Tolko’s Family Values Set Foundation for Success

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“These family values are the foundation of all customer relationships. This coupled with Tolko’s ability to adapt and innovate continues to serve us well in meeting our customers’ needs.” – Alex Langley, Domestic Lumber Sales Manager, Tolko

Tolko’s Family Values Set Foundation for Success 1
Tolko’s Lavington mill produces over 20 million board feet of Cedar annually.

After more than 65 years in the forest products industry, Tolko Industries Ltd. continues to build on its diverse customer base through a growing slate of building solutions. Headquartered in Vernon, BC, Tolko is a private company strongly rooted in family values. “These family values are the foundation of all customer relationships. This coupled with Tolko’s ability to adapt and innovate continues to serve us well in meeting our customers’ needs,” said Alex Langley, Domestic Lumber Sales Manager.

Tolko was founded in 1956 by Harold Thorlakson, who later passed the company on to his three sons, Doug, John and Al. The three sons joined the family business after gaining insight into different aspects of the forest products industry. The values that the family grew up with – principles of safety, respect, integrity, open communication, profit and progressiveness – served as a natural platform to establish the guiding principles of Tolko’s operations. These have since become known as Tolko’s values.

With close ties that Tolko strives to maintain throughout the community, the company employs approximately 3,000 workers across Canadian provinces including British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. In addition, through joint venture partnerships in the southern U.S., the company brings Southern Yellow Pine lumber to market with LaSalle Lumber Company LLC, in Urania, LA; Southeastern Timber Products in Ackerman, MS; and, Jasper Forest Products LLC in Jasper, AL. Together, Tolko’s operations deliver a mix of Lumber, Plywood, OSB and Engineered Wood Products.

Tolko’s Family Values Set Foundation for Success 2
Western Red Cedar has a high tolerance for damp climates and is resistant to shrinkage, swelling, warping and decay.

Tolko prides itself on its culture and puts a strong emphasis on treating their customers with respect and integrity. “We work closely with our customers to understand their needs and deliver the products they value,” Langley continued.

This is why they’ve recently introduced Western Red Cedar to their product lineup. “Having the capability to add Cedar to our product mix has been very exciting. Our fiber baskets are rich with Cedar and our mills have since adapted to handle a diverse blend of species,” Langley remarked. Tolko’s Lavington location now produces over 20 million board feet of Cedar annually, in addition to their traditional SPF and Fir/Larch. “Our focus is on producing tight knot Cedar decking,” Langley continued. “It’s a beautiful product and we take great pride in offering it alongside Tolko’s existing suite of products.”

Beyond decking, Tolko’s production encompasses a diverse blend of finished Cedar products and remanufacturing blanks that are primed for further processing. “Being new to Western Red Cedar, we have been completing trials at our Lavington sawmill and planer to optimize our Cedar product mix,” said Langley. “We are open to making a wide assortment of different Cedar products to meet the needs of the market.”

Tolko has five divisions on the Canadian lumber side, three of which are dimension sawmills that produce SPF, Fir, Hemlock and Cedar in 6-foot through 20-foot lengths in grades Economy No. 2 and 3, No. 2 Premium, A and J grade and a full suite of MSR products. The other two divisions are stud mills that produce SPF, Fir and Hemlock in 5-10 foot PET studs.

Tolko’s Family Values Set Foundation for Success 3
Lumber Sales Representative, Gail Courterielle shows off the latest run of 1×4 STK S1S2E

From a distribution perspective, Tolko has established a significant reload footprint across North America with its T-LINK Product Distribution Network. “Our vast reload network gets us closer to our customers,” said Langley. “It gives us the ability to offer in-market products for quick shipment from a variety of locations across North America.”

Langley attributes Tolko’s success to a simple formula: excellent people dedicated to meeting customers’ needs by delivering valuable products and services.

For more information, visit www.tolko.com.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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