Pumpcrete celebrates 50th anniversary

Few contractors had embraced concrete pumping in 1966 when Pumpcrete was founded in Niagara Falls, Ontario. And even fewer have exploited concrete pumping’s 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.

The company 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 50 years is easy for Williams Jr. "We’re still a family company," he says.

Got more questions about your project?

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf, Max. file size: 50 MB.
      Allowed formats: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf
    • How would you like us to respond?

    • Note: Some questions will be published anonymously with their answers at the end of this story to share with other readers.