Keep on truckin
Keep on truckin’
The haulage industry is arguably the most competitive business to be involved as margins between success and failure are a very fine line. There are many trials and tribulations attached to the haulage industry and it is one of, if not the toughest sector to be involved in.
Being successful in any business is a testament to the hard work and dedication that the people concerned put in over a period time. This is especially true within the haulage industry which undoubtedly is the toughest sector of all to be involved in the current economic climate. With so many overheads to contend with and rates failing to meet the cost of running a haulage firm; anyone not involved in the industry may ask the question as why someone would want to work in this sector.
There are so many issues to deal with on a daily basis that anyone outside and never involved in the industry would beg to ask the question why bother?
However, for those involved, the reply is simple, ‘it’s in the blood’.
For this month’s edition of Irish Trucker, we profile Keady based Fegan Haulage Ltd which prides itself on being able to offer customers a loyal, reliable and efficient service, complete with the personal touch.
Fegan Haulage Ltd is clearly a company that can be relied upon to provide a top-class and comprehensive logistics service. Managing Director of the company is Gary Fegan who revealed that business was going well at the moment. “I had been driving a lorry for years before I decided to go out on my own about seven years,” revealed Gary.
“We specialise in refrigerated and bulk tanker work. Most of the products that we transport are food, so there are a lot of time constraints in our line of work.”
Gary added that his customer base consisted of just two, but he stressed that he has been kept busy since first starting.
“I have been sub-contracting work off DFDS for a number of years now and for the past year and a half, I would be doing likewise for McBurney Transport. They are two very good companies to work for.”
Given the time constraints in the industry, Gary stressed the importance of having a reliable fleet on the road.
“I have six trucks and they are all Scania. We would buy from NR Trucks and we keep them as fresh as possible, changing some of them every few years. We would also do our own maintenance and this helps keep downtime to a minimum as the trucks are brought in for regular checks. My son Aaron works in the garage, while I have four drivers on the road.
“Deliveries have to be made on time especially when you are dealing with food products. We cover the UK and Ireland, so we have a good bit of travelling to do.”
Gary admits that the haulage sector is a tough industry to be involved in, but he admitted that once you were willing to work hard, you can survive.
“We are keeping our heads above water and that is all you can do at the moment. There are so many overheads in this industry to contend with that every decision has to be made with the utmost care, but there is definitely a better optimism now.
“That is what this business is all about, keeping the customers’ happy. Once you can get that done, then they will keep bringing their business back to us.”
“We are busy enough at the moment and that is great. DFDS and McBurney are two great companies to be working for and they really are keeping us going and hopefully we can continue to supply them with the service that they expect from us. I’m always looking at ways of expanding the business, but these days you have to have a more cautious approach when it comes to taking on new business.”
The price of diesel is a real bone of contention in the haulage industry and Gary admitted that it is a situation that needs to be addressed.
“We would buy most of our fuel down South as do many of the hauliers based in the north, while the drivers are aware of what they need to do to avoid wasting fuel on journeys, but I do think more needs to be done to reduce the cost of fuel, although in saying that it has eased a little.
“Rates have also taken a hit, so that does not help the cause, but you just have to keep the head down and working hard, hoping that things will pick up sooner rather than later. As I said earlier, we have a loyal customer base like DFDS and McBurney Transport and our aim is to continue providing the level of service that they have become accustomed too down through the years.”
Gary brought three of his trucks to this year’s Full of the Pipe truck show in Cavan this year where they took part in various categories at the event.
“It was a good weekend and it is great to be able to unwind for a couple of days, we’ll certainly go back next year.”
Fegan Haulage Ltd,