Celebrating 50 years in business, PDM is Ireland’s leading supplier of pressure creosoted timber products. The Kill, Co. Kildare-based company manufactures and treats timber utility posts for the telecommunications and power industries as well as a wide range of fencing, gates and landscape timbers for the agricultural, equine, local authority and domestic markets.
PDM has been trading successfully since 1968 when cousins Patrick and Derek Martin, who are both deceased, set up the company in Dublin’s North Wall. The Martin family had been creosoting timber products at the same location for over 100 years prior to then. In 1970, the cousins moved the business to its present location in Kill which is beside the N7 and is just a stone’s throw from the Kildare-Dublin border.
The family-run business was sold to the Liverpool-based Ocean Transport & Trading in 1979, with Patrick and Derek remaining on as directors until their retirement. The company changed hands again in 1987 when Meyer acquired it and made a significant investment in the treatment side of the business. Then, in 2000, it was sold to its current owners Saint-Gobain Building Distribution. Employing more than 63,000 people in 23 different countries, the French-owned company has a solid network of generalist and trading brands serving the renovation, new building and home improvement markets.
With a wide customer-base ranging from state-owned organisations to the private home owner, PDM continues to go from strength to strength. The company, whose business director is Richard O’Connor, employs 40 staff directly and a further 100 indirectly who work in the sawmills that supply it. Recently, PDM invested a whopping €12.5 million to make its facility one of the most environmentally-friendly around.
“Health & Safety and the environment are paramount for us,” says sales manager Martin Brogan.
“They’re the first two issues we address before we start the day. We have obtained all the necessary licences to carry out our duties under the strictest of regulations. We also have ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and are audited twice a year to ensure we adhere to the highest standards.”
PDM is the number one supplier of treated timber utility poles to the telecommunications and power industries in Ireland with the ESB, eir and NI Electricity being among its biggest customers. It also supplies products such as fencing, railing and gates to the farming sector through FRS (Farm Relief Services), who have 20 outlets nationwide, and co-ops such as Dairygold, Glanbia and Arrabawn. Retailers, building contractors, fencing contractors and the private home owner are also on the client list with the latter generally availing of PDM’s comprehensive range of fencing and gates.
The equine sector is another big market for PDM with Coolmore, Ballydoyle and Kildangan among the world-renowned stud farms it supplies fencing to.
“We have a good, steady customer-base which has grown over the years thanks to our excellent service and reputation as well as the quality of our products,” explains Martin, who has been with PDM for the past 29 years and succeeded his brother Michael – who is now a sales ambassador for the company – as sales manager.
“We have a huge variety of creosoted poles and fencing products, with our round fencing posts ranging from five to 10 feet. Our pressure-treated products are designed to last and come with a 15-year lifespan guarantee. They last much longer than water-based treated products because creosote is both water and weather resistant.
“Because our products are long-lasting, we don’t use as much timber as other manufacturers and are therefore more environmentally friendly. The average creosoted ESB pole lasts 50 to 60 years. Could you imagine having to replace it every 10 years? There would have to be a lot more trees cut down if that was the case.”
Creosote is used for wood preservation and when treated, a product’s lifespan is greatly increased, in excess of 30 years in some cases. It is the oldest commercially available wood preservative and is the preferred treatment for stud farms. Unlike fences subject to other treatments, horses – or cattle for that matter – tend not to chew at a creosoted fence.
PDM sources its timber from Coillte and sawmills such as Woodfab in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow, Eamon Flaherty Timber Extraction in Kinnitty, Co. Offaly, Michael Grace Timber Ltd in Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow and Woodfarm Fencing Supplies in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway.
“About 90 per cent of the timber we use is sourced in Ireland. We use mostly larch and spruce. The process between felling and creosote pressure treatment takes about 12 months to complete and the end product can last up to 30 years,” Martin adds.
PDM is committed to growing its business and to providing the biggest and best range of creosoted timber products on the market. Like its products, the company has stood the test of time.
Here’s to the next 50 years of the thriving Co. Kildare firm!
Telephone: 045 877165
Fax: 045 877467
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 5, August 2018