Pouliot Forestry Services: a wood harvesting company forged with tradition

Pouliot forestry
By Jordan Parker

The laurels Sebastien Pouliot sits on come from the hard work he and his family have put into their business for more than 35 years. 

In 1981, his father Bertrand started Pouliot Forestry Services.  He loaded his tree harvesting equipment and sent it to New Brunswick in a partnership with J.D. Irving in Deersdale, New Brunswick.

For the following seven years, his father commuted 800 kms a weekend, coming back to his family in Lac St. Jean, Quebec to spend his off time.

The next generation of Pouliot

But Grand Falls, New Brunswick was where the family settled in 1988, and by that point, Sebastien had found a love for his father’s profession.

He watched his dad work with a harvester and forwarder team, and when he graduated from a heavy equipment mechanics course in Bathurst, New Brunswick, he got into the family business.

“Pouliot is a wood harvesting and land clearing company operating in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  We are a full-service company doing the land clearing or wood harvesting as well as marketing the products, if required,” Sebastien said. 

“We are operating in both provinces in order to provide services to more customers. We work mainly for different large companies, woodlot owners, as well as project managers and development companies.”

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In 2004, his dad was doing flail chipper work for Irving, and Sebastien was doing harvesting work. He would later work for Irving, as well as Chaleur Sawmills, Acadien Timber and Groupe Savoie. 

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Sebastien began long commutes working in Central Nova Scotia for Wagner Forest Management in 2006. He would commute back to Grand Falls to see family on weekends, much like his father used to.

Sebastien worked for Northern Pulp afterwards, and his father finally sold his chipper equipment and retired in 2016. But Bertrand couldn’t sit still, either.

“Pouliot is a family business, started by my father in 1981. Both of my parents are still working in the company, my younger brother and myself,” he said.

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Throughout the years, having the right equipment has been instrumental in getting the job done. 

The Pouliot equipment fleet currently includes a Caterpillar 541 feller buncher with a Quadco felling head, a Timbco t445d with a Log Max 7000 harvesting head, a second Caterpillar 541 with Log Max 7000 harvesting head, a Timberpro 830 forwarder and a Timberpro 830-B.

“In our business, choosing the right equipment is a critical choice. It will make a huge difference on your bottom line and can even put you out of business,” Sebastien said. 

“The quality of your work will be affected as well as the productivity, which are crucial.  When we buy a piece of equipment, we look at the productivity, reliability, parts availability and pricing, as well as cost and financing available.”

The company now does land clearing as well, but have stuck to the same values since Sebastien began working with his dad.

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“The most important values for our company is the safety or our employees as well as safety of the environment. The quality of our work and the satisfaction of our customers is also a top priority for our company,” he said.

His tasks still vary, from administrative work to mechanics, driving trucks to operating equipment. He still has a passion for the business as well.

“I have been part of this business for 22 years, I built a big part of it. I love it,” he said.