Nenagh, County Tipperary-based Pat Dunne Agri Contractors has been satisfying the needs of the local farming community for over 34 years. Pat’s son Damien is carrying on a proud family tradition and the ever dependable duo are available to support the farmer throughout the year with a range of services.
35-year-old Damien grew up in the family’s agri contracting but has become more hands on in relation to the business end of things over the past decade. It’s fair to say that the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree when it comes to his commitment to providing his customers with the highest standard of service and quality work.
It may be a cliché but, as far as Damien is concerned, contracting is a labour of love.
“I enjoy the hands-on work,” he told Irish Tractor & Agri. “You have to get your hands dirty and you get be afraid to work long hours. You also want lads working with you that are not afraid to work long hours at peak season and we are lucky in that regard. Plus, the other half at home has to be understanding as well! They might not see you for a long time. You’d be gone in the morning at 6 and wouldn’t be home until 11 at night.”
What are the services they offer local farmers?
“We do everything from ploughing, slurry, umbilical slurry, lime spreading, dung spreading, hedge cutting and sowing corn,” he answered. “We do the silage as well.
“At silage we wouldn’t be travelling any more than 10 mile from our own place but you’d be covering nearly a 20 mile radius for the pipe slurry and lime. Silage, slurry and lime would be our key things. Silage was always the number one with us but the other two services are after growing a lot in recent years.”
The Dunne family name is synonymous with jobs that are well done and they have a long loyal list of customers to back that up.
“Yeah, we’d be working for the same customers the whole time. You might gain a customer every year, lose one every so often too, but we’d be gaining customers the whole time.”
Why do farmers regularly come calling to Pat Dunne Agri Contractors?
“Because they are getting a good service and we’re a one stop shop. We can cut the ditches for them, we can reseed for them, spread lime for them, do the pipe slurry for them – I can do everything for them. Anything a farmer wants done, I can do it. They don’t need to get another contractor in to do something else.
“Reliability would also be a reason and we would always aim to get the jobs done within a reasonable timescale.”
Regularly updating and maintaining their fleet of tractors and associated machinery is another thing that is high on the list of Damien’s priorities. The Dunnes are currently operating four John Deere and two Massey Ferguson tractors as well as a New Holland Loading shovel and a John Deere 9600 harvester which they purchased this year.
“We also bought a Smyths SuperCube silage trailer,” Damien pointed out. “There’s a positive steer on it, she’s 26 ft long on the bottom and 29 ft long on top. It’s taking a serious trailer of grass and has made a big difference to us.
“We have no intentions of getting any bigger. The big thing as far as I’m concerned is that we always try to do the work more efficiently. That was one of the reasons why I went for the big trailer. It means we no longer have to draw in with four or five trailers. Hopefully, down the road we will be able to draw in with three of those big ones. My main aim is to try and get more efficient at the work.”
That brings us nicely around to the future outlook for Pat Dunne Agri Contractors. Damien is confident that they will continue to be in a position to live up to their hard-earned reputation as a contractor that can be trusted.
“The way I see it is, farmers are always going to need work done. It’s strictly farmers I work for. I’d be fairly confident about the future. I know there’s uncertain times ahead but I still think the farming thing will roll away,” he concluded.
To find out more about the range of services that Pat Dunne Agri Contractors provide and how they can make life that little bit easier for you, don’t hesitate to contact them on the number below.
Pat Dunne Agri Contractors
Tel: 087 2602131
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 8 No 4, December 2020