Well-known agri contractor Maurice Gannon runs one of the most impressive fleet of Valtra tractors in the country near the village of Creggs, which straddles the Galway-Roscommon border.
Maurice has been a Valtra man since 1999 when he purchased his first (then Valmet), which was a 140hp 8450 model. Fast forward 20 years and he’s now running 10 of them. Indeed, the popular Finnish brand makes up his entire fleet.
Maurice, who runs his busy contracting operation in tandem with his tillage and beef enterprises and his organic waste recycling company Gannon Transport & Environmental Services Ltd, explains how the changeover to Valtra happened more by accident than design.
“I had been with Deutz for years, but then when the local dealer closed, back-up and support suddenly became an issue and it was then that I decided to buy a new Valtra after having a demonstration model for about three weeks. I could just as easily have bought a New Holland or John Deere,” he remembers.
“But it turned out to be a great tractor and haven’t looked back since. All of our Valtras have come from Clarke Machinery in Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan. They opened a new outlet in Roscommon town a couple of years ago which makes them even more accessible to us for sales, maintenance and repairs.”
Maurice has taken delivery of three new T234s in each of the last three years. Completing his all-Valtra fleet are six T190s and one T202.
The Valtras are put to work on his own farm and on numerous other farms within a wide radius of Creggs. His contracting business, Maurice Gannon Agri Contractor, covers Galway, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath and sometimes further afield. Having started baling hay in the early 1980s and silage harvesting in 1986, he now provides a complete service, including silage harvesting, slurry spreading, muck spreading, fertiliser spreading, ploughing and reseeding. Helping Maurice to run the different enterprises are his wife Caroline and sons David, Kenneth and Conor.
Committed to providing a top-class service and complete customer satisfaction, Maurice Gannon Agri Contractor has an array of machinery to carry out your work quickly and efficiently, providing you with value-for-money and an alternative to investing in your own expensive equipment. The success of the business can be attributed to the knowledge, skill and expertise of its staff as well as the quality of its machinery. Maurice and his highly-skilled team deliver the value and quality farmers expect from their agricultural contracting partner.
In preparation for the silage season, Maurice has invested in a new Krone Big M harvester and a new JCB 435 loading shovel. He has also purchased two new Mastek dribble bar / umbilical systems as well as a new Major 4,000-gallon slurry tanker. Other plant operated by Maurice Gannon Agri Contractor include six 2,600-gallon Major tankers, two McHale Fusion balers, two Keenan orbital muck spreaders, a John Deere 7550 self-propelled forage harvester, a John Deere mower, a set of front and back Kverneland mowers, a McHale butterfly mower, three 30ft silage rakes (two Krone and one Kverneland), a 30ft Krone tedder, seven Kane silage trailers and a complete range of tillage and grass reseeding equipment, including ploughs and one-pass machinery.
Specialising in pit and baled silage, Maurice Gannon Agri Contractor will work around the clock during peak times to keep clients happy. All machines are serviced and maintained both inhouse and by main dealers to avoid breakdowns and downtime. There is no such thing as a quiet time of the year for this highly-regarded contractor who employs six full-time staff and up to eight others on a part-time basis.
“We have a great crew who enjoy an excellent working relationship with our customers. We retain long-time customers and attract new ones by offering a professional, reliable, clean and value-for-money service. We have between 300-400 customers dotted across the midlands and west. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued support and look forward to working for and with them for many more years to come,” the affable 54-year-old says.
Maurice’s 600-acre farming enterprise produces silage, grain, beet and straw which is sold locally. The silage and grain are also used to rear beef cattle which are bought in as calves. “We finish about 250 cattle a year,” he adds.
Maurice supplies his beef to Kepak in Athleague, who he provides an organic waste recycling service to. He started removing waste generated at the beef processing plant and recycling it as fertiliser for local farmers in 2012, and this led to him setting up Gannon Transport & Environmental Services Ltd. Also contracted by Kepak in Ennis to recycle their organic waste, Maurice has two Scania articulated trucks, four articulated tankers, five bulk tipping trailers, one extendable flat trailer and one step-frame trailer dedicated to this end of the business.
“We manage the haulage, storage and land banks for spreading the organic waste for Kepak,” he explains.
The north Galway man has worked hard to grow his enterprises and doesn’t intend resting on his laurels.
“It’s very demanding, you’re working all day long, but I do it because I’m passionate about it. It’s what I know best and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way,” he concludes.
Maurice Gannon Agri Contractor
Telephone: 090 6621220 / 086 2538169
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 7 No 4, August 2019