Last year saw McAllen Agri Contractors mark 20 years since its establishment and right now business is booming for the Galway-based company. Irish Tractor & Agri found out more from Colman McAllen, who runs the business alongside his brother Paul week in, week out.
Based in Ballyaneen, Gort, Co Galway, McAllen Agri Contractors provides a top quality service to a large customer base, having built up a reputation for reliability and efficiency.
The company is run by brothers Paul and Colman McAllen and employs nine full-time staff with a fleet of John Deere tractors, providing a wide range of services, and all carry out their work in a professional and efficient manner.
2018 marked an even two decades for the business as the McAllens continue to ensure their clients both quality and timely work year round.
Silage cutting is one of the main services which their company provides and this past summer has been another busy one down in Gort.
Along with silage harvesting, other services provided by McAllen Agri Contractors include tillage work, slurry, baling, muck spreading, reseeding and plant work which includes site clearance, land reclamation and drainage.
Colman himself was good enough to take time from a hectic schedule recently to tell Irish Tractor & Agri all about the services they provide.
“The main aim is to get in and get the job done as quickly as you can,” the Co Galway native outlined.
“With the weather being so unpredictable, there is only a small window of opportunity to make silage, so it is a case of working 24/7 during that period.
“We have a modern fleet of machinery which is kept up to date and this avoids any unnecessary breakdowns that may occur.
“The machinery has to be in perfect working order during the busy period. There is no room for breakdowns or downtime. Machinery repair costs are expensive. When a job has to be done, it has to be done as quickly as possible.
“We would upgrade the fleet on a regular basis. You have to keep re-investing in your machinery which can be costly, but it is important to do, as the new machinery can be more efficient.”
Efficiency has always been the name of the game for Paul and Colman and that goes a long way towards explaining why their company has been on the go for 21 years (and counting).
As aforementioned, they are always updating the company’s fleet and John Deere has been the tractor brand of choice for some time now.
“We have the equipment to deal with the work and this year we added a new John Deere 6130R, which has been going well for us since we bought it off Geary’s in Clarecastle. We also invested in a new Krone Big X 630 harvester from Tom Shaw, Birr.”
So what is it that has the McAllens choosing John Deere first ahead of the other brands?
“Reliability would be the main thing when it comes to John Deere,” Colman stated. “We’ve run a lot of them down through the years and it seems to always work out. There’s also the fact that they’re not overly costly either.”
As for the quarry which Colman mentioned, it’s one that has been on the family farm for many years now.
It employs two full-time staff and sees plenty of local farmers and builders coming through the gates throughout the year, particularly during the winter months.
“The quarry has always been there on a small scale. I’d say it has been there for a couple of generations now,” said Colman.
“A lot of local farmers come to us for some of the stone and then there’s the construction side as well where local builders would be buying off us.
“All the stone is certified stone for work with concrete and it’s mostly local builders that we’re dealing with. We also invested in a secondary crusher in the quarry to keep up with demand.”
It’s another string to the bow down in Ballyaneen, where they’ve built up a strong customer base over these past 21 years.
Colman revealed that many of their customers have been with them years as he feels that farmers tend to stick with someone that will get the job done to their satisfaction.
“We would have customers that are with us from the start. They know that they will get a good service from us and it is up to us to ensure that continues,” he stated.
“We have staff that are reliable, hardworking and committed, some of whom have been with us a long time and they have the knowledge, skill and experience in operating machinery which helps get the work done efficiently.
“For the silage season, we would run two crews and that sees us get through a lot of work. Time is of the essence when doing silage.”
And this time of year it’s all about silage at McAllen Agri, as their machinery can be seen travelling all over the Gort region and even further afield.
“In the summer months we’re concentrating heavily on silage, corn, round-baling and then a certain amount of slurry and re-seeding as well.
“The quarry is kept going all year round really, so there’s a big push on with silage at the minute for our clients here.”
As farmers themselves, the McAllen brothers know what their clients want when they provide their services.
“We grow about 150 acres of grain and roll it for feed, which we both use ourselves and supply some of the local merchants and farmers,” Colman stated.
Colman concluded with thanks for the customers who have stuck by them over the years.
“Like I said the majority of our customers are there many years and once we keep them happy, then we are happy. Farmers are a loyal breed and once you provide them with the service they want, then they will stick with you.
We also enjoy a great working relationship with local contractor Declan Donohue of Donohue Agri and Haulage, Kilbecanty, Gort.
“We’d also like to thank family, friends and staff for their support and help in contributing to the growth and success of the business down through the years.”
McAllen Agri Contractors
Tel: 091-631388 Mobile: 087-6897560
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 5, September/October 2019