The Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was the driving force behind Pacific Building Systems, which is still going strong after nearly six decades.
“My grandfather, Fletcher Prince, and three of his friends wanted to help out local farmers with rebuilding,” Nick Prince said. “They started a repair business — Truss-T Structures — and would go out and fix or rebuild their barns and other structures.
“They figured it would take a couple years and then they’d have to go find other jobs,” Prince said, “but they started getting new projects and it took off from there.”
Still based in Woodburn, Ore., Pacific Building Systems is a third-generation business owned by Prince, Sandy Trahan and Kailong Luo, the head engineer.
In the early 1980s the business stopped doing onsite construction to focus on manufacturing.
Employing a crew of about 50, PBS is now spread over 7 acres. Over the past 60 years the company has manufactured more than 10,000 metal and steel structures for the industrial, commercial, agricultural, aviation, government and community sectors.
“Our family-owned, full-service facility includes design, drafting and engineering as well as fabrication and shipping and a comprehensive components department,” Trahan said. “We are able to do some complex things according to each customer’s specific needs.”
As in generations past, independence, flexibility and easy access are among the things that set PBS apart.
“We sell direct to the farmer and help him where he needs it, start to finish — and that is an advantage to our customer base and to us,” Trahan said.
“Another thing that makes us unique and that we are very proud of is having in-house Certified Weld Inspectors,” Trahan said. “This requires us to have the CWIs on site to teach our guys and to inspect the welds and make sure that we were running a top-tier program.
“This includes all of the materials we bring in and our drafting and engineering services,” he added. “It requires us to record everything we do and takes a lot of work, time, energy and money, but it keeps us accountable to our customers and to each other.
“We see each prefabricated metal kit as more than just a building,” Trahan said. “They provide places for people to gather, shop, work, worship, or play — so we use the latest technology and highest-quality materials and work closely with every customer.
“We love to look at a building and say, ‘That’s ours.’”
Representatives of Pacific Building Systems will be available during the Northwest Ag Show to answer any questions and discuss any upcoming building projects.