Watch: Mapping out a new direction in contracting
O'Toole contractors are investing in top spec machinery that reduces costs
THIS week's contractor focus took me to a family run outfit based in Ballon, Co Carlow. Brothers Pat, Dinny and Ollie O'Toole have brought different types of expertise to the day to day running of the business.
Setting up the company was Pat's idea; his extensive contracting experience dates back over 25 years when he used to help out a local contractor.
He liked the way of life and quickly had the idea that, should he ever get the chance, he would one day set up his own operation.
"One of the first jobs I had was wrapping bales with a McHale 991 BE wrapper," Pat explained. "It was some machine - way ahead of its time in terms of design - and I suppose from there I just sort of got hooked to the lifestyle.
"I started getting a few of my own silage jobs as the years went on and the contractor I used to work for retired so opportunity knocked for me. I started off in silage, but recently we have bought a John Deere combine, a Lemken drill and a Bredal spreader to cater for the tillage side of the business which has been growing steadily for us."
While Pat brings contracting expertise, Ollie - who some of our south eastern readers may recognise - brings crucial machinery expertise and technical back up.
He works as the service manager for Templetouhy Farm Machinery in Kilkenny yet still manages to combine this with helping out the family business. The third brother, Dinny, also helps out when he can as well as working in the contracting industry.
Given the John Deere connection to the business I wasn't at all surprised to see a few green machines lined up in the yard, but it wasn't wall-to-wall John Deere.