ACPA Hosts First-Ever OSM Conference

The beautiful hill country of Texas set the stage the weekend of October 16 and 17 for the American Concrete Pumping Association’s first-ever Operations, Safety and Maintenance (OSM) conference. As part of the ACPA’s mission to promote safe, effective concrete pumping, the OSM conference is the industry’s only event dedicated to concrete pumping professionals who want to:

  • Discover new concepts for enhancing their company’s operational Processes
  • Learn specific and implementable strategies for improving their performance
  • Build upon their company’s safety culture to keep them at the forefront of, and competitive within, the industry

This dynamic two-day event was held 20 minutes from San Antonio at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Educational sessions covered topics on the operations, safety and maintenance of a successful concrete pumping business. In these tailored sessions, attendees learned industry-leading technology, innovations in equipment and products.

To kick off the weekend, a pump truck parade was held outside the Hyatt Friday evening. Cocktails and appetizers were served while a DJ played music. Each manufacturer who exhibited at the conference selected the equipment’s accompanying music during its featured time in the parade. Once the truck arrived in front of the crowd, fireworks were displayed, and the DJ read a prepared synopsis of the equipment’s features. During breaks, the DJ played classic rock music. The event was a great start to the conference, and a fun time was had by all.

Learning Sessions and More

Saturday’s featured session, “Building from the Bottom Up,” led by Rocky Geans and Tommy Ruttura, shared how servant leadership is the key to a more successful future. Geans and Ruttura discussed how humility, insight and learning from people at all levels can accomplish the company’s goals. With servant leadership as the foundation, Geans and Ruttura revealed how to guide team members toward an outcome that adds value to contractors, reinforces a safety program and evokes the best from all team members — the perfect kickoff to a weekend of learning opportunities.

Other learning sessions included topics such as:

  • Purchasing your next truck chassis
  • Getting the most out of your pumping systems and parts
  • The Concrete Pump Logbook app
  • Performing thorough pump inspections
  • Innovations in operations
  • Leveraging technology for business improvement
  • Truck emission requirements and more
  • How to make a good pump purchase
  • Practical strategies and legal guidelines for protecting your Business
  • Proper pump maintenance, and more

In addition to education sessions, concrete pumps and related equipment from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers were on display, along with many of the products essential to a pumping operation. Best of all, attendees had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with their peers and suppliers.

Saturday Highlight: Pump Rodeo

On Saturday of the OSM conference, ACPA also hosted its first-ever pump rodeo and competition for operators to test their skills. The pump rodeo included seven different challenges, testing the skills of some of the industry’s finest pump operators in moving the pump boom. This year, 17 operators participated in the competition, with a $500 cash prize and bragging rights on the line.

Each contestant had 15 minutes to complete all seven challenges. Judges carefully observed for any faults, mistakes and completions, and kept track of the scores. Competitions included:

  1. Barrel drop
  2. Circle corridor
  3. Pull through
  4. Back through
  5. Tip the ball
  6. Bullseye
  7. Soccer

At the end of a fun and challenging competition, Scott Sutherland of AJ’s Concrete Pumping in Richmond, British Columbia, was named champion. The ACPA presented Scott with his award during a Texas barbeque featuring armadillo races, ax throwing and a live band. Thank you to Gary Brown, the rodeo committee, and all the volunteers who helped make the ACPA’s first pump competition a great success.

Sunday Highlight: Train the Trainer Workshop

Sunday’s Train the Trainer workshop allowed participants to earn a designation as an ACPA Authorized Training Administrator (ATA). Qualified individuals learned how to deliver the ACPA Operator Safety Training Program and how to properly administer the ACPA Operator Certification Test.

Taking a pump operator certification test from an ATA is one of three paths for an operator to achieve certification under ACPA’s new Certification 2020. Two other methods of achieving certification include via an in-person ACPA seminar or through the online ClickSafety portal.

Companies that want to pursue the ATA route may either designate a person from their company to go through the ACPA Train the Trainer course, or they may hire an ATA by contacting the ACPA National Office. Fees will be charged if using an outside ATA. There will be a one-time cost to go through the Train the Trainer program, but it allows a company to train all its operators at once or individually as needed. Hosting Train the Trainer workshops is an important aspect of ACPA’s Certification 2020 efforts to elevate the quality and effectiveness of operator safety training and raise the bar for safety in our industry.

With the first OSM conference now complete, the ACPA looks forward to what the future holds for this promising educational opportunity.