PDM products are made to last

8 Sep , 2022  

PDM is Ireland’s leading supplier of pressure-treated creosoted timber products. The company has been pressure treating timber for the telecoms, electrical and fencing sectors at its site in Kill, Co. Kildare for over 50 years.

PDM has been trading successfully since 1968 when cousins Patrick and Derek Martin, who are both deceased, set up the business in Dublin’s North Wall. The Martin family had been creosoting timber products at the same location for over 100 years beforehand. In 1970, the cousins moved the business to its present location in Kill which is beside the M7 on the Kildare-Dublin border and is within easy reach of all parts of Ireland.

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 36 staff directly and a further 200 indirectly who work in the sawmills that supply it. Recently, PDM invested a whopping €15 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 licenses 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.”

What makes PDM’s product unique is its ability to withstand Ireland’s damp climate for a sustained and reliable length of time without compromising its intended use. This service reliability is key. PDM’s product has many applications within the agricultural and equine sectors. Its most popular use is as stock-proof fencing to coral farm animals and horses while they graze. It is also used aesthetically to border a property, inter-mingle with hedging or other foliage, and can be used to create closed arenas to train young horses.

The Co. Kildare concern is the number one supplier of treated timber utility poles to the telecommunications, broadband and power industries in Ireland, with the ESB, eir, NBI and NI Electricity being among its main customers. It also supplies fencing, railing and gates to the agri sector through FRS (Farm Relief Services), who have 20 outlets nationwide, and co-ops such as Dairygold and Arrabawn. Retailers, building contractors, fencing contractors and the private homeowner 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, Ballylinch, Kildangan and the National Stud 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 professional service and reputation as well as the quality of our products,” explains Martin, who has been with PDM for the past 33 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, McHugh Timber Products in Killeshandra, Co. Cavan and Woodfarm Fencing Supplies in Ahascragh, Co. Galway. McHugh’s and Woodfarm also sell its products.

“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.

The affable sales manager says 2020 was one of PDM’s busiest years on record, despite the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Martin puts this down to property owners having more time and money to do jobs they would have put on the long finger.

“We followed all the Government guidelines with regard to social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitising, and managed to keep the doors open. 2020 turned out to be a very busy year for us, but there are always challenges in this business. At the moment, the two big issues are rising fuel costs and the difficulties in sourcing timber from Europe due to the war in Ukraine.”

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.


Old Milltown,


Co. Kildare,

W91 FY96.

Telephone: 045 877165

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.pdm.ie

First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 4, July/August 2022