MF Tree Services Ltd has earned itself a first class reputation under the directorship of Michael and Olive Fahey down through the years. Irish Tractor heard more from the latter recently about the Co Tipperary-based firm.
Business is booming right now at MF Tree Services Ltd and for Michael Fahey the hope is to keep things moving smoothly into next year.
Based in Littleton, Thurles, Co Tipperary, the company is backed-boned by Michael and his 35 years of experience in the industry and currently operates with seven full-time staff.
Business continues to grow year on year, with Michael’s philosophy being “If you stand still in this game, you’re going backwards” and it’s a large part of the reason why MF Tree Services Ltd experienced such growth over the last 35 years.
Irish Tractor & Agri caught up with Michael recently to learn more about his venture.
“Right now we’ve 11 working here and my wife Olive is also a director with the company,” he outlined.
“We basically provide harvesting services for farmers and almost everything we do here would be private work.
“I started off following my uncles around as a boy on push bikes and eventually got a car. Then I started cutting wood for a company in Sweden and around 25 years ago I got into bed processors, so it has just grown from there for me.”
Over the past three-and-a-half decades Michael has learned the industry inside-out and in August 2013 he set-up MF Tree Services Ltd.
The company has grown year on year to the point where Michael is continuously updating his fleet in order to keep up with the demand from his clients.
Many of those clients, by the way, are County Councils all over the south of the country for whom Michael has carried work out for over 20 years now.
Business at the moment couldn’t really be better, according to the man himself.
“At the moment business is good,” stated MF Tree Services’ Managing Director.
“We obviously do tree surgery here as well and unfortunately it’s a case of us not able to get enough good men to take on the amount of work we want to.
“Training and Health & Safety is a big part of it but you have to have the experience. Experience is crucial in this line of work and all of my lads are from around the local area here, apart from one.”
As Michael states, finding new employees with the sufficient experience is the hard part but, as far as the men he currently has with him go, his tone suggests that he wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.
It’s part of the reason why MF Tree Services Ltd’s clients choose them first ahead of other competitors in their field.
Ask Michael why he feels his business continues to obtain repeat business from the same customers year in, year out and he’ll give it to you straight.
“Because we’re better than anyone else,” he stated plainly. “I have no problem saying that. As I said, proper training – you can’t buy it.”
“I’ve worked for a lot of County Councils all throughout Munster and then done a lot of private work for Coolraine Sawmills in Co Laois, GP Woods and Bord Na Mona.
“I’m still working with those same clients today but the largest amount of work I’d be doing year round would be for Green Belt and SWS (Forestry Services).”
He continued: “I’m lucky with the training I got with German and English foresters who were experts in hardwood. That gave me the opportunity to export mature hardwood used for veneering and manufacturing top quality furniture.
“I supplied oak timber to Windsor Castle, which is one of the official residences Queen Elizabeth II, after it was damaged by fire in 1992.”
Along with an excellent service, what attracts MF Tree Services’ clientele is a top class fleet of machinery.
The company operates John Deere and Komatsu harvesters and recently added a couple more to the fleet in order to meet the demand they’re expecting again this year.
“At the end of last year we bought two harvesters and a JCB digger as well,” said Michael. “We’re constantly updating the fleet here and got a new outfit from JC Wilson for chipping and timber as well.
“If you stand still in this game, you’re going backwards. That’s the way I look at it.”
And it isn’t a bad way to look at things in this particular line of work.
In an industry that’s so competitive, staying out in front is imperative but Michael has taken a more conservative approach this year for one reason in particular.
Michael feels that Brexit makes things unpredictable for his business going forward and would be happy for this year to mirror the profits made in 2017.
“This year I’m hoping to consolidate because of Brexit,” he pointed out. “We don’t know what’s going to happen there but if we keep going the same way we did last year I’d be happy with it.
“The outlook is good and we’re always looking to buy timber here. Things were often worse and while we’re not the cheapest, we’re certainly one of the best in the country.
“Anyone that knows us will tell you that.”
We’ll leave it to the experts at MF Tree Services so.
MF Tree Services
Mob: 087 271 2967
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 4, June/July 2018