Based in Derrinkealig, Bantry, Co Cork, Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd has been in operation for more than 30 years now and holds an impeccable reputation for its work in the area. Irish Tractor & Agri caught up with its Managing Director Gareth Whooley to learn all about this all-year-round busy venture in the Rebel County.
Business has been good lately at Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd and the plan to the Whooley clan down in Bantry, Co Cork is to try and keep things that way right through to next year.
Set-up over 30 years ago by Val Whooley, the company is today run by his son Gareth who has his mother Geraldine and sister Niamh alongside him in the business.
Digger and tractor work is what they primarily specialise in down in Derrinkealig, where the Whooley name is renowned for its reliability in producing excellent work for its clients.
Irish Tractor & Agri touched base with Gareth Whooley to hear more about this busy venture down south, which currently has eight tractors and seven diggers in its fleet.
“We’ve been on the go for well over 30 years and at the moment we have about seven working here with us,” he outlined.
“My mother Geraldine would be milking on the farm, where we’d be on 178 acres and milking 220 cows, and then my sister Geraldine looks after the accounts for the business. It’s very much a team effort here and always has been.”
These days digger and tractor work are very much the forte of Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd, working with customers throughout Cork and beyond the Rebel County’s borders for decades now.
The company has developed a reputation down through the years for producing excellent work which has been key to its continued success and growth.
For Gareth Whooley himself, he has been immersed in the family business all of his working life and even as far back as his early teenage years.
“I went to college for two years before getting into this full-time. Since I was 13 years of age, I’ve been helping out in some way so you could say that I’ve been at it all my life at this stage,” he said.
As the years rolled by and Gareth got more and more experience under his belt, the day would eventually arrive when he’d be running the family business.
Now, perhaps more than ever, Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd is going strong – even with the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and the government lockdowns which have followed in order to combat the spread of the virus.
Business is good and, as Gareth himself explained, he can’t complain about how things are going at the moment for the company.
“Business hasn’t been too bad at all, to be honest” he said. “We recently bought a new digger and two new tractors so we can continue to meet the demand from our customers.
“They seem to be very busy at the moment with work and, thankfully, the Covid pandemic hasn’t really affected them as much as it has other businesses out there. We can’t complain at all about the way things are now.”
Add in the fact that Gareth has made some new additions to the machinery fleet Derrinkealig and you start to understand how this year has been a good one for Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd.
The company’s fleet is constantly being kept up to date by Gareth and there are no plans to alter that approach going forward.
It’s an approach that clients seem to appreciate most.
“Right now, we have seven diggers here and seven or eight tractors,” said Gareth.
“The newest tractor we got was a John Deere off Tim O’Mahony from Farm Power Machinery and, I have to say, it’s been going brilliant for us since.
“We maintain all of our machinery to the highest standard here and always have done.”
So, the burning question is, what has been the secret to the continued success of Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd after all these years?
How has a small family set-up outside of Bantry managed to stand the test of time after more than three decades in business?
According to Gareth, always making the customer the number one priority has paid its dividends for Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd over the years.
“I suppose we’ve taken the approach here to always look after the customer first,” he said.
“The customer has always come first with us and I think that’s something they’ve appreciated over the years and maybe it’s the reason why they keep coming back to us. That and the work that we carry out for them as well.”
Looking towards the coming months for the family business, Gareth is as optimistic as ever and says they are keen to see further growth with regards to their digger service come the winter time.
“The hopes for the next couple of months are to keep doing what we’re doing and to keep improving as well, which we’re always looking to do here.
“We’d also be hoping that the diggers take off a bit more as well. They are busy as it is, but we’re hoping that we get busier with them in the winter time, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” he concluded.
Val Whooley Plant Hire Ltd
Mobile: 085 2474 751
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 6, November/December