ACPA Recognizes Les Ainsworth, Longest-Running WOC Speaker

Les Ainsworth, a 59-year industry veteran, has shared a lifetime of knowledge as a presenter at World of Concrete (WOC) since 1978. Speaking on behalf of the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), he has led sessions on topics including concrete pumping methods, the costs of pumping concrete, preventive maintenance and safety. 

“World of Concrete has an unsurpassed education program each year due to the contributions of knowledgeable and passionate experts who have dedicated their lives to the concrete construction industry. Les is one of our top speakers,” says Bonnie King, WOC’s senior education manager.

Ainsworth holds the record as WOC’s longest-running speaker, says King. He has presented 52 sessions, including leading the four-hour review seminar for ACPA Concrete Pump Operator Safety Certification over the past 16 years.

“My family and I have benefited so much from this industry. I want to pay it back and not let the knowledge I gained go to waste,” says Ainsworth. 

Shaping the Industry

In 1965, at 22 years old and fresh out of the U.S. Air Force, Ainsworth bought Denver’s first concrete pump truck. It was capable of pumping concrete onto the upper floors of high rises when local contractors were using cranes, buckets, wheelbarrows and shovels to move concrete. His approach cut the time to pour an elevated floor from two eight-hour days to three hours.

The pumping industry was in its infancy, and the equipment was prone to breakdowns — but Ainsworth had incentive to succeed. After all, he had used his savings from the Air Force and his parents’ house as collateral to buy his first truck. Mechanically inclined, he learned to fix and improve his pumps and then buy equipment from other companies that couldn't get theirs to work.

Expanding services into regions with year-round construction, Ainsworth grew his business into one of the largest concrete pumping companies in the nation. Doing business as Pumpco Inc., the concrete pumping company operated for nearly 45 years before closing in 2009 during the Great Recession. He now owns Concrete Pumping Depot, doing business as Ainsworth International, which serves as a marketplace for used concrete pumps and concrete boom pumps.

ACPA Contributions

A member of ACPA since 1977, Ainsworth has served two terms as board president. He rarely missed a board meeting during his tenure — and only missed speaking at one World of Concrete show, in 2018, due to back surgery.

"Les has been one of the hardest-working board members we've ever had. Our industry has greatly benefited from his dedication," says Christi Collins, ACPA executive director.

Ainsworth also served as chairman of the Certification/Safety Committee and remains active in safety programs, leading education sessions and safety training for ACPA nationwide. He was involved in the creation of several safety procedures and has watched ACPA’s approach to safety evolve over the years.

“Being so involved with ACPA board members and having operated a pump for many years gave me a good grasp of the big picture when it comes to developing safety procedures,” says Ainsworth. “Our different perspectives help us to collectively see a problem, understand what the operator deals with in the field and come up with a safer way to do it.”

Thank you, Les, for your tireless commitment to advancing the industry through education and safe pumping procedures!

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