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Pacific Bolt Forges a Fresh Start

A Q+A interview with Trevor Borland, owner of Pacific Bolt Manufacturing

Initially formed in the early 1900s, Pacific Bolt Manufacturing started out making bolts and rivets along False Creek. Through the years, it helped transform Vancouver and the surrounding area into the bustling metropolis it is today.

Over the decades, the company has persevered through a massive fire and diversification and has moved its manufacturing plant four times. The most recent move was to the Township of Langley in the summer of 2018. Pacific Bolt now calls Gloucester Industrial Estates home, where it employs 45 people in a modern 34,000 square foot manufacturing facility. 

Pacific BoltThe company is now the largest hot forging bolt manufacturer in Western Canada. Along with its forging operations, it has a fully equipped CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled) machine shop for precision custom fasteners and a large warehouse for centralized distribution.

With its full range of automated and manual machining capabilities, Pacific Bolt is able to produce large production runs and even specialized one-offs. Recently, it has been involved with projects such as the Whistler Cloudraker Skybridge, the Vedder Bridge Replacement Project, and the Salton Road Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge Project. Specialized projects include the beer flight trays for all Tap and Barrel locations.

Pacific Bolt ships out an average of 30,000 pounds of product every day to industries including railroad, marine, rapid transit, and forestry. Its products and services have helped construct almost every major project in Western Canada, including the Golden Ears Bridge, Granville Bridge Seismic Upgrade and BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line.

Utilizing its extensive knowledge and experience to manufacture and deliver quality products, Pacific Bolt helps clients excel by providing solutions and making recommendations, and strives to be the leader in bolt manufacturing and distribution services in North America.

The Township of Langley recently spoke to owner Trevor Borland about his business and the “Fresh Start” Pacific Bolt Manufacturing has made here in Langley Township.

TOL: Why did you choose to relocate to the Township of Langley?

TB: We called New Westminster home for 33 years. When the land came up for redevelopment, unfortunately, it was not in the plan for us to stay, so we began looking elsewhere. Fortunately, as a company, we were ready to expand. We chose the building we did because of its close proximity to the US border and Highway 1.

Calling it a fresh start  says it all – by starting over in a new building we were able to plan an optimal layout for all our equipment. It sounds simple, but by doing this we were really able to increase our productivity because products flow through the production floor with more ease than before.
We plan to make the TOL our home for a very long time. 

TOL: How is it working out?

TB: Better than expected. Our staff are happier here: our former facility was run down, disorganized and cluttered – this new building has actually increased morale. If I may speak on behalf of the entire team, we are all really proud of the facility that we have now. We enjoy opening our doors to our customers, vendors, friends, family, and community. To add to that, we take part in an annual event called Steel Day. It’s a day where companies involved with steel (manufacturing, supplying, and fabricating) open their doors to showcase what they do. This year was highly successful because it fell right after we got settled and we had a great turnout, including Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese and Council members.

The Township of Langley was exceptionally helpful during the whole moving process and the Economic Development Investment and Department was very kind and knowledgeable. Overall the Township made things easy for us.

TOL: What does your company take pride in?

TB: We are a family run business. There is a large core group on the staff that have been with us for many years, and together we are a PacBolt family. We take pride in being able to contribute and be involved with the community. Over the summer we kept an eye on community events and put out weekly bulletins to inform the team. This Christmas we sponsored a family in Langley, which was a rewarding project.

TOL: You also pride yourself on using Canadian-made products and domestic steel, supporting other manufacturers wherever possible, and partnering with your customers and suppliers to enhance the industry and the community – why do you feel it is important to do that?

TB: We are one of the few manufacturing companies that do this type of work in Western Canada and we believe strongly in supporting others who are as well – it just makes good business sense. More so, it’s not just about business, it’s about creating relationships with people that are in the same industry. We know many of our customers and suppliers on a personal level.

TOL: What are Pacific Bolt’s plans and goals for the future?

TB: We are always looking to challenge our team, expand, and improve our equipment. In our new facility we definitely have room to grow; we have the space to increase the amount of stock in our warehouse and have the possibility to add new equipment. Additionally, we are always looking to grow our team – we are finding that the “slow” winter months aren’t slowing down at all and are always looking to add good people to our roster. Our new facility has allowed us to be more efficient and thus more competitive, for that reason I definitely foresee adding to our staff and increasing production. 

If I needed to draw up a five-year plan, it would include to continue doing more custom machining projects with the CNC equipment, growing our capacity for high-end fasteners, and developing our export markets.

TOL: As the owner of a company that has been in existence for more than one hundred years, do you have any advice for other companies on what it takes to thrive over a long period of time?

TB: People. You need to have good people and you need to develop good people. Value what they contribute and take care of them when you have them. Secondly, keep an eye on the industry and its trends. Your company will have to evolve and change as the industry does. Focus on the market and don’t be stagnant.

If you’d like to check out Pacific Bolt behind the scenes, follow them on Instagram or Facebook (@pacbolt). You can also visit Pacific Bolt Manufacturing online at pacbolt.com.