Based in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, JB Structural Steel Ltd are experts when it comes to fabricating, erecting and stocking steel in the agricultural, commercial and residential markets. Irish Tractor & Agri touched base with company owner and founder John English to find out more about what is a thriving business down in the Premier County.
Business is steady these days at JB Structural Steel Ltd and the plan is to keep things that way right through to 2022, according to Managing Director John English.
Established as a limited company in 2005, the Co Tipperary business operates with 10 direct staff and subcontractors.
John English has been out on his own, running his business since 1983 and a decade-and-a-half ago his son Brian came on board with him at JB Structural Steel Ltd.
Irish Tractor & Agri learned all about the company – from its origins to the current state of business
– when we spoke to John recently.
“We’re based in Clerihan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary and I started in business by myself in 1983,” he outlined.
“We became a limited company in 2005 and my son Brian joined the company in the same year, so it’s John and Brian (JB) Structural Steel Ltd.
“We’re manufacturers of structural steel for agricultural, industrial and residential projects and we also do steel erecting and cladding & steel sales.
“Between all of those services combined, it manages to keep us busy here the whole year round.”
The company’s fabrication facility in Clerihan, Clonmel, Co Tipperary consists of a 13,000 square foot workshop and office.
Since ‘Day One’, JB Structural Steel Ltd has always taken great pride in the fact that all of its projects are completed with an exceptional level of quality that meet customers’ standards as well as health and safety standards.
It had been the vision for John English when he first set-up shop almost 40 years ago and things have come a long way since then, as he himself explained.
“I worked for Buttimer Engineering in Cahir and served my time there before going out on my own,” he said.
“We just started off from making trailers to welding repairs and once we got into the building end of things, it took off and we still specialise in agricultural, commercial and residential projects today.”
With a reputation for delivering excellent projects, John English’s business grew year on year and he’d take the decision to set-up a limited company in 2005 alongside his son.
Today, JB Structural Steel’s services include the fabrication and installation of structural and miscellaneous steel, equipment components, walkways, platforms, plate work and material handling equipment.
They also provide a comprehensive range of precision metal fabrication services to the commercial, industrial, retail and private sectors.
The company’s staff are skilled in all areas of metal fabrication, including punching, bending, forming, welding, machining and specialist metal work such as stainless steel and aluminium.
When it comes to agricultural buildings, all of the farm buildings supplied by JB Structural Steel Ltd. are fabricated and Erected to Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food S 101 grant specifications.
All buildings are erected by the company’s fully trained erectors who are fully insured for all works being carried out and all of the site works are carried out in compliance with the Health & Safety at Work Act 2005 and the Health, Safety & Welfare at Work (Construction) regulations 2006.
JB Structural Steel Ltd always works closely with clients and provides a quotation, design and delivery on time and within budget.
For more than 35 years now, John and his team in Clonmel have been supplying solutions to all types of agricultural buildings, including dairy units, beef units, stables, hay & straw storage, sheep sheds and machinery sheds.
A high degree of automation ensures that each project is completed on time as JB Structural Steel Ltd utilises top of the range CNC machines to boost production levels and turnaround times.
With all of that considered, it’s no surprise to see the company thriving at the moment, even in the midst of a global pandemic, as its services continue to cover so many bases for customers.
“Business is good,” said John. “It would have been slow back maybe this time last year with Covid and the lockdown but, since the end of 2020, we’ve been very busy.
“Right now, we’re on a project for Clonmel Waste Disposal and we have a lot of agricultural related work priced for the next couple of months.”
So, what has been the secret to success for John English and JB Structural Steel Ltd?
How has a small start-up in Clonmel grown into a thriving venture which now fabricates a massive variety of structural steel products?
According to its founder, the company has blossomed through delivering quality projects time and time again.
“We don’t advertise – all of our work comes through word of mouth. We would have done 12 buildings in the one yard for one client down through the years,” said John.
“We mostly cover north Munster and, if we have work within a 10-mile radius, we won’t go further because I think it’s ridiculous to go further for work if it’s not necessary.”
He added: “I think our main selling point would be reliability with our clients, especially when it comes to start and completion dates on projects.”
Looking towards the coming months, John is keen for things to stay the same at JB Structural Steel Ltd.
Right now, the biggest challenge facing the company, like so many others, is cost of materials but he remains confident for the future nonetheless.
“We’ll be hoping to keep it tight on our costs,” he said.
“We could easily be several sizes larger than what we currently are but we like it this way. There are no fears for the future and covering all the sectors is what keeps us busy here.”
Great to hear.
JB Structural Steel Ltd,
Co Tipperary, E91 XW66
Tel: (052) 613 5202
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 5, September/October 2021