A quarter of a century after its inception, County Fermanagh based McCullagh Farm Machinery continues to go from strength to strength. We dropped into their well-stocked, recently-expanded facility at Bellanaleck, Enniskillen and touched base with managing director Lloyd McCullagh to find out about the latest developments in this exceptional family-run business.
For 25 years, McCullagh Farm Machinery has been supplying customers north and south of the border with an unrivalled range of high-quality, value-added, new and second-hand agri and plant machinery. Southern trade has proven to be the backbone of the business since it was established by father and son Robert and Lloyd McCullagh in 1990 – and this remains very much the case today.
“We’ve seen another huge increase in southern sales for Quarter 3,” the latter confirms. “The Euro has continued to strengthen as the year has progressed and this has had a significant impact on business. For example, in the first week of August, we sold in excess of €190,000 worth of machinery to Southern Irish customers.”
Convenient proximity to the border allied to the fact that McCullagh Farm Machinery source and supply an excellent range of equipment at unbeatable prices means that the Republic of Ireland market has always been much more than an afterthought.
“During the boom times, cross-border sales peaked at €5.5m one year. It’s a very important market for us,” says Lloyd. “The general talk in the South has been about the drop in the value of the Euro against Sterling. There was a 9% drop in January, which was a massive shift inside a one-week period, but it has gradually recovered some of that ground.”
McCullagh Farm Machinery went that extra mile to ensure that they held onto their customers in the Republic: “We held our Euro prices all year because our southern customers are too important to us and we didn’t want to lose them. An item that was priced at €20,000 in 2014 was still priced at €20,000 in 2015. There was no change in the price. While we lost money on that, it was worth doing because we showed out commitment to people who have been the lifeblood of the business for many years. The Euro price freeze has certainly paid off if our Q3 figures are anything to go by and we can see the southern business picking up even further in the coming years.
“We have also dropped our Sterling prices drastically because prices in the mainland UK have gone down in line with the Euro, which is now the dominant currency in Europe.”
There has also been a welcome pick-up in the sales of plant machinery, with encouraging signs that the worst of the slump is now behind us. “Construction is becoming busy again,” Lloyd adds. “We’re edging back into construction equipment because word coming down from Dublin is that there is demand again for good, clean used gear. We have quite a good selection of diggers etc. back in stock again and they are moving well.”
Another important recent development at McCullagh Farm Machinery saw the directors invest a large amount of money into extending the premises. “The expansion was finished in July, 2014 and increased the yard to a two-acre site, filled with machinery.”
McCullagh Farm Machinery have also taken on three exciting new agencies. They are now an agent for Concept Flail Toppers, OBE low-centre-of-gravity tankers; and the new Lely Welger Tornado combi-baler, which has a fantastic ability to pick up Ireland’s heaviest crops to the lightest 3rd-cut grass.
Combining the proven RP 245 Profi fixed-chamber baler with the fastest wrapping system in the market place, the Lely Welger RPC 245 Tornado does not waste a second when picking up the crop, compacting it, transferring it to the wrapper and wrapping and discharging it. The time the Tornado takes to wrap a bale is so short that the output of the fixed-chamber baler can be maximised.
“We have demoed that machine and there is huge interest in them. Already this year we’ve sold a good few of them and the customers who bought them have been extremely happy,” Lloyd points out.
From tractors to lawnmowers and combine harvesters to front loaders as well as sprayers, hedge cutters, grassland equipment, power harrows, trailers, slurry equipment etc. etc., McCullagh Machinery is a one-stop shop for all farm machinery needs. The ongoing success of this business has been built on understanding – and meeting – customer needs, with a superb range of quality tractors, agri and plant machinery available to meet every budget.
Trade is split roughly half and half between new (including Kuhn, Malone, McHale, Taarup, Strautmann, Ifor Williams, Nugent, Belmac, Hi-Spec, Conor, Fleming etc.) and second hand machinery, with all used equipment leaving the premises in tip-top condition and carrying a warranty. McCullagh Farm Machinery Ltd. pride themselves on their reputation throughout Ireland for sourcing and selling quality equipment, with the ability to cater for everything from the most basic requirements right through to the discerning needs of the professional operator.
McCullagh Machinery Ltd.,
Tel: 028 6634 8213
Fax: 028 6634 8013
From Republic of Ireland:
Tel: 048 6634 8213
Fax: 048 6634 8013
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 3 No 11, December 2015