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Golden opportunities in God’s Country For a country so young in terms of colonisation, people tend to forget how old Australia really is. Some 40000 years ago, civilised indigenous inhabitants roamed its fertile lands and as anyone who has ever looked at a piece of coal before will tell you, with the passing of time comes riches beyond your dreams. The Australian resources and mining industry has been growing for so long now that even the recent global financial crisis (or GFC as they call it over there) couldn’t affect it that much. There was a minor blip in the Australian economy, sometime in early 2009 but then, when the rest of us had to deal with banking industry bailouts and IMF bigwigs muscling their way into Irish sovereignty, Australia shrugged off this minor blip and got on with the business of growing again. In the past decade, one of the most significant sectoral trends experienced by the Australian economy has been the growth of the mining sector (including petroleum, liquefied natural gas and iron ore) and a major consequence of that is the requirement for skilled workers to work within this industry. The boom has caught them by surprise to a degree, with industry experts predicting there will be a need for an additional 40000 skilled workers to work on resource industry related projects by the end of next year. For the most part the resource projects are based in Western Australia, North Western Australia and Queensland and with the massive downturn in the construction industry taking place here over the last 3 years, skilled migrants from Ireland have been taking advantage of this resource boom ‘down under’ to relocate their families lock, stock and barrel to the southern hemisphere. They have happily reinvented themselves in a society that’s not burdened with a general malaise and undercurrent of ‘doom and gloom’ running through it. People who have made the move to date have been unanimously positive, realising that if they hadn’t taken the plunge, they might still be here twiddling their thumbs, waiting for a flailing economy to turn itself around, unsure, if or indeed when that actually might


happen. As it stands they’re happy, their kids are happy and in good schools, with everyone enjoying the joys of outdoor life that Australia has to offer; and the money at the end of the month isn’t too shabby either! Globester Recruitment, a specialist employment agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, has been working with a large number of Australian companies over the last few years and has become something of an expert in

the placement of skilled trades people such as Plant Mechanics and Truck Mechanics into companies based in the resources sector, particularly in Western Australia. As Chief Operations Officer John Duffy says, “The opportunities out there are truly life changing and having dealt closely with the companies themselves, I can vouch for their absolute commitment to ensuring that new employees and their families assimilate well into Australian society and are happy to be there. These companies travel 12000 miles to be here for interviews so I don’t think they’d do that if there weren’t serious about what they are doing”. To date Globester has placed over 30 Plant and Truck Mechanics into their clients in Western Australia, and as Duffy says, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “To be honest, we have 3 companies travelling to Ireland from Perth over the next 2 months and if we had 40 excellent, time served mechanics, they’d all have fantastic new jobs to go to in Australia in the morning. We are facilitating the recruitment programmes for these companies while they are here, so if anyone thinks they have the right skills and want to make the move, then we want to hear from them”. Globester Recruitment can be contacted in Dublin on 01 417 9652 (ask for John) or at their newly opened Cork office on 087 133 6008 (ask for Matt). If you are an experienced Diesel Plant Mechanic or Truck Mechanic and are looking to move to a warmer climate (in more ways than one), then why not put a call through to Globester, who will be more than happy to discuss these open positions with you in more detail. Globester’s website is and for more information regarding living and working in Western Australia, please access also.


A1 is top of the class

Part of the helpful team



Due to the demise of the construction industry, the skip hire business has suffered the consequences also and it has become a tough industry for all involved to survive.


owever, having the capacity to diversify into other areas is essential in the current economic climate and that's what Belfast based A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. has managed to do and we speak to Transport Manager Barbara Mitchell about the company's ongoing transformation. A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. was established in 1996 by brothers Gary and Thomas Bates and they specialised in the hiring of a wide range of skips to both the private and commercial sector. Over the years, the company's reputation for reliability and competitive prices saw them involved in some of the biggest construction jobs in Northern Ireland, which they continue to this day, which include the Obel Tower and the Grove to name just two. The provide a range of skips from the four tonne midi to the 6ft roll on/off, while top soil is also delivered and collected, which adds to the list of service that this progressive business

provides. With 30 highly trained employees on the books, A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. ensures that any customer will not be waiting any longer than necessary for their skip to be delivered and Barbara stressed that they are keen to continue supplying a top quality service to their large customer base. “The skip hire business has suffered in the last few years, which is mainly due to the demise of the construction industry, but we still provide our wide range of skips to many of the top construction firms in Northern Ireland,� said Barbara. Nonetheless the main focus is now on the waste transfer station that the company has been operating for the past two and a half years, which since of last August has been a major transformation within the company. “We are currently undergoing a major relaunch in the redevelopment of the entire business. We acquired a new telephone number, launched a new website and spearheaded a major advertising campaign

Service you can depend on



The company is 15 years on the road

including a radio advert on local station Cool FM. “There is a major investment of money in changing the company's image and we are in the process of changing the name to A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. However at the moment we are using both names.” Barbara revealed that the waste


transfer station located at 1 Duncrue Pass, Belfast has undergone a major redevelopment, which the company are busy promoting at the moment. “The waste transfer station has been expanded and we can now accept a wider range of wastes of which 95% is recycled with the remaining five percent sent to landfill. Customers

can also bring their waste to dump in the waste recycling transfer station for a cost from £60+VAT per tonne. We have invested in new plant at the facility also as well upgrading the existing facilities. “We are also seeking our ISO 18001 having already obtained the 14001 and 9001. We cover all areas of


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Belfast and through our extensive fleet we can transfer waste to and from the station. “All the staff are trained to the Wamitab Level 4 standard and have the necessary experience to perform their duties to the highest standard. There is a lot of legislation to be adhered to in the waste transfer station and it is essential that everything is properly documented.” As regards to the company fleet, DAF is the preferred choice of vehicle as it is felt that they are the most reliable truck on the road and TBF Thompson provide all A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. fleet. “We have been dealing with Thompsons for a number of years now and we have a very good working relationship with them. They would look after all our maintenance as well and we are regularly adding to the fleet.” Waste management is a very contentious issue and there is much legislation to be adhered to in the industry, all of which sees every piece of scrap monitored until its final destination, whether that be recycled or landfill. “The legislation regarding waste management is changing all the time. Gary looks after the day-to-day running of the waste transfer station, while Thomas looks after all the legal aspects of the business.” The time and effort put in by all involved over the last few months as the redevelopment of the business takes shape has not gone unnoticed and Barbara revealed that the

The company name is changing to A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd

customer friendly service to its large transition has went relatively smoothly. “I think the general opinion in the customer base. Over the past 15 years, they have restructure of the business has gone worked hard to build up a steady trade very well. It has been a long process and now they are there, the aim is to and there is still plenty to do, but we maintain and improve on that level of are achieving our goals and targets.” consistency over the coming years. There is plenty of Continued Best Wishes To A1 Batesy Skip Hire, From competition in both the skip hire and waste management industries, but Cork Dublin Belfast Mob (087) 2835044 (087) 2597102 (0791) 2631524 A1 Batesy Skip Hire Ltd. looks to have the structure in place to provide an efficient, reliable and

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Brennan International has been established since 1988

Still going strong Coming up on 25 years since its establishment, Brennan International Ltd is still continuing to offer its customers an extensive international transport service, covering the UK, Europe and Ireland. Irish Trucker spoke to the company’s Managing Director Patrick Brennan, to find out more about his business.


here are fewer lines of business more demanding than an international transport service, but somehow Patrick Brennan and his loyal drivers at Brennan International Ltd have continued to make it work for over 23 years now. Based in Steamboat Quay, Limerick, the company employs 10 workers and was founded by its current MD Patrick Brennan, who has been the drivingforce towards its success through three decades now. “We’re established since 1988 here in Limerick”, explained Patrick. “We have nine working here full-time and one person part-time. I’m the Managing Director of the company. “Basically, what we do is dry and refrigerated haulage throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. The IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

places we transport to in Europe would mainly be Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Spain. “It was 1994 before I first started doing work outside Ireland and I was going to Manchester twice a week. That was the first year that I bought an artic truck and it was ’98 before I employed a second driver at Brennan International.” After employing his first driver, business continued to grow from strength to strength at Patrick Brennan’s company and over the next decade eight more drivers would join as Brennan International Transport began to make its mark across Europe. Now Brennan International Transport offers an extensive transport of cargo

both to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. The express groupage service includes daily back and forth from Ireland to the UK, with Dry Freight and Hazardous cargo. The company’s Mainland Europe service sees them make trips to France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, with three weekly departures from their base at Steamboat Quay, Limerick. A reliable service has seen Brennan International Transport maintain loyal customers all over Ireland and throughout the continent. Even in the current tough climate for business, Patrick says that there is no shortage of work for his business but admits that the rising fuel costs are what most affects his and other businesses in his line of work.


Brennan International Transport offers an extensive transport of cargo

“At the moment we’re busy enough in fairness,” Patrick stated. “The exports out of Ireland are up, but imports to Ireland have slowed down. “I have had the same customers that I’ve had since 2004, but the big problem at the moment is the price of diesel and it’s something that the government should be doing more about. “The government‘s take is too high, especially when you look at how the cost has gone up since the last two budgets. I think the Carbon Levy

should be scrapped at the moment. This was done when the barrel was $80 and it’s now $115 dollars. He added:” They could afford to take a bit less and try to keep the price to a level. They should have a kind of ‘more when down, and less when up’ policy on fuel prices.” Such has been the harsh rise in fuel costs that Patrick has travelled further afield to fill up his trucks. Doing this has seen him make considerable savings on fuel costs for his fleet, and he pointed out that his company isn’t

the only one in Ireland availing of cheaper fuel across the continent. “At the moment I would be doing most of my filling in Belgium, which is much cheaper – around 10 per cent, I’d say, “explained Patrick. “Before the huge rise in fuel in Ireland, I was giving €400 in duty every fill (X 8 a week) to this country and that’s now gone because the rise in prices is just too much. The government should have a system, because we’re being hit twice as hard in this country: between the fuel costs

The company provides dry and refrigerated haulage throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe



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and the ferry costs surcharge in Ireland – UK and UK – Continent. Patrick says that Irish exports will suffer over fuel costs and knows that it will dent business prospects in Europe in time. Things are as competitive as ever with the current economic climate. He stated: “Germany will buy off the Belgian/Dutch instead of us, so we need to bring down the cost of fuel to the point where we will be in the same

playing field as Belgium/The Netherlands. “The Belgian/Dutch who is selling products in Germany will only do better than the Irish in Germany because of the cost. I think that’s something that needs to be addressed if Ireland wants to stay strong in the European market again.” Despite the tough times, Patrick says it’s the loyal drivers in his company that helps to keep things ticking over

smoothly for his extensive fleet, which is essential as business becomes more demanding heading towards the latter final quarter of the year. “We have six Scanias, two Volvos and a Mercedes and all in all we have nine drivers and 13 trailers (dry and refrigerated). “We have drivers that are very experienced. The newest driver I have here is with us five years and the oldest is here 13 years. Our drivers are very loyal and I’m happy to keep them here, because it’s not always been easy to get good drivers. Most drivers have been with the company nearly 10 years and all are living within 20 miles of the base. Brennan International Transport continues to hold its own in the extensive transport of cargo both to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. As part of their professional service, the company have ADR Trained drivers, Airfreight Security (Level 3) and roof loading trailers available for large machinery (crane loading) and refrigerated cargo. Brennan International transport is happy to assist any customer in specific enquiries. For more information go to

Brennan International has an extensive range of trucks and trailers



Best Wishes To Brennan International Ltd From

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Donal Morrissey & Company Accountants and Business Consultants Servicing the Haulage Industry since 1993 we specialise in • Solvency issues - free initial consultation • Revenue audits - get through without pain • Negotiations with Banks & Leasing / HP companies • Haulage Licence applications & renewals • Payroll bureau - contracts of employment, payslips • Drivers on the road expenses calculations • EU VAT reclaims • Bookkeeping, accounting, auditing & taxation

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Taking the pain out of breakdowns

The McDonald Recovery fleet



McDonald Recovery vehicles have become a familiar sight in Mayo and surrounding counties over the past few decades. The Ballinrobe based company's managing director Billy McDonald explains more.



All vehicles undergo weekly health and safety checks


cDonald Recovery is a family run business that has been operational for the past three decades that begun with just a transit van and winch, but as the business grew so too did the fleet which now consists of trucks, a van, jeep and motorbikes. Each recovery vehicle is manned 24 hours a day, seven days by a week highly-trained and skilled personnel. Due to the efficiency, professionalism, convenience and affordability of its stellar services, McDonald Recovery boasts a burgeoning portfolio of prestigious clients. “The business was founded in 1981," revealed Billy. "Over the years, we have built up a successful business. We have contracts with blue-chip companies such as the I.M.A and M.I.S. We also have contracts with the Gardai. We would also have a good bit of private work to carry out and this could range from crashes right down to someone just running out of petrol. You would come across a wide range of problems on the road. “The work we do with the Gardai can vary from picking up abandoned vehicles to store vehicles in sheds that we have. We have the capacity to store up to 200 cars at the yard here in Ballinrobe and it is a secure location that is safely guarded to give the customer peace on mind. There is an indoor area available for vehicle inspection purposes and the premises are secured by 24hr CCTV and alarm system.”


Billy has seen many changes in the recovery industry over the years with new legislations being introduced on a regular basis. But despite the extra paperwork involved, he feels the changes have been for the better. “Certainly, the introduction of more stringent laws has helped remove the 'cowboy' from this industry and anyone trying to get into the business has to have the proper certificates in place. Before this, a lot of operators were not properly covered with the right insurance, but that can't happen now.” McDonald Recovery prides itself on providing a reliable and efficient service, which it has been doing for 30 years now. Through their expert knowledge, they can take the hassle out of any breakdown and ensure the process is stress free as possible. “Our customers know that when they come to us they receive an experienced and professional service. We can be relied upon to do the job properly. If there's a breakdown or a road traffic accident, we endeavor get to the scene as quickly as possible. We've noticed a big increase in business over the past seven or eight years. In that time, we've spread our wings to the extent that we now have a fleet of recovery vehicles. Whether it's light or heavy recovery, on road or off road it's no problem to us. We usually hire someone else in to do the heavy work, so this means we provide a wide range of services." McDonald's have the equipment and machinery to carry out any job

and no vehicle is too big or small and do what it says on the tin as they are a specialised vehicle recovery service. Offering a 24hr service means that customers can rest assured that in the unfortunate situation of being broken down anywhere in the country, McDonald's will be there to assist as swiftly as possible. "It is necessary to do this in order to ensure that we keep providing a high quality of service to our customers. If they are not happy they will go elsewhere, so it is up to us to make sure that they are pleased with the service that we provide to them.” Health and Safety is a major issue within the recovery industry and Billy admits that maintaining the vehicles is given the utmost priority and all are checked on a regular basis. “Maintenance is a major part of this business, the recovery vehicles have to be kept in the best of condition and we ensure that is the case. Safety checks are carried out on a weekly basis.” Over the years, a great deal of money has been invested in the business to make sure that the best service possible is offered. As for the future, Billy plans to consolidate the operation by continuing to provide a first-class service that clients can depend on. With a superb fleet of specialist equipment at his disposal, a thorough knowledge of this sector and a proven track record in breakdowns and recovery, McDonald Recovery is ideally situated to consolidate and thrive. IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Wishing Continued Success To McDonald Recovery From

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McDonald Recovery has been operational for 30 years

“We know what we're about and we'll continue to provide the service we're renowned for,” he concludes. “I suppose these are challenging times for everybody in Ireland so we'll try to keep the ship afloat and run the

business as well as we possibly can.” Like all businesses, McDonald's are planning to continue with the level of success that they have already achieved and despite the downturn in the economy, they intend to maintain

and increase their large customer base. Billy concluded: We've come a long way over the past few years and hopefully we'll continue to do well and keep our customers happy.”

es To Wish t s e very B Reco d l a n McDo From





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Keeping it green



When Coillte first commenced trading in 1989 it acquired ownership of the State’s forests, with the core purpose of commercially managing these forest assets. Irish Trucker spoke to Harvesting & Logistics manager, Mark Carlin, to find out more about the company and their harvesting and haulage operations.


oillte was first established under the Forestry Act 1988, which defines the principal objectives and duties of the company. All of the shares in the company are held by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Minister for Finance on behalf of the Irish State. Coillte is a commercial company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products, with the core purpose of enriching lives locally, nationally and globally through the innovative and sustainable management of natural resources. It owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland. Coillte is divided into three divisions – Forest, Enterprise and Panel Products. Coillte Forest manages the forests including log sales, harvesting, haulage, planting, and farm forestry services. Coillte Enterprise is the venturing arm of the Group, which seeks to identify new business opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, land sales and telecommunications. Finally, Coillte Panel Products consists of two panelboard mills, SmartPly which produces IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Medite which produces Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). Mark Carlin has been Harvesting & Logistics manager in the north-west region for the past three years, and has been with Coillte for the past 13 years. “We have been in business since 1989 and have over 1,000 staff across the three divisions”, Mark explained. Coillte produce and sell around 2.5 million m3 of logs each year, of which about 1.6 million m3 is sold to sawmill customers. The balance, which is pulpwood, is largely consumed by Coillte’s own panel-board mills. The harvesting and logistics team is responsible for harvesting 1.5 million m3 of timber per year, with the balance being harvested by our sawmill customers. The team is also responsible for all pulpwood haulage, which comprises of about 0.8 million m3 or 32,000 lorry movements per year! All of Coillte’s harvesting and haulage operations are carried out by independent contractors. These contractors are vital to Coillte’s business and provide top-class machinery and services. Harvesting

and haulage tends to be carried out by different contractors, with only a few businesses offering both services. Coillte adopts the Scandinavian cut-tolength harvesting system, whereby a harvesting machine fells, de-limbs and cross-cuts the tree; leaving the logs in the forest for a forwarding machine to extract to roadside. These harvesting machines are now extremely sophisticated in that they have modern computers on-board that make the decision on which is the most valuable way to cut the tree. These machines can also be fitted with GPS to provide information on their location within the forest and a GSM modem to allow production data to be emailed back to Coillte. Coillte’s haulage contractors operate with articulated, rigid and trailer or rigid only lorries. This mix of lorry types is required due to the varying nature of some small public and forest roads that they have to traverse. It is a challenging environment in which our haulage contractors have to operate. The terrain can be difficult due to the fact that these lorries must spend some of the time on gravel forest roads in


mountainous countryside. However, our contractors show a great deal of dedication and skill to successfully deliver their targets each week. Coillte’s haulage contractors tend to vary in size within the forest industry, from one lorry owner-driver operations to companies with several lorries in their fleet. Coillte operates an open tendering system with which to select haulages companies, which leads to one or two year contracts. Haulage rates are normally paid on a rate per tonne basis, and are reviewed every quarter to take account of variations in fuel prices. It has been a difficult time for the forest industry, including haulage contractors, in recent times. The forest industry did not escape the


economic upheaval of the recent banking crisis, with Coillte experiencing its worst year in 2009 as the recession gripped timber sales all across Ireland, according to Coillte’s Harvesting & Logistics manager. At this time timber sales fell sharply as the construction industry slowed in Ireland. This meant that many harvesting and haulage contractors had to operate to strict production quotas, which obviously effected their profitability as well. However, a decision was taken to stay in production and try to find alternative markets outside Ireland in order to keep the forest industry alive. In this regard, Coillte actively worked with our sawmill customers to get new markets

in the UK. Thankfully, things have picked up since then and timber sales have recovered well since 2009. At the moment the forest industry is relatively strong with a good demand for logs. As the key-holder to so many Irish forests and as a commercial forestry and forest products company, Coillte has to make the final decision as to the detailed operation of each of our forest sites. We manage the forest estate according to Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) principles, as we seek to balance the social, economic and environmental aspects of our business. In doing so, we wish to engage with local people which enhances understanding of how our decisions impact on all forest users and on our neighbours and also helps create a positive working environment for staff and contractors. Coillte have underpinned these principles by achieving a world-class forest certification for our management practices. We have been certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme since May 2001, which demonstrates that we are well managed in accordance with strict environmental, social and economic criteria. The certificate is issued for five years and in 2011 Coillte successfully retained its FSC certificate following a full audit of its forests. Successfully managing the environment presents some of the biggest challenges in harvesting and haulage operations. Many of our


Best Wishes & Continued Success To Coillte From

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Wishing Continued Success To Coillte From

Best Wishes To Coillte

JAMES CONLON Timber Haulage

Flagfield, Geevagh, Co. Sligo

Contact James On

Garryduff, Colligan, Dungarvan, Co.Waterford.

Telephone: 058-68855 Fax: 058-68104 OUT OF HOURS: 087-655-3220 Email:

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Wishing Continued Success To Coillte From

Wishing Continued Success To Coillte From All At

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Ballygar, Co. Galway Contact Liam On

087 2588928

E: 61

forests are in environmentally sensitive areas and we have to take care of a variety of things such as watercourses, biodiverse areas, flora, fauna and archaeology. These are carefully managed through the preparation of environmental impact assessments for each operational site. The most suitable machinery and harvesting methods are then selected to carry out the operation. Coillte also takes its health and safety responsibilities very seriously. This is especially important in difficult operations such as harvesting logs and hauling timber. Before every operation is started a detailed risk assessment is carried out and controls are put in place. All of the operators are made aware of the hazards and their duties in mitigating against these risks. All operators must be fully trained and certified for their relevant operation and regular site monitoring is carried out. As a result of these measures Coillte has an excellent safety record. Along with their forestry activity, Coillte also develops and manages a range of other businesses. These activities represent a key part of Coillte's business and deliver benefit to individuals and communities at local and national levels. Most property sales are made in response to local demand and typically comprise house sites, isolated dwelling houses, sections of recently acquired farms,


the precise location of such sites will small outlying forest properties and be ongoing for a number of years, any gravel pits. In addition, some of development will be subject to the Coillte's properties are suitable for the consultation procedures consistent development of telecommunications with their consultation policy. facilities, such as masts. Coillte also However, Coillte are keen to play their seeks to undertake property part in harnessing renewable sources development projects, including community developments, tourism Best Wishes To Coillte From development, JOHN RYAN/ BARRY CUDDY T/A industrial development, and residential development. Coillte owns a substantial amount of land, particularly upland sites, that is Killanure, Mountrath, Co. Laois suitable for the Tel: 087 1253926 or 087 7595836 generation of wind energy. Whilst the TIMBER HARVESTING AND process of finalising



of energy and further reducing carbon emissions. As Coillte operate an open forest policy, recreation is a very important feature of their business. In June, Coillte’s Chief executive David Gunning and Kieran Mulvey and John Treacy of the Irish Sports Council agreed an extension to the very successful trails and forest recreation programme that has been in operation for the past three years and supports active participation in outdoor activities and rural tourism. The initiative, which supports a national technical trails advisor and three regional trail managers within Coillte has delivered many new trail and forest recreation projects throughout the country over the past three years and has also lead to very successful initiatives like National Trails Day, which will run again for the fourth year on the 2nd October 2011. Coillte contributes significantly to the economic and commercial life of the country through commercial activities, and our environmental management and recreation opportunities are important in making Ireland a better place to live and also in supporting rural communities.

John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council with David Gunning, Chief Executive and Bill Murphy, Head of Recreation, Coillte

Wishing Continued Success To Coillte From

Roundwood Timber LTD Moneystown, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow • Forest Harvesting & Management • Purchase Of Standing & Roadside Timber • Removal Of Dangerous Trees • Haulage • C2 Registered M: 087 2545215 • F: 0404 45346

Wishing Coillte Every Success In The Future From

Goldspeed Transport Ltd

Specialising In Timber & Bulk-Feed Haulage 10 Aylsbury Court, Ballincollig, Co. Cork Office: (021 4873798 Richard: (086) 2536553 Fionán: (087) 2577145 Email: IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

Continued Best Wishes To Coillte From


Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.

Wishing Continued Success To Coillte From

Padraig Thomas Haulage Errew, Castlebar, Co. Mayo • Tel: 087 652 1118


Road Tankers celebrates tenth anniversary

Fuel Tankers are the company’s speciality



For the past ten years, Road Tankers Armagh has established itself as one of the leading tanker manufacturers in Ireland and the UK. For their tenth anniversary, Irish Trucker takes a look at the company and its success.


oad Tankers Armagh has developed an enviable reputation for the manufacture of high quality fuel tankers since its inception in 2001. We speak to managing director Trevor Wilson about operations at their Keady based premises.


Road Tankers Armagh specialises in the manufacture of high quality fuel tanks, most notably for rigid trucks. The company is also equally well known for its refurbishment and remounting services. Over the past ten years the company has built up a significant customer base amongst fuel distributors on both sides of the Border on the back of manufacturing and refurbishing high quality ADR compliant tanks. "The majority of our customers would be involved in the domestic / commercial fuel sector supplying kerosene, gas oil and petrol. We supply a range of tankers in different sizes and can accommodate the customer to their specifications,” said Trevor. Having made a significant impact in the Republic of Ireland market, Trevor has found that the bank's refusal to release money down south has had an impact on the business. “In fairness, we are still very busy and we would have a big customer base down south, but definitely since the bank's stopped lending , we have noticed a difference.” Trevor is in no doubt that the best form of advertisement for them is through word of mouth and potential customers seeing their work in operation. “Most of our sales have been made through word-of-mouth or personal recommendation, which speaks volumes for the quality of our tankers. We have been lucky in that respect, we haven't had to go out chasing work," he added. Trevor has more than 21 years' experience in manufacturing engineering. The company's core activities are spilt into a number of distinct areas, new tanker manufacture, refurbishment of existing tanks and finally remounting existing tanks on new trucks. It also offers ancillary services such as spray painting, graphics and DOE and PSV preparation. Trevor explained that all work is carried out to the highest health and safety standards. "Our new tankers are built to the new ADR regulations using only high quality components. Similarly, our refurbished tanks and remounted tanks meet all ADR regulations.” With its own in-house design service, Road Tankers Armagh build to individual customer requirements. "Every customer would have a different specification. We work with the customer from the design stage right through to delivery. That is one of our strongest selling points," he remarked. The company operates from a purpose-built 4000 square foot premises, which is equipped with leading edge equipment. Welding, cutting and folding equipment and all the usual machinery that you would associate with a modern engineering workshop is in plentiful supply. "We have the equipment to work in steel or aluminium. In this business you have to have all the equipment.” Road Tankers' staff are all trained to very high standards, which reflects strongly in the build quality of the company's product range. Trevor is acutely aware of the important role the staff play in the ongoing success of the business. "They are all highly skilled tradesmen. The quality of their work is second to none and they play a very important part in keeping our customers happy." In keeping with this quality ethos the company only uses


All tankers are designed to the customer’s specifications

materials and components that are compliant with the latest ADR regulations. In that vein, the company's large stock of hoses, reels, pumps and metres all comply with industry best-practice. "We deal with all the leading suppliers in the industry. We only use high quality equipment in the manufacture of our tankers.� The key component in the process - the actual tank - is imported from a leading

supplier in the UK. Once the design of the tank has been agreed with the customer, the whole manufacturing process takes about three weeks to complete. "A turn around time of two weeks would be exceptional for this type of business, when you consider the amount of fitting and fabrication that is involved. We specialise

Congratulations on 10 years of trading, and every success for the futue

Unit 1 Clane Business Park, Clane, Co. Kildare. Tel: 00 353 4589 3540 Fax: 00 353 4590 2970 Email: Best Wishes To Road Tankers Armagh



Best Wishes To Road Tankers Armagh

Distributors of


0818 279900 or 049 8541175

Email: • Wishing Continued Success To Road Tankers Armagh Drumcairn, Loughgall Rd., Armagh BT61 7NN 98 Cathedral Road, Armagh, Northern Ireland BT61 8AJ

Telephone: +44 (0)283 752 8989 Email: Delighted To be associated with Road Tankers Armagh

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Best Wishes To Road Tankers Armagh Best Wishes To Road Tankers Armagh, From

TBF Thompson Mallusk: 028 9034 2001 Garvagh: 028 2955 8353 Portadown: 028 3839 3300

DAF DistributorsNorthern Ireland

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Are pleased to be associated with Road Tankers Armagh & wish them all the best for the future

We can be of service to you • Accounts Preparation • Completion of Self Assessment Returns • Payroll and VAT Services Armaghbreague House, 35 Railway Street, Lisburn BT28 1XP T: 028 9266 3599 / 028 9260 1885 F: 028 9266 6373 E: Also at: 77 Kinelowen St Keady T/F: 028 3753 1588 67

The average production time for a tanker is 3-4 weeks

in three sizes of tanks, a 5,000 litre mini, a 7,000 litre midi, a 13,000 litre standard tanker and a 26,000 litre tanker. " While some customers specify all new equipment, others require what can be best described as a mix and match service. Thus the need for the refurbishment and remounting service. "Some customers would come to us with their old tanker to be refurbished and remounted onto a new chassis and cab, while others would want a new tank mounted on a new lorry. It would depend on individual customer Road Tankers Armagh has developed a huge customer base over the years requirements." Road Tankers Armagh specialises in giving its valued customer base a personalised and professional service, where the requirements of the customer are of paramount importance. The company's attention to detail and the build quality are other key selling points, according to Trevor. He elaborated: "We are strong on giving the customer personal attention. We also specialise in quick turn around times. We understand the customer wants to get the truck out working as soon as possible, so we work closely with them to that end. We can do all that work in-house. When the truck leaves here it is ready to work. The complete service takes about four weeks.�



The Lyons king The current economic troubles are nothing new to Lyons & Burton. The Kilcock-based outlet, which specialises in John Deere machinery, came through the 1980s unscathed and, as Managing Director Trevor Lyons tells Irish Trucker, they’re intent on doing likewise this time round.


or Lyons & Burton, talk of recessions and downturns is not exactly welcome, but at least they have the experience necessary to see things through. For many companies founded in the boom times, the rigours of financial hardships, of dwindling margins and shrinking customer bases, have been too much to bear. But Trevor Lyons, at the helm of Lyons & Burton, a company established in 1977, meaning he has already seen the firm through plenty of troubling times in the past. Based on the Clane Road in Kilcock, Lyons & Burton is a main dealer for the renowned John Deere machinery, but it also specialises in other agricultural, industrial and commercial brands such as Husqvarna and Isuzu. The John Deere dealership was secured in 1989, at a time when the country was reeling from another recession, and the memories of that time are stark in light of the current situation in the country. “It was a traumatic time,” says Trevor. “The economy was on his knees, interest rates were high and at that time we embarked on the process of changing our agency from New Holland and FIAT to John Deere. Changing what you spent the previous 12 years doing, with spare parts and everything else, was costly. There aren’t too many people who could do it today and survive, but we worked hard at it. We lost some customers and gained others, and overall it was very beneficial. John Deere is a very strong company. In hindsight I think it was the only move we could make and still be in business today.” With so much of its business based on the agricultural sector, Lyons & Burton may not have been hugely exposed to the construction and industrial arenas which imploded in the downturn, but few businesses in Ireland sailed unharmed through the death of the Celtic Tiger and Lyons & Burton is no different. “Our turnover has shrunk


Main dealer for John Deere

dramatically from 2008,” admit Trevor. “We were around €10m and it’s back at €5m or thereabouts now. That’s difficult. We’ve had to cut and slash, and do whatever it takes to stay competitive. Lyons & Burton MD remains upbeat about the future,

particular in its agricultural stronghold. “Certainly agriculture in Ireland didn’t see the Celtic Tiger highs,” he says, “but I’d say farmers’ glasses are halffull rather than half-empty at the moment. It seems to have reached a bottom and hopefully there will be

Specialists in the Isuzu brand


Husqvarna is a reliable performer for Lyons & Burton

gradual improvement from here on. Last year was a difficult one for farmers and the year before wasn’t too great either, but commodity prices have improved, grain prices are on the way up and there’s a lot more buoyancy there now.” A substantial part of the Lyons & Burton operation is its parts and service, which currently comprises more than half of the personnel and ground area, but Trevor is adamant that they cannot rely too strongly on that aspect of the business. “It’s a solid part of what we do but it’s very important to get out and sell,” he says. “If you don’t have sales this year you won’t have parts sales next year. So it’s just a case of getting out and selling now. I don’t want to hear any excuses.” In addition to its agricultural base, Lyons & Burton has been an Isuzu dealer since 1988, and the brand remains a part of the Kildare company’s impressive catalogue, which can be viewed online at “A lot of farmers were driving commercial vehicles, so we took on Isuzu to try to broaden out the business. We split the premises, built a new premises next door, and I had intended to split the business in two but the way things went it didn’t merit it. “We have a light goods vehicle test centre in that part of the site

now, so it worked out quite well. It took a few years to get all the documentation in order but it ticks along quite happily. “Isuzu’s own scrappage scheme was very good for us, it drove up sales. We drive the D-Max ourselves, they’re a good vehicle, reliable, reasonably

Wishing Lyons & Burton Continued Success From

HANAHOE & HANAHOE SOLICITORS 16 North Main Street, Naas, Co. Kildare Telephone: 045 897784 IRISH TRUCKER & LIGHT COMMERCIALS

economical and they could be bought at a very keen rate on the scrappage.” Husqvarna, which has forged a solid reputation for itself both in Ireland and worldwide in recent years, is also a reliable performer for Lyons & Burton. Isuzu and Husqvarna are expected to perform quite well going forward but the John Deere range is undoubtedly the core, and with key decisions having been taken in order to remain competitive, Lyons & Burton should be well placed to flourish into the future. To that end, Trevor Lyons remains an optimist at heart. “We’ll be looking back to our core business now,” he says. “Whatever comes in light commercials we’ll look at and see whether we can develop it a bit more. We’ve a good customer base here, an excellent parts business under the same roof and we’re also in a good location. We used to be very much in the countryside but not any more. We’re very easy to get to – we’re on the NaasKilcock road, two miles from Kilcock and just five minutes from the motorway.” For more information on the products and services offered by Lyons & Burton, be sure to check out

Best Wishes To Lyons & Burton From


Audit • Accountancy • Book Keeping Taxation • Company Secretarial • Payroll Leopardstown, Co. Dublin T: 01 288 1719 • F: 01 210 3815 Email: 71

Fifty years a-growing Container haulage specialist Denis Donovan Transport Ltd has been providing a top-class service for its customers for nearly 50 years. Geraldine Donovan, wife of managing director Denis, explains more about this successful family-run operation.

The company counts Tipperary CoOp and ECS among its customers




stablished in the 1960s by the late Denis (Dinny) Donovan, Denis Donovan Transport Ltd is recognised as one of Co. Tipperary’s foremost haulage firms. The family-run company, which operates from Barronstown on the outskirts of Tipperary town, has experienced strong growth since Denis Donovan Jnr took over the running of the business following his father’s death in 2000. Assisted by his wife Geraldine, who fulfils the role of office manager, and his son Paul, Denis has expanded the fleet from two trucks to 10, while the company now boasts 20 trailers, having recently taken delivery of a couple of new Dennison skeletal trailers.

“We have gone from strength to strength over the past 10 years or so,” Geraldine Donovan proudly explains. “Denis has been involved in the company since the late 1970s and, with the help of Paul, has grown it significantly since 2000. Prior to his death, Denis’ father had worked hard to establish the business, having started off with just a truck and a trailer. But the fleet remained relatively small until Denis and Paul took over the running of the company.” Denis Donovan Transport has established a tradition for quality, reliability, value-for-money and total dedication to customer service. Although the company specialises in container haulage, which accounts for about 75 per cent of its business, it also offers a general haulage service and holds an international haulage licence. Denis Donovan Transport is ideally located to serve the needs of customers throughout the Munster region. Indeed, the cities of Limerick, Cork and Waterford are all within easy reach. Over the years, the company has built up an impressive client list that includes Tipperary Co-Op and ECS European Containers. “They’re our two biggest customers,” Geraldine continues. “Our association with Tipperary Co-Op goes back to the 1960s, and we continue to enjoy an excellent working relationship with them. We are fully registered by the

Donovan Transport has gone from strength to strength in the past decade

Another load is ready for the off



Denis Donovan Transport specialises in contrainer haulage

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and transport everything from milk, farm feeds stuff, butter, milk powder and cheese for Tipperary CoOp. They are a great company to work for. “The same can be said for ECS. We distribute their containers from Dublin Port to all parts of the country. They have a presence all over Europe and

we are delighted to be sub-contractors for them. Our motto is ‘delivery on time – every time’ and this certainly applies to any work we do for ECS.” Headquartered in Zeebrugge, Belgium, ECS delivers door-to-door transport all over Europe with a focus on the UK and Ireland. Goods are mainly transported in 45’ 9’6” palletwide containers. Temperature

controlled transports can also be provided. ECS provides deliveries in the following countries: Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the UK and Ireland. In Zeebrugge, ECS offers warehousing and cross-docking

The trucks are a familiar sight on Irish roads



Best Wishes To Denis Donovan Transport Ltd, From


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The Insurance Centre, Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18

Best Wishes & Continued Success To Denis Donovan Transport Ltd, From




+353 1 2932370 +353 1 2932360

BEST WISHES TO DENIS DONOVAN TRANSPORT LTD Mike Murphy Insurance Group is a trade name of Insureforsure Ltd. And regulated by the Central Bank Of Ireland

Best Wishes To Denis Donovan Transport Ltd

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Don’t be left in the dark log on to 75

services which are availed of by customers from throughout Europe. The company’s Irish office is located at Zeebrugge House, Alexandra Road, 4 Branch Road South, Dublin 1. Denis Donovan Transport also does a lot of container work for Cobelfret in Belgium, along with ECS, using the C2C Shipping Lines through Zeebrugge. Denis Donovan Transport employs seven drivers, all of who are experienced, highly skilled and fully aware of the importance of customer service. Head driver Paul Donovan is ADR-trained for the carriage of dangerous goods. The company also employs a full-time mechanic and could soon have another family member on its books. “Our youngest son Cathal, who is 17, is interested in mechanics so there’s a good chance he’ll follow the rest of us into the business,” Geraldine says. The Donovan fleet, which is white in colour, comprises seven DAF, one Renault, one Volvo and one Scania. The company has and continues to invest heavily in new trucks, trailers and equipment. It has been a longtime customer of John O’Mahony’s DAF Truck Services in Cork and John Byrne, who is Dennison Trailers’ sales manager in Ireland. As well as being a regular sight on Irish roads, the Donovan fleet regularly appears at truck shows around the country. And according to Geraldine, they never come home without silverware. “We have had a lot of success at truck shows down the years. Both Paul and Deckie Hickey, who is one of our drivers, have a huge interest in the shows. In fairness to all of our drivers, they take a lot of pride in the appearance of their trucks. They look after them as if they are their own. “When Deckie got married a couple of years ago, he took his wife Louise off to the reception in his truck. That gives you an idea of just how proud he is of his truck.” Similar to all transport companies, Denis Donovan Transport has been impacted greatly by the recession and, in particular, rising fuel costs. “It’s ridiculous what we are expected to pay for diesel nowadays,” quips Geraldine, as she looks out at the breathtaking Glen of Aherlow from her office window. “It’s putting a lot of haulage firms to


the wall. We’re no different to other companies in that we’re just trying to survive and to get through these tough times.” Recession or no recession, you can be sure that Denis Donovan Transport won’t allow its standards to slip. Denis, Geraldine, Paul and their team have worked hard to make it the thriving business it is today and are committed to maintaining the highest standards that have been the hallmark of the company for nearly 50 years. “We are very appreciative of the business we get from our customers and are always striving to provide them with a reliable and top-class service,” the affable office manager concludes. For more information about Denis Donovan Transport Ltd,

Donovan Transport has been providing a top-class service for nearly 50 years

Best Wishes To Denis Donovan Transport Ltd, From


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Irish Trucker magazine July 2011  

Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine is Ireland’s leading transport, haulage and related industries magazine. On distribution from Se...