Tony O’Mahony Agri & Plant continue to deliver

19 Feb , 2015  

Tony O’Mahony Agri & Plant Hire Ltd is a family run business based in Bandon, County Cork and is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction to the farming community.

They have a wide range of machinery to carry out your work quickly and efficiently, providing you with value for money and an alternative to investing in your own expensive equipment with over 50 years’ experience in Agricultural Contracting.

Given the expensive nature of farming machinery many farmers turn to contractors to carry out their annual harvesting and other work that is carried out every year.

Tony O’Mahony Agri & Plant Hire Ltd offers wide range of service to its large customer base which includes: Precision Chop Silage, Baling, Wrapping & Stacking, Maize & Wholecrop Cereal Setting & Harvesting,  Trailing Shoe Umbilical Cord Slurry, Lime, Slurry & Farmyard manure Spreading, Ploughing, Power Harrowing & Direct Drilling, Industrial Loader and telescopic loaders For Hire, Septic Tank Waste Disposal, 4 Wheel Drive Digger For Hire, General Tractor Work, Dump Trailers, Site Work, Track Machine and Lorries.

This gives an indication of the machinery that O’Mahony’s have on offer and shows that their work is not just seasonal, but all year round.

Tony O’Mahony established the business many years ago and his sons Micheal, Sean and Dermot, have all come on board to help run the business.  Throw in the fact that there is also a number of full time staff employed all year round, you can understand how busy this Cork based company is.

Dermot spoke to us about the services provided and gave us the rundown of how the business operates on a daily basis.

“The business was built up by my father and as the years passed, we starting offering more and more services. It is important to be able to diversify in this industry, otherwise you could be busy in the summer and have nothing to do in the winter or vice versa depending on the services that you provide,” said Dermot. Tony’s passion for the business and his uncanny ability to make every current job a priority and his man management ensures work is focussed and up to date.

“We try to cover everything involved in the farming industry and we would have built up a large customer base over the years. We value our customers highly and strive to deliver a professional service at all times with many personal friendships built over the years.

“As a farming family we understand the need to get the work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. A lot of our work depends on the weather, particularly in the summer. We carry out all sorts of work from the smallest job like cleaning a septic tank to cutting silage on a few hundred acres. It doesn’t matter to us, how big or small a job is, we will do them all.”

Service is a key factor and everyone in the business understands the attention to detail needed to be ahead. It can often be the case that silage outfit, round baling, four trucks, 2 excavators and Volvo dumpers can all be running at the same time. This is achieved by a natural delegation of responsibility.

Tony will keep the silage outfit team and other works  going during the summer. Dermot and his lead driver Michael Twohig will keep the trucking business running. Sean will keep all machines maintained and repaired as well as leading the baling and slurry operations.

This is no mean task with a Claas 970, Krone Big M420, 7 tractors, 4 excavators, 4 trucks, 2 loaders, 3 dumpers and an assortment of implements to keep in order. Back-up from dealers like Shortens Ballineen (New Holland tractors), ECI Cork (JCB excavators and dumpers), Pat O’Donnell Cork (Volvo loaders), Tim Mcarthy Carrigtwohil (CLaas), Atkins (McHale Fusions) and Jim Power Tallow (krone Big M and Thorpe trailers) and others are also important backroom players. Micheal keeps an eye to the overall work profile and financial affairs and “Mother (Margaret) O’Mahony” keeps an eye to everyone on the team. She has guided and fed many over the years with sometimes a dozen arriving for a meal with little notice.

Obviously, a large selection of plant is needed to carry out these duties and Dermot revealed that they are well covered on this front: “We try to keep the plant up to date and invest in new machinery on a regular basis. You either have repayments or repairs or a balance of both.”

Dermot added that they do a lot of their own maintenance work. “For the bigger jobs, the plant would go back to the main dealer, but generally we can manage it ourselves. We have just taken delivery of a brand new tractor T7200, Big M 420 and a new Volvo FM multiwheeler.  Last year, we bought upgraded to a new Claas 970 twin engine SP forage harvester and a Volvo L60 G Industrial Loader.”

Of course, the weather plays a massive part in the farming industry and Dermot stated to us that this year had been good to them, unlike last year. Micheal commented that cash flow, diesel and depreciation are the real battle faced by most contractors and the business is not for the faint hearted with many tough days. That said when the sun is shining and everyone is working, the atmosphere is electric and excitingly alive.

“We have had no real problems this year at all. Everything went very smoothly, not like last year, which was a wash out for us. It is great to get a good summer.” Farmers had a tough spring and needed a good summer to make up the losses from a bad winter.

Silage is obviously a big thing during the summer months and working their way through their customer base is no easy task. “We have a good fleet working on the silage and where we can we up to three trucks set up for long draws to draw in silage. Two of the artic trailers can carry about twice as much as a normal 20 foot Thorpe silage trailer and the multiwheeler with silage sides carries a similar load to the trailers but will do two loads for one on a long draw so is quite cost effective for farmers with silage to be hauled from outfarms.

During the winter months, their attention turns to slurry. With the capacity of storing up to 400,000 gallons of slurry at their premises, O’Mahony’s specialise in the collection of this and spreading on the land. A new service available to farmers with outblocks is the ability to haul slurry, farmyard manure, feed and even livestock by truck. A double drive artic 6 x4 Volvo was more than capable this spring to get slurry to maize fields and direct fill waiting 2500 gl tankers or the umbilical system. A second 7500 gl tanker is also put to use when the pressure is on.

Of course to do all this, Health & Safety is paramount and all the necessary permits are needed and kept up to date.
“Agricultural contractors provide an important service to farmers, particularly at these busy times of the year. Many of the services provided to farmers by contractors, such as slurry spreading, harvesting silage, also involve serious safety risks if they are not correctly planned and managed. Drivers have been with the team for many years and thankfully, there have been no major incidents.

“We have the proper permits to carry out the storing of slurry and spreading it on the land.”

Dermot is pleased with the way 2013 has gone so far. “Compared to last year and probably the year before as well, it has gone very well, the weather seemed to be on our side for a change.”

The O’Mahonys have also embraced modern social media with a very popular facebook site showcasing their gear with over 2600 likes and many of their You Tube videos with in excess of 10,000 views (from as far away as Brazil).

They also embrace their younger fans with videos available of kit in action for families of new and existing customers.
With anticipated expansion in the dairy and pig industry Micheal feels there is a future in the business partnering the needs of the viable farmers who are carrying out their business well at 50 cows or 500 cows or 100 cattle or 1000 sows.

Tony O’Mahony
Cripple Hill, Bandon, Co Cork
Tel: 023-41957
Tony: 087 259 2840
Dermot: 086 4132833
Michael: 086 259 2840

Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 1 No 1, September 2013