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SLD Celebrates 70 Years at the Forefront of the Specialist Pumps and Power Sector

SLD Pumps & Power is celebrating its Platinum Anniversary after 70 years as a leader in the specialist pumps and power hire sector. SLD Pumps & Power is a trading division of Carrier Rental Systems UK Ltd, part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

Established in Scotland after the Second World War, SLD began as part of the national reconstruction effort to rebuild towns and cities. “The Central Belt of Scotland was badly affected due to the concentration of industry, and there was a huge effort to move homes and businesses out of Glasgow to the surrounding countryside,” said Grant McIntosh, SLD director and general manager. Scottish Land Development (SLD) was founded to support this, initially supplying large earth-moving vehicles for civil engineering projects.

Given the scale of the works, and the abundance of natural water resources in the region, it was not long before onsite drainage and water management became a major challenge for contractors. SLD quickly diversified into supplying specialist pumping equipment and – later – the remote generators to power it. “Hiring equipment was an attractive option for customers, as high capacity pumps and generators are expensive capital items and renting to cover the period required for a project makes total sense,” said Grant McIntosh.

This need provided the compelling business model that has powered the company’s success through succeeding decades. The pumps and power side of the business went from strength to strength, and with divestment of the original earth-moving vehicle side in the late ’50s, it became the core of SLD’s offer as a specialist stand-alone business. Investment in the ’70s and ’80s saw expansion of SLD’s network across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Carrier acquired the company in 2007, and SLD became a key part of the company’s new specialist hire business, Carrier Rental Systems. “The technologies complement and work together perfectly,” said Grant McIntosh. “So whether a customer is too hot, too cold or too wet, we have the answer – with the latest high performance equipment available on a cost-effective hire basis.”

While support for drainage and power on construction projects remains important, SLD’s customer base has expanded significantly in recent years. Water utilities has been a key growth area, partly due to the fragility of Victorian infrastructure that some cities still depend on. The increase in seasonal flooding due to extreme weather events can also require large-scale support to protect commercial and public buildings, homes and roads from damage due to inundation.

Environmental protection is a strong driver shaping the business going forward. “Power systems obviously depend on fuel. This technology has undergone a revolution in recent years, and we now offer the latest Stage 5 diesel engines, which are light-years ahead of previous systems in terms of energy efficiency and low emissions,” said Grant McIntosh.

Carrier has invested heavily in SLD’s fleet to ensure equipment is the most modern and efficient available. This includes advanced electrically-powered pumps, which when operated on 100% renewable power – increasingly available at UK water facilities – offer the smallest possible environmental footprint.

Remote power for use on site is undergoing a similar transformation. SLD now offers ‘totally clean’ power packs based on rechargeable lithium batteries, which can deliver 45kW of clean, silent power. Modules can be connected to provide whatever capacity is needed, with batteries being topped up via solar panels or the mains.

Grant McIntosh has been with SLD since it was acquired by Carrier. “To their credit, Carrier saw the huge potential of the business alongside a chiller and air movement hire company, and have continued to invest in SLD ever since. It has proved to be highly successful, as witnessed by our growing customer base and unmatched equipment offering.”

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