June 2021 - Humble Beginnings Grow Big Businesses: Klassen Wood Company
Written by by Kate Sanchez • photos: Rob Trendiak
Thursday, 27 May 2021 22:42
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by Kate Sanchez • photos: Rob Trendiak

Klassen Wood Company (KWC), based in Abbotsford, BC, Canada, is deeply rooted in good old-fashioned hard work and family; so, it is no surprise that the shavings business is one that’s on the rise in a very competitive industry. KWC is dedicated to offering high quality wood products and works to continually raise the bar within the shavings industry.  


Neil and Rita Klassen began hauling firewood in 1963, focusing on hard work and family. The Klassens gradually expanded their business to offer specialty trucking services, and manufacturing and supplying landscape materials. Beginning in 2015, the shavings business was added, and they haven’t looked back. Since 2015, KWC has grown its production capabilities from just a few thousand bales per year to two full-time operations with the capacity for more than 2.5 million bales annually. A business that began in a small shed in the back of the landscape yard now offers shavings in more than twenty states.  

In an industry that is so competitive, it’s good to ask what sets one business apart from the others? For KWC, it is the quality of the processing and the selection of shavings that stand out. Derived from the vast forests of British Columbia, Canada, Klassen sources some of the cleanest, fluffiest, and most consistent shavings on the market. They are all heat treated and kiln dried, to a low moisture ensuring maximum absorbency. The preparation process enhances health properties, keeping the shavings free from pests, spores, and hardwoods. The shavings are then extensively dust screened to eliminate small particulates, maximize loft, absorption, and coverage. Greg Reese of business development for KWC, says apart from the quality of the shavings themselves, their process may be their most distinguishing factor. “While everyone advertises a low dust product, our screening is truly second to none in the industry,” he shares, “We take pride in supplying a premium product in a consistent and timely fashion.” None of the KWC products contain any cedar, unless listed and sold that way. Reese adds that the company always takes care to ensure a clean bale every time and really takes pride that their products come from sustainably harvested timber, meaning shavings products for many years to come.  All of the shavings produced by KWC are palletized and wrapped in a UV resistant and weather protective layer, allowing for outdoor storage for up to two years. All packaging is LDPE Recyclable where facilities exist, and the company is always striving to look for ways to better improve packaging, using more sustainable and renewable ways of transporting.  

KWC offers a variety of shavings products to fit the needs of many. Their Alpine Flake is a premium bedding with maximum loft.  It is extensively dust-screened and is often used by high-end stables as a comfortable footing for their horses. Both trainers and riders agree that the consistent flake size, low dust, and dry absorbent flakes makes this a wonderful choice for their horses. You will receive more coverage with twelve cubic feet of shavings per bag, and an aesthetically pleasing look to your stall from the bright white pine backdrop that the Alpine flake creates. Meanwhile, their Coastal Flake is a high value product specifically made for selective consumers in the California equestrian community. It is a blend of the same white pine found in Alpine Flake mixed in with an absorbent spruce/fir blend, offering a premium feel at a very competitive price point.  Primarily purchased to be used by major show parks along the west coast and many of the top barns and stables in California, the Coastal Flake’s added pine creates a soft and plush bedding material which mixes the spruce and fir for absorbency and comfort. These shavings are 10 cubic feet per bale, providing the perfect amount for stalls. Klassen also offers a Mini-Flake for customers wanting an economical and highly absorbent bedding product, and a cedar blend to help with smells and pests on those hot summer days!  

KWC offers reliable supply and delivery to meet your shavings needs. The company has a network of dedicated trucking partners through which they offer reliable and consistent shipping year-round. They focus on managing their production to ensure a sufficient supply during the busy winter months, and delivery is available in California, Arizona, and the western states within a week from ordering. “Our California trucking partners offer us guaranteed capacity for California orders, which helps us provide consistency for our customers,” Reese shares. KWC horse shavings are currently used in horse facilities and stables throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, in addition to the U.S.  

Klassen prioritizes consistency and reliability in all their products. The company continually seeks to follow Neil and Rita’s focus on hard work and family. “We’re always striving to improve our production processes to continue to provide consistent, clean, and low dust shavings, Reese says. “We maintain deep, long term relationships with our suppliers so that we can provide shavings on short notice even through the busy winter months.” When working with Klassen, you are paired directly with a dedicated account representative who seeks to find the best product to fit your needs, and you will be treated like a part of the Klassen family.  

Constantly looking to expand and improve business, Klassen is currently focused on finding good partners to build out their dealer network. Products are available by the truck load directly from Klassen through their dedicated in-house team, with the company currently servicing many dealers and facilities ranging from Colusa to Calexico. Reese says that if you are anxious to try the KWC products and your local feed store or shavings distributor does not carry Alpine or Coastal Flake, consider asking them to give Klassen a try. The company can easily be reached by phone or email, and all the information, including a contact form, can be found at www.klassenwoodco.com.