Operating out of Lusk, Co Dublin, Talamh Contracts Ltd is an environmental road maintenance specialist and contracting business renowned for its excellent service. Irish Tractor Agri & Plant caught up with company co-director Cillian Burke to find out what it has been up to lately.
Business continues to go strong at Talamh Contracts since being set-up by Cillian Burke and Martin Taylor as a limited company some 18 months ago.
A roads and ground maintenance specialist which also concentrates on Hedge and Verge Cutting around the country, the company has decades of experience at its forefront and, through its excellent services, manages to stay busy all year round.
Talamh Contracts Ltd’s road maintenance specialist and contracting business sees it providing services to County Councils, Motorway Management Companies, Property Management Companies, Property Developers and a range of corporate and domestic customers in both rural and urban settings.
Irish Tractor Agri & Plant touched base with Cillian Burke recently to discuss the ins and outs of the company – from its origins to the overall state of business today.
“We’re based in St Jude’s, Lusk, Co Dublin and the joint venture (Talamh Contracts Ltd) is only going about a year-and-a-half but we had two sole traders before this,” the co-director outlined.
“I’ve been doing this kind of work since I was 16 and Martin (Taylor) would’ve been doing this for the last 15 years.
“During the winter, we take on probably another five lads through the gritting season and then during the summer we probably take on another two for a bit of hire work.”
When Cillian and Martin first set-up Talamh Contracts Ltd, they did so with the aim of providing customers with a high-quality service which they could depend on.
Today, the company boasts a portfolio of customers all varying in size.
Whatever the work, Talamh Contracts Ltd remain dedicated to providing a high level of customer service, and continue to maintain professional health & safety and environmental standards year on year.
A large focus for the business is its hedge-cutting service, while salt-spreading is another string in its bow that helps keep it busy throughout the winter months.
“We have four hedge cutters on the go there and one of them would be a self-propelled hedge cutter which we just recently took on. There’s only a handful of them in the country and it has a reach of 10 metres,” Cillian explained.
“So, the hedge-cutting would be a big part of it and we’d be doing it for councils, motorways, property developers, capital management companies and, obviously, the private and agricultural customers as well.
“Another big part of our business is salt-spreading. We have five spreaders on the go at the minute – three on jeeps and two of them on tractors. That would be split between councils, property management people and the likes of Dublin Port and a couple of those places.”
The likelihood is that another salt-spreader will be added to the fleet at Talamh Contracts Ltd ahead of next winter in order to ensure that customer demand is met.
In the second half of the year, the company is more or less just as busy between private work and jobs for County Councils and property management customers.
It provides environmentally friendly weed control amongst other services, which sees it as first choice for its clients.
“We do a good bit of hire work for a lot of vegetable farmers around north county Dublin,” said the co-director.
“Then one tractor there is gone on six months hire with a local vegetable producer, Carroll Produce, just drawing trailers and that kind of thing. We also have the hard surface weed control side of the business.
“So, we would take the flail heads off the hedge cutters and we have this steel wire brush that we came up with in conjunction with Slanetrac Engineering in Meath.
“That would be for councils and property management customers again, just for tearing up weeds, uprooting them and cleaning hard surfaces and then we have the sweeper as well just to clean up after that.”
On the machinery front, Talamh Contracts Ltd added a brand-new New Holland T6 175 to its fleet in 2021 and also purchased a second-hand Deutz-Fahr tractor nine months ago, along with a second hand 6.2 Shelbourne Powerblade that’s just two years old.
Its self-propelled hedge-cutter was added this year and, as aforementioned, there’s set to be another salt-spreader brought in for winter 2024.
It’s all necessary to make sure the work is done in an efficient and timely manner for customers.
So, everything considered, the burning question is what is it about Talamh Contracts Ltd that has its customers choosing them first ahead of other competitors out there?
How has a small start-up grown into a thriving business which now holds an excellent reputation amongst the people it works for?
“We’re a reliable source and me being from Greystones in Wicklow and Martin from Lusk it allows us to get both sides of the city. That’s where our work is concentrated to,” Cillian pointed out.
“We have the machines for the job and, at the end of the day, once you have good operators on them, the rest of follow.”
He added: “We’re busy all year round really. One feeds into the other and it’s nearly backwards for us because we have a nice handy enough spring and summer and then we have an absolutely mental winter between the hedge-cutting and salt-spreading.
“There’s long hours in it and there was a couple of rollovers this winter with the cold weather.”
Looking towards the months ahead for the company, the Garden County native is eager to continue moving things in the right direction while also keeping up their trend of providing customers with a first-class service.
“We just want to build on what we have there and continue to provide a good service for our clients at the moment.
“Hopefully, the rest will follow after we provide that,” he concluded.
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 11 No 4, August/September 2023