Southwest Forest Products™, Inc.
Southwest Forest Products Transportation™, Inc.
- SPF Industrial Timber Products without Grade Stamps
- Cut Stock
- New & Used Pallets
- Pallet Repair Programs
- Bulk and Bagged Mulch, Including Private Label
Covering the Southwest with Dependable Service.
"A Progressive Lumber and
Founded in 1984"
HISTORY OF SOUTHWEST FOREST PRODUCTS, INC.
In August of 1984, Dependable Pallet opened for business. A life-long truck driver, Steve Van Der Toorn Sr. (Sr.) and his wife, LuAnne, began a pallet repair business out of the garage of their new home in Arizona. Just two months prior, Sr. and LuAnne moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan, with their seven children, in hopes of a better life. In its early years, Dependable Pallet was a used pallet repair service provider. Within a few years, the company had expanded its services to include buying and selling of used pallets along with manufacturing new pallets.
During 1990, Dependable Pallet became a contract carrier as well as a fully-bonded and licensed brokerage. This helped Dependable Pallet to maintain its goal of strong customer service from point of sale through product delivery.
In 1995, Dependable Pallet chose the name of Southwest Forest Products, Inc. to better describe the products it offered. To combat the rising lumber market fluctuations, Sr. researched the logging industry and developed a use for logs that were considered too small to be utilized by the existing lumber mills. In May 1998, he installed a saw mill to process those small diameter logs. The milling operations generated wood scrap which also grew with the business. This led Sr. on a quest for a green alternative to landfills and he developed a demand for “virgin” mulch. Additional equipment and land helped to produce a mulch product that was launched in April of 1999. Since the introduction of their mulch, Southwest Forest Products has been producing several types of bulk and bagged mulch products.
In May 2001, Southwest Forest Products began harvesting logs in the Northern Arizona forests. Sr. worked with the USDA Forest Service to thin the smaller trees to reduce forest fuels, for healthy forest management, to combat bark beetle damage, and to help protect nearby communities from forest fires while still preserving the large trees for the enjoyment of future generations. With the successful business model of turning undesired small diameter logs into viable products, Southwest Forest Products expanded the products available to include New and Used Pallets, Cut Stock, Timbers, Mulch, and Transportation services.
Sr. and his family continue to position Southwest Forest Products as a leader in the industry by maximizing the company’s organizational services, providing excellent customer service, and expanding product lines. As a result, Southwest Forest Products employs nearly 200 people to manufacture and distribute their products in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, California, as well as exporting into Mexico.
In May of 2015, the family-owned company embraced the next generation with the appointment of Scott Van Der Toorn as the President of Southwest Forest Products. Scott is excited about building on the results of Sr.’s hard work and perseverance for decades to come.