Since 1926, WW Doherty & Sons Ltd. has been offering farmers in the Limerick region the best agricultural machinery products and service that money can buy.
We dropped into the long-running family business’ head office in Adare and got an insight into day-to-day operations from director Roland Doherty.
Headquartered on the Killarney Road, Adare, County Limerick, WW Doherty & Sons Ltd. is a family-run farm machinery dealership which has been providing an unrivalled sales, service and parts solution to customers from near and far for over nine decades.
Established in 1926 – and now with a second branch in Gortatlea, Tralee, County Kerry – WW Doherty & Sons Ltd. serves counties Limerick, Clare and Kerry and surrounding areas with franchises for Deutz-Fahr tractors, Rossmore agricultural machinery and Conor vacuum tanks.
They are also main importers of a full range of Kuhn machinery throughout the country and Deutz-Fahr machinery for the 32 counties and are nationwide importers and distributors of Kab seating, who specialise in agricultural, commercial, industrial, office and marine seating.
With a wide selection of new and used equipment in stock at all times as well as a large stock of parts, WW Doherty & Sons is a third-generation family business with a proven track record in providing its customers with products and a back-up service that they can depend on.
Reflecting on the genesis of the company, director Roland Doherty told Irish Tractor & Farm Machinery: “My grandfather Walter Doherty set the business up in 1926 and my father James and uncle Ivor would have taken over from him.
“My grandfather originally started out selling International Tractors in the 80’s and my father went on to sell New Holland Forage Harvesters and became the biggest dealer in Western Europe, selling more than 20 of those in one year. We’ve been a main dealer for Deutz-Fahr tractors since 2010 and also carry the full range of Kuhn machinery.
“Kab seating has been an important addition to our product range and we are the exclusive dealers nationwide. Kab manufactures seating for everything from tractors to trucks and vans as well as for industrial, commercial and office use.”
Gainful employment is provided to a team of twelve and Roland agrees that – even when you are selling the best machines, equipment and parts on the market – a product is essentially only as good as the back-up service that follows. To this end, WW Doherty & Sons prides itself on offering a follow-up service that’s second to none. This is why they benefit from such a large volume of repeat business and customer loyalty:
“The back-up service is absolutely vital and it’s something we’ve always placed a major emphasis on,” the third-generation company director confirms. “We have four service vans out on the road looking after our customers and – especially at this time of year when farmers are extremely busy – you have to make sure that every machine we sell is working perfectly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We have a rapid response time and we never leave any of our customers in trouble. Once we get a call, we will go straight to the farm and we will generally have the machine up and running again that same day. That’s the level of service people expect and we’ve been doing it since day one.”
While the agricultural sector has arguably escaped the worst of the recession, it has not been totally immune to the economic downturn; Roland points out that everybody has felt the pinch, with sleeves rolled up and hatches battened down accordingly:
“Things are tough for everybody in the climate we are in,” he says. “But you have to accept the cards you are dealt and do your best with them. We’re working hard and we’re keeping our heads above water by providing great products and an exceptional service. The good weather this year has helped a lot, and the banks are also easing up a little bit, which is good news for everybody. If farmers have no money, they can’t invest in new equipment.”
WW Doherty & Sons carries a full range of spare parts for all its franchises. When a customer needs a part, nine times out of ten it will be in stock; in the rare event of a part not being in stock, it can be ordered in and supplied within 24 hours.
How has the Adare dealership managed to stay one step ahead of the competition for 90 years and counting? “It’s not easy but we provide an excellent service as well as a very good product. Deutz-Fahr tractors – which were voted Tractor of the Year 2013 – are renowned for their fuel economy and that is a good selling point. Kuhn is also an extremely high-quality product and the steel they use, for example, would be of a very high quality. Once you have a quality product and a strong service, you can’t go too far wrong. We’ve been doing this for 90 years and we like to think we know what we’re doing.”
As for the future plans of WW Doherty & Sons, Roland concludes: “We will keep our heads down and focus 100% on providing a great service. We have excellent products in Kuhn, Deutz and Kab so if we continue to offer a great service, hopefully we can hold onto our customers and perhaps even attract a few new ones.”
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 1 No 1, September 2013