Tindell’s Completes Major Truss Manufacturing Expansion

Industry News,

Originally Published by: Tindell's, Inc. — October 17, 2023
SBCA appreciates your input; please email us if you have any comments or corrections to this article.

Tindell's Building Materials, a locally owned building materials supplier, started as a sawmill operation by Fate Tindell in 1892.  He moved the sawmill to various timber sites around Knoxville, Tennessee until settling in the Halls area of Knox County in the 1920's. The sawmill was a major part of Tindell's business for the next 30 years. In the 1950’s, Tindell’s added building materials to its selection of services and a decade later the sawmill operation was phased out. The company is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. Fate Tindell was followed in the business by one of his 16 children, Francis Tindell, who was then followed by his son, Carl Tindell. Tindell’s is now owned and operated by Johan van Tilburg, Carl's son-in-law. 

Est. 1892

Year 2000

Year 2023

In 1993 Tindell’s acquired a new Truss facility in the Karns area of Knoxville to house their expanding truss manufacturing facility. Since then, Tindell’s has continued to expand its Truss Division to keep up with the customers’ needs and growing complex homes. In 2021 van Tilburg hired Travis Jay White as the new VP of Truss Operations, to help them continue with the growth, and take the Truss Division to the next level. White brought with him over 30 years of truss experience from South Florida including owning his own facility, “TJ Truss” which he closed during the housing depression in 2012. White hit the ground running in September of 2021, evaluating the existing operation, and beginning to detail plans to streamline and expand. Plans included housing Tindell’s first ever Design Training Program and shattering all the old records, while steadily increasing customer satisfaction. Just inside of White’s 2-year anniversary he has completed a major multimillion dollar expansion, including re-tooling with a fully loaded Retro C auto feeding component saw paired with the lumber Pickline. White and Team elected to go with the Retro C, over larger name brands, as it is uniquely the only auto feeding component saw and cuts collated parts that automatically fill paired Speed Catch carts without the need of a catcher on the back of the saw. The carts are then delivered to one of the ten roof building stations that incorporate the new MiTek Wizard automated tables for increased efficiency. Each table workstation has dual 75” TV’s that display the PlantOne color coded truss setup and build information, eliminating paperwork and improving efficiency. With the completion of this renovation forklifts are no longer required to deliver parts and pieces to the build stations, saving valuable time and money. Now the forklift is only needed to load the Pickline with full bundles of lumber and then after, the trusses are fully assembled and ready to be loaded onto a truck. With this major expansion Tindell’s is better equipped to operate on a just-in-time workflow. White stated that this all could not have been completed without the outstanding ownership support from van Tilburg and the buy-in from the entire Truss TEAM.

For more than 130 years, the Tindell’s name has been associated with lumber and building materials throughout East Tennessee in one form or another. Tindell’s customers rely heavily on the engineering expertise of the truss plant and on the installed services offered. In this day of ever-increasing labor shortages, Tindell’s turnkey solutions provide both the material and the labor to get the job done. Today’s focus is on bringing new solutions to the builders to make the process of home building as fast, efficient, and effective as possible. "Our ability to anticipate our customers’ needs is what sets us apart," says van Tilburg. 

The company, which employs 250+ people in East Tennessee, has five stores and warehouses strategically located throughout East Tennessee to serve all its customers’ needs.