The abnormal load specialists
Operating out of Hospital, Co. Limerick for over 60 years, this thriving family-run business has set many records in recent years for the longest, widest and heaviest loads ever seen on Irish roads.
This family run business experience has left its rivals in its wake as the O'Neill's have been providing the same high quality level of service since 1947. Specialising in heavy and abnormal loads, O'Neill's Heavy Haulage operate throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe and are well respected in the industry for their reliability and unrivalled service. The experience of their management team, combined with the capabilities of their specialised haulage equipment, means that O'Neill's can fulfil a wide range of haulage needs and find a cost-effective solution to every transport problem.
The company covers every aspect of transporting wide and heavy loads and this includes: conducting route surveys, obtaining necessary permits, removal of obstacles (temporary or permanent), liaising with police/Gardaí and the organisation of third party equipment such as cranes.
We profile the Limerick based company and speak to managing director Jimmy O'Neill about the success of the business.
“The family has been involved in the transportation of heavy haulage since the late forties and we continue to do so today. We provide a wide range of services to a large customer base and we have been involved in some major projects across Ireland and the U.K,” said Jimmy.
Among the heavy haulage projects carried out by the company are The Spire in Dublin's O'Connell Street and the transfer of the sugar-making plant from Carlow to Mallow in Co. Cork. The total weight of the convoy for the latter project was in excess of 1,000 tonnes, which is an Irish record.
Jimmy admits that he has seen many changes to the industry over the years most of which have been good for the haulage industry, but there is still room for improvement.
“There is a lot more planning needed when moving heavy goods and we would liaise with the Gardaí and the relevant authorities when carrying out any job. The road network has also improved significantly and that has made a huge difference to our business, but Ireland still needs an easier method of applying and obtaining permits. Advance planning in one county recently took five weeks to obtain permits and it’s a total paper chase and nightmare.
“One of the other setbacks at the moment is the price of diesel, which has gone through the roof in the last couple of years.”
Jimmy revealed that they are involved in the movement of wind turbines to different locations around the country and this has helped keep them busy.
"We are presently very busy transporting wind turbines and it has been a great help to us, but it also needs a lot more equipment and the turbines are getting bigger and heavier, the blades are getting longer some at 55 metres, so there is always new equipment being sourced and purchased. We could be moving them to anywhere in the country. We also have our own towing equipment where the incline is greater than 15 degrees, rather than putting excessive pressure on clutches gearboxes and drive axles, we tow the trucks carrying the windmill loads up this incline reducing excess pressure on the tractor units and also reducing maintenance.
“Then if the wind turbine base is on a decline we attach the towing vehicle at the rear of the trailer holding back the complete load on the decline.
“We now have three of these towing vehicles in use and are a great addition in delivering wind turbines; these are transported to each of the wind turbine location sites.
“We also transport stainless steel vessels from BCD in Charleville who are currently involved in the major expansion of Irish Distillery in Midleton (which are pictured in transit on the left). We know the importance of providing the best service possible and we feel that is something that we have always looked to do.
“The experience of our management team and equipment operators, combined with the capabilities of our specialised haulage equipment means that we can fulfil a broad range of haulage needs and find a cost effective solution to every transport problem.”
O'Neill's Heavy Haulage has an extensive fleet of specialised equipment, including six tractor units consisting of Volvo, Scania and DAF, and over 30 specialist trailers. The trailers consist of both hydraulic and air suspension and have interchangeable and extendable components. In addition, O'Neill's operate their own maintenance service to ensure that all equipment is serviced and maintained to the highest standard and will be fully operational when required by a customer.
Ten staff are employed by O'Neill's Heavy Haulage, the majority of which are drivers and Jimmy revealed that they all play a huge part in the success of the business. “Our drivers are all good lads, who have a wealth of experience in this business. They are familiar with the roads and they have a good understanding and relationship with the Gardai who they would be dealing with on a regular basis due to the nature of the business.”
Since 2007, the O'Neill family have been offering an abnormal load escort service to haulage companies specialising in transporting and escorting the movement of abnormal loads. Further information about this service is available on www.abnormalloadescort.ie.
Jimmy established O’Neill’s Heavy Haulage along with his wife Bernie, who tragically passed away in February 2011, and her loss will be forever felt by her family. The couple’s three children – Michael (20), Shauna (18) and Emma (15) – are also involved in the running of the business and have been a great support to Jimmy in difficult times.
Jimmy also runs O'Neill's Pub and Off-licence, and a hardware and fuel store which is a well-known establishment in Hospital and recently purchased the local Dairygold premises where he intends to operate a top of the range maintenance facility for in house use only.
O'Neill's Heavy Haulage,
Tel: +353 (0)61 383 114
+353 (0)61 383 146
Fax: +353 (0)61 383 022
Mobile: +353 (0)87 2575 358
Email: [email protected]