Tippin’ around since 1933
Specialising in bulk / heavy haulage, muck shifting, plant hire and warehousing, Ward & Ward Ltd is a third-generation family business which continues to go from strength to strength.
The company was established in Birdhill, near the Tipperary-Limerick border, in 1933 by Danny Ward. Danny, who passed away in 2002, handed the business down to his sons John, Jim and Donal in the late 1990s. They each ran their own sector within the business.
The reins have now been passed to Donal’s sons Ian and Martin, and John’s son Shane, who are proud to carry on the family’s trucking tradition. The business has grown substantially since Ian returned home from the UK in 2017 after setting up Ward Haulage, a small fleet of tippers which continues to operate out of Gallagher Aggregates and is owned by Leitrim native Pat Gallagher, in Maidstone, Kent. Despite being only 22 when he moved to the UK, Ian built up his fleet quickly, growing from three to eight tippers in three years.
“I’m 29 now and Shane is 27. Some might think we’re inexperienced in this business, but that’s not the case at all. It was bred into us from an early age,” Ian points out.
“When I went to England, I brought the knowledge of running trucks that I learned at home, but England really taught me how to deal with different people and juggle various types of work. People thought I wouldn’t last, but I did. I learned a lot during the four years I spent over there.”
Ward & Ward provides efficient, reliable and value-for-money services to an ever-growing customer-base in Munster and beyond. Since returning home, Ian has replenished and expanded the fleet with additional articulated trucks to cater for the demand for increased tipper work in the region. The plant end of the business has also grown with the addition of loading shovels and excavators to match demand from construction sites, quarries and facilities throughout Ireland. The Wards bought their first low loader shortly after Ian’s return for the sole purpose of moving their own plant to cut down on costs and to be in control of each movement.
“We took a chance by buying the low loader, but thankfully it has worked out well and we now have steady work moving various types of machinery for numerous customers across the country,” Ian continues.
Ward & Ward has over 30 employees consisting of truck drivers, machinery operators, mechanics and office staff. Among the staff are John’s wife Joan, Donal’s daughter Eilís and Ian’s girlfriend Lisa as well as three women drivers.
“This business would be nothing without our staff. Everyone has a job to do and they do it brilliantly. I can’t praise them enough. It’s a real team effort,” Ian says.
“A company is only as good as the people you have working in it. You can’t run a business without having a good team behind it.
“We’re also very proud of the fact that we’re a family business. When I was in England, I was doing everything by myself. I can tell you it’s a lot easier to have family helping you out. Shane is the best wingman I could ever have. Martin looks after the machinery working in a quarry based in Kilkenny. The three of us work well together and it shows but the success of the company”
A reliable, modern fleet has also been central to the company’s recent growth. Ward & Ward currently runs a fleet of 17 trucks – six artics and 11 rigid tippers (five axles) ranging in years from 2002 up to 2018. Nine of the rigids each have three demountable bodies (tar, bulk and muck) which is the equivalent of 27 trucks. This versatility makes Ward & Ward stand out from the rest.
When asked what brand of truck he prefers, Ian replies: “We are big Volvo people, always have been and always will be, from trucks to machinery. We have an F10 right up to Version 4, with a 164 Scania thrown in the mix. The latest addition to fleet has been a 2016 FH16 750 and I am very impressed with it.
“I buy rigids new over in the UK, run them over there for 4 years and then bring them home, which allows us to run new trucks in the UK with less breakdowns and then upgrade the fleet in Ward & Ward when their 4 years are up. This policy has worked well for us and we will continue this practice into the future.”
The Co. Tipperary-based haulage firm has seven tipping trailers, four of which are Schmitz. The company recently took delivery of two 8.2 high bulker Schmitz Cargobull from Casey Trailers in Naas which, according to Ian, has “made life much easier”.
“Derren Casey at Casey Trailers is the man I always go to when I’m looking for a new trailer. He takes a great interest in his customers’ work and knows the right trailer to suit the job. Schmitz are a very versatile and safe tipper trailer, and this is the forth Cargobull I’ve bought off Derren.’
After years of doing their own truck and machine maintenance, the Wards now employ a full-time mechanic and an apprentice mechanic. This has freed up a large portion of their time to enable them to provide an even better service to their customers who include Roadstone, Irish Cement (Limerick) and Shannon-Foynes Port Company.
The company’s location just off the M7 Motorway and close to Limerick city ensures easy access to Shannon Foynes Port Company’s depot on the Dock Road. Irish Cement and Roadstone’s quarries are also close by.
No job is too big or too small for this exceptional business as Ian explains: “We are a very keen and eager-to-please enterprise. If a client has a problem with bulk, heavy haulage, machinery or warehousing, we will solve it from them. We were brought up to be problem solvers, not problem makers. Shane, Martin and I are very lucky to have fathers who drilled into us the belief that hard work pays off.
“What also gives us the edge over the competition is the wide range of services we provide. We can load, haul or store bulk materials. We are a one stop shop for all your transport and warehousing requirements.”
The affable haulier concludes by thanking his customers for their continued support and the staff of Ward & Ward for their dedication and hard work.
Ward & Ward Ltd
Telephone: 061 377147 / 087 1734334
Email: [email protected]
Published in Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Nov/Dec 2020, Vol 23 No 5