For over two decades, PJ Mulhearne Agricultural Contractors Ltd has provided customers in County Waterford with a top-class agricultural contracting service. We met up with the long-serving Kilmacthomas man to take a look at his impressive fleet and to get an insight into the wide range of services provided.
For some, agricultural contracting is simply in the blood. It’s a vocation, something that comes naturally. Paddy Joe Mulhearne was born into contracting and he can’t imagine having done anything else with his life. He’s passionate about the land and takes great pride in his stunning, finely-tuned fleet and the comprehensive range of services provided to customers located in a 15-mile radius of his homestead.
A tremendous investment of personal care and attention to detail goes into every job, allied to an innate understanding of the land and a steely determination to get the job done right – and on time! – every time.
This is why the Mahon Bridge man has developed a vast customer base, many of whom have been with him for over 20 years. It’s also why he is regarded as the premier agricultural contractor in Waterford and has been for many years.
Not only does Paddy Joe boast over two decades of experience and a track record that is second to none in the province, he also has at his disposal a superb fleet of tractors and agricultural machinery which he has assembled and maintained painstakingly and meticulously down through the years, always mindful of the fact that a modern fleet would provide key efficiencies and in turn a better service to clients.
As Paddy Joe says himself when it comes to describing the services that they provide “they do everything” and from that you get every service imaginable in relation to agricultural contracting.
From silage to baling, slurry to seeding, hedge cutting to spraying and tillage to ploughing, PJ Mulhearne Agricultural Contracting do the lot. So it is no surprise to learn that they have an extensive fleet of machinery.
“I have 13 tractors which are made up of New Hollands, Case and Deutz. There is a Big M mower, Krone and Broughan trailers, three Claas rakes, three loading shovels (2 Volvos and a JCB), two New Holland Combines, two fusion balers and a Claas baler, slurry tanks and other machinery,” said Paddy Joe.
Having such a big fleet means there is plenty of maintenance work to be done and the owner revealed that they do all their own repair and service work.
“We would do all our own maintenance work. During the summer months there would be about 13 working here, while all year round, there would be four and we are kept busy all the time.
“Even during the summer when there wasn’t be much silage done, we were always kept going and there wasn’t a day that we had nothing to do.”
Paddy Joe believes that ensuring that the customer is satisfied with the service that he and his team provides is a top priority.
“It’s all about looking after your customers and getting the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. I have a good core of customers that I work for, many of who would be with me since I started out on my own in 1996. I had been in business with my brother before that.
For Paddy Joe, the key section of his business has always been silage harvesting and slurry spreading which keeps him very busy during the summer months and also during autumn and spring with the slurry spreading.
“Yeah the silage and slurry would be big parts of our workload, but in fairness we would do a lot of combining and baling as well. Ploughing is a busy area too and my partner Emer would do a lot of the ploughing.”
There are many overheads to contend with in the industry and Paddy Joe admits that you have to make the right decisions all the time.
“We have kept things sensible here, changing one or two tractors a year and maintaining them ourselves which, as I said earlier, really helps when it comes to keeping down costs.
“I would shop around for the machinery and generally we buy good quality second hand machinery. I would deal with the likes of Kill Agricultural Services, Kelly’s of Borris, Murphy’s in Glenmore, Kavanagh’s and Kearney Agri Ltd.”
Paddy Joe has no plans to change the way he carries out his business as he states that there is no reason to change once the customers are happy with the loyal service that he has provided for 22 years now.
“We’ll keep providing the same service and hopefully we’ll keep the business going,” he concludes. “We have a lot of good reliable customers, who have been loyal to us over the years. We have always tried to do things right for them and they look after us too. We’d be lost without them. There are families there who I’ve been working for since I started out and you would have to have a lot of respect for those people. We value all of our customers.”
PJ Mulhearne Agricultural Contractor Ltd
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 7, November 2018