35 years and still going strong

13 Oct , 2022  

Based in the Finn Valley area in Co Donegal, G Doherty & Sons Agricultural Contractors provides its customers with a range of services including everything from plough to baler to diggers. Irish Tractor Agri & Plant spoke with its founder Gerard Doherty to hear about the company, its impressive machinery fleet and the overall state of business at the moment.

Business has been good as of late at G Doherty & Sons Agricultural Contractors and the plan for Gerard and Brian Doherty is to try and keep things that way right through to next year.

Established by Gerard Doherty back in 1987, the company has grown into a leading agri contractor and plant hire company in Co Donegal and indeed the country’s north west region.

Gerard and his son Brian head up the business while Brian’s brother and sister, Padraig and Aine, also work with the company on a part-time basis.

Irish Tractor Agri & Plant touched base with Gerard recently to learn more on this family-run venture which marks 35 years in business this year.

“We’re based in Corradoey, Killygordon, Co Donegal and I started out on my own in 1987,” Gerard outlined.

“We work in agri contracting and plant hire and provide services in round baling, slurry spreading, tankers, system pit silage, ploughing, re-seeding, mulching, dump trailer work and much more.

“You could say that we do almost everything here except for hedge-cutting. It’s the only service that we don’t provide our clients really.”

Business has been going well so far this year and, as per usual, the summer months ahead are set to see even busier times at G Doherty & Sons Agricultural Contractors.

The company has made its name on carrying out excellent work and being there whenever its customers need them.

Since ‘Day One’, delivering work that is top of the line and earning the trust of clients along the way has been the approach Gerard has taken to his work.

Right now, they are ‘flat out’ at G Doherty & Sons Agricultural Contractors but, as Gerard himself puts it, there are a couple of obstacles out there for businesses like his at this moment in time.

“We’re very busy but the price of diesel at the moment really is frightening,” he stated plainly.

“Along with that, you have the price of materials going through the roof as well, so there are a lot of challenges out there at the moment.

“There’s no change in the work. There’s plenty out there right now, but it’s just the diesel really that’s a problem for everybody now.

“During the lockdowns we were able to work all the time. We worked away through them and nothing really changed, but the fuel now is definitely a concern.”

It’s little wonder why Gerard and Brian were immersed in work throughout the lockdown months, given the wide range of services they have on offer to customers.

G Doherty & Sons’ services include everything from plough to baler to diggers, while it also has plough, disc, landlevel, powerharrow and sow seeds services on offer for customers.

They mow, rake, bale and do pit silage for the silage side of things and also do a bale haulage and draw bales three at a time.

The slurry spreading services sees the company operating with 2000g slurry tankers and also mix and it also has a wide varied of digger work, which includes landscaping, drainage, road making, site clearing.

The fleet in Corradoey consists of half a dozen tractors with the latest addition coming this past February.

“We have six tractors here,” stated Gerard. “Four New Hollands, a Forde 1710 and a John Deere 6620.

“I’ve always kept a John Deere here for our front low-loader work and I would’ve picked up the New Holland from Cowan Brothers in early February of this year.

“We’re happy with it and we’re happy with the entire fleet we have here at the moment. It’s possible we might add again next year.

“We would like to possibly buy a bigger tanker in the future but, for now, I think we just have to weather the storm with these diesel prices and see where we are after.”

So, the question that stands out is what has been the secret to Gerard’s continued success in this line of work for the past three-and-a-half decades now?

According to the Tir Chonaill County native, it comes down to earned trust from customers via providing the best service possible time and time again. 

“We try to give a good service first and foremost,” he said. “We give our customers our work and we try and let nobody down when it comes to our work here.

“I think our customers know that they can trust us to get the job done right for them every time and I’ve always tried to give them a good service.”

Looking at the months ahead for the business, Gerard is simply hoping for more of the same while keeping his fingers crossed for a drop in fuel prices.

“We just want to keep things going the way they have been.

“Right now, we have enough to keep us going for another while and, hopefully, after that, we’ll start to see the fuel prices levelling off but ya just never know. It doesn’t look good at the moment but we’ll keep going anyway and hope for the best,” he concluded.

G Doherty & Sons
Co Donegal
Mobile: 086 277 3118

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 4, July/August 2022