OLeary Plant Hire Services
For the last 16 years, Gerard OLeary Plant Hire Services has been
providing an efficient trade from their Mallow base in north Cork to customers
from all over. Managing Director, Gerard OLeary, spoke to Irish
Trucker about how he first came to take over the company, the services
that they provide and their hopes for the future in these current difficult
For most of his life, Gerard OLeary has been involved with the plant
hire company which his family built up from when he was a young age. Although
his grandfather first started operations a lifetime ago from the current
base in Mallow, Gerard was helping out his father in whatever way he could
in his teens.
In 1993, he found his calling. After only entering into adulthood, Gerard
was given the burden of his familys company to carry on his shoulders.
I was 18 when I took over from my father, he explained. He
had a heart problem and had to give work a rest, so I came in and done
my best to keep the company running. Thankfully, were still here
today and working away with some of the same customers weve had
for over 15 years now.
When Gerard first took the reins of OLeary Plant Hire Services Ltd,
the Mallow outfit were largely involved in livestock haulage. The companys
trucks would haul cattle from all over Cork and deliver to areas of neighbouring
counties Kerry, Clare, Limerick and Waterford and beyond. Since then OLearys
have grown into something different, developing over time to meet the
demands of a very competitive market.
At this present time, the company employs almost 20 full-time workers
and have a large and modern fleet to work with, with Gerard insisting
that up to 20 trucks would have been purchased and traded on his companys
behalf down the years.
In 1993 we were a livestock haulage company, but by 2000 we were
getting into the tipper haulage in a big way. Weve now managed to
grow into a tanker haulage business as well, said Gerard.
I think you need to vary your services in order to remain competitive
and weve done that in the last few years to attract new customers
and gain work where ever it can be found.
In these tough times, Gerard has a very good point. However, his company
had been varying their services before the economic downturn and thats
probably why they are still in business and boasting some loyal customers.
At this moment in time, OLeary Plant Hire Services are specialising
in tippers, tanker and rock-breaking, but to name a few of the services
they have adopted to keep the company solvent.
The Whelan Group have been one of the loyal customers to OLeary
Plant Hire since Gerard took over operations in 1993. As one of the largest
independent Quarry and Concrete Products suppliers in Ireland, their headquarters
are in Ennis, where OLearys make many deliveries to, but it
is the companys bases in Cork from which such a good working relationship
has grown between both parties.
With bases in Glanworth and Carrigtwohill, the Whelan Group are well established
around Leeside, but its their limestone quarry in Copstown, Mallow
which OLearys have travelled to and from to provide their
services for over 15 years.
The Whelan Group have been with us since I took over in 93
and are probably one of the biggest customers we have. Weve done
an awful lot for them down the years and Im very grateful that they
have stuck with us for so long, said Gerard.
To start off doing work for a company like them was a major boost
when I started here, and Id just like to acknowledge them here.
They have been loyal to us and in return weve tried to provide them
with the best service we possibly could. Hopefully, we can continue the
relationship into the next decade and even further on from that.
Another Mallow company which OLearys are proud to do business
with is North Cork Co-op Creameries. For seven years now, OLeary
Plant Hire Services have been providing curtainsider and general haulage
for the dairy produce merchants, who are based in Kanturk.
While the Whelan Group and North Cork Co-op Creameries have been two of
many outfits to avail of OLearys services, recently things
have taken a turn for the worst on the construction front in this country
which has effected so many, including OLeary Plant Hire Services
Of course some of the other companies have been wiped out by the
recession and thats why its though on a business like ours,
because we rely on others for work, Gerard admitted.
We just have to try and ride it out as best we can and hope by the
time things turn around that we are able to bounce back and start to get
more and more work. This year sales and services have been down
the same as most Plant Hires all over Ireland have been but we
just feel we need to stick it out for as long as possible and be ready
for when business starts to really pick up again.
Mallow is expected to receive a boost next year when work on the new M20
motorway gets underway, which is set to involve upgrading the N20 route
between Cork and Limerick. Mallow will be a southbound exit on the new
motorway, which is now in planning and aims to link Letterkenny to Waterford
via Limerick and Cork.
There are a few major projects happening next year that hopefully
we can get some work from. The new M20 motorway being one and the Limerick
to Nenagh road being another, said Gerard.
We have the equipment to help provide for those projects when it
comes to our dumper truck fleet and we will certainly be looking to get
involved at the earliest stage next year. We have had a couple of things
this year to keep us going, including a tunnel project and a housing development,
but well have to keep looking for more and more into 2010.
With an efficient service and top class machinery, not too many are bound
to look past OLeary Plant Hire Services when looking to carry out
work around the Mallow area. The Whelan Group heard the good word all
the way from Ennis and have been availing of OLearys services
Now, with whispers of an upturn on the horizon, Gerard hopes that his
company can be out in front first to make up for rough times. His family
history shows that its in his blood to guide his company upwards,
and lets not forget that he has transformed the face of OLearys
for the good since taking over the company at the tender age of 18.
What the future holds for OLeary Plant Hire Services we can only
wait and see, but the smart money is on Gerard and co prospering again
when the recovery comes.