Over the past 20 years, Doyle Concrete have established a solid reputation for themselves as Ireland’s leading manufacturer of pre-stressed cattle slats. We touched based with general manager Tom Walsh to find out more about this industry-leading company and the full range of products provided to both the agri and general construction sectors.
Doyle Concrete have been manufacturing high-quality pre-stressed cattle slats for over twenty years. During this time, the company – which is headquartered in Kilkenny, with a subsidiary depot in Waterford – has gained invaluable experience and expertise in how to deliver every project to exact customer requirements. By keeping farmers happy, they enjoy a steady flow of repeat custom as well as new business emanating from positive referrals.
All cattle slats are produced in Ireland using high-quality concrete to guarantee optimal durability. From ordinary slats to heavy-duty and extra-grip slats, Doyle Concrete can come up with a solution tailored to every need, with advice and guidance offered alongside premium manufacturing, delivery and installation services.
Doyle Concrete understand implicitly that cattle handling and housing facilities are an integral part of any dairy or beef operation and linked intrinsically to the efficient running and commercial viability of farms as well as attaining the highest levels of animal comfort. The team at Doyle Concrete are always happy to assist with any project and are always available for discussion or consulting regarding the usage and production of grant-approved pre-stressed cattle slats.
Furthermore, as long-established specialists in readymix concrete and concrete pumping, they are well placed to provide farmers and land / property owners with a variety of ancillary products and services.
Doyle Concrete a leading manufacturer and supplier of readymix concrete, precast concrete products (cills, lintels, kerbs, fencing, etc.), Easy Flow concrete mix, Easyfix slat rubber matting (ideal for use in slatted sheds), pre-stressed cattle slats, pre-stressed flooring and also provide an exceptional concrete pumping service to the agricultural, commercial and residential markets. Meanwhile, they also offer a conveyor / extendable chutes service for concrete placement.
The company was founded in 1972 by David Doyle, who had initially provided a keen joinery service, including windows and doors, before diversifying into house building, then farm buildings, then readymix concrete. They have grown to become one of Ireland’s top suppliers of readymix concrete and Easy Flow concrete mix.
Their farm buildings play a vital role in the management and production of food, consisting of buildings for animal husbandry and the processing of food crops. The construction of farm buildings requires several basic materials, one of them being concrete or concrete mix – for foundations, milking parlours, cattle slats, silage pits, farm roadways, etc.
Doyle’s are now one of Ireland’s main suppliers of readymix concrete. Previously, they bought in their concrete from the larger concrete suppliers but, as their business grew, their requirement for concrete also increased and the demand was such that even the larger companies couldn’t keep up with supply. This offered Doyles the opportunity to enter the market.
Starting out with just one truck in 1986, Doyle Concrete became one of the first family firms to supply readymix concrete not only to themselves but also to other farm building contractors.
The business grew steadily and, as each new innovation in concrete production and technology became available, Doyles incorporated them into their service. Today, their plant at Hugginstown, County Kilkenny is a state-of-the-art readymix concrete production and delivery facility.
As technology brought new advances in production, quality standards also rose.
Doyle Concrete run their own Sand & Gravel pit in Dunmore, Kilkenny. From here, gravel and aggregates can be supplied in several different grades, with the team only too happy to advise on types, grading and delivery.
Quality and compliance are prerequisites. Doyle Concrete carry out their own in-house quality standards for EN 206 and are audited yearly to verify compliance in this important area. In addition to supplying concrete mix for farm buildings, Doyle’s have provided the service for larger construction companies such as Mythen Construction, Wexford, DFL Construction Ltd Waterford, McCarthy Brothers Kilkenny, Concrete products were supplied to the construction of the Vocational School in Ballyhale, Aldi, national roadways and water tower construction.
Doyle Concrete are ideally situated to supply South Kilkenny, Waterford and the Tipperary businesses and County Councils with readymix concrete and concrete products. They benefit from a large volume of repeat business in both the agri and construction industries.
“We started supplying readymix concrete about 30 years ago and it took on a life of its own,” notes general manager Tom Walsh, who oversees quality control. “At the time, only Roadstone and Readymix were doing it. The market really opened up for us and that became our main product.
“After that we started to get into pre-stressed products, including cattle slats. As a country-based business, a lot of our products and services are geared towards the farming community.”
The main products provided are threefold: “Firstly, we provide readymix concrete within a 50-mile radius. Secondly, we manufacture and deliver pre-stressed cattle slats nationwide. On top of that, we do a range of precast products for farmers and also for builders.
“We also provide a concrete pumping service and placement using our Conveyors and Chutes. We realised ten or twelve years ago that we needed to offer this service to get out concrete into more areas. A lot of the time, you don’t have great access but this service is very useful to both agri and construction customers.”
Doyle Concrete have upwards of 30 trucks on the road and employ 40 people. Founder David Doyle has retired and the business is now managed by his children, Denis (MD), John and Caroline.
Tom says the success of the business has been built around consistency, quality and expertise: “The consistency of the service has been key,” he states. “All of our drivers are directly employed as opposed to owner-drivers and they maintain the very high standards that the directors expect off them. Everybody is responsible for looking after their own truck and they take their responsibilities very seriously. The majority of the staff are here over 20 years.
“We place a major emphasis on quality. We were one of the first in Ireland to produce pre-stressed cattle slats. We went down the road of producing a good quality product 20 years ago and we never turned back or took any shortcuts. We do have a quality product and people acknowledge this. We get a lot of repeat business and we have large pockets of counties Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Galway, Mayo, Sligo where we do a lot of business, although we sell slats all over Ireland.”
Going forward, Tom is confident that the company can continue to progress, although he’s keeping a close eye on how the tiresome saga that is Brexit pans out: “There’s a lot of uncertainty and understandably some farmers are afraid to spend money,” he concludes. “Brexit is going to play a big part in the future of agriculture in Ireland. If we leave with no deal, another recession could hit. At the end of the day, if farmers have money to spend, they will spend it. When they don’t, it sets all of us back.”
Tel: 056 7768650 / 056 7768126.
The Old Mart,
Tel: 051 370777 / 051 886006
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 6, November 2019