The Gardiner family in Bruff, Co. Limerick has been synonymous with agri contracting for 40 years. The second-generation family business, which also provides a coal and solid fuel delivery service in the area, continues to go from strength to strength under the direction of father-and-son Eddie and Ian Gardiner.
Eddie & Ian Gardiner Agri Contractors, as it’s now known, has come a long way since Eddie started making pit silage for local farmers with a double chop harvester in the late 1970s. The business has expanded to provide a complete service, including baled silage, reseeding, ploughing, slurry spreading, zero grazing, lime spreading, muck / dung spreading, disc harrowing and hedge cutting.
Hailing from a dairy background in the heart of the Golden Vale, the Gardiners are committed to providing a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction. They have an array of machinery to carry out your work quickly and efficiently, providing you with value-for-money and an alternative to investing in your own expensive equipment. Their success and longevity can be put down to the knowledge, skill and experience of their staff as well as the quality of their machinery. The highly-skilled Gardiner team deliver the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
“We carry out all types of agricultural work and are also coal and solid fuel merchants,” Ian explains.
“From humble beginnings, we have become a leading agri contractor serving east Co. Limerick. We cover within a 15-mile radius of Bruff, taking in Athlacca, Grange, Meanus and Holycross. We also provide a door-to-door fuel delivery service in the same area. It keeps us busy in the winter months.”
Eddie’s late wife Nuala played a big part in making Eddie & Ian Gardiner Agri Contractors the successful operation it is today. As well as being a great support to Eddie and Ian, she was responsible for all the bookkeeping and paperwork. Her daughter Ethel now takes care of the bookkeeping, while her other son, Mervyn, has his own plant hire and groundworks business. Mervyn’s services include excavation work, wagon silage, spraying and fertiliser spreading, and he collaborates with Eddie & Ian Gardiner Agri Contractors from time to time.
The Gardiners run a modern fleet of four New Holland tractors along with a Case Puma 160 and a Fendt 716. The New Holland models are a T7.235, a T7.200, a TSA.125 and a new T6.180 which was purchased from M&S (Meehan & Slattery) in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. With a maximum torque of 740Nm and 180hp, the T6.180 is the only six-cylinder tractor in this category on the market.
“We’re very happy with the new tractor. It’s extremely economical,” Ian enthuses.
“We choose New Holland because they’re user-friendly, easy to service and are ultra-reliable. We never have a problem with them.”
Other plant / equipment operated by the Gardiners include two McHale Fusion 3 Plus balers, two Claas rakes, a Kuhn mower, Claas front and back mowers, a Claas tedder, two Keltec 10-pack bale chaser trailers, a 3,500-gallon Slurrykat slurry tanker, a 2,000-gallon Major slurry tanker, a Slurrykat umbilical system, McConnel 6570C and 65C hedge cutters, a Rabe power harrow, an APV air seeder, a Gregoire Besson disc harrow, a ZG75 zero grazer, a Bobcat telehandler, a Bredal lime spreader and Keenan and NC muck spreaders.
All machines are upgraded and serviced regularly to avoid breakdowns and downtime. While the Gardiners are able to carry out much of the maintenance and repairs themselves, the bigger repairs are sent to Broadford-based mechanic James Forde and the main dealers.
“We buy a lot of stuff from Breen’s Machinery in Cashel and have a very good relationship with them,” says 26-year-old Ian, who hurls with Bruff in his spare time.
“We pride ourselves on being a family business and being able to offer an exceptional agri contracting service. We have built up a large and loyal customer base over the years by offering a professional, reliable and value-for-money service. We employ four full-time staff and three part-time, and they enjoy a great rapport with our customers. They know exactly what the customer wants and will go out of their way to look after them. We will work around the clock during silage season if have to in order to keep our clients happy.”
Lime spreading is one of the most sought-after services offered by Eddie & Ian Gardiner Agri Contractors who are agents for McGrath Quarries in O’Callaghan’s Mills in Co. Clare. Established in 1952, McGrath Quarries is one of the leading producers of construction and agricultural products in the Mid-West region. Headed up by Joe McGrath, it also has quarries in Kilfinane and Herbertstown, which are both in Co. Limerick.
The Gardiners use a small Toyota lorry for delivering coal and other fuels to households in Bruff and the surrounding areas. “We’ve been coal merchants for nearly as long as we’ve been agri contractors. It keeps us ticking over in the winter time.”
Ian concludes by saying: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued support. We look forward to taking care of all their agri contracting needs for many more years to come.”
Here’s to next 40 years of this highly-regarded family business!
Eddie & Ian Gardiner Agri Contractors
Telephone: 087 6819135
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 4, August 2019