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JANUARY 2011 Vol. 14 No. 1 EURO 2.95 stg.£2.50



INTERCITY TRANSPORT CONTENTS Irish Trucker is published by Lynn Publications part of The Lynn Group Kells Business Park, Kells, Co. Meath Telephone: (046) 9241923 Fax: (046) 9241926

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Supplying heavy machinery for 22 years

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The opinions expressed in Irish Trucker do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publishers, their agents or Irish Trucker. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is correct, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear.

JOHNSTON MOONEY & O’BRIEN NI TRUCK DISMANTLERS One of the fastest growing exporters of used commercial vehicles and parts


All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be published or reproduced in any way without the written permission of the author or The Lynn Group © Copyright Lynn Group 2011

KELCRO TRANSPORT Irish Trucker speaks with Transport Manager Andy Slane


Contributors: Gerry Robinson Stephen Reilly Randal Scally Shane Corrigan Shane Breslin

John Linnane Motors P24

Continuing to stand the test of time

ISSN 0791-993X

Subscriptions: Martina Clarke

JOHN LINNANE MOTORS Fiat Dealer of the Year 2010

Advertising Executive: Barry McNamee

OB HEAVY HAULAGE The ongoing problems of convoluted permit regulation

ISDN: 046-9248197 e mail:



Johnston Mooney & O’Brien P32

Fleet Transport owner/driver Haulier of the Year


MAXWELL MOTORS One of Ireland’s foremost Volkswagen dealers


O’CARROLL HAULAGE Owner of the largest truck mounted crane in Munster


INTERCITY TRANSPORT NI LTD 32 county operation


O’MAHONEY QUARRIES Operating for over a hundred years


NI Truck Dismantlers P36

J&K ORMONDE HAULAGE LTD Offering a wide range of services







One of the leading hauliers in its field of expertise One of Ireland’s foremost groupage hauliers International Haulier of the Year



Elsatrans Ltd P40

One of the country’s leading Hyundai and Isuzu dealers


JOHN BEERS CAR & COMMERCIAL RECOVERY 24-Hour 365-day service across Ireland and the UK


DIVILLY TRANSPORT One of the real success stories


PORTLAOISE RENAULT Part of the Bill Cullen Group


G.M.R. Irish Trucker speak to owner John Dockrell



Maxwell Motors P44


TRUCK NEWS n with io t ia c o s s a in


Continental Irish Car & Van of the Year 2011 Pictured (l to r): Michael Moroney, Chairman, IMWA, Ciaran Allen, Mercedes Benz, Gerry Murphy, IMWA and Paddy Murphy, Continental Tyres Ireland

Pictured (l to r): Michael Moroney, Chairman, IMWA, Model Aoife Cogan, Paul O’Sullivan, Nissan Ireland and Paddy Murphy, Continental Tyres Ireland

New MH6 Screw Compressor Presentation Mouvex & Hydrocar leading compressor and power take off manufacturers respectively are proud to present for the first time in history, the first Bulk Screw Compressor integrated to the power take off which is fitted directly on the truck transmission. The MH6 is the culmination of a success story started in 1993 with the introduction of the first Mouvex Screw Compressor, type Typhon, followed up by Typhon II, Mistral, B600, B1500. The MH6 synthesises Mouvex’s skills and experience and offers a unique and innovative solution for unloading powders, cement, fly ash, lime, flour, etc. This new concept revolutionises the process style and offers many advantages Drastic reduction of weight and dimensions Easy to install No mounting brackets required Improved safety – no prop/drive shaft required P.T.O. integrated Slower Engine speeds Reduced maintenance. For additional information on MH6 and other Mouvex products including the full range of liquid and dry bulk compressors, Hydrive Coolers, etc., Contact Irish Distributors


Mark Spencer 0791 2631524 028 90839085 2


Roy Cooke 087 2575116 021 4301742



James Kenna 087 2597102 01 4640255 IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

TRUCK NEWS on with i t a i c o s s in a

01 862 0000

“McElvaney Motors has the Target eXpress Factor! McElvaney Motors, having been McElvaney Motors sell 25 appointed a VW Commercial Vehicle Volkswagen Crafter vans Partner for Dublin in 2009 is pleased to announce the supply of 25 new Volkswagen Crafter Vans to Target Express. With more than 30 years experience in the commercial vehicle market, McElvaney Motors has always been synonymous with quality and efficiency. Target Express is a company with a similar ethos and currently has a network of 23 depots in Ireland and the UK and a further 5 Irish depots opening this year. With a substantial fleet of more than 500 vehicles and trailers, the company is "The Irish Carrier" of parcels and pallets - Ireland to UK, UK to Ireland and InterIreland. McElvaney Motors has a long standing relationship with the company, for example, over a two year period (2006-2008), Target Express purchased 54 new Scania R420 Trucks. This was an impressive addition to an already considerable fleet. At that time McElvaney Motors solely focused on trucks but the company has now expanded to the supply and service of all commercial vehicles. Adrian McElvaney, McElvaney Motors comments Now that we are VW Commercial Vehicle Partners as well as a Main Scania Dealer, we can provide all makes and models of commercial vehicles to companies. We have genuinely become a One Stop Shop as a lot of companies have both vans and trucks in their fleets. As a partner and a dealer, we provide an exceptionally high quality service but at competitive prices. We are fully aware that a vehicle off the road is not only a great inconvenience but it also incurs costs. That is why McElvaney Motors 30 years experience in the commercial vehicle market is our unique selling point. We have tailored our services to suit client needs and now offer Replacement Vehicles; Contract Hire; 24-Hr Recovery & Breakdown Service; Parts (New & Second-hand), plus much more . There were a number of criteria that had to be met in terms of vehicle choice including, that the maximum GVW was 3.5kg therefore the van could be driven on a car licence. The issue with this was that normal sized vans were unable to fit all of the parcels for certain routes - therefore a double run had to be made. Effectively the remit was maximum physical space with maximum carrying capacity without exceeding 3.5kg GVW. Fuel efficiency and low operating cost were also critical factors in choosing the vehicle in todays dynamic and turbulent environment, keeping costs low is vital for survival. Target Express considered a number of different vehicle options in order to establish the best fit to the aforementioned. For example, the use of chassis and cab vehicles with box bodies was reviewed. However, after much deliberation, the VW Crafter Long-Wheel-Base with the Extra-Long and Super-High options was identified as the most suitable vehicle to match the remit. Not only is the VW Crafter extremely fuel efficient and reliable, it offers extra-long, super-high physical space (providing 17m≤ of load space with a payload of 1.25 ton). This coupled with the exceptional back- up and support service that McElvaney Motors provides, ultimately made it an easy decision for Target Express. With four state-of-the-art workshops located just off Exit 5, M50 and Dublin Rd, Monaghan, McElvaney Motors has the capacity to deal with everything from one van right up to a large fleet of trucks. The company provides quality sales, service, parts, rental, recovery for all commercial vehicles and has earned the tag-line Your Commercial Vehicle Partner According to Adrian, We are delighted to have secured this prestigious deal with Target Express Ireland and to be associated with such a reputable company. We would like to take this opportunity to wish Target Express Ireland all of the very best with their impressive fleet of 25 new VW Crafter Vans!!!

E85 fuel to be phased out The ethanol-based motor fuel E85 that is produced by oil company Maxol is set to be phased out over the coming months. The decision to cease manufacturing the fuel was taken after it was revealed that the duty derogation on the fuel runs out at the end of the year. The company said that, as a result of the Government incentive's coming to an end, E85 will become significantly more expensive at the pump than normal unleaded petrol. It added that the 'already extremely modest' demand would inevitably disappear. Maxol started offering E85 in 2005. It says it will continue to market E5 unleaded petrol, which is 5% ethanol. The company says that only 7,500 cars out of around two million in the Republic of Ireland are suitable to use E85. All of these can also run on normal unleaded petrol. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


CMA CGM win Irish Exporters Deep Sea Shipping Award Sponsored by the Port of Cork The Port of Cork was delighted to sponsor the Irish Exporter Awards category, ‘Deep Sea Shipping Company’. The award was presented to CMA-CGM Shipping Ireland Ltd for providing global container shipping solutions for companies in all sectors, at an awards ceremony in Dublin’s RDS on Thursday 25th November, attended by Minister Batt O’Keefe. Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager Port of Cork said: As Ireland’s primary deep water port, the Port of Cork has a long term focus on meeting the needs of deep sea shipping lines and understands the importance of growing the export market.’ He continued: ‘This is the second year sponsoring such an award and we were delighted to sponsor the Deep Sea Shipping Company Award for 2010. We look forward to CMA CGM won the Port of Cork sponsored Irish Exporters Deep supporting the growth of international trade for both current and Sea Shipping Award future economic prospects.’ Other nominees of this category were Dublin based companies: APL Ltd., CMA-CGM Shipping Ireland Ltd. and Maersk Line.

Cargobull offer Europe-wide Breakdown Cover Starting immediately, Cargobull Parts & Services (CPS) is offering the new Europe-wide "Breakdown Cover" package: This means you can back on the road quickly and without complications should the breakdown occur more than 50 kilometres from the usual location of the business. In the times of timed freight and just in time supply chains, breakdowns are one of the greatest risks to economic success for transport companies. In particular drivers on international tours will quickly be facing huge problems if their vehicles break down. Foreign language, a demand for payment in advance and high costs or lack of contacts for a repair service cause stress and unnecessary downtime. The CPS service specialists built the Europe-wide Cargobull Euroservice breakdown service for this purpose. Customers with a Schmitz Cargobull full service contract are able to use the repair service organised by Cargobull Euroservice free of charge in case of breakdowns caused by wear. For customers without any repair and maintenance contract, CPS is now offering the separate Europe-wide "Breakdown Cover" service. This coverage package will quickly and easily make your trailer roadworthy again if the place of breakdown is no more than 50 kilometres away from the general operating site. The base package is available for €96 (26 cent per day) per year for a vehicle. It encompasses breakdown service organisation and a payment guarantee of up to 3,000 Euro at the Cargobull Euroservice, as well as all wages and travel costs. The payment guarantee also ensures quick and easy processing – in and outside of Germany! As an option, the material and tyre costs (including new tyres) can also be included in the package. This "all-round carefree package" is available for just € 270 per year – that is 74 cents per day. For the customer, this means that there will be no unexpected costs and due to fixed rates. Processing is easy: the driver indicates the breakdown, Cargobull Parts & Services deal with everything else: Quick help, verification of invoice and payment. Another advantage: When entering into a Breakdown Cover contract for a new Schmitz Cargobull vehicle, the base package and materials costs will be free of charge for the first year! The Breakdown Cover has only been available on the market for a short time, but demand for the service is growing rapidly as more and more customers recognise the advantages offered by Breakdown Cover.


Road contractor gives away €2 million equipment SIAC/Ferrovial Agroman, the company behind the controversial M3 motorway has given away almost €2 million worth of equipment to local community groups and GAA clubs in Co Meath. The M3 is now fully operational and equipment such as portacabins, office furniture and other items are being given away to local groups including the Meath VEC, Ballinlough GAA club and Dunboyne Community Group. Seventeen units in total costing in the region of €680,000 were used as on-site offices at Kells Co Meath and all are being distributed for free. Over 30 more units -- valued at a further €1.2m -- have now become available at the company's Dunshaughlin site for other community clubs who may benefit from the extra space. According to site procurement manager Oliver O'Neill, the move was aimed at "giving something back to the community after the disruption caused during the building of the M3". "We've been about four years in Meath and a certain amount of inconvenience was caused to people so it's nice to be able to offer something back and it saves us having to store or destroy the units."

SIAC/Ferrovial Agroman acted as Santa Claus to community groups and GAA clubs in Co. Meath


NCT company report massive profit Swiss owned company Vicuna, which operated the Irish government’s national car test programme generated profits of €44 million over the course of the last ten years. The pre-tax profits were made on revenues of €295 million and last year alone the company made a pre-tax profit of €8.9 million. The Swiss firm had been operating the NCT in Ireland since they won the contract to do so in 1999, but they lost out on the contract last year when Spanish firm Applus RTD won the new ten-year contract. Vicuna operated 43 NCT centres across the country and at the end of December 2008 employed 518 people. Last year, Vicuna Ltd enjoyed a 50% increase in pre-tax profits to €8.7m after revenues increased from €42m to €43.4m

Stolen plant recovered Plant machinery worth in the region of €1 million that was stolen has been recovered in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. The discovery was made in a joint operation involving members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) Stolen Motor Vehicle Unit, and the local Gardaí from Laytown, Co Meath. The search was carried out on land and in warehouses and gardai uncovered 15 plant machinery units, which included tractors, excavators and teleporters. No arrests have been made, but it is believed that some of the machinery was stolen in the UK before being shipped to Ireland.

Irish navigation funding to be cut The Independent Light Dues Forum (ILDF) has requested that the UK Government withdraw funding for navigation aids around the Republic of Ireland. Currently the UK government makes a £11.8 million (US$18.5m) contribution for lighthouses, buoys and beacons around the entire Irish coast. Mark Bookham, Chairman of the ILDF, said: “Here is the view of light dues payers: we do not want a freeze, the ILDF wants a year-on-year reduction in light dues. “ILDF members have been working hard with the new government to support implementation of the Atkins recommendations. “The Irish subsidy is decades out-of-date and allowed Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) to operate completely out of kilter with the other two general lighthouse authorities. “Tackling CIL’s hugely inflated costs – both per head and per buoy – has to be made to ensure light dues are kept to an absolute minimum.”


Vicuna who operated the NCT generate large profits

(Motoring) Life starts at … 59, says Continental survey Less road rage, fewer collisions and fines than younger drivers The average motorist doesn’t get the hang of driving until they reach the age of 59, according to a study by Continental Tyres. Researchers examined the driving habits of 4,000 motorists in the UK and Ireland, and found those aged 59 are least likely to have pranged a car in the last 12 months, have suffered road rage or been stopped by police / Gardai. They also shy away from taking risks, haven’t been caught speeding in the last year or been slapped with fines. By contrast, 24 year-olds emerge as the least considerate drivers on the road – with those in their early twenties more likely to chat on their mobile phone, run a red light and scare others with their driving. Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres who commissioned the research said: “While you would expect Drivers aged 59 emerged young drivers to be more as the best drivers from the Continental Tyres survey impatient and older drivers to be more cautious, it is shocking that it takes such a long time after passing your test to become an accomplished driver. “Unfortunately, the shortcomings of our younger drivers are borne out all too clearly by our road accident statistics. They can certainly learn from the older generation.” According to the Road Safety Authority, young drivers in Ireland are five times more likely to lose their lives on the roads than other motorists. The Continental Tyres survey shows similar attitudes to car maintenance, with older drivers 41 percent more likely to check their tyres before setting off on a long journey than motorists in their mid-twenties. The study found that drivers reaching 60 made fewer mistakes, had fewer penalty points and ranked their driving 7.6 out of 10. While those more than half their age were less convinced of their own performance and rated themselves 6.7 out of 10. It emerged that only one in twenty 59 year olds had pranged a car in the last year and just three per cent have been pulled over by police / Gardai. But for those reaching their mid-twenties, one in five have hit another car, six in ten swear at other motorists and 14 per cent have been stopped by the police. And while a quarter of 59 year olds may accelerate too quickly, four per cent have been caught speeding and one in 20 having received a fine, 24 year olds fared much worse. A massive 56 per cent admit they regularly drive too close to the car in front, one in six have been done for going too fast and one in five has been fined. The older generation put their driving skills down to being calm behind the wheel and experience, while 20-somethings said they tend to drive a ‘bit too quickly’ and aggressively. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Heffernan Tyres Wins Semperit Retailer Award in National Programme

Ireland emissions target out of reach: ESRI

Heffernan Tyres of Dublin Road, Kildare, has been named the Semperit Tyre Retailer of the Year 2010. 30 tyre retailers were in the running for the title with Heffernan’s selected as the best performing across a wide range of criteria. In its inaugural year, the Semperit Tyre Retailer of the Year award was set up to reward improving standards of customer service in the tyre Thomas Heffernan of Heffernan Tyres receives the Semperit Tyre Retailer of the Year trophy industry. Paddy from Paddy Murphy of Semperit Ireland Murphy of Semperit Ireland said, “We wanted a programme to highlight and reward excellent service in the tyre retail sector in Ireland. The aim is always to improve the customer experience for Ireland’s motorists and Heffernan’s has really set the standard for best practice.” Of the original 30 retailers, five were recognised as leading the field and shortlisted for the title. An independent panel of judges included RTE broadcaster and experienced motorist, Ronan Collins; Automotive training expert, Mark Richardson; and editor of the Tyre Trade Journal, Padraic Deane. The judges took into account the results of mystery shops, recorded telephone audits and a score rating from customer feedback forms to find a winner. In addition, the judges assessed proactive marketing activity including the user-friendliness of the retailer’s website as well as the analysis of the retailer’s handling of customer requests, the range of products and services offered and the courtesy and professionalism of staff and the facilities available to customers. “Our judges were hugely impressed with the scores achieved by Thomas Heffernan and his team across all the measures in the programme”, said Paddy Murphy. Managing Director of Heffernan Tyres, Thomas Heffernan, said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win the Semperit award. It is a huge boost to our team and a great tribute to their expertise in customer service. I am hugely proud of their achievement”. As winner of the title, Heffernan Tyres will recieve a local radio and press advertising campaign to promote their success, as well as a feature in the tyre industry magazine, Tyre Trade Journal. The prize also includes a well deserved celebration night out for the staff of Heffernan Tyres. Heffernan Tyres has been trading for more than 50 years in Kildare and this year, celebrated 10 years at its state-of-the-art premises on the Dublin Road in Kildare Town. In addition to providing a full range of tyre fitment services, the company also offers car and van servicing and fits exhausts, batteries, tow-bars and brakes. The company has a staff of 13 and is open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday (closed for lunch between 1 and 2pm) and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. They can be contacted on (045) 521253 or or visit their website

The ESRI has released a report stating that the Irish government faces ‘real difficulties’ in reaching its greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2020. A new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute says the European Union target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2020, seems to be out of Ireland's reach. The Energy and Environment Review 2010 also finds that Ireland may have to buy emission permits from other countries in order to meet its targets. The review is the third in a series of reports by the ESRI on resource use and emissions to the environment. It predicts wind power will account for two-fifths of power generation by 2020, replacing coal and peat. After 2020, it says coal may well return to the fuel mix, which could mean an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Technology is being developed to capture and store CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, but the process has not yet been demonstrated. Ireland is expected to meet its emission reduction obligations under the Kyoto Protocol because of the recession, but the ESRI says at this point, the EU target to cut emissions by 20% by the year 2020 seems to be out of Ireland's reach.


EU regulations mean further shipping surcharges There will be a number of surcharges introduced by shipping lines in relation to new EU Customs’ regulations that have been introduced. Cargo information must now be supplied 24 hours in advance of shipment with shipping lines implementing a Customs Documentation Charge of US$25 per bill of lading. The charges will be effective from 1 January 2011 and apply to all shipments with a discharge port in a country implementing EU customs rules. CMA CGM said: “This regulation generates additional costs for CMA CGM, as it will have an impact on its day-to-day operation and administration. Likewise, CMA CGM bears the fixed IT and administrative costs of interfacing with EU Customs, either directly or through third-party providers.” Unifeeder said: “The vessel operator is responsible for lodging an entry summary declaration (ENS) for all goods discharged in an EU port, including transhipment goods and those remaining onboard. This demand will have a considerable cost impact on the feeder operators.”


Logistics firms struggling A study has revealed that one in four logistic firms are struggling at the moment and that any unforeseen crisis would see many of them close down. Of the 500 businesses surveyed, only 30% of them felt confident that they could survive any setbacks in the near future, while the rest said they would go under quickly. Commenting on the findings, John Jenkins, CEO of GE Capital, said: “With so many businesses under pressure due to increased competition, a decline in customer spend and increasing costs of raw materials, it is worrying that so many are not in a position to deal with an emergency, should it arise.” David Taylor, Chairman & CEO of Logistics firms facing dark times OnGuard, warned that poor credit management practices was a major obstacle for logistics companies. He argued that, although few would admit it, it was common practice for companies to sustain their cash flow by withholding payments to suppliers until they had invoiced their own customers and safely banked the money. Taylor said: “The lengthy tailbacks between the issuing and payment of an invoice can severely restrict the supply of money – the lifeblood of every business. These delays have a knock-on impact all the way down the supply chain.”

New Motorpark facility sees Ford return to Athlone Ford Ireland has announced a new Ford dealership for Athlone, with Motorpark taking over the previous Nissan premises in the Monksland Ind. Estate, on the new Tuam Road. Motorpark Athlone opened for business at the end of November. Located on a 2-acre site, and featuring a pristine 5,000 sq metre showroom, the new Ford dealership offers Athlone motorists the full range of Ford cars, commercials and used cars, as well as full Ford servicing, body repair and parts facilities. All staff are being retained, with Tom Raftery and Noel Cunniffe leading the sales team under the stewardship of dealer principal Michael Barry, whose family have been Ford dealers in Galway for over 98 years. “Athlone is too strong a catchment area not to be served by a Ford dealership, given that the Ford brand is the No.1 selling in the country,“ commented Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “The location of Motorpark Athlone, just off the M6, is an especially good one, extending its reach to customers in Longford, Roscommon and beyond.” “Michael Barry’s acknowledged success as a Ford dealer owes much to his commitment to customer care and delivering the best possible value in both sales and servicing. These are qualities that will serve Westmeath motorists well in years to come.” As well as taking orders on the full Ford range for 2011, including the brand-new Grand C-MAX 7-seater, Motorpark Athlone is currently offering introductory scrappage specials on the new Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus, which have been among the most popular models in the scheme this year. The sales team may be contacted on 090 649 3999. Michael Barry, Managing Director of Motorpark, said “Ford cars enjoy a well earned reputation for their reliability, excellent build quality, leading edge technology and topping the tables of the most popular cars in customer surveys. We look forward to broadening our Ford customer base in Athlone and the Midlands and providing a quality support service to both new and used Ford customers in the locality.”


Insurance sector creates 155 jobs A major investment, which is being supported by Enterprise Ireland will see an additional 155 jobs created in the insurance industry over the coming months. OSG Ltd is headquartered in Sandymount and it has announced that it is investing €6 million in developing its business. Presently, the company employs 245 people at nine different service stations across the country. Making the announcement, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O'Keeffe described the move as a 'significant investment in productivity and efficiency that secures jobs and growth for the firm.' “Irish firms must continue to invest in research and development know-how so that we can become a world-leader in the innovation stakes,” he said.

Fuel laundering plant discovered in Offaly Customs officers in the Republic of Ireland have uncovered a huge oil laundering plant, near Daingean, Co Offaly. The premises had the capacity of producing 100,000 litres of oil per week, which would be a loss of €50,000 a week to the exchequer. Custom officers and Garda officials made the raid recently and seized 12,500 litres of laundered fuel, a vehicle and gravel truck, along with a concealed tank with a capacity of 20,000 litres. Meanwhile in two separate operations on Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath and Tuam, Co Galway, customs seized 14,000 and 50,000 litres of illegal fuel respectively.

Mandatory breath test after serious crashes introduced Every driver that is involved in a serious road accident will now undergo an automatic breath test. The new law was set to be introduced in 2010, but a number of stumbling blocks meant that it has been put back to January. The move is viewed by road safety chiefs as a significant step in the war on drink driving -- linked to as many as 40pc of all road deaths. Drink drivers will now find it much harder to escape. Outgoing Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said: "Drivers will be more careful if they know they will automatically be breath-tested if they are involved in any accident involving death or serious injury.” IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

UK diesel prices up 4% in fortnight

Ferry passenger numbers rise 5% in third Quarter

Irish Hauliers travelling through the UK should be aware that diesel prices in Britain have gone up 4% recently. The RHA’s Director of Policy Jack Semple has urged the UK Government to stop adding to the already massive tax burden that hauliers are suffering. “The issue for government is to consider whether it can afford to go on adding to the economy’s business taxes with further diesel duty increases in the new year and then again in April. The UK already has the highest diesel duty rate in the EU by far,” he said. “We are almost back to the all-time peak level of 2008. Diesel accounts for one-third of a haulier’s costs and these increases threaten the viability of firms that have been caught in a perfect storm of rising prices, reduced credit terms and a credit squeeze – often made worse by customers taking longer to pay their bills. “On top of all that, in the past couple of weeks, many hauliers have faced an additional business risk: greatly reduced productivity and increased costs resulting from appalling problems on the roads.

Passenger numbers through ports in the Republic of Ireland rose 5% in the third quarter of 2010, to 1,178,147 compared to the same period in 2009. Passenger car numbers also increased in the period, by 12%, according to the latest figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). Passenger volumes in the third quarter continued the growth trend with the fourth recorded consecutive quarter of increases. The period July to September also had sustained month-on-month average increases of 5% compared to 2009, which is a significant indicator considering it is the busiest time with 39% of annual passenger travel occurring in this period. On the cross channel routes to the UK, which accounts for 90% of total traffic, passenger numbers grew by 5% primarily driven by a 7% increase in volumes on routes from Dublin. Continental passenger traffic between Ireland and France also grew 11% in the third quarter. Passenger demand typically starts its seasonal reduction in September as the peak summer holiday season comes to a close; however in 2010 volumes carried in September were 18% higher than in the same month in 2009. The growth in the market this year has occurred on the main primary corridors to the UK and Continent, while the addition of the new Cork Swansea service has also boosted total volumes and the distribution of traffic on the island. We estimate that ferry passenger volumes will be up 5% for the full year 2010. On an all- Ireland basis there are 5 operators operating between Ireland and the UK, and 2 operators between Ireland and France providing 60 daily sailings.

Irish oil firm begin testing Irish oil and gas exploration company Circle Oil has announced that it has commenced the test pumping of oil from its A1 Ola-1X well in Egypt. The company, which is based in Limerick, has made significant progress in securing oil from its Kareem Rahmi well in Egypt. The well is currently pumping 1,400 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and overall production from its Geyad and Al Amir SE fields is averaging 8,500 bopd.

Ford is Number One Brand in Car Market up 54.7% in 2010 Car sales rose by 54.7% last year, with Ford claiming the title of the nation’s favourite brand for the third year in succession. The blue oval captured almost 13% of the overall market, ahead of Toyota and Volkswagen. The Government scrappage scheme was an important driver of activity in 2010, accounting for almost 1 in 5 sales, or over 17,000 cars. Total cars sales grew to 88,373 compared to 57,118 in 2009. Ford sales rose by 38% to 11,273, with the Focus and Fiesta among the country’s top selling models. Toyota, VW and Renault were the other brands to record double-digit market share. Car Sales Brand Ford Toyota Volkswagen Renault Opel Total industry

January - December 2010 11,273 (12.76%) 11,129 (12.59%) 10,392 (11.76%) 9,771 (11.06%) 6,614 (7.48%) 88,373

“Encouraged by a combination of scrappage and attractive offers, 30,000 more people bought new cars last year than in 2009,” said Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford Ireland. “This was a much needed fillip to the industry after a catastrophic previous year.” “Despite the gloomy outlook, I foresee similar sales, of ca. 85,000, for 2011, as more people need to change their aging cars and great deals continue.“ The van market, often seen as a harbinger of economic activity, rose by 10% in 2010. Ford was also the leading commercial vehicle brand with 18% of the market. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


Port of Cork Welcome New ‘Vessel Sharing Arrangement’ between Samskip and DFDS Container Line The Port of Cork has welcomed the announcement made by Samskip MCL Ireland of their new fully operational 'Vessel Sharing Arrangement' (VSA) with DFDS Container Line. This newly created joint network, which came into effect on 1st December 2010, will include a balanced four vessel rotation with two vessels from each partner. This rotation will cover Rotterdam and Zeebrugge on the Continent and all main Irish ports i.e. Cork, Belfast, Dublin & Waterford. Focusing entirely on the 'Door Door' and 'Quay Quay' sectors, the new network will not call at any deep sea feeder terminals, significantly enhancing the schedule reliability and product offering clients. Commenting on the new Vessel Sharing Arrangement, Commercial Manager of the Port of Cork Captain Michael McCarthy said: “This arrangement between Samskip MCL Ireland and DFDS Container Line will service both the import and export client requirements, greatly increasing the port coverage on the Continent and in Ireland. The Port of Cork will see an increase from one to two calls to Zeebrugge in and out of Cork offering excellent schedule reliability levels for customers.” One of the main sponsors of the Irish Exporters Association awards in November, the Port of Cork have a long term focus on meeting the needs of all shipping line services in the South of Ireland and understand the importance of linking Ireland to international markets by increasing logistic and supply chain routes.” Captain McCarthy continued: “Efficient and reliable shipping services, such as the new Vessel Sharing Arrangement with Samskip MCL Ireland and DFDS Container Line, are essential for the recovery of the Irish economy.” According to the Irish Exporters Association exports will be the main driver in the recovery of the Irish economy.

Shipping lines in for rough ride According to industry observers, container shipping lines are facing the prospect of another rates war, unless discipline can be maintained. Analyst Doug Bannister and FIS broker Arthur Worsley both stated that the industry was under threat from overcapacity and something needed to be done sooner rather than later. Bannister said: “2012 could be a disaster, because I think there is a lot of short-term memory and people may have forgotten what happened. 2008, 2009 and 2010 will be forgotten about by some of the more aggressive in the market.” Worsley, who said rates had been declining for the last 22 weeks, added: “The idle fleet is 2.4% of the total, which is nothing compared with what it was before, and demand is on the decrease so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens with rates and capacity. “What we could get to very soon is a tipping point where suddenly a full out rate war ensues. I know people will say the market has learned its lesson, but we don’t live in the conference era any more, everyone operates on their own and there is a lot of worry. “It would only take one line to leave all their ships in the market and fight for market share and we could see the whole thing come crashing down before February.”

Navan Town Council Plugs In Navan Town Council have taken delivery of a new Alkè Electric Utility Vehicle. Fitted with a dropside body and a removable Salt Spreader, the vehicle will be used for general maintenance work in the Town Centre. Ms. Fiona Fallon, Navan Town & Area Engineer is “delighted with the Town Councils decision to purchase this electric vehicle and is testament to their commitment to the environment and other advantages to be gained from using electric vehicles in urban areas”. The Alkè ATX electric version is designed to be used in the hardest and most demanding conditions with load capacity up to 1000 Kgs and a towing capacity up to 3000 Kgs, depending on the model chosen. With a range on one battery of between 70 and 100 Kms, an entire working days work can be achieved at a cost as low as 91 cent. A 70% reduction in maintenance costs for the electric model can be achieved if you compare it to a diesel equivalent. They are ideally suited for urban locations, such as local authorities, airports, hospitals, universities, cemeteries, railway stations, public and private parks& estates, garden nurseries, golf courses, stud farms, hotels, shopping centres and many more. They can also be used indoors and can be purchased without a cab if so desired. With zero emissions and zero noise, the electric vehicle is finally being seriously considered by many companies to assist with their environment Alke Electric responsibility and enjoy the economic benefits at the Utility Vehicle same time.



IRHA criticise NRA The Irish Road Haulage Association feels that the National Roads Authority did not do enough for hauliers during the busy Christmas period. The IRHA hit out at the lack of support for the haulage industry during the bad weather that hit in the IRHA hits out at lead up to Christmas, failure of NRA making deliveries virtually impossible. The failure of the NRA to grit roads was the main gripe that the association had and with a further cold snap expected this month, it is hoped that a similar situation can be avoided. “The NRA like everyone else had sufficient warning that a cold snap was imminent and that it would make driving conditions treacherous but failed utterly to prepare for that,” said IRHA President Vincent Caulfield. “Our members are working in extremely difficult circumstances to move freight without any assistance from any of the organisations who have responsibility for the safe passage of all motorists on national roads,” he added. “Their only strategy seems to be to wait for this current cold snap to dissipate. This is unacceptable to our members throughout the country.”


Safest year on roads recorded There may be plenty of doom and gloom floating around Ireland at present, but one bright light is that the number of road deaths in 2010 was the lowest since records started in 1959. In total 208 people were fatally injured on Irish roads during the course of the year, which is half the number that perished just a decade ago. "In the last four years we have seen substantial reductions year-on-year," said Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett. "The reason there have been fewer deaths is primarily because Irish road users have really taken road safety to heart and the vast majority of road users are really responsible with how they use the road. To the small minority who engage in killer behaviour I would urge them again to reflect on their responsibility."

Official motorway opening cancelled The planned official opening of the final stretch of the M7 Dublin to Limerick motorway due to take place on the 22nd December 2010 was cancelled due to the poor weather conditions at the time. The stretch of motorway had been dogged by controversy prior to its opening as workers protested and stopped working due to the fact that they hadn’t been paid since the start of December 2010. However, the dispute was sorted out and the official opening planned but the weather intervened once again.


More potholes are appearing because of the recent bad weather

Pothole curse to hit pockets Hauliers may face extra expense in maintaining their vehicles after the cold weather before Christmas left its mark on Irish roads. Massive potholes have appeared on many secondary roads and with little funding available to councils for repair, they look set to be a common sight on our roads. Local authorities have been told that they will need to repair potholes from their 2010 budget, but many have already spent the allocation and have nothing left. With a further big freeze expected over the coming weeks, it is feared that the roads will further deteriorate leaving it difficult for hauliers to keep their vehicles in pristine condition.

A year to forget on job front The Small Firms Association has revealed that over 1,000 jobs were lost every week over the course of 2010 leaving one of the bleakest years in recent history. Of course the construction industry was hit the hardest as thousands of workers were laid off and this had a knock on effect for the haulage industry, which has suffered greatly also. “In excess of 60,000 redundancies were notified to the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and an average of 1,075 jobs were lost in this country every week in 2010,” said Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), Avine McNally. "In the final months of 2010 we saw a stabilisation in the live register, however, the outlook for job creation is weak, and will remain slow until greater growth occurs in the economy," she added. "While Budget 2011 provided some certainty to the economy it did not go far enough and provide the confidence that is desperately needed by consumers and the business community. Only when businesses feel more confidence will we start to see businesses invest, grow and create employment.


Trucking capacity shortages concern A shortage of trucking capacity could be a major problem in 2011, according to a leading forwarder. Kuehne + Nagel (KN) executive vice-president Dirk Reich believes that demand for capacity will increase this year after a problematic 2010. “The scarcity of trucking capacity in Europe throughout 2010 was a major challenge,” he said. “The resulting upward pressure on market prices has been mitigated [by KN] through intensified central purchasing and network management. “Overall trucking utilisation will increase in 2011, given the strong macro-economic development. However, lessons learned from the sharp economic downturn will lead to a very cautious build-up of capacity and, thus, we do not expect supply to exceed demand in the near future.”

European road freight on the rise The latest analysis by Danske Bank has revealed that European forwarding markets were making a recovery throughout 2010. The Bank’s European Freight Forwarding Index increased to 59 in December, which was up three points from the previous month. “We heard from freight forwarders that December actually turned out to be fairly positive, after a soft spot in the early part of Q4 – mainly driven by a pick-up in road, whereas air freight saw a continued deterioration and sea freight was broadly unchanged,” said the analyst. “The index was still below what participants expected two months ago, but the deviation is significantly lower than in November, and the actual index improved on November, which we believe is quite positive.”

More salt arrives A further 8,000 tonnes of salt arrived in the country at the beginning of January. Total chaos is the only way travelling could be described in the lead up to Christmas as ungritted roads left driving conditions treacherous all over the country. Local authorities had been rationing their quotas of salt, but the arrival of the three shipments means that most roads will now be gritted. A further 6,000 tonnes of salt is also due to arrive and Shannon Foynes Port Company chief executive Pat Keating stated that the shipments are badly needed. "We still have a lot of winter ahead of us, so Lagan Projects Limited and the NRA have been very active in making sure they could rebuild salt stocks," he said. Salt supplies have been replenished to allow for gritting of roads


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Port of Rotterdam report record levels Irish hauliers have played their part in helping the Port of Rotterdam handle a record amount of cargo during the course of 2010. Last year alone, the port handled 430 million tonnes, which is a 2% increase on 2008, which was their previous record year. Many Irish hauliers work through the port on a weekly basis. Hans Smits, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO, said: “This result is above expectations. Record throughput, while Port of Rotterdam Authority invested a record €460 million (US$612m). This year’s throughput was particularly stimulated by the 15% growth in world trade and the flourishing German economy. “In 2011, government cutbacks will be more strongly felt throughout Europe. On the other hand, Rotterdam will continue to feel and pass on the heartbeat of the world economy. “I am therefore cautiously optimistic about throughput which I expect to grow 2-3% to around 440 million tonnes”.

UK set for £95 million fuel tax The Freight Transport Association has condemned the UK Government for forging ahead with plans to introduce a £95 million tax. The increase of 0.76 pence per litre from January is the third rise since April 2010 and will push diesel prices to within four pence per litre of the all-time highs reached in July 2008 when oil prices were at $145 per barrel. Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist, said: “Diesel is not an optional extra for industry. It is essential to keep shops stocked and businesses supplied with materials. Rises in fuel commodity prices have already left operators facing diesel prices nine pence per litre higher than a year ago – adding £3,800 per year to the bill for running an articulated truck. This latest fuel duty increase, together with those previously introduced this year, will add a further £1,200 per year.” “The Chancellor is treating the road freight sector as a bottomless well from which cash to bolster the public finances can be drawn. At the same time he has embarked on a savage set of cuts to transport infrastructure which will see spending on national road schemes fall by 45 per cent and local authority budgets for capital schemes slashed. “For the UK to trade its way out of recession its supply chains need to be cost competitive and its roads must provide reliable routes to market. Neither is achieved by a tax base spiralling well above inflation and a transport network starved of investment.”

Town wins right to motorway The residents of a north Cork town have successfully secured the rights to gain direct access to a planned €800 million motorway. The proposed 80km Cork to Limerick motorway bypassed the town of Buttevant and planners had no junction to the town, which annoyed the residents. They then successfully argued their case to An Bord Pleanala, who agreed that a junction should be implemented in the plans and that will now happen. Solicitor Matt Nagle, chairman of the group which fought for the junction link, said he "hugely welcomed" the decision. "We saw the provision of such a junction as absolutely critical for the future viability and development of Buttevant and its hinterland and put enormous time and resources into making that case at the oral hearing held on the M20," Mr Nagle said. "This decision is a great outcome for the town and for rural areas generally. It recognises that motorways should serve and benefit all the community, urban and rural, large and small.”


Port of Rotterdam handled record amounts of cargo in 2010

Export sales reach record levels Exports sales from Ireland reached record levels in 2010 as a number of industries bounced back from the recession, according to the Irish Exporter’s Association. In its end of year review, the IEA revealed that demand for manufacturing and agri-food products had increased significantly throughout the course of 2010. Despite this, the outlook for this year is still challenging as global growth is expected to be slow, although the weak euro will help the cause.

Incinerator levies may increase A bill will be published which gives the Minister for the Environment to increase levies per tonne on waste going to landfill. In yet another expense for the private sector, waste companies bring waste to landfill will be charged per tonnage in the future, meaning more expense, which will more that likely result in an increase in charges for homeowners. The Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 introduces a new power to charge a waste levy on incineration facilities, including the controversial “energy from waste” plant planned for Poolbeg. Only last February, the landfill levy rose by €5 per tonne to €30, but now the next Minister for the Environment and his successors can raise that charge.


Going countrywide The family run business North West Plant Hire has been supplying heavy machinery to a large customer base for 22 years now and during that time this Donegal based company has amassed a customer base that spreads throughout the 32 counties and further afield.


ituated at Aughaweel, Linsford, Buncrana the company's plant can be seen all over Ireland in places like Tullamore, Ennis and Dublin to name just a few, while their reputation for providing reliable machinery stretches as far as Scotland at the moment where some of their plant is being operated. John, Daniel and Con Lynch are the directors of North West Plant Hire and the latter spoke to Irish Trucker about the success of the business in recent years. The company has been able to expand into numerous areas that can all be pulled in under the loose heading of plant hire. Of equal importance is the fact that this expansion has been achieved while complying with all relevant legislation governing the various sector the

company has entered. North West Plant Hire can boast a client list that includes such prestigious companies as PT McWilliams, Walls Bros, Sierra Communications as well as state bodies like the ESB and Donegal County Council to name just a few. "We have ongoing work with the ESB where we put up poles for them and do other work. We have been with them many years now. The company has also been involved in many road projects. In some cases we lease out a machine and driver to the councils when needed." The company continues to grow over the years and so has its fleet has been maintained to reach its present day level of track-machines, tractors, dumpers, telescopic fork-lifts, as well as rubber tyre machines and rock

breaking equipment. “We started out doing a lot of private work and from there we just came more and more into the main market and our customer base has grown considerably over the year,” said Con. Lynch Bros priority is committed to those for whom they work. Placing a strong emphasis upon personal contact with other clients and wishing to maintain this contact until the contracts are fruitfully completed. Their deepest desire is to produce an effective and efficient product for their clients. “Most of our customers would be with us many years and I suppose once we are providing the right level of service then they are happy, so it is up to us to make sure we continue doing that. “However, we are aware that the experience we have gained in our The plant is transported to any location in Ireland or the UK



work is of increasing value to the corporate and business world and hence our desire to be of service to larger companies in the future. “Our work load has increased over the years and the majority of this is down to 'word of mouth'. If you provide a reliable and efficient service to our clients, they will be pleased and that helps to lead to further work.” Con revealed that the success of the company is largely due to a reliable and highly trained work forced that has been loyal to the firm for a number of years. “We also value our own employees. These we train to the highest level in all aspects of our work and see the importance of total safety in all our undertakings. We seek to produce the highest standards in our work so that a satisfactory job can be executed for the satisfaction of all. We also supply labour and all their workers are trained to the highest standards of professionalism and expertise. No job is too big or too small.” North West Plant Hire carry out all their own maintenance and to this end, they ensure that all the machinery is properly looked after and service regularly. Right across the company's entire plant and machinery list, North West Plant Hire has a mixture of new equipment, which is complemented by well-

maintained older stock. “Prevention is better than cure isn't that what they say? Nobody wants a piece of machinery on their site or wherever and it sitting idle. We make sure that they are all well maintained, while we try to add to the fleet on a regular basis also. The workshop crew's lot is made that little bit easier by virtue of the fact that the company carries a spare machine in each category be that a tipper truck, track and mobile excavator, dozer or dump truck. “That means our fitters can take a machine in and give it the once over before any such breakdown can occur." “Last year we added a 470 dozer, while next year we will be looking at bringing in more plant. It is important to keep the fleet up to date and be able to attend a job at short notice.” Of course, machinery does not come cheap and any purchase made has a major impact on the company's outlay, but Con stressed that you have to take a chance in this game. “You can't wait for the work to come to you. A chance has to be taken; otherwise we would never get on. Fortunately, we have been kept busy and there is plenty of work for all the machinery. We have a good working relationship with all our clients and hope to continue that in the future.”

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Abnormal loads suffering from abnormal system

Heavy haulage and abnormal load contractors all over Ireland have been left frustrated by the twin demons of convoluted permit regulation and haphazard enforcement by authorities and the Gardai. Irish Trucker caught up with two of the affected parties to learn more.


n the current economic climate, with profits down virtually across the board and margins tighter than ever, businesses who do things by the book should surely expect that the procedures of regulatory authorities enhance rather than impinge upon their ability to serve its customers. That is not always the case, of course. With a bloated public sector often leading to inefficient services, Ireland’s local and regulatory authorities have been known to run somewhere short of clockwork precision. For the country’s network of


abnormal load hauliers, who must liaise with authorities all over the country on an almost daily basis as a matter of course, the situation is more frustrating than ever. Those frustrations are compounded by the fact that the economic downturn has prompted an influx of “rogue hauliers” into the specialist abnormal loads field, promising to transport loads at a fraction of the price without the necessary equipment or permits. The Westmeath-based OB Heavy Haulage, and Aylward Heavy Haulage in Co Laois, are two notable abnormal

load haulage contractors who have found the noose tightening around their necks over the past 18 months. Both companies transport heavy and wide loads to the United Kingdom and continental Europe on a regular basis, and the precision of the modernised and centralised permit administration they experience abroad brings the turgid, county-by-county system they routinely come up against at home into sharp relief. Oliver Brennan, the owner of OB Heavy Haulage, is at his wits’ end. “Permits are not an obstacle as such, IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

To transport heavy machinery such as this from OB Heavy Haulage's base in Co Westmeath to Dublin Port, as many as six different permits are required from various County Councils

The crew at OB Heavy Haulage and Aylward Heavy Haulage can cater for every eventuality

but the way the County Councils are going about implementing them is,” he says. “Each council is different. There are three around the country which give the permits are free. The rest impose a charge. There are four authorities in Dublin, South Dublin, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City, and if I needed to carry an abnormal load from Mullingar to the Dublin docks, you have to go through Westmeath, Meath, Kildare and three local authorities in Dublin, so an annual permit for one truck is €2,500. Last year, for permits alone, we paid IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


As an abnormal load haulier, getting to and from the ports requires military planning

councils approximately €40,000, which is lost revenue straight away.” Marian Aylward, the Transport Manager of long-established Durrow firm Aylward Heavy Haulage, also has an issue with the cost of permits.


“Some of them increase by a certain percentage every year, when the price of everything else is falling. Cork County Council impose a five per cent increase. Some are even worse. One council increased its permit from €100 to €150 in one go. That’s a 50 per cent increase.” The cost may be one thing, but the glacier-slow process of granting or renewing permits is quite another. “For example, if a customer in Galway contacts me and he wants to move a 60-ton machine to Dublin,” says Oliver, “and he wants me to get it out of there in the next couple of days, if one of my permits for an authority along the way has expired, I can’t take on that job. Some councils, if I contact them to renew a permit, could make us wait 7-10 working days to issue it, even though it’s already been granted and just needs to be renewed. Also, even when county councils have issued permits, they don’t send out any notification that road works or road closures might be occurring on

certain roads in that county, which is another obstacle to our day-to-day business.” Brennan lifts the lid on one particularly galling example of the uncooperative morasse of local authority procedures, in which an industrial action quibble saw OB Heavy Haulage denied a specific permit – despite the fact that the county council had already taken payment for the administrative charge! “Because it was five metres wide we had to apply for an increase in our permit, and we submitted the application a month before we needed it,” he says. “About a week before the job was due to happen there was no sign of the permit, so we got onto the council. We were told that they couldn’t issue the permit because the girl who was working in the abnormal load permits office had been made redundant, and that nobody in the same office would issue the permit because they were on a work-to-rule. But they had already lodged the cheque that we sent them. They had IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

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taken my money, but told me they professional as you can, but when a customer says ‘You’re far too dear, I weren’t giving me the permit. We had can get the job done for 60 or 70 per to put that job back for two weeks cent cheaper elsewhere,’ it’s very because of the delay, and there were disheartening. You could be working a lot of financial implications involved for that customer for the last five in that because there was a 1000-ton years, and he’d be thinking that I’ve crane waiting on site to lift off the been overcharging him by that amount machine.” all along.” With hugely expensive equipment So what’s the solution? Is there one? necessary, and archaic authorities Both Oliver Brennan and Marian often more a hindrance than a help, it Aylward point to the systems in other takes a significant investment of both jurisdictions, where things run infinitely money and time to have everything in smoother for hauliers, local authorities order. Another problem, as both Oliver and law enforcement officials alike. In Brennan and Marian Aylward can the UK, for instance, a new centralised attest, is that there has been evidence internet-based computer system called of rogue hauliers entering the market ESDAL – Electronic Service Delivery without complying with any of the for Abnormal Loads – has been regulations. launched in recent years to great “It’s hard to see how some people acclaim. could afford to do it for the price “There’s a great need for a central they’re quoting and still have office for loads going through different everything in order,” says Aylward. counties,” says Aylward. “In the North “The equipment you need is expensive there’s one single form, and one so you need to get a decent price to office. But in the south you have each make the jobs worthwhile, but some of county, and two in some counties. the prices now make that impossible.” Even a common form that you Brennan concurs. “I’ve invested in complete once and send it to all the the proper machinery to cater for different councils would be a start. It’s abnormal loads, but there are lads the same information in all the forms moving abnormal loads without anyway. The amount of paperwork you permits and without the correct have to submit is huge. It’s costly and equipment. They’re moving 45- or 50-ton Continued Best Wishes To OB Heavy Haulage machines with mid-lift tractor units and four-axle trailers. And they’re getting away with it. I have heard about the Gardai catching some lads but that only happens if the driver involved is unlucky enough to come across a checkpoint. “Whatever job you do, you want to be as


time-consuming. From an organisational point of view it’s a nightmare.” Brennan is of a similar view, and also urges that an annual audit take place in order to maintain the requisite standards among hauliers. “The whole permit system here is wrong. It’s arseways. There’s no problem with permits in the UK. I get a company in the North, M Tranz UK & Irl, to look after the permits in the UK. The permits themselves cost nothing, there’s a lot of paperwork involved but the agent looks after that and charges us a fee. But it’s not comparable at all to Ireland. It’s a fraction of the cost. “You shouldn’t have to apply to each individual council for a permit. There should be one body set up for the 26 counties, to look after the abnormal load permits, and to do them on an annual basis. And then, when the 12 months is up, they should come and do an audit on you. If you have a permit to carry certain loads, you should have to prove that you have the equipment capable of carrying them.” Talk of the convoluted nature of the permit system, which leaves OB Heavy Haulage requiring those six separate permits for the journey from Mullingar to Dublin Port – averaging out at one From permit for every ten miles – inevitably brings us to yet another obstacle to progress: the Port Tunnel. It is something Oliver Brennan feels strongly about, with more amenable standards abroad again leaving him frustrated at home. “The Port Tunnel was IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Whereas OB Heavy Haulage and Aylward Heavy Haulage have all the necessary documentation in place, rogue hauliers routinely attempt to undercut prices without the equipment necessary to comply with safety regulations

built to take heavy trucks off the road but if we carry a load that’s 2.8 metres wide, we can’t use it, so we have to go road the Malahide road, round by Clontarf to get to the docks. That means we have to go through a builtup area, which defeats the whole purpose of the tunnel, which was built with health and safety in mind.” So what’s the problem? Is the Port Tunnel, the construction of which was plagued by problems, somehow unsuitable for wide or abnormal loads? “There’s no problem us going through the Port Tunnel, but they just won’t let us,” says Brennan. “There are two lanes in the tunnel, which are fine, but there’s a toll booth at the other end and the way it’s been designed there’s a chance we won’t fit through it. They have a wide barrier on the left hand side, but it’s never open. You have to pull in and wait a long time for them to open it, and then they’re getting onto the office wondering why this lorry was in the tunnel in the first place. “It’s crazy. The tunnels abroad are in tune with HGVs. When I go through the Tyne Tunnel in Newcastle in the north-east of England, there are two escort vehicles waiting for you. There’s no hassle whatsoever, they know what they’re doing. But the people at the Dublin Port Tunnel just doesn’t want to know, they don’t care.” That indifference is a significant obstacle to business. It is also avoidable, though, like so many of the obstacles facing abnormal load hauliers in Ireland. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

With a raft of regulations, haphazard enforcement and outdated permit procedures, the lot of the abnormal load haulier in Ireland is difficult at the best of times

The job facing the OB Heavy Haulage team is easier north of the border and in the UK, where more streamlined practices are in operation


Ten out of ten

John Linnane Motors will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in style having just been named “Fiat Dealer of the Year 2010”. Irish Trucker caught up with John Linnane.


hen it comes to significant

November 2010 when the company

Group Ireland and while its sales

milestones it’s never a bad

was named as Ireland’s “Fiat Dealer of

figures and the presentation of the

idea to celebrate in style

the Year 2010” at the manufacturer’s

dealership would be reason enough to

annual dealer luncheon.

award John Linnane Motors our 2010

and all those at John Linnane Motors in Rathnew, Co Wicklow can reflect on

Speaking at the announcement

‘Fiat Dealer of the Year’ accolade, it’s

a job well done. Already firmly

Managing Director of Fiat Group

the exceptionally customer-centred

established as one of Ireland’s

Automobiles Ireland, Adrian C. Walsh,

approach that the dealership takes

foremost Fiat dealerships over the

heaped praise on the company,

that really sets it apart.”

past decade, John Linnane Motors’

commenting: “John Linnane Motors is

position was rubberstamped in

an outstanding representative of Fiat


John Linnane, who has more than 25 years of experience in Fiat IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

John Linnane Motors moved into an impressive purpose built premises in Rathnew, Co Wicklow in 2008

Speaking to Irish Trucker, John explains, “This premises is very different to where we were before. In our last place we were fairly tight on space but we now have a purpose-built building on a standalone site situated on just over an acre of ground.” That move, which had been in the pipeline for a couple of years, came about on the cusp of the worst economic crisis in the history of the State, but John has no regrets about the decision to make that substantial investment in the business. “I have no problems with our decision to move,” he says. “Yes, things slowed down dramatically in 2009, which was a terrible year for everyone in the motor trade, but it picked up a good bit in 2010 following the introduction of the Government scrappage scheme, and another big boost was the fact that Fiat had a great pricing structure over the last 12 months with their ‘double the V.A.T. offer’ on commercial vehicles. The

market is still not what it was a few years ago but I’ve no regrets about investing.” While John Linnane Motors stocks all new Fiat and Opel cars, when it comes to the commercial market the company concentrates exclusively on Fiat models, and John reports that the Fiat fleet is now one of the most popular, affordable and reliable vehicles in the commercial range. “We’ve done very well across the board in the Fiat commercial range, which is a top-class range of vans,” he says. “The Doblo does really well, as does the Ducato and Scudo. The Fiat Professional range is very reasonably priced and it’s still very fresh, too. The current Scudo and Ducato models are only around three years old now and the new Doblo was launched only this year.” John is also keen to point out that Fiat vehicles are now more durable and reliable than many Japanese and German models, which are perceived as being ultra-reliable but which are often surprisingly troublesome and expensive to run. “We take in a huge variety of secondhand vehicles and Fiat definitely comes out very near the top in terms of reliability and durability. “Take motorhomes, for example. About 75% of all motorhomes across Europe now are built on the Ducato

dealerships, established his own dealership in 2001 and in 2008 relocated to a new, purpose-built premises near Rathnew in Co. Wicklow. Located just off Junction 16 on the N11, Linnane Motors is no more than 20 minutes from Bray and less than three-quarters of an hour from the Red Cow roundabout in Dublin. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

John Linnane's team, pictured at the Fiat Dealer of the Year 2010 awards


John Linnane Motors, the newly crowned Fiat Dealer of the Year 2010

chassis. Building a motorhome is a big investment for these

Best Wishes To John Linnane Motors From

companies. They’re putting a serious piece of gear onto the back of a particular chassis so they want to be sure that the van is going to last. That says a lot about how good Fiats really are.” In addition to its wide catalogue of Fiat commercial vehicles and the full Fiat and Opel car range, John Linnane Motors can also service and repair any make or model of vehicle at exceptional rates. For more information about John Linnane Motors, Ireland’s “Fiat Dealer of the Year 2010”, check out or call John or his expert sales, service and parts teams at 0404 68946.

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Continued Success To All At John Linnane Motors,


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Kelcro continue to grow Celebrating 34 years in business this year, Kelcro Transport in Cork continues to stand the test of time even in the difficult climate. Company co-director Donny Kelleher spoke to Irish Trucker about the business he started all those years ago and what they’re up to at the moment.

Kelcro Transport have three Renaults in their fleet




‘Today’ Kelcro Transport ased in Millstreet, Kelcro Transport is based in Millstreet, Co Cork finds itself working with Co. Cork, since several different companies 1977 Kelcro and groups to help keep Transport is been working things busy on the work hard to build an excellent front in order to make sure reputation in a very things remain solvent week competitive environment. in, week out. Founder and co-director “Business at the moment Donny Kelleher has been is not too bad,” said Donny. the main driving-force “We’re kept busy and behind the company that hopefully things will stay has enjoyed a strong that way going into next business relationship with year and beyond. Mid-Cork Pallets & “Last year, due to the Packaging, which is owned recession we had to make by Sean Lehane and is the adjustments to our working current leading arrangements and our manufacturer of pallets in One of the company’s fleet sets off on another journey pricing structures to Ireland. Through their maintain our dealings with the competitiveness,” he Clondrohid-based added. company, Kelcro Transport Donny’s outlook is has been able to build itself certainly a positive one. into the company it is Then again, it most today. probably has to be “We’re established since considering the times that 1977 and we now have 12 are in. trucks on the road,” Along with Kelcro’s busy explained Donny. schedule with the Mid-Cork “I suppose my position is Pallets, business has been co-director, with Sean arguably, tougher than now for new steady with a number of different Cronin as the other co-director here. born businesses. customers all across the land availing “Around 80 per cent of our work here “I started off with one truck and I of the services that Donny and co is from Mid-Cork Pallets. We draw didn’t even have a trailer, I had to have to offer. finished pallets for them and bring in borrow one, so that will tell you what it Trips from their base in Millstreet up their raw materials from the timber was like,” said Donny. to the capital have now become a companies. They have a premises in “I started off working for Kerry Co-op common thing for Kelcro. They work Dunboyne in county Meath and we in Listowel back in 1977, drawing milk for a local company “Allen’s of haul back and forth from there also.” powder, cheese, butter etc. up to Allenbridge” who supply flooring for Donny describes the haul up to Dublin and Cork. Since 1978, we’ve concerts all over Ireland, including Dunboyne as “only up the road” for worked for Mid-Cork Pallets and the Croke Park, Aviva stadium and him and his drivers, who have surely business just grew on from there to Oxygen. The most recent being the covered almost every mile in Ireland at what it is today.” Michael Bublé this stage given concert at the Kelcro Transport’s Aviva Stadium. lifespan. “We also do However, the real regular deliveries journey for Donny for Taltech has been from the Engineering in very beginning Dublin, and we when he started up deliver air his own business conditioning units with just one truck nationwide for Mark and a borrowed Eire, who are trailer. If times are based in Coolea, tough at present, Co. Cork,” said then a modern Donny. young However, in order businessman could to obtain such a only imagine what high quantity of it was like to try work, you need the and get a business man power and One of Kelcro Transport’s off the ground in enough equipment impressive fleet an era that was, to make sure the IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS



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One of Kelcro Transport’s DAF trucks on another run

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Knockcahill, Rathcoole, Mallow, Co. Cork Tel: 029-58014. Fax: 029-58426 Mobile: 087-2577806 - 087-2595185 job’s done efficiently and this is where Kelcro Transport excels ahead. Among the company’s 14 full-time staff, 12 are truckdrivers and two are office staff, Kelcro can boast having some of the finest vehicles on the road in Co. Cork to carry out whatever the needs of their customers are. “We are very lucky with our drivers as they are all great lads and some of them have been with us for a long time, they, of course are the face of Kelcro on a daily basis and we are very grateful to them for their dedication and hard work,” he said. This, along with the distances they are willing to go to make a delivery, gives Kelcro somewhat of an edge with their customers, who

continue to come back for their services. “We have 12 trucks in all consisting of five DAF’s, three Volvos, three Renaults and one Mercedes truck,” explained the co-director. “I hope to be in a position to upgrade by the end of this year or at least by the start of next year, please God.” For now though, Donny is keen on keeping busy with Kelcro Transport Ltd and looking after his family, which has been his priority from day one. Ironically though, both tasks mix in well together for him, considering that he works with his wife Kathleen who is the transport manager. “She, of course is the glue that holds Kelcro together,” he explains. Good to hear.

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Johnston Mooney & O’Brien clocks up in excess of two million KM per annum

Through the night ... Johnston Mooney & O'Brien is an Irish-owned company that has been synonymous with the best in baking tasty breads and morning goods in Ireland for more than 171 years. Today, the company is trusted for freshness, taste, quality and service in every corner of the island. Their late-night transport and logistics operation is second to none.


ith a strong emphasis on tradition and heritage, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien bakes a wide range of breads to suit every need, all of which are relevant to people in the 21st century. The company operates from two bakeries in Finglas and Clonee - one dedicated to bread bakery, the other specialising in (hamburger) buns and morning goods.


Johnston Mooney & O’Brien's promise is to offer an excellent overall service to all customers by continually achieving top-quality standards in all aspects of the operation - from manufacturing through to delivery. Continuous improvements are made due to ongoing investment and working closely with customers as well as everyone in the supply chain. Each day, freshly-baked produce is

order-processed and picked for delivery before being delivered fresh on a daily basis to all 27 depots (364 days per year). The produce is in turn delivered to the customer by over 100 owner-driver distributors nationwide. The Jamestown Road, Finglas depot is the hub of all transport operations, with Johnston Mooney & O’Brien goods produced and transported 24 hours a day, seven days a week. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Part of the well-maintained and beautifully-presented fleet

Annual mileage is some 2.1 million km. The company is committed to vehicle presentation, deploying a vehicle hygiene company to clean the interior and exterior of all vehicles twice weekly. Each vehicle is also painstakingly painted and wrapped in the new Johnston Mooney & O'Brien company colours. In the fleet, there are ten 07D Scania P380s, one 08 Axor and two 08 rigids. All vehicles have tracking, making it possible to give customers updates around the clock. Trailers are 45ft Kroners with tri-axels and Dhollandia tail-lifts. The top speed of the fleet has been reduced to 80kph, which has resulted in a 10% increase in fuel efficiency. Each of the 27 depots is serviced by the fleet of eleven artics every night, seven nights per week. These vehicles depart Johnston Mooney & O’Brien, Finglas every night starting from 21:00 and offload full racks of bread and buns into marked areas of the respective depots for each distributor. They then collect all empties from the IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

previous night. The distributors in turn begin to arrive at their depots from 2am onwards, collecting and delivering to their local retailers. Logistically, it’s an enormous undertaking, overseen by transport manager Andy Slane, but Johnston Mooney & O’Brien ensures total satisfaction at all ends of the supply chain at all times. All drivers undergo comprehensive assessment and training, with an annual driver skills improvement course provided. A First Aid course is available to drivers and the company adheres strictly to all food safety management systems and quality programmes. Irish Trucker interrupted Andy Slane’s busy schedule for a few moments after Johnston Mooney & O’Brien had been singled out for an Own Account Transport Operator of the Year Award. “Our brands end up in every major retail outlet in the country – from Kerry to Donegal. The transport happens mostly at night, with the drivers arriving back into the yard during the following day. As well as serving the

Irish market, we also have strong export business to England and Germany.” As an artic driver himself, Andy rolls up his sleeves and gets involved in a hands-on capacity, frequently carrying out deliveries. Needless to say, with so much driving through the night and in the early hours of the morning, winter time is particularly stressful for the transport team at Johnston Mooney & O’Brien. “It’s difficult,” Andy confirms. “And last year was especially bad. This is a more difficult job than what a normal driver would have to do and the winter isn’t pleasant. The driver is out there on his own in the dark and cold and he has to do everything himself. There’s a huge responsibility on him to get it right and to stay safe. “But the drivers do their jobs extremely well. There are lads who have been with us for up to 20 years and I couldn’t fault any of them. We also took on a few new lads two years ago and all the drivers are top class. I have 18 drivers in total and eight of them have been here for ten years or more.”


Since taking over as transport manager four years ago, Andy has instigated a pro-active approach to vehicle maintenance and presentation. Every truck that comes back into the yard is checked thoroughly from top to bottom by a mechanic and the vehicle won’t leave again unless it is in 100% working order. “Because we keep on top of it, we experience no problems during the night. The last thing I want is a driver stuck down the country at 2 in the morning. The product we are delivering is very time sensitive – the drivers have to be in certain depots at certain times. We absolutely have to be on time and we always are. I have tracking installed on all the trucks and we keep records of all the journeys. We’ve only had two late deliveries in the past six months, both of which were half an hour late. “You have to have a good tracking system for any fast-moving goods. When I come in the next day, it’s good to be able to check the records and confirm that each driver got there on time. I can access the system from

Highly-skilled drivers operate state-of-the-art vehicles

anywhere and determine exactly where the driver is, where he was, how much fuel he used, what speeds he was doing, whether he braked heavily etc. I can even set up what’s known as an electronic fence at the depot and a text will be automatically sent to my phone when the driver arrives and leaves. I’d keep that turned on during the winter for farflung deliveries around the country because it’s impossible not to worry. You have to keep on top of it around the clock.” Generally, business is good despite the dramatic economic downturn.

“Business has obviously dropped since 2008, but volumes are steady at the moment, which is fantastic. We deliver a premium product and we are holding our own. If we can stay where we are, we would be happy. Diesel prices represent the biggest problem. We use up to 12,000 litres a week, perhaps 15,000 on a Bank Holiday weekend. So when Mr Gormley comes along and puts 6 cent onto the price of a litre, as a so-called environmental tax, that can add almost a grand a week onto our bill. I thought he was trying to save jobs, but there you go.”

Fresh produce is delivered to your doorstep every day



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Best Wishes To Johnston Mooney & Brien From T R U C K



Don’t be left in the dark log on to IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


please contact John Murphy or Tony Morgan National Truck Rental Company Limited Stadium Business Park, Ballycoolin Rd., Dublin 11 Tel: (01) 882 9500 Fax: (01) 882 9599


Your first port of call to buy or sell

A selection of Iveco cabs and axles for export



Putting years of experience to great use, in April 2010 Martin Toye T/A Toye Commercials incorporated his business under the name Truck Dismantlers (NI) Ltd T/A NI Truck Dismantlers. The company is one of this island’s fastest growing exporters of used commercial vehicles and parts. The company currently operates near the village of Benburb, which borders on the County Armagh / Tyrone border. NI Truck Dismantlers is constantly sourcing and selling second-hand trucks & used parts, offering attractive prices for all makes and models. Irish Trucker caught up with manager Leroy Owens to find out more…


n the last twelve months the company has grown in infrastructure; currently employing five full time staff. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a second-hand commercial vehicle or machine, NI Truck Dismantlers should be your first port of call. The County Tyrone based breaker / exporter purchases preowned trucks, regardless of their condition, and carries an extensive stock of used truck parts for all makes and models. Such is the extensive range of products and affordable prices that NI Truck Dismantlers serves a worldwide market. With demand even stronger than ever due to the current economic dip – as more and more owners seek to either overhaul their existing fleet or replace their vehicles with quality second-hand models (rather than the now-prohibitively expensive alternative of purchasing brand new) – NI Truck Dismantlers is inundated with requests for trucks and parts. Specialising in recycling and global exportation of all types of used trucks, parts, and machinery, Northern Ireland Truck Dismantlers is a leading operator in its chosen field of expertise. Due to its extensive network

of worldwide contacts and extensive sales into global markets, the company is actively sourcing secondhand trucks and machinery. A large stock of trucks, machinery, used parts and components is carried at any given time. Containers or small parts can be shipped to any port anywhere in the world. Substantial cost savings can be made when ordering by 40ft container. To satisfy the high demand for quality pre-owned trucks and parts, N I Truck Dismantlers is always on the look-out for second-hand HGVs in any condition. At present, they require lorries, diggers, dozers, cranes, excavators and loaders. Company manager Leroy Owens explains: “We specialise in the export of all makes of truck parts and some plant machinery also”. A wide range of used truck parts is available for purchase - Scania, Hino, Volvo, Mercedes, Iveco, Renault, MAN, Daf, ERF etc. as well as truck parts, cabs, engines, axles, trailers. bodies, fridges, tyres. These can all be sold locally or exported globally. The trucks and parts are sold mainly into the UK and countries outside of the EU. But NI Truck Dismantlers sells

NI Truck Dismantlers director Martin Toye and manager Leroy Owens



Your first port of call to buy or sell

A selection of Iveco cabs and axles for export



Putting years of experience to great use, in April 2010 Martin Toye T/A Toye Commercials incorporated his business under the name Truck Dismantlers (NI) Ltd T/A NI Truck Dismantlers. The company is one of this island’s fastest growing exporters of used commercial vehicles and parts. The company currently operates near the village of Benburb, which borders on the County Armagh / Tyrone border. NI Truck Dismantlers is constantly sourcing and selling second-hand trucks & used parts, offering attractive prices for all makes and models. Irish Trucker caught up with manager Leroy Owens to find out more…


n the last twelve months the company has grown in infrastructure; currently employing five full time staff. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a second-hand commercial vehicle or machine, NI Truck Dismantlers should be your first port of call. The County Tyrone based breaker / exporter purchases preowned trucks, regardless of their condition, and carries an extensive stock of used truck parts for all makes and models. Such is the extensive range of products and affordable prices that NI Truck Dismantlers serves a worldwide market. With demand even stronger than ever due to the current economic dip – as more and more owners seek to either overhaul their existing fleet or replace their vehicles with quality second-hand models (rather than the now-prohibitively expensive alternative of purchasing brand new) – NI Truck Dismantlers is inundated with requests for trucks and parts. Specialising in recycling and global exportation of all types of used trucks, parts, and machinery, Northern Ireland Truck Dismantlers is a leading operator in its chosen field of expertise. Due to its extensive network

of worldwide contacts and extensive sales into global markets, the company is actively sourcing secondhand trucks and machinery. A large stock of trucks, machinery, used parts and components is carried at any given time. Containers or small parts can be shipped to any port anywhere in the world. Substantial cost savings can be made when ordering by 40ft container. To satisfy the high demand for quality pre-owned trucks and parts, N I Truck Dismantlers is always on the look-out for second-hand HGVs in any condition. At present, they require lorries, diggers, dozers, cranes, excavators and loaders. Company manager Leroy Owens explains: “We specialise in the export of all makes of truck parts and some plant machinery also”. A wide range of used truck parts is available for purchase - Scania, Hino, Volvo, Mercedes, Iveco, Renault, MAN, Daf, ERF etc. as well as truck parts, cabs, engines, axles, trailers. bodies, fridges, tyres. These can all be sold locally or exported globally. The trucks and parts are sold mainly into the UK and countries outside of the EU. But NI Truck Dismantlers sells

NI Truck Dismantlers director Martin Toye and manager Leroy Owens




Best Wishes To NI Truck Dismantlers

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Bogies ready for the export market

Martin Toye outside the de-polluting bay

Zydunas Komskis and Tomas Narkus dismantling a truck

wide range of markets including – occasionally – the Republic of Ireland. Leroy explained “The trucks we sell or dismantle are sourced all over the UK and Ireland. We have a steady supply of trucks, if anybody has a truck that they don’t need anymore, we will certainly be interested in purchasing it.” NI Truck Dismantlers is a professional dismantler and exporter. As for the future, they will continue to provide the same quality service and develop and grow. NI Truck Dismantlers, 130 Carrickaness Road, Benburb, County Tyrone. BT71 7NH, Northern Ireland. Tel: 0044 2837 548 366 into a

Continued Best Wishes To NI Truck Dismantlers From

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Plant - Commercial or Agricultural Engineering Diesel Mechanic & Fabrication Chassis Stretching -Axle & Body Fitting Martin Toye (director) and Leroy Owens (manager) with some Middle East-bound mixer barrels


Tel: 028 3754 8653 Mobile: 07703 499820 39

Elsatrans specialise in refrigerated work

Elsatrans keep setting the standards O

f course, the construction industry has arguably suffered the most, but in a close second is the haulage sector, which seems to be hammered from pillar to post at this stage. Between, fuel prices, tax, rates, insurance increases and WTD to


name a just a few of the idiosyncrasies that have hurt the transport industry over the past 18 months or so. Unfortunately, some companies have been unable to cope with these setbacks and the IRHA has recently suggested that more haulage

businesses are set to close in 2011. However, there are a select few that have continued to provide a level of consistency that has kept their customer base more than happy and one such company is Elsatrans Ltd. Managing Director Aaron McAleenan admitted to Irish Trucker that it is a IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

The Budget has just announced that diesel prices are to go up, while we will all be paying more tax. It is dark times for the country as a whole and many industries are feeling the strain. struggle at the moment, but he is determined to work through the current economic climate and come out the other side well geared up for the future. Aaron feels that a determination to keep improving the service and finding efficiencies is key to Elsatrans' success, since its inception three IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

years ago. The company had been trading as a sole trader under the name of AMC Transport since 2004, before the switch to a limited company was made. “There is no question that it has been a tough year or so, but you just have to keep looking at ways of improving the service and ensuring that the

customer is satisfied,” said Aaron. “We've had no help from this Government with diesel rebates for our industry. This country is highly reliant on road transport but there's no incentive on Euro 5/6 or alternative fuels forthcoming. Fortunately we have managed to get some new clients on board this year, so we are happy with the direction that the company is heading.” Elsatrans specializes in the distribution of frozen and chilled products as well as offering freight forwarding and competitive full/part load rates. The company supplies a 24hr seven day-a-week nationwide service to clients in FMCG, Retail, and Manufacturing double/treble shifting its vehicles. Aaron has added more trucks and trailers to his fleet in the last few years in a bid to keep up with the demand for his work, while he has also moved premises to the Osberstown, Business Park in Naas, Co Kildare. “Our margins are down this year but we have invested significant capital to replace and upgrade some of the fleet, while we have added/replaced six new trucks and 23 trailers this year. It is important to move with the times without creating too many overheads. The haulage industry is under real pressure at the moment and it is important to give a lot of thought to any decisions that might be made.” Credit must go to our drivers who ensure that deliveries are made on time and efficiently, especially through the last two weeks of bad weather. We have a very professional crew and expert drivers. “Our drivers are highly trained and are well versed in what their role entails. It makes my job much easier knowing that the customer can be guaranteed to have their products delivered on time”. Elsatrans Ltd success has been noted in that they have secured numerous awards over the last three years with the latest being obtained only last month. “We were awarded the Fleet Transport Owner/Driver Haulier of the Year award and we were delighted to receive it. I actually was not going to enter the competition, but then decided to do so, so it was a nice surprise to get.” Aaron admits that there is plenty of competition in the industry, but he stressed that all operators are not


Elsatrans specialise in refrigerated work

Elsatrans keep setting the standards O

f course, the construction industry has arguably suffered the most, but in a close second is the haulage sector, which seems to be hammered from pillar to post at this stage. Between, fuel prices, tax, rates, insurance increases and WTD to


name a just a few of the idiosyncrasies that have hurt the transport industry over the past 18 months or so. Unfortunately, some companies have been unable to cope with these setbacks and the IRHA has recently suggested that more haulage

businesses are set to close in 2011. However, there are a select few that have continued to provide a level of consistency that has kept their customer base more than happy and one such company is Elsatrans Ltd. Managing Director Aaron McAleenan admitted to Irish Trucker that it is a IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

The Budget has just announced that diesel prices are to go up, while we will all be paying more tax. It is dark times for the country as a whole and many industries are feeling the strain. struggle at the moment, but he is determined to work through the current economic climate and come out the other side well geared up for the future. Aaron feels that a determination to keep improving the service and finding efficiencies is key to Elsatrans' success, since its inception three IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

years ago. The company had been trading as a sole trader under the name of AMC Transport since 2004, before the switch to a limited company was made. “There is no question that it has been a tough year or so, but you just have to keep looking at ways of improving the service and ensuring that the

customer is satisfied,” said Aaron. “We've had no help from this Government with diesel rebates for our industry. This country is highly reliant on road transport but there's no incentive on Euro 5/6 or alternative fuels forthcoming. Fortunately we have managed to get some new clients on board this year, so we are happy with the direction that the company is heading.” Elsatrans specializes in the distribution of frozen and chilled products as well as offering freight forwarding and competitive full/part load rates. The company supplies a 24hr seven day-a-week nationwide service to clients in FMCG, Retail, and Manufacturing double/treble shifting its vehicles. Aaron has added more trucks and trailers to his fleet in the last few years in a bid to keep up with the demand for his work, while he has also moved premises to the Osberstown, Business Park in Naas, Co Kildare. “Our margins are down this year but we have invested significant capital to replace and upgrade some of the fleet, while we have added/replaced six new trucks and 23 trailers this year. It is important to move with the times without creating too many overheads. The haulage industry is under real pressure at the moment and it is important to give a lot of thought to any decisions that might be made.” Credit must go to our drivers who ensure that deliveries are made on time and efficiently, especially through the last two weeks of bad weather. We have a very professional crew and expert drivers. “Our drivers are highly trained and are well versed in what their role entails. It makes my job much easier knowing that the customer can be guaranteed to have their products delivered on time”. Elsatrans Ltd success has been noted in that they have secured numerous awards over the last three years with the latest being obtained only last month. “We were awarded the Fleet Transport Owner/Driver Haulier of the Year award and we were delighted to receive it. I actually was not going to enter the competition, but then decided to do so, so it was a nice surprise to get.” Aaron admits that there is plenty of competition in the industry, but he stressed that all operators are not


The fleet is very distinctive

legal and that the Government should be doing more to protect the people that are fully compliant. “It's a cut throat business and the amount of undercutting that is going on is unreal. People are cutting corners so that they can do jobs cheaper and it's not fair on others that are doing everything right. “There are a few rogue operators out there and the Gardai/RSA/Customs should be setting up more

checkpoints to ensure that trucks are roadworthy and using correct fuel. Saying that, the majority of the hauliers are compliant and wish to remain so. “We have a good solid customer base and our aim is to maintain and continue to improve our service. We operate all year round, apart from Easter Sunday and Christmas, so the customers can be assured we will always put their needs first.”

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Elsatrans Ltd From

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Best Wishes To Elsatrans Ltd From

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Awards are commonplace for Elsatrans


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Take it to the Max More than half a century in existence, Maxwell Motors in Athy has a wellwon reputation as one of Ireland’s foremost Volkswagen dealers. Jointowner Louis Wynne spoke to Irish Trucker.




ased at Leinster St in Athy, Co Kildare, Maxwell Motors has a long-standing connection with Volkswagen having been one of the first Irish dealerships to join forces with the iconic manufacturer more than 50 years ago. Founded by the Maxwell family and John Watchorn, Maxwell Motors in Athy traded in the centre of the town until a move to its current premises on Leinster St in the late 1980s. Louis Wynne, who initially joined the


company as a sales executive 18 years ago, became joint-owner alongside John Watchorn after purchasing a 50 per cent share in the business in February 2006. So how does it compare, going from the employee to the employer? “Oh, it’s a huge change,” he tells Irish Trucker. “Initially it was a great thing, and it looked a tremendous thing to do, but the way the motor trade has gone over the last two or three years, it’s been extremely difficult. Times have been tough and they continue to be tough. But we’re riding the storm, which is what it’s all about at the moment.” Maxwell Motors employs a staff of 11, including the next generation of both the Wynne and Watchorn families – Louis’s son Colin is the company’s sales consultant with Michael Watchorn heading up the after-sales area. And despite being a member of the partnership which initiated the business as far back as the ‘50s, John Watchorn is still going strong. “He’s kind of semi-retired now,” says Louis, “but he’s still in and out quite a bit, and with Colin and Michael involved it’s a great family business.” Maxwell Motors has been associated with Volkswagen since the manufacturer first became a presence in this country in the 1950s. The VW badge is regarded worldwide as an iconic brand, and Louis Wynne acknowledges that Volkswagen converts are usually committed for life. “So many people who drive Volkswagens are very loyal to the brand,” he says. “Probably 99.9 per cent of people who drive Volkswagens tend not

only to stay with the make, but also the model as well. The easy answer to why, is the vehicles’ reliability, and also that the resale value is very good across the board. As well as those people who are committed to Volkswagen, we have a lot of customers who are loyal to us. We cover a lot of south Kildare and across the county boundaries in Carlow, Laois and Kilkenny, and we get a very high percentage of local sales.” While the new car showroom at Maxwell Motors is exclusively Volkswagen, the company also offers a range of pre-owned cars, as Louis explains. “The used cars we prefer to deal in are cars that we sold new and that we have full service history on, cars that are in really pristine condition. We have a choice of different makes and models on offer at the front of our showroom in Athy, but in general 75 per cent of our used cars would be Volkswagen.” The company’s premises were refurbished seven years ago, with a seven-car showroom exhibiting all new stock, used cars on display out front and the Volkswagen commercial range on show at the front and side of the showroom. Nevertheless, it’s wise to pay close attention to the future and Louis admits that the long-term vision is to move to a new premises just outside the town. “We purchased a new site on the outskirts of Athy a couple of years ago with the aim of relocating to a purpose-built premises at some point in the not too distant future. Our long-term vision would be to relocate to the outskirts of town with a brand new 11-car showroom over the next couple of years.” As well as all the new Golfs, Passats and Polos which are so popular with motorists worldwide, Maxwell Motors also offers the full range of Volkswagen commercial vehicles, and


the onset of the newlyredesigned Caddy van is expected to be a boon in tough economic times. “We sell the range from Caddy to Transport to Crafter. There’s no doubt that the commercial business has been extremely difficult over the last couple of years, but in comparative terms the Caddy has always done extremely well, and we expect that to continue in the future. “Whereas something like the Transporter van has generally been sold into companies, and that area is extremely slow, you get a lot of small business owner-drivers who buy Caddys. They are still getting a good level of work and I’ve no doubt they will be enquiring about the new model. “There’s a brand new Caddy coming on stream this month and that should do wonders for us. We’ve viewed it already – it’s a fantastic van and it’s very well priced. The major benefit is that it has a new low-emission 1.6 TDI engine. It’s also very attractively priced, retailing in the region of €14,700 including VAT.” While 2009 was a most trying year for anyone involved in the motor trade, the past number of months have brought about a bit of a recovery, with some of the revival undoubtedly down to the Government scrappage scheme introduced last January.

And while it accounts for no more than approximately 10 per cent of the Maxwell Motors business, Louis is keeping his fingers crossed that forecasts from the industry that the scrappage offer will be shelved in December’s Budget are wide of the mark. He says, “It has given us a big boost, there’s no doubt in the world about that. It’s something that you’d like to see continuing, and hopefully it will because the motor trade certainly needs it. Last year was frightening for everyone in every business, not alone the motor trade, but I feel that we’ve turned the corner, and the scrappage deal has helped in that regard. “When it was introduced the most it was going to do was boost sales by about 10 per cent, but I’d say it’s done that across the country and it’s done that for us as well, and we really hope it will continue into 2011. Whether it will or not, we’re not sure. The feedback coming from the Irish motor industry is that it might not be continuing, but I honestly feel that the Government needs it to continue, so hopefully it will.” For more on the Maxwell Motors range, you can check out the company’s website at or contact Louis, John, Colin or Michael at 0598631465.

Continued Best Wishes To Maxwell Motors From

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Lifting for success For the past ten years, O'Carroll Haulage has been supplying a specialised service to a large customer base and through its combination of trucks and cranes; they take the hassle out of moving anything big or small.


ver the course of the last decade, O'Carroll Haulage, which is based in Clarina, Co Limerick, has grown to become one of the leading haulage firms in the mid-west region. The company was set up by Maurice O'Carroll and for this month's edition of Irish Trucker, we take a look at the business that specialises in Maurice and Jackie general haulage O’Carroll with young Dean O’Carroll and also has a number of truckmounted cranes. In the last few years, O'Carroll Haulage has become the proud owner of the largest truck-mounted crane in Munster and they have a modern fleet of rigid and artic trucks, some of which have a 100 ton capacity. The range of trailers include ones that extend to 150ft as well as low loaders that carry up to 50ft and extend to 35 metres, which cover everything object imaginable that may need to be transported. A selection of the items that O'Carroll Haulage has lifted in the past include: Portacabins, Containers, Chemical Storage Units, Plant & Machinery, Boats, Transformers, Generators, Abnormal Loads, Steel Units, Fencing Materials, Building Products, Pipes and Recovery IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Crane Hire Ireland. Maurice has many years experience in the industry and he admits that he is still very much hands on, while a reliable staff ensures that each job is carried out to highest standard of safety possible. “I still drive myself. I've been doing that for years. I worked with O'Brien's Cranes, which is a well known and respected company. I prefer to be involved in driving rather than being in the office. We have a very experienced and hardworking staff here and they are also well trained certified drivers who are safety conscious,” said Maurice. Maurice revealed that maintenance is of the utmost importance as they have strict safety standards and all vehicles are checked on a regular

basis. “All O'Carroll cranes and equipment are maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and the staff rigidly adheres to the safety standards that are in place. “Safety is our primary focus for our employees, your employees and your job site. All of our equipment is carefully maintained to manufacturer standards and is inspected on a regular basis. Crane Service's safety program has led to a safety record that places us among the elite in the industry.” Of course as we all know the haulage industry has suffered greatly in these recessionary times, but Maurice feels that with the type of customers he has on the books, the future looks secure. “We have built up a great customer base and it's very loyal. That's why the business has grown the way it has and now we are also offering a bigger and better service too.” The nationwide firm has built up a reputation for providing top quality equipment and a service that is unrivalled, which is one of the reasons; their customer base is so


O’Carroll Heavy Haulage can move anything big or small

The team at O’Carroll Heavy Haulage, l/r (included are): Denis Courtney, Keith Purcell, Maurice O’Carroll, Philip King, Richie Stokes



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expansive. Being able to supply a wide spectrum of services is also a major factor in the company being so successful. “Traditionally heavy haulage companies rely on other subcontractors to carry out their accessory transport for the larger items/projects - but over the years we have found that we can offer a better more reliable service to the end customer by providing general transport ourselves. “As a result the customer at the end of the day can rest assured that they will receive the same level of service and appreciation through the whole project/contract that they have previously become accustomed to from us.” The customer base of O'Carroll Haulage covers a wide range of industries and sees them deal with some of the biggest companies in the country. “We specialise in providing transport solutions for a wide range of industries throughout Ireland, including the

O’Carroll Heavy Haulage are creating history of their own

private sector, Irish Rail, E.S.B., Gardai, telecommunications, building and construction, agricultural, heavy industrial, mining, timber and plastics industries.” Another string to the company's bow is their ability to be at a job in double quick time ensuring that a customer is now left waiting for any great length of time for their services.

“We can mobilise their cranes throughout Ireland where and when required. Following price negotiations they are on the road immediately to tend to Clients' safe lifting needs. Rates vary according to requirements and I am quite happy to give you a quotation on weekly or daily hire rates etc. All you need to do is call: 0879100454.

O’Carroll Heavy Haulage are based in Clarina, Co. Limerick



Intercity Transport NI Ltd certainly delivers the goods with a 32-county service

Intercity in for the long haul The Co Antrim-based Intercity Transport NI Ltd felt the brunt of the economic downturn south of the border, but with admirably committed staff and a significant technological investment, the future remains bright. Irish Trucker caught up with Managing Director Paul Barton.


aul Barton, the Englishman at the helm of a 32-county Irish transport business, has no regrets about the decision to go out on his own six years ago. The company, Intercity Transport NI Ltd, established with the help of business partner and mentor, Dubliner Eddie Moloney, caught the tail end of the boom before the economy bottomed out. With dozens of business closures, across


every sector every day, the current landscape across Ireland remains hugely difficult for anyone in business. And yet. With the aid of a workforce committed to doing everything in its power to maintaining the future sustainability of the company, Intercity Transport NI is still going strong, and the decision to reinvest a six-figure sum in the company’s technological

infrastructure, which leaves the company on a par with the largest multinational competitors in its field, promises to pay dividends into the future in the form of a successful, viable company. The manner in which everyone at Intercity Transport NI Ltd has responded to the downturn, gives Paul Barton a huge amount of pride in his Trench Road, Mallusk-based IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Intercity operates a fleet of 27 vehicles from its headquarters near Newtownabbey

operation. “We’re a 32-county operation with partnerships with three businesses in the Republic of Ireland,” he says. “To put things in context, approximately 40 per cent of our work came from the Republic but two years ago, when the bottom fell out of that market, the amount of work we got from Intercity Nationwide, a separate company we owned south of the border, dropped immediately by 60 per cent. We were faced with cutting our cloth accordingly. We sat down and talked it over as a team, and as opposed to losing one or two bodies, they suggested a ten per cent pay cut to keep everyone together. That came from them, and to be honest I would put much of our success down to the

We Would Like To Wish Intercity Transport NI Ltd Continued Success For The Future


fact that there’s no divergence between management and staff. The lads would often kick the door open and say, ‘Boss, I think you’re doing this wrong.’ That’s great. We’re a team and we work together in everything we do. The ethos is very much that we all either bask in the sunshine together when times are good, or we all wallow in the mire when times are not so good, and anyone who doesn’t sign up to that ethos doesn’t last very long. Everyone in business has had difficult decisions to take, but what our staff has shown here is that we’re in it for the long haul.” Part of Intercity Transport NI Ltd’s long-term vision is a commitment to cutting-edge technology, which came about in recent years in the form of a

£100,000 investment in state-of-the-art tracking devices and driver training. “I was conscious when we started out,“ says Paul, “that there were very few, if any, companies on the island of Ireland, apart from the big boys, who really embraced technology. Having worked with large UK companies in the past, and used a lot of this technology, I decided there was an opportunity for Intercity Transport to stand out from the crowd, to embrace the technology but still have the ‘personal touch’ of a small business, where you could always pick up the phone and speak to somebody and not be redirected to a call centre somewhere. “About two years ago we invested quite heavily in that technology and we’re at the end of that roll-out now. We have technology that compares well with the biggest multinationals of this world. From 1 January 2011, customers will be able to track down jobs online and get an estimated time of arrival, updated live throughout the day.” There was a time, in a less hurried world, perhaps in a preinternet age, when customers’ expectations for delivery timeframes were more amenable to transport companies all over the world. Now, however, those


expectations are at an alltime high, and Paul feels that the technological investment was essential to the ongoing success of the company. “Gone are the days when people want something tomorrow,” he says. “Nowadays they want it this morning, or yesterday. I read an article recently which said there was something like 130 million orders back into the business. We decided it placed in the week running up to would be crucial to our survival.” Christmas last year, with people While the extent of the workload expecting those orders to be delivered coming from the 26 counties has by Christmas Eve. Those numbers are decreased by about two-thirds in staggering, but they just highlight recent years, Intercity Transport NI Ltd people’s expectations, so we have to remains committed to offering an alldo everything we can to keep up To with that. ishes t NI Ltd W t s Be anspor “We were Tr adamant that we city nter I would still be around well beyond the end of the recession. When that happens we’ll have embraced the technology, invested the costs associated with that, and be that much better placed than our rivals at that point in time. These days, you have little or no chance of getting support off the banks to finance that but we had the funds there to reinvest


The company has made a significant six-figure investment in cutting edge technology in recent years, and from January 1st 2011 customers will be able to track their orders online

Ireland service. To that end, it has healthy contra-agreements with companies such as Securispeed, owned by Paul’s partner Eddie Moloney, as well as Masterlink and Palatine. “We have a core customer base of


about 130 customers, carrying anything from hanging garments to retail establishments, food, drink, building materials, computers,” says Paul. “You name it, we deliver it. We operate out of a depot in Belfast, owned by ourselves, Securispeed’s depots in Dublin, Cork and Limerick and Masterlink has bases in Dublin, Cork, Wexford and Galway. All three companies also use the services of Palatine to cover Sligo and Donegal. “We cover the entire island but where possible we try to stay inside the 32 counties. We have larger customers who dictate that we run to the UK or Europe for them from time to time, but in general we like to keep everything within the island of Ireland. Once you stick something on a boat, the level of control you have over that work decreases dramatically. We offer the highest possible standards, and you don’t have much control of that when you’re subcontracting business to the UK or continental Europe.” Despite the rigours of the economic situation, then, everything is going as well as could be expected for all at Intercity Transport NI Ltd. Having started out with nine staff and five vehicles, the company now runs a fleet of 27 units, including everything from small vans to artics, and more than 30 staff are employed at its headquarters near Newtownabbey just north of Belfast. It’s a very different existence from Paul’s previous role as General Manager of Kingfield Heath’s Irish operations, and he admits he always had dreams of going it alone. Now that he has done so, he would highly recommend the experience, insisting that apart from the headaches of increased responsibility, it is a much more rewarding experience. “From the age of 23 or 24,” says

Wishing Intercity Transport NI Ltd Continued Success In The Future

Intercity Transport NI Ltd stands out from the crowd

Paul, “I always had aspirations to go and work for myself, but never really had the opportunity or the balls to do it until this opportunity came along. When Eddie came to me and suggested that we’d be equal 50-50 partners, that he’d finance it and I’d do all the work, I said ‘Yes’ there and then. People say it’s tough working for yourself, but it’s tough working for a large organisation too. The difference is, when it’s for yourself, if something needs to be done on a Friday night you’ve some degree of control in your own destiny. In all but one case, it’s easier working for yourself. The only bit that’s harder is the responsibility you’ve got to staff to keep the business afloat, to find enough work to keep everything going.” Keeping everything going is something that

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has been achieved with aplomb. Having made the investment in technology that is certain to leave Intercity Transport NI Ltd at the forefront of the transport sector for many years to come, and with staff clearly committed to the cause, it would appear that the company is living up to its mission statement: to do everything it can to stay that one step ahead. One step, and counting. For more information on Intercity Transport NI Ltd’s services, visit or call 02890 833334.

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Digging for success

The O'Mahoney family in Tralee, Co Kerry has quarrying in their blood and the fourth generation of the clan is now continuing a service that was first started in the early 1900's.

Quarrying is part of the O’Mahoney family legacy




J O'Mahoney's great grandparents began operating a quarry at Ballintobeenig, Tralee over 100 years ago and the business has continued to operate throughout the generations with PJ now overseeing the day to day running of the business alongside his wife Caroline and his father John. During that period of time the company has developed a customer base that turns the competition green with envy. Government departments, well known building firms, civil engineering contractors and a host of valued customers in the agricultural and private sectors have all seen the benefit of the O'Mahoney's treatment. Specialising in the supply of sandstone, shale, pencil shale and Leith building stone and various other types of crushed stone the Kerry based firm has a customer base that covers a wide area. Quarrying is a very complex industry in that there are a wide variety of services that can be provided, but PJ revealed that these days; they concentrate mainly on the one area. “We would supply building stone all over the country. A lot of it is going to Wicklow at the moment and we sub that work out to Brennan Hauliers, while we do most of the work around here ourselves,” said PJ. The company's success has been built on producing high quality products at competitive prices. The company also 'delivers' extremely high levels of customer service to complete an all encompassing package. Like all other businesses, the quarry industry has many overheads and PJ revealed that diesel was one of their biggest expenditures during the course of the year. “Diesel is definitely one of the biggest bills of the year. Health and Safety is a major concern in the quarry industry and it is very important to meet the proper standards. “Insurance too have also risen dramatically over the past year and this has had an effect as well.” The success of the business was largely due to providing a reliable and efficient service to a large customer base. The company's success has been built on producing high quality products at competitive prices. O'Mahoney's also deliver extremely high levels of customer service to complete an all encompassing package. “I think things will even out, but not IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

All equipment is well maintained

for another year or so. There has been a huge amount of building done over the past 15 years and I can't see it going back to the way it used to be.” Deploying the finest equipment available and a state-of-the-art, modern fleet in all aspects of its operation, the company got to where it is today by placing a keen emphasis on quality at all times. This will continue as PJ and his staff strive to

sustain their position at the front of the marketplace. “We have a large customer base and many of these would be repeat clients, who are happy with the service that we provide and if we can continue to do that, the company will continue to grow.” PJ admitted that there are many rules and regulations to be followed in the industry, which means plenty of


Continued Best Wishes To O’Mahoney Quarries 57

Best Wishes To O’Mahoney Quarries From

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O’Mahoney Quarries specialise in supplying a variety of stone types

paperwork to be properly completed. “Legislation is a very big area in this industry and all the necessary paperwork has to be completed properly. Health and Safety is a key issue also and in this respect, everything has to be in perfect working order.” PJ has four trucks on the road in order to keep up with the supply of their products to their customers and he feels that he has the most reliable make to ensure to avoid downtime. “We mainly use Hino as we find them the most reliable. The majority of the fleet is fairly new and this cuts down on unnecessary breakdowns, while all trucks are well maintained. “Customers want their deliveries made on time and we've built a reputation on this over the years. It is something that we aim to continue doing for many years to come.” The progression of


O'Mahoney's has been constant; the company has consistently looked to the future to improve its lot. Location is always of the utmost importance for anyone involved in a truck or quarrying business. So far then, things have gone according to plan for all at O'Mahoney's. In the years to come, they will be hoping to build on their success and develop the company even further. Developing contacts in a small area has been one of the reasons for their success. The ability of all to work hard, starting the company off from scratch and then being progressive has been a major factor in its ability to survive. Their proficiency in delivering their product to all their customers on time has also been at the cornerstone of their success. The Kerry based firm can expect a good future as a result.

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Best Wishes To O’Mahoney Quarries From

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South-eastern rising With almost half a century of experience in a range of fields across the haulage sector, J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd is well equipped to survive the recession. Director James Ormonde spoke to Irish Trucker about the Wexford company’s services, including its standalone decorative stone division, Castle Stone.


hen it comes to business survival in the current economic climate in Ireland, offering a wide range of products and services is a good policy. Overreliance on any one sector is never advisable, and that’s certainly the case now, with businesses all over Ireland squeezed by the bust which followed the bubble. The folk at J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Castle Stone, based at Castle Ellis in The Ballagh in Co Wexford, have managed to avoid over-exposure to any particular sector during almost half

a century in existence. While business may not be as brisk as it was at the height of the so-called Celtic Tiger, they’ve managed to stay ticking over by offering a range of services from bulk haulage and agriculture to quality sports sand and decorative stone for both the residential and commercial market. First established by James Snr and his wife Kathleen more than 45 years ago, J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd first established itself as a leading player in the agricultural field in the south-east all those years ago, the company successfully diversified into the

construction sector during the years of plenty and subsequently made the decision to invest in a new division, separately named Castle Stone, which concentrates exclusively on the decorative stone and bark mulch export and import market. James Jnr and his brother David, both of whom have 20 years’ experience in the business, are now on board as company directors. Speaking to Irish Trucker recently, James outlined the various incarnations of the J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd company. “At the start and for a good few years The fleet at J & K Ormonde Haulage in The Ballagh, Co Wexford



my father concentrated on the agricultural sector, drawing beet and hauling a lot of barley for Guinness and the local company, WB Nunn. They were taken over after that but we still work for them, but the agricultural aspect of it is only part of what we do now. We still draw harvest and grain but we switched over to construction when it was flying, hauling sand and gravel and concrete. “The construction sector is on its knees now so I suppose we’ll have to switch again! Over the last few years we’ve also got involved in buying and selling decorative stone through Castle Stone, and that now forms a good part of the business.” J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd’s Castle Stone arm aims to provide low cost, low maintenance but highly attractive stone and bark mulch products for various gardening and landscaping purposes, from driveways to paths to flowerbeds. Both an importer and an exporter, Castle Stone sources the highest quality decorative stone in both Ireland and the UK. “We’re a stone merchant and we source a lot of stone in the UK for people here,” says James. “People who want decorative stone might have

a limited choice in their immediate locality, or might not know the best place to get it, so I sort it out for them either by sourcing it here or importing from the UK.” While the company’s UK business forms a crucial part of its overall workload, James does not envisage a scenario whereby they would concentrate even greater energy on the export market in the coming years. “It’s a good segment of the business, we have one or maybe two trucks in the UK every week so it probably makes up 15 or 20 per cent of the work these days,” he says. “That work in the UK is high-spec job, it’s not the run of the mill stuff, and it’s ticking along, still hanging in there at the moment. It’s stayed at approximately the same level for the last five or six years so I’m not sure I’d see it expanding a huge amount in the coming years.” As a trading name of J&K Ormonde Haulage Ltd, the haulage company’s fleet of vehicles serve all of Castle Stone’s needs, assisting in keeping the company’s overheads to a minimum and in turn ensuring that they are best placed to answer every customer’s decorative stone

requirements. Castle Stone can deliver a huge variety of load sizes, from under one tonne to a maximum of 28 tonnes. The company has also developed an indepth website,, where potential customers can accurately estimate the amount of stone required for their specific project using the Tonnage Calculator. Another wing of the J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd operation has seen it answer the needs of a range of clients in the equestrian industry in recent years. In common with many sectors of the economy over the past two years, the horse-racing and breeding industries have been hit hard by the credit crunch, but the need for investment in top-of-the-range training facilities remains pressing. To that end, J & K Ormonde Haulage Ltd provides the solution for sourcing and delivering quality Wexford sand for use on allweather sand gallops and equestrian arenas throughout Ireland. For more information on the products and services offered by either J & Ormonde Haulage Ltd or Castle Stone, call the company at 0539136136 or check out

The Castle Stone division has become an important subsidiary to the J & K Ormonde Haulage collective in recent years



Best Wishes To J&K Ormonde Haulage Ltd From

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MCD continue to deliver

MCD Express operate mainly from Dublin Port



For the past 12 years, MCD Express has continually improved on its standard of service making it one of the leading hauliers in its field of expertise.



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Wishing Continued Success To MCD Express From

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he company has a lot of things going for it - offering a personal touch, excellent service, fullytrained staff and benefiting from an incredible degree of customer loyalty but one of its greatest assets is the prime location at Unit 2 Mygan Business Park, Jamestown, Finglas, Dublin 11, just off junction 5 of the M50. From this ideal central HQ, the company offers its discerning clientele a superb range of transport, logistics and warehousing solutions. By providing clients with a bespoke, made-to-measure service at competitive prices, MCD Express supplies a transport package that stands head and shoulders above the competition in today's beleaguered yet essential-as-ever distribution sector. Distribution is their business and they do it well, with a minimum of fuss and the absolute maximum in terms of efficiency and reliability. In addition to their high-quality freight-forwarding solution, MCD Express also provide a keen warehousing service, comprising short- and long-term storage, computerised stock control, nationwide distribution, pallet wrapping and order picking. The man behind the company is Mark McDonnell and from its genesis in 1998, MCD Express has moved

with the times accordingly and investment has always been forthcoming. “We can provide a specialist service to our customers, using whatever vehicle or vehicles they require to get that job done as smoothly, efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. We can provide the exact solution they require - at pick-up and delivery points of their specification. Our trucks are perfectly-equipped to carry part and full loads, offering a nationwide service, north to south and east to west and beyond” The Dublin based firm eschews groupage and the whole network craze that's sweeping the country right now in favour of focusing on providing a personal touch. Operating mainly from Dublin Port and Airport, MCD specialises in air and sea freight as well as groupage, HAZ cargo and general haulage; offering a comprehensive package to a wide customer base. This is why long-term customers like Seabridge maintain prominent places amongst the list of clients while a prestigious new contract has also been agreed. At present, Mark oversees a fleet of 13 trucks with the tractor units all being Mercedes, while MAN is preferred for the rigids in the fleet, “The fleet is relatively fresh as the

vehicles would all be between 08 and 06.” A crew of 16 is employed by the Dublin based operator, but how has the sharp downturn in the economy affected business? “Fortunately, we have a very strong customer base and they have all experienced growth in their respective businesses. “Of course, we're only too aware of the difficult times facing everybody, but things are going well at the moment and we expect that to continue for as long as we continue to provide an excellent service. We're in a specialist sector, so we hope to come through the downturn stronger. If we can do the same this year as we did last year and build on that, I would be very optimistic for the future. As for the future, there are understandably no plans for radical diversification. “We're hoping to stay in this sector and run the business as efficiently and cost-effectively as we possibly can. We have 12 years experience and expertise and we intend to put that to good use.” How difficult is it to find the right balance between generating a nice profit and keeping the customer satisfied? “It's all down to controlling costs staying committed and keeping your delivery schedules on time. Once you do that, the balance will come. The main thing is to provide a service The company is established 12 years



The fleet is kept in excellent condition

that's worth paying for. “We have a personal input into every transaction and every customer is here longterm,” Mark continues. “We know them well but we treat them very much as professional clients and give them a fantastic service. That high level of service is a constant.” MCD Express provides an invaluable service to its clients - and that is also

largely due to the substantial hard work and dedicated staff. As a local employer the company looks after its employees at all times. Some of them have been here since day one. Our staff tends to stick with us, so we must be doing something right.” Mark's wife Jennifer is an integral part of the business and together they are determined to continue improving the business.

Best Wishes & Continued Success To MCD Express From

JS Commercials Specialist in Mercedes MAN & Scania Repairs Unit 1, Williamsville Industrial Estate Finglas, Dublin 11

T: (01) 8640346 • M: (086) 2577174

Mercedes is the preferred choice of artic



Tand and deliver

Covering a vast tract of the west, north-west and midlands on a daily basis, Tand Holdings is one of Ireland’s foremost groupage hauliers. Managing Director Tom Leech spoke to Irish Trucker.


om Leech may not be your typical haulage company managing director. He didn’t spend 10 or 20 years behind the wheel of an artic before deciding to go it alone. “No,” he tells Irish Trucker, “my background is in accountancy.” So how did the move into transport management come about? “The accountancy firm I was part of worked for Heaney Transport, which was the forerunner for Tand Holdings, and when the opportunity to get involved arose, myself and business partner David Belton decided to go for it.” While the Heaney Transport name remains associated with the firm, the company’s formal title is Tand Holdings – named after the two key players, ‘T’ for Tom Leech and ‘D’ for David Belton. Despite the fact that for the most part his back-story lies away from the haulage game, Tom insists it has proven to be no obstacle to progress since Tand Holdings took control of Heaney Transport six years ago. “To be honest I didn’t see it as much of a disadvantage,” he says. “I had a lot of experience of the workings of Heaney Transport from my work as the company auditor previously, so there wasn’t a big learning process. The big difference, I suppose, is that now the buck stops with me.” Not that Tom is any real stranger to those responsibilities, having acted as a director of other companies in the past. “When you’re in charge,” he says with a laugh, “you can’t be afraid to kick ass!” He is adamant, however, that there have been few occasions when any ass-kicking was required. “No, we have a very good and loyal workforce here,” he says. “I’ve always believed that if you treat lads right, they’ll treat you right, and that’s the way we try to operate.” As a 20-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week operation, one might think that Tand Holdings would require significant staffing numbers to maintain such hours. Not so, says Tom. “We have 14 employees here at the moment, and everyone chips in to make sure that we offer the necessary quality of service to our clients. We’re open from 6am and we keep going until 2am the following morning, six days a week.

“Between 2 and 6 you have the lorries arriving in from Dublin ready to be loaded again first thing the following morning, so in a way you could say it’s a round-the-clock operation. That’s where the quality and loyalty of our staff come in. It takes a big effort from everyone involved to maintain the service we offer.” To that end, Tom has great assistance from his son Michael, Tand Holdings’ Transport Manager, while his other son Tomás is also involved in administration. Among the remainder of the staff are Tom’s son-in-law David Lavin, who mans the office for the early shift from 6am. Currently based on the Racecourse Road in Roscommon town, plans are afoot to relocate Tand Holdings to a new purpose-built headquarters on a green-field site in nearby Athleague. “That’s the long-term aim,” says Tom. “Planning permission has been granted and we’ll start work on that at some point in the next couple of years, just as soon as the country starts to pick up again and credit loosens up a bit.” Such talk brings us to the wider economy and the role the banks play in the success or otherwise of small and medium enterprises throughout the country. “It’s hard for everyone in business,” says Tom. “You just can’t get any money off the banks. Even if you get a cheque in, they’ll make you wait a week for it before it clears.” Nevertheless, despite all the difficulties caused by the credit crunch and the onset of arguably the worst recession in the history of the Irish state, the bottom-line performance of Tand Holdings has maintained a steady upward curve in recent years. “It’s been very good on the whole,” says Tom. “We’ve increased turnover in each of the last three years, 8-10 per cent a year, which we’re very proud of considering the times we’re living in.” Tom Leech believes there are two key reasons behind such exceptional growth in a difficult market – the primary necessity of hard work, and investment in technology which leaves the company at the cutting edge of Irish haulage. All POD documents are available online, lending a welcome transparency to all the company’s dealings

Best Wishes To Tand Holdings From

Your ONE STOP SHOP .....for all your haulage needs! East West Express Charlestown, Co. Mayo. T: 094-9254502 F: 094-9254970 IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

with its extensive list of clients. “We always want to provide the best possible service so we felt it was something we had to do,” says Tom. “When we get a job, the paperwork is set up and the project is given a unique number, and everything is scanned and uploaded online. The customer can then go to the website, log in and see all the documentation there. It’s as secure as a bank account and it has been a big help to us over the last few years. It’s a good sellingpoint too when you’re talking to a potential new customer – you can give them a test login access code to demonstrate the system to them and give them a good feel for what we can offer.” Tand Holdings specialises in all areas of transport freight and general groupage, while there has been an emphasis on white goods, with the Roscommon firm enjoying good relationships with companies such as Electrolux and Glen Dimplex over a number of years. As a valued member of The Pallet Network (TPN) since the summer of 2009, Tand Holdings is also part of a major operation which has quickly become one of the leading freight networks in the country, although Tom insists that his company’s own operations still form the vast bulk of its workload. “The link-up with TPN has worked out quite well,” he says. “Their reputation speaks for itself. We get and send anything to and from any part of the 32 counties and the United Kingdom, and it’s very handy to have that link with a major pallet network, because it opens up the rest of the Irish and UK markets to us. “It’s been good for us but it’s not a huge part of the business – our area within TPN is limited to part of Co Leitrim, but we’re still covering an awful lot of the country on a daily basis ourselves. We serve Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly on a daily basis. That’s around a third of the country on a daily basis, with three trips to Dublin each day and at least three to Cork each week.” To find out more about Tand Holdings, visit

Wishing Continued Success To TAND HOLDINGS From

Finbar O’Reilly & Co. Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditors Abbeyside House, Abbey Street, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon Tel: (090) 6630760 • Fax: (090) 6630761 Email: 67 Toga House, JFK Park, Killeen Road, Dublin 12 Tel: +353 1 630 4255 Fax: +353 1 630 4256 Email: Continued Best Wishes To O’Leary International


TO BOOK Advertising SPACE ON OUR WEB SITE or enquire about completing a FEATURE please contact log on to



Award-winning excellence O’Leary International Ltd. was deservedly selected as International Haulier of the Year at the prestigious 2010 Fleet Transport Awards. Irish Trucker caught up with a delighted operations director Jim O’Sullivan to take a closer look at the renowned Wexford-headquartered operator.


perating out of New Ross,

relocated to its impressive new

consistently met. Solutions offered

O’Leary International is a

premises in Marshmeadows, New

include: full and part loads; drop

thoroughly-modern, cutting-

Ross - a state-of-the-art, purpose-built

trailers; refrigerated transport –

edge logistics company providing a

facility offering a secure compound

bulkhead trailers; double refrigerated

professional but friendly service

with CCTV and 24-hour security.

trailers; Euroliners, air freight and

throughout Europe. The company has

Despite the growth of the company,

boxes; double-manned vehicles;

grown from strength to strength since

they still offer a personal and efficient

hazardous cargo (with ADR-trained

its modest beginnings in 1988, now

solution to all distribution needs.

drivers); satellite tracking; data log.

operating a fleet of 95 articulated

Servicing the pharmaceutical,

Advance temperature tracking

tractor units and 250 trailers

computer/IT, electronics, retail goods,

systems afford clients real-time

(encompassing boxes, airfreight /

fresh/frozen meat and textiles/clothing

temperature monitoring. O’Leary

garment trailers, refrigerated and

industries, O’Leary International

International can monitor and report


provides a full range of services to

real-time temperature levels, live

ensure that clients’ needs are

temperature monitoring of multiple

In late 2007, O’Leary International



compartments, access set-point recording and a range of alarms and alerts straight to allocated numbers and email addresses, allowing for 24 hour monitoring. By consistently adhering to standards of absolute excellence throughout every facet of the operation, O’Leary International have forged a reputation as genuine leaders in their field. Thus, it was no major surprise to those in the know in the

this company is extremely efficient,

make sure that our clients have

transport industry when the New Ross

knowledgeable and hard-working. By

complete peace of mind. For example,

company was named as Fleet

maintaining close relations with all

we’ve spent a lot of money so that our

Transport’s 2010 International Haulier

clients, offering a personal service at

customers can track temperature

of the Year.

all times and employing a

performances online in real time. It’s

The award was presented at a gala

sophisticated fleet tracking system,

an extra service that they really

night at the Marriott Johnstown House

O’Leary International keeps a finger

Hotel in Enfield, County Meath and

on the pulse, guaranteeing a level of

O’Leary International operations

service that cannot be beaten.

director Jim O’Sullivan modestly

“We’ve managed to remain

admits that he was pleasantly

profitable throughout what has

surprised to collect the top prize in

hopefully been the worst of the

their category:

recession and we’re confident that we

“The awards worked out well and the

can continue to provide an outstanding

appreciate.” Since O’Leary International was initiated by owner William O’Leary it has developed into a massive operation. Today, the company provides employment to a crew of almost 150 people including drivers,

publicity has been good in that it has

service to our customers well into the

workshop personnel and office staff.

highlighted our quality not just to


The role the company plays in the

existing customers but also to

So, what’s the secret of their

local economy as a substantial

potential customers. While it’s

success? What is it that keeps

employer cannot be overstated.

obviously nice to receive a clap on the

O’Leary International ahead of the

back, we were always convinced that

chasing pack? “Service is vitally

is part of the O’Leary Group, which

we were doing things right anyway. In

important. We pride ourselves on the

also includes a waste and recycling

the current climate, you wouldn’t be

level of service we provide. We’re

division as well as Celtic Link Ferries.

here if you weren’t doing things

constantly making improvements to

properly. It’s as simple as that…”

our services and we always make sure

While the economic downturn is

than none of these changes will

proving disastrous for many, O’Leary

impact negatively on any of our

International has met the challenges

customers. Everything is tailored

head on and is actually moving in the

towards giving them a better service.

O’Leary International Transport Ltd.

O’Leary International Ltd., Marshmeadows, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland.

opposite direction to most of the

“We provide a full range of transport

competition. In 2009, they boldly

services and we invest a lot of money

Tel: 051 445300

increased their fleet by 20 trucks.

in specialised equipment to ensure

Fax: 051 445072

That’s quite an accomplishment and –

that we’re providing the best possible


yet again – it underlines the fact that

solutions. We embrace technology and



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Limerick’s Motor Centre Limerick Motor Centre is one of the country's leading Hyundai and Isuzu dealers and in this month's edition of Irish Trucker; we profile the company and look at its history, success and location.


deally situated on the N24 Ballysimon/Tipperary Road on the outskirts of Limerick City, Limerick Motor Centre is a proud supplier of Hyundai and Isuzu to Limerick City, County and Co. Clare. They are conveniently based on our four acre site, close to the M7, Limerick ring road, while being a mere 2.5 kilometres from the city centre. They are also members of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry and are a long established franchise for Hyundai & Isuzu, passenger and commercial vehicles. The founder, Mr. Pat O' Mara is in the motor trade for well in excess of forty years and has supplied IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

customers across Ireland with more than thirty thousand vehicles down through the years. With the customers' help and support, they would be delighted to keep serving the nation and in return, they will offer you excellent value and customer service. Limerick Motor Centre came from humble beginnings and, through focus, diligence and hard work; it has grown from strength to strength. Four years ago there was two state of the art showrooms built, fully equipped work shop with six lifts, full diagnostics area and Body repair centre. They also have a purpose built crash repair centre with new spray booth, jig and bench. With their own purpose built

paint mixing room, water based paint with appropriate ventilation and duly qualified staff to operate same. The premises are reassuringly secure and they have a very large customer data base with a lot of repeat customers. There is a well established reputation and are very well regarded within the motor industry. Limerick Motor Centre is a 100% family run business, comprising of Mr. Pat O' Mara snr and three sons, Robert, Martin and Pat O' Mara jnr. They are fully focused on customer satisfaction and providing excellent value. Our sales team consists of Pat O 'Mara, Robert O Mara, Martin O' Mara and Gerry O' Brien.


Limerick Motor Centre are proud to introduce their newest member of staff, Mr. Gerry O' Brien. Gerry joined the sales team in February this year. Gerry is a native of Crusheen, Co. Clare and is working in the motor trade since 1999. Gerry is well known in the motor sport circles throughout the country and was active in the recruiting of Marshals for the Irish rounds of the World Rally Championships in 2007 and 2009. Gerry has seen a big pick up in business in 2010 over 2009. This is largely due to the success of the scrappage scheme which was introduced in December 2009. To keep the motor trade buoyant in 2011, the scrappage has to be extended for a least another year. Gerry's' responsibility in Limerick Motor Centre is the sale of new and used vehicles, booking in used vehicles to the state of the art Service Department at Limerick Motor Centre. Gerry is also responsible for updating the maintaining the company website with used vehicles. In this day and age, people have there shopping done on the laptop before they arrive on the

Part of the team: Pat O’Mara (owner), William Horgan, Carmel Mulqueen, Martin O’Mara, Gerry O’Brien

forecourt. They would like to invite you to come visit our new showrooms on the Ballysimon Road, Limerick, where you can view the full range of the new all new Hyundai i-range. Come and look at the all new i10, i20, i30 & i30 crosswagon, which are completely conducive to city driving. They also

have the new ix35 and new 2.0 Santa Fe litre 7 Seater. Coming soon to our showroom is Hyundai's new ix20 1.4 diesel. View the full Isuzu range NNP Tipper, D Max, Crew Cab, selection of colours in stock. Limerick Motor Centre stock up to 250 used units at any given time.

Limerick Motor Centre is a main Isuzu dealer



Best Wishes To Limerick Motor Centre

Tel: (01) 419 4500 • Fax: (01) 4194535





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Best Wishes To Limerick Motor Centre


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Best Wishes to Limerick Motor Centre

Don’t be left in the dark log on to




Limerick Motor Centre is situated close to the M7

has grown. Much There is also a wide range of Jeeps, of this is due to the fact that they 4X4's, Vans, Commercials in stock for provide an after sales service on every your perusal. product they sell at very competitive The premises also comprises of a rates. All the secondhand vehicle Van Hire department, vans ranging come with a full service, valid NCT / from 1.9 cc engine size vans up to 3.5 DOE Test, fully valeted and parts tonne trucks. They also have a fully exchanges are always welcome. They stocked Hyundai and Isuzu Stores and provide all finance options available. Accessories Department with our “While the road to recovery remains Stores Manager, Mr. William Horgan, challenging, the success of the who has in excess of 10 years scrappage scheme and the return of experience who would be delighted to the buyers to the forecourt are very facilitate all the customers' needs. positive indication for 2011.� The comprehensive Service Make Limerick Motor Centre, proud department has six lifts, a fully suppliers of all models of Hyundai and equipped Diagnostic area and duly Isuzu for Limerick City & County, your qualified staff to look after your No.1 choice in 2011. Limerick Motor vehicles every need. The Service Centre has also, recently, been Department is run by Pat O' Maras' son, Mr. Pat O' Mara jnr. Please contact Carmel Mulqueen in the Service Department for any booking requirements. What has become most noticeable in recent years is how the service A quality used car selection offers plenty of choice department IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

appointed Hyundai Dealer for Co. Clare. Contact Names for Limerick Motor Centre: Sales Department: Pat O' Mara, Robert O' Mara, Martin O' Mara, Gerry O' Brien. Stores Department: William Horgan. Service Department: Carmel Mulqueen. Van Hire Department: Robert O' Mara. Contact Details Numbers for Limerick Motor Centre: Phone Number: 061 417141 417699 401691 413071 Fax Number: 061 401692. Email: Website:


Based in Newtownards, Co Down, John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery has been a real success story over the past 16 years

Best Beers The Newtownards-based John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery prides itself on a 24-hour, 365-day repair and recovery service across Ireland and the United Kingdom. Irish Trucker caught up with company owner John Beers.


f the key to the success of any business is recognising and exploiting a niche in the market, then John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery certainly succeeds on that score. The company was established in 1994, with proprietor John Beers imbued with the confidence required


for any new business venture by the realisation that there existed a very real opening for a recovery service in his hinterland. Recounting the decision to establish the business at Drumhirk Road, Comber, Newtownards, Co Down, Beers says, “The place I was working

in closed down, the man who owned it was retiring, so I just thought, why not go for it?” he says. “There was no competitor in the area so I decided to give it a go and offer something that no other business in the locality was offering.” A service and recovery operation IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

was born, and John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery has gone from strength to strength in the intervening 16 years. With six employees, several of whom double as mechanics and drivers, John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery has a fleet of 17 vehicles including service vans, low-loaders and breakdown lorries. It’s a long way down the road from its beginnings in the mid-1990s, when John himself comprised the totality of the operation. “I bought a tractor unit and an old low-loader, did them up and refurbished them,” he recalls. “I then bought a 3300 DAF recovery vehicle from a good friend of mine in England and I used that for a long time.” The company prides itself on its 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year recovery service for both private and commercial vehicles, and with full storage facilities, a lock-up yard and CCTV surveillance of its premises, its clients can rest assured that all work will be conducted to the highest possible standards of service and security. John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery is now a member of all the major associations and affiliations, including the Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators, the Road Haulage Association and the Road Rescue Recovery Association. As that list of affiliations might suggest, John Beers Car & Commercial does not limit itself to its immediate neighbourhood in Co Down. Far from it, with the company offering repair and recovery services throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. Despite the success of the business, Beers believes that the weight of bureaucracy makes it increasingly difficult for any company to flourish in these straitened times. “There’s so much paperwork and red tape that it can be hard to get stuff done,” he laments. “We spend so much time dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. The way things are, that’s not a good thing, because it’s a job just surviving in business at the moment, so we could do without all that bureaucracy.” Which brings us to the effects of the downturn. The dogs on the street would no doubt inform us that the recession is less pronounced north of the border than in the south, but John insists that the North has not escaped the rigours of economic uncertainty, IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

John Beers has the vehicles and technology to cater for every eventuality on the road

with the vicious circle of cash-flow difficulties impinging on every business. “Prices are going down rather than up,” he says. “There are people out there lifting vehicles without paying any of the overheads, and that makes it harder for someone who does things by the book to compete. We also rely on the haulage man for a fair bit of our business, and if he’s not getting paid by his customers then he’s going to find it hard to pay us.” For many in business, the secret to surviving and prospering beyond the downturn lies in sheer hard work, and John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery certainly fits the bill on that front. Investment is also a natural precursor to success, and it’s no different with the repair arm of the

John Beers operation. “We’ve spent a lot of money on the technology needed in the garage,” he says. “We have new brake-testing technology here and all the diagnostic equipment required to do the job to best practice. There is nothing we can’t plug into now, and bring it up on a screen to figure out exactly what needs to be done.” Should you take advantage of the services and level of professionalism offered by John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery, you’ll be sure to receive an excellent return on investment, with a reduced cost of repairs in the long-term, reduced risk of possible breakdowns and the costs associated with them, as well as the likelihood that a well serviced vehicle will be more economic on a range of

If things go awry when you’re on the road, John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery can get you out of a hole


John Beers and his staff offer the necessary expertise to deal with all recovery jobs

issues, from fuel consumption to brake discs. So in which direction does he see John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery taking in the future? Any there any great expansion plans, or is it a case of consolidating until things pick up again? “To be honest,” replies John, “I’ll be happy enough if we stay just as we are. The way things have gone, though, people are spending a

bit more on maintaining their fleets rather than upgrading to new vehicles, so that has made our garage very, very busy again. “There is new health and safety legislation on the way which will make it compulsory for every vehicle to be subjected to a safety inspection every six to eight weeks, so that’s what we’re working towards now. We aim to be ahead of all the legislation to make

sure everything moves smoothly when it comes in, so we subject all our vehicles to rigorous safety examinations every six weeks or so.” For more information on the services offered by John Beers Car & Commercial Recovery, contact the company at 02897-521 542 or via email at

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Best Wishes To John Beers

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Divilly Transport is one of the leading haulage firms in the west

Keep on trucking The haulage industry is an embattled species at the moment given the spiraling costs that hauliers have been forced to deal with on a daily basis.


he plight of the haulier is one that generally goes unheard of in the mainstream, and it is difficult for them to voice their concerns at times Divilly Transport in Glenamaddy, Co Galway has been one of the real success stories in general haulage and goods transportation throughout Ireland & UK. Brendan Divilly spoke to Irish Trucker about the company he expanded from the original family business. Third generation hauliers, Divilly Transport began trading in 1907 when John Divilly started in business, gathering both potatoes and eggs from local farmers and delivered to local


towns as well as Galway City and Dublin. The Horse & Cart was the mode of transport then but today's flagship truck is a 460hp Mercedes Actros. From the 50's to the 80's Joseph Divilly senior progressed the business and formed the main company, Joseph Divilly & sons Ltd from which Divilly Transport licensed Hauliers emerged. Divilly Agri supplies and Corrib Eggs are also under the umbrella of the parent company. It was mainly through the Agri side of the business that the transport took off. As Brendan explains “We were selling fertilizers and feedstuffs to

farmers and through this the need for transport got bigger. In 1984, we became licensed hauliers; it was a great benefit to be able to return your own loads for resale” The haulage also grew with the emergence of a local manufacturing company, ROM Plastics, now part of Titan Environment. “We started off delivering oil tanks on flat trailers to their Dublin depot, but soon developed into nationwide deliveries using curtainsiders. The Celtic Tiger was off great benefit as we were always guaranteed a return load,” says Brendan Following on from this, UK work developed through contacts made and IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

a good service provided, giving Divilly Transport the opportunity to have two trucks based in the UK to meet demand. This was possible through the tracking systems fitted to all the Divilly Transport trucks to monitor the day to day movements. Modern Technology - a long way from the horse and cart! “ The majority of the our staff have been with us for many years, our most senior driver, Tom Finnegan having been here nearly 30 years and knows the roads Ireland like the back of his hand. When a new driver is not sure of where a collection or delivery point is, the standard comment from all of us is “Ask Tom! “Like any business, there are good and bad days, one comes to mind when a driver rang the office to find out if a particular trailer would fit under a certain bridge, only to be told “no it won't “. The reply came back “well it does now,” recounts Brendan. For 26 years now, Brendan and his highly skilled team of employees have been devoted to making sure their transport service has been providing a sufficient service to its customers all across Ireland. Customer satisfaction has been the secret to the Galway based outfits success so far “We have always believed that customer service and satisfaction is the only way to truly achieve success and to this end we have always strived for the best possible customer service” said Brendan “Fortunately, we have a very strong customer base and they have all experienced growth in their respective businesses,” Brendan reveals. “We have a very good working relationship with all our customers and as long as that continues then I can see no reason why anything would change. We are currently operating all over Ireland and the UK” Being involved with such reliable companies is a major help at this time. They have a good reputation and we'd like to think we have a good one. We're focusing more on the customers and their needs. Hopefully that will help us through the current economic climate. “Of course, we're only too aware of the difficult times facing everybody, but things are going OK at the moment and we expect to continue for as long as we continue to provide an excellent service. “We're hoping to stay in this sector and run the business as efficiently IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

The Divilly clan. Back row, l/r: Brendan, Joe, Cathal. Front, l/r: Luke, Jack and Adrian

and cost-effectively as we possibly can. We have 26 years of experience and expertise and we intend to put that to good use.” We ask how difficult is it to find the right balance between generating a profit and keeping the customer happy? “It's all down to controlling costs and sticking to your delivery times. Once you do that, the balance will come. The main thing is to provide a service that's worth paying for. However, it's only through developing new innovative services that Divilly Transport will remain competitive in years to com according to its founder. With facilities and personnel on hand to carry out servicing and maintenance work on their vehicles, Divilly Transport has also incorporated the very latest technology into their business e.g. Sat. Tracking. “As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. All the fleet is relatively new and we aim to keep them for another few years. There are not many companies going out and buying brand new trucks at the

moment” Brendan got involved with the business when there was just one artic and one rigid back in 1984, this reached a peak fleet number of 10 artics and two rigids, this enables the company to offer more flexibility “Things are tough at the moment for everyone, but we have to keep looking out for the opportunities and take them when they come. At the moment through, I'd have to say that we are happy enough with the amount we are doing. “The haulage industry has been hammered left, right and centre over the past two years, as usual the hauliers are their own worst enemy, it would be great if all the Hauliers would get behind the IRHA and become more involved as there is strength in numbers. In today's climate the stronger the organization, the more power they have in negotiations. There are good advantages to being a member of the IRHA and it is great to know you can call on them when needed “

Members of staff along with owners Joe and Brendan Divilly. From l/r: Tom Finnegan, Joe, Sonny Kelly, Brendan and Rob Pridding


Best Wishes To Divilly Transport From MATTY KEANE

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Feedstuffs are regularly hauled by Divilly Transport

To compliment Divilly Transports general haulage operation, the trailer fleet covers Fridges, flats, Bulk Blower and can offer a Moffatt unloading service too. Brendan's father, Joe, being one of the first in the West to

take delivery of the then revolutionary Moffat Mounties back in 1987. This ties in with the Agri-merchants operation also running from the yard. Finishing the fleet is the Sprinter vans of Corrib Eggs.

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Best Wishes & Continued Success To Divilly Transport

Best Wishes To Divilly Transport From

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Cullen predicts bright future Car and light commercial sales are gradually returning to some degree of normality following a tough year or two in the industry. The Government's scrappage scheme has been credited for playing a huge part in the resurgence as the motor sector fights back against the economic recession.


or this month's edition of Irish Trucker, we profile Portlaoise Renault, which is part of the Bill Cullen Group and we speak to Bill's brother Aidan, who is general manager of the midlands' premise. The Bill Cullen Group is synonymous with the Renault brand and the company now has five dealerships strategically located around the country. Since November 2009 Aidan has overseen the day-to-day running of Portlaoise Renault and he admits that it is an exciting time for the business, especially in the light commercial section. “October was a massive month for us as Renault launched their new versions of the Master, Traffic and Kangoo. Indeed, there are three different specs on all the new range being launched to cater for the customers needs,” said Aidan. One of the new versions of the Kangoo is smaller in spec than its predecessors and Aidan believes that this will suit a lot of business people in Ireland. “The unclear law introduced where people are not allowed use their commercial vans for private use unless they pay a huge amount of tax has left many wondering how they will manage. However, the new Kangoo will help avoid that problem as it’s functionality would suit a lot of the day to day requirments The three models are set to engage a lot of interest IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

from customers and a major draw for the Master is that it will come with a five-year warranty regardless of mileage. “The five-year warranty is going to be a huge incentive for customers. It basically gives the owner the piece of mind that any manufacturer defect will be covered during their lifetime with the vehicle. Most van owners generally trade in their vans after three years or so, and that will mean the vehicle will always be under warranty when they have it.

“We hosted an open weekend in October where customers came in to see the vehicles for themselves and I'm sure they were impressed by what's on display. Renault are the number one van in Europe and we intend to share that position in Ireland. “I suppose with the way the country was, commercial vehicle sales dropped considerably, but it is an area that we will be concentrating on a lot more over the coming months. “Twenty per cent of our sales would have come from vans, but that

General Manager Aidan Cullen and Sales Manager Padraig Clancy head a great team at Portlaoise Renault


dropped considerably during the last eighteen months, but we are finding a steady incline so it's a big part of our business and we will be focusing a lot more on that area with the launch of the new models Based on the Abbeyleix road in the town, Portlaoise Renault has become a focal point in the area, while customers come not only from Laois but surrounding counties like Tipperary, Kilkenny and Offaly also, meaning that a large customer base has been established over the years. “We would have a fairly significant number of repeat customers, many of who have been with us since we first opened up here. Customer satisfaction is first and foremost in our list of priorities and once we can maintain the high standards that we have set ourselves, then we are confident the business will continue to thrive.” The state-of-the-art showrooms offer a friendly and comfortable ambience

The Renault make has proven to be a popular choice amongst motorists


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Customers will be met by a friendly and efficient staff

Wishing Continued Success To Portlaoise Renault from

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The impresesive forecourt at Portlaoise Renault

that allows customers to relax in the surroundings, get some liquid refreshments in the Coffee Dock and enjoy the television and radio programmes available. “We have a dedicated commercial vehicle specialist to look after your commercial needs. Business people's time is precious; and they might not always have the time to call to our showrooms, so we can call round to their place of business so we can fulfill their transport requirements.” The staff of Portlaoise Renault are friendly and eager to help in anyway and in a sports mad county like Laois, customers will be delighted to be met by one of their greatest ever gaelic footballers, Padraig Clancy, who is sales executive with the company. “Padraig has been with us for the past 2 years and many of our customers would have some connection with the GAA, so there are plenty

of discussions and banter taking place on a daily basis.” Apart from vehicle sales, Portlaoise Renault also have a comprehensive parts department that ensures there will be no long waits for a part needed, while their service department is fully equipped with the most modern of technology and all the technicians are highly trained. Aidan is pleased with the way the business is progressing once again and he admits that these are exciting times for Portlaoise Renault as they gear themselves for a bright future. “We have a wide range of new and second hand vehicles on the premises at any given time, so there is plenty of choice there for the customer. We are gearing towards the launch of the new range of light commercials and we're looking forward to that very much.”



Fencing and racking at the G.M.R Greener Metal Recycling facility

A proper procedure John Dockrell established the business in 1974


The process of car and light commercial dismantlers has changed dramatically over the years and four years ago, the term 'car breakers' was made defunct as operators in this industry were ordered to obtain the necessary licence to become Authorised Treatment Facilities. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS


ne such company is G.M.R Greener Metal Recycling and for this month's edition of Irish Trucker, we speak to owner John Dockrell and he tells us about the history, success and location of this wellestablished business. Greener Metals was initially established as IAES and dealt largely as a lorry and light commercial breakers in 1974 by John Dockrell. The business is based at Ballyboughal, Co Dublin, and in the last four years, the company has made a major investment upgrading the facilities to the proper standard. Over the years, Greener Metals has developed a reputation as being the leading player in its field of expertise, specialising in recycling ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and plastics. The company has certainly moved with the times and no expense has been spared in installing the latest machinery and technology to ensure that vehicles are disposed of in the proper manner. Through its three-acre site, IAES now have all the facilities to recycle all parts of an end of life vehicle that is brought into their yard. An end-of-life vehicle (or ELV) is a car or light commercial vehicle which is to be disposed of by the registered owner (in other words, a car or small van which is to be scrapped). Since 1 January 2006, owners of intact end-oflife cars and vans must deposit such vehicles at an appropriately permitted or licensed authorised treatment facility (ATF). “An authorised treatment facility may not charge for accepting an end-of-life IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

vehicle. When one of these vehicles is deposited at an authorised treatment facility, the owner will receive a certificate of destruction,” said John. “The disposal of end-of-life vehicles is controlled because they can pose a threat to the environment. This is largely because of the hazardous materials contained in end-of-life vehicles. These include, for example, lead acid batteries, fluids including lubricating oil, coolant, brake fluid, and catalytic convertors, all of which must be disposed of safely in order to prevent pollution. “We operate to the strictest E.U. technical guidelines as stipulated in European and Council Directive 2000/53/EC on End-of-Life Vehicles. We endeavour to ensure vehicles are de-polluted, dismantled and recycled with the minimum impact on the environment. “The Government scrappage scheme across Ireland has helped business as more people have to scrap their older vehicles properly and we feel that we have the facilities in place to carry out depollution to the highest standard." Owners must now obtain a C.O.D, which is a certificate of destruction from an authorised treatment facility like GMR in order to avail of the scrappage scheme. GMR ensure that every product is disposed of in the correct manner, “We are one of the first participants in the Department of Transport online “COD” Scheme which means we can register the Certificate of Destruction for your vehicle immediately. This

document means that your vehicle will automatically be de-registered from DVLA records and in accordance with the legislation.” Responsible disposal of vehicles also reduces the number of such vehicles being abandoned or illegally dumped. In fact, it is estimated that in Ireland in 2008 89% of all end-of-life vehicles were illegally disposed of (without CoDs). All hazardous wastes are removed including fuel, coolants, oil, brake fluid, tyres and batteries and they are either reused or sent to various licensed sites for recycling or disposal. "We have invested around €1 million in upgrading the facilities to EU standards and we have installed a depollution area, we have storage tanks in a bonded wall. We have recently been given grant assistance from the SEAI to retrofit our plant to electric, and to improve our storage and handling facilities and a unique electric driven machine to handle ELVs." John feels angry over how freely rogue operators can work in the industry and he stressed that this is a huge blow to the waste sector. "Any vehicle that comes in here is monitored throughout each process and we now have the capabilities of recycling over 85% of the vehicle, in accordance with EU legislation. We are one of the few yards in Ireland meeting this target. However, we are working towards achieving of 95% by 2015, when the European guidelines raise the recyclability rates once more.

A car is depolluted using the proper procedures


"We had to invest heavily in order to achieve this and then you have some so called companies come along and tell you that they will dispose of your vehicle, when in fact they take bits and pieces off them and then just dump while all fluids are still in the vehicle. “We are currently processing 40-50 ELV's a week and have the capacity to do so much more. There are currently 12 licensed facilities around Dublin and we are one of them. We offer a free collection service in the county also.” GMR have recently launched a new website,, it explains the legislation, the depollution process and the services they offer in more detail.

Cars are stocked accordingly to maximise storage

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Greener Metal Recycling From All At

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Greener Metal Recycling From

Haughey Metals Ltd BUYERS OF ALL GRADES OF SCRAP METALS BIG HOOK SKIP SERVICE SCRAP COLLECTED IN ALL AREAS 151 Darkley Road, Keady, Co. Armagh • Tel: (048) 3753 1929 • Mobile: (086) 3881101 Continued Best Wishes To Greener Metal Recycling From Angelo O’Connor & Chem-Regen

SPECIALISTS IN WATER TREATMENT & RECYCLING SYSTEMS Truck Wash Waste Water Recycling - Water - Solvent - Treatment Equipment - Service Chem-Regen, Station Rd, Portarlington, Co. Laois. T: 057 8645785 F: 057 8645785 M:087 2420195 Email: - 90



Keep on trucking with




Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine  
Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine  

January 2011 of Irish Trucker & Light commercials magazine geared towards the Irish trucking and haulage industry.