Few contractors had embraced concrete pumping in 1966 when Pumpcrete was founded in Niagara Falls, Ontario. And even fewer have exploited concrete pumpings’ technology so completely since then. From residential to commercial to mega-projects, Pumpcrete has pumped higher, farther and in higher volume than any other Canadian pumping company. The business started by Ken Williams continues to be family-run with President, Ken Williams, Jr. in charge as the company enters its 50th year in business in 2016.
Always looking for a better way, and willing to take a risk, Pumpcrete began building their own pumps, both stationary and truck-mounted, with the largest boom being a 31-meter. They were successful, mostly because of hard work and determination. They eventually switched to Schwing concrete pumps after setting a world-record for the longest placement of concrete through a pipeline at 3,470-feet horizontally with a Schwing trailer pump in 1981. We achieved some visibility with the world record,” according to Williams, Jr., “Which helped solidify relationships with contractors and owners that continue to this day.”
The company gained a reputation for large scale concrete placing. In the mid 1990s, the company was pumping two of the largest projects in the world – the Hibernia Oil Platform and Confederate Bridge, both located in eastern Canada. Pumpcrete’s reputation and pumping expertise were behind more than 600,000 cubic yards pumped on both projects. “Our willingness to gain experience with larger projects helped bridge slower times in the economy by continuously working on these multi-year projects,“ Williams, Jr. explains.
Pumpcrete’s growth continues today with the recent completion of the Niagara Tunnel Project that diverts a third of the Niagara River’s flow at night to generate electricity for 160,000 homes. The project required 11 specialized stationary pumps over the five-year span of the project. The massive 47-foot bores consumed more than 400,000 cubic yards of concrete to line 6.3 miles of tunnels.
The massive rate of pumping continues with another GBS being completed and another one on the books. A 78-story building is being topped out in 2016. The company has 18-placing booms in the air and 100 boom pumps on the ground. Picking out one accomplishment over the last fifty years is easy for Williams, Jr., “We’re still a family company.”