Fencing products play an integral role in the agricultural industry. A common sight on any Irish farm are paling posts erected in fields. For many of us, there is nothing to a fencing post, it’s just a generally rounded piece of timber that is placed in the ground, but for farmers it is a mainstay of everyday life.
Quality is key in the timber products industry and to this end; the quality of the product can be gauged by its longevity. Based in Killeshandra, Co Cavan, McHugh Timber Products Ltd has been providing timber products to not only the farming community, but to a wider customer base as well since first being established in 1985. Founded by the late Neville McHugh, the business has grown considerably over the years as their product list reflects on their ever-increasing customer base that covers a wide number of industries as well as private customers.
Their list of products includes round fencing posts, peeled fencing posts, creosote posts, incised posts, post and rail: fencing wire, gates, sleepers, jump poles to name but a few.
The company motto best describes what they are all about.
“McHugh Timber Products Ltd have a long-standing commitment to providing the best service and quality to our customers.”
McHugh Timber Products Ltd suffered a massive set back in 2013 when the untimely passing of Neville left some uncertainty in the business. However, any doubts about the future of the business were soon dismissed as Neville’s wife Siobhán who had been involved in the business since 2000 carried on her late husband’s legacy.
“Neville had started the business from scratch and we were always going to carry it on. A lot of work went in to get it where it is and the staff we have here deserve great credit for the work they have done over the years,” said Siobhán. The company and staff were recently recognised at the 2018 Cavan Business & Tourism awards when they were named Innovative Company of the Year. Siobhán admitted that running the business is not an easy task, but with the help of the employees and Operations Manager Dermot O’Donohoe, she is delighted with the direction that the business is heading.
“We have a large customer base and the aim is to ensure their satisfaction. We have developed a reputation for providing not only top quality products, but an excellent service as well. The focus is on maintaining and trying to improve on those standards, while always introducing new products to the market.”
The company MD Siobhan McHugh added that in relation to new products, they have introduced a new fencing post that is proving to be a popular choice amongst their farming customers.
“The new post has a life expectancy of 15 years and farmers have gone from the cheaper option which doesn’t last as long to buying a quality product that they know will last 15 years.
“The post is incised at the point of production which enhances timber drying prior to treatment. The slots means that in the treatment tank the preservative is much more easily able to penetrate the timber and hence provide the protection needed to prevent premature failure. Farmers really like it and it is proving to be a popular product. There is a grant available for these in the north, but not down south yet.”
McHugh Timber Products Ltd source their timber locally and deal with a network of harvesters as well as Coillte.
“We deal with a large number of harvesting companies in order to source our timber. We would also work with Coillte and buy some of our timber through online auctions that they host. Generally, we use first and second thinning’s for manufacturing our products. There is always a demand for good quality stake material.”
The Cavan based firm treat all their customers the same regardless of how big or small the order is and Siobhán stressed that they have always offered the personal touch.
“We are a family run business and we have been dealing with many of these people for years. “Our products are distributed through wholesalers and retailers as well as directly to the end user, so we are dealing with a wide range of customers.
“We are continuously looking at ways to add new products to our portfolio. It is essential to keep up with the rest of the industry and you cannot rest on your laurels, you always have to be looking ahead.”
The threat of Brexit has left a lot of uncertainty amongst businesses in the country and especially those along the border, but Siobhán stated that “I’m not too concerned at the moment as like everyone else, we are unsure of what is going to happen, but definitely if there is a hard border introduced, then we could run into some difficulties, but we will just have to deal with it if that happens.”
McHugh Timber Products Ltd are FSC certified, which means they are a business manufacturing or trading forest products, chain of custody certification verifies that products are handled correctly at every stage of production – from forest to shelf.
Siobhán, Dermot and the rest of the staff have worked hard to ensure that Neville’s legacy lives on in the quality of products that they produce and there is no doubt that this business is set for a bright future.
McHugh Timber Products Ltd
Phone: +353 494 335 211
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 2, April/May 2019