‘Old school’ ways set in concrete

‘Old school’ ways set in concrete
Thelin Construction is providing the unique concrete panels for the new Pic’s Peanut Butter factory.

Thelin Construction has made its mark on the Nelson region and beyond with the build of about 400 bridges over the past 53 years, including Stoke Bypass Bridge, Pea Soup Creek Bridge, Normanby Bridge, and Kaikoura Multispan Pedestrian Bridge.
Thelin Construction’s founder Carl Thelin passed away in July last year aged 81, following a motor vehicle accident. His legacy continues with his son David, who took over Thelin Construction 11 years ago.
David was brought up with concrete and says he has been building bridges his whole life. He likes the old school way of doing business, learned from his dad, where a handshake is as good as a contract.
Honesty and integrity play a key role in Thelin Construction’s business. “There is still a place for old school business principles today, even though nowadays there is a lot more paperwork to do,” he says.
As such, Thelin Construction now tends to be a large civil project’s specialist subcontractor than its main contractor.
If the company is building a bridge for a farmer however, the project will run the old school way. “We’ll meet with the farmer, talk about his requirements, shake hands, and do the job.”
When earthworks are required, Thelin Construction will recommend a local earthworks contractor it knows and trusts to do a high quality job.
David is keeping Thelin Construction up to date with modern technology, and says the industry is becoming more and more mechanised.
“When dad started, he did everything the manual way, the hard way,” he says. “I don’t know whether mechanisation is necessarily better in terms of speed and quality, but it’s certainly a lot easier on the staff.
“Everyone likes the shiny new machines, but at the end of the day we work with concrete. It doesn’t matter what happens, you’ve still got to get in there, get your hands dirty, and play with the stuff.”
Thelin Construction has recently got involved with another Nelson success story with a concrete twist, providing the precast concrete panels for the build of a huge new workshop for Pic’s Peanut Butter.
Pic’s Peanut Butter has grown massively since Pic started grinding up peanuts with a concrete mixer in his garage in Nelson 10 years ago.

‘Old school’ ways set in concrete
Thelin Construction is providing the unique concrete panels for the new Pic’s Peanut Butter factory.

 
The peanut butter is sold all around New Zealand as well as in Australia, UK, US, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and mainland China.
David says Pic’s Peanut Butter built a new workshop in Stoke about five years ago, and had almost grown out of it before they moved into it. For this new building, Thelin n has subcontracted to main contractor Coman Construction.
Thelin Construction takes great pride from the long term relationships with both suppliers and clients it has established over many years of cooperation.
These include many local and national companies such as Allied Concrete (40+ years), Steel and Tube (40+ years), Trinder Engineering (40+ years), Sharland Engineering (52 years), and Coman Construction since its beginnings in 1987.
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