From their base in Sion Mills, County Tyrone, LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd have been meeting the needs of the local building and agricultural sectors for the past 13 years. Proprietor Jonny Millar provided Irish Tractor & Agri with an insight into the ever-burgeoning concern and the services it provides.
Jonny Millar gained plenty of experience when working for his late father Leslie Joseph’s building contracting business – LJ Millar & Sons Ltd – before setting up his own company back in 2007. He started out with three employees by his side and today the company has seven employees on its payroll, including his wife Louise who looks after the administration end of things.
Kirstie Ward is one of the main tractor drivers and looks after Facebook and advertising for the firm. Kirstie would be well known from Grassmen.
“When my father passed away I started out on my own while my brother, Stephen, continues to run the building contracting business. We would do a lot of his ground and site clearance works for him,” Jonny explained.
Other services that Jonny and his dedicated and skilled team provides include hedge cutting, silage trailer and slurry tanker work as well as agricultural construction.
The curtain came down on a busy slurry season back in October and they are already looking forward to getting going again in February.
“Thankfully, business is going great,” Jonny revealed. “Groundworks would have been the biggest thing when I started the business but we started on the slurry three years ago and started, in 2018, started the umbilical slurry spreading.
“Since then it has grown to be a really big part of the business and the biggest thing work wise for us over that period. We basically haven’t looked back since we started the slurry and we pride ourselves on that end of things.
“We also pride ourselves on having good digger men working for us who do a great job. Our customers are always happy with the service and workmanship we provide. We’re reliable when it comes to getting the work done.”
To help their customers achieve their targets and maximise production, LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd boasts an extensive fleet of tractors, diggers and associated machinery which are reliable, efficient and suitable for any job. For example, they recently invested in a PBE Slurry Spike which aerates the land while low emission slurry spreading takes place at the same time.
“We bought an extra tractor this year and a new low loader while we have a new tanker coming in February,” Jonny replied when asked about the new additions to the fleet.
“We are currently operating five John Deere tractors, mainly for slurry, while we also have dump trailers and do tractor low loader work as well.”
As regards the customers who pick up the phone to him on a regular basis, Jonny is very appreciative of their continued support while their loyalty to him is testimony to the professional way in which LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd go about their daily business.
“We’re fortunate to have built up a lot of repeat customers down through the years. We generally don’t travel outside of a 10 mile radius of where we are here. It’s mainly local businesses, we’ve about 15 good customers we do work for on a regular basis.”
Turning his thoughts to the future direction for LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd, Jonny is quietly confident that the company’s graph will continue in an upward direction.
“Everything is dead on the way I am running at the moment. I might add an extra digger on eventually because the diggers were busy this year.
“Covid hasn’t really affected us at all because we’re always isolated doing our work. The weather is our biggest problem. There is usually so much to be done in a tight time frame, the unpredictability of the weather certainly doesn’t help us.
“While it’s hard to know what way we are going to come out of Covid, I would be optimistic about the future,” he concluded.
If you are looking for the best service and the keenest prices, all underpinned by a can-do attitude, look no further than LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd. Jonny & Co’s track record speaks for itself and is second to none.
LJ Millar & Sons Plant Hire Ltd
Tel: +44 7712 655546
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 9 No 2, March/April 2021