Army Corps of Engineers, helped them mobilize the pumps as needed.

Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works in Rock Island, IL also needed pumping equipment fast when the Mississippi River started to rise. In the course of five days, Mike Collard, the city's public works manager, ordered 17 Godwin Dri-Prime pumps ranging in size from 4- to 12-inch. With each day's request, Collard enjoyed same day service from Godwin's Chicago branch, 170 miles away.

"We need an 8-hour window to set up equipment before the river gates can be closed," said Collard. "With the spring thaw of the heavy snow we had last winter, the river was rising fast. Added to that was heavy rainfall."

Because he was using Godwin Dri-Prime automatic self-priming pumps, Collard needed only a three-man crew to maintain all 17 pumps around the clock.

"Customers like the automatic self priming feature of our Dri-Primes, because it helps boost productivity and performance," said Spatz. "Just connect the suction and discharge hoses, then start the engine; our pump does the rest. It will prime and reprime from dry - time and again - to 28 feet of suction lift." According to Spatz, routine maintenance normally is limited to checking engine and seal cavity oil levels.

"This auto-priming feature is an absolute requisite in an emergency situation," said Collard. "We usually get quotes from several pump sources, but when it comes to performance, availability and reliable response time, Godwin Pumps always delivers."

To meet the Mississippi River emergency demand, 15 tractor-trailers were used to ship pumps. In addition to the Godwin Chicago branch, branches as far away as Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia shipped equipment to meet the demand.

"All 16 members of our Chicago branch were involved in this effort," said John Michael Paz, president of Godwin Pumps, "as well as another 14 from five other Godwin branches. And most of them worked through the Easter weekend." He added, "That's the nature of our business. It's our niche as well as our forte. We're good at it because of the breadth of our fleet and our willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done."

More Emergency Response Applications

Drought emergencies are another instance where customers activate contingency plans which include Godwin Pumps. During the drought last summer, one industrial facility called on Godwin to pump water from a spring fed lake to a canal to replenish its supply to keep the plant in operation.

Similar situations exist for municipal water supplies. Because of the drought, reservoirs became too low for one municipality to draw from, so Godwin pumps were used to pump water from various sources to the reservoir.

In addition to drought emergency needs, municipalities also rely on Godwin to supply temporary booster pump rentals and 24-hour service to pump station and line maintenance crews at wastewater facilities.

In the Gulf region, Godwin's local rental branch in Houston participates in the hurricane contingency plans for some of the refineries along the ship channel.

Godwin Pumps, headquartered in Bridgeport, NJ, with 14 U.S. branch offices and a network of more than 100 worldwide distributors, serves customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across the construction, industrial, municipal, aggregates, government and environmental markets. To get more information for all your pumping-related needs, contact Godwin Pumps at (856) 467-3636; fax (856) 467-4841; E-mail or visit

Source: Xylem Inc.

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