21 years of coaching excellence
May, 2017 marked the 21st anniversary of the formation of K Buggy Coaches Ltd., an exceptional coach transportation provider operating out of Tullamore in County Offaly. We ventured to the midlands and touched base with founder / managing director Brendan Buggy to find out more about this superb, long-running family business.
K Buggy Coaches Ltd. has come a long way since Brendan Buggy and his wife Carmel took possession of their very first coach on May 9th, 1996. Some 21 years later, Brendan and his sons oversee a thoroughly professional coach business that has not alone survived the test of time but thrived and prospered by providing high-quality solutions using excellent, well-maintained vehicles manned by experienced, conscientious staff.
Exceptional customer service and attention to detail have been key to the continued prosperity of this company, which boasts an outstanding reputation for premium coach transport across the midlands counties and beyond. As they celebrate their 21st anniversary, one gets the distinct impression that there are many more chapters remaining to be written in this particular success story.
“The first bus I bought was a Ford 53-seater coach in 1996,” notes Brendan, reflecting on the genesis of the business. “Two years later, in 1998, I bought a 24-seater and I’ve gradually built it up from there. Today, we run 23 vehicles of all shapes and sizes – 53-seater touring coaches; medium-sized coaches from 16- and 18-seaters up to 33-seaters; and we also have some seven-seater mini-buses.”
The company name is poignant and has a very special meaning to the Buggy family. Brendan operated as a sole trader from ’96 up until 2010. The business was then relaunched as K Buggy Coaches Ltd., dedicated to the memory of Brendan and Carmel’s late son, Kenneth, who tragically lost his life in a car accident. The beautiful fleet has been redesigned as a lasting tribute to Kenneth, with the letter ‘K’ standing out in striking red, highlighted with yellow and blue.
A wide range of punctual and comfortable services is provided to the highest possible standards, incorporating school contract work in conjunction with Bus Eireann; HSE contracts (including special transport with wheelchair lifts); rural transport; and work for the Laois & Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB).
K Buggy Coaches is also the transport partner for Offaly GAA County Board and provides coaches to a number of different companies as well as private hire – airport transfers, sports events and other occasions. Tullamore Rugby Club is another local sporting organisation who avail of the unrivalled K Buggy Coaches services on a regular basis.
Business is brisk at present and it was notable when we visited the yard at Coonahiley that all the coaches were out on the road – certainly not a bad complaint! “The coaches are out every day,” confirms Brendan. “There’s always plenty of work – school runs and HSE work and airport transfers etc. – and you wouldn’t be idle. Even on Sundays, we’d have a couple of them out working.”
In such a competitive sector, it’s imperative to remain on top of your game 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. K Buggy Coaches leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating the right impression. “We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our vehicles, which are rigorously washed, cleaned and valeted in-house using the best detergents and disinfectants. Each bus is washed after every journey, within five-ten minutes of arriving back in the yard.”
Regular investment in the fleet is also vital, both to keep it fresh and to maintain all units in optimum running order. A brand-new 151-reg Mercedes 18-seater, built by Paramount in Tullamore was added to the fleet in 2015 and last year’s acquisitions included a 161-reg Transit supplied by Colton Motors Tullamore and a second-hand (2009) touring coach supplied by Pierce Kavanagh Coaches.
“This year we’re adding a 171-reg 33-seater anniversary coach,” Brendan reveals. “It’s a Mercedes Turas 900 which we’ve sourced through Noone’s of Maynooth. We’re collecting it in March and it’ll be on tour to mark our 21st anniversary in May.”
The fleet comprises exclusively of Volvos, Mercedes and Fords and Brendan stresses that he “gets tremendous service from all three”.
Brendan and Carmel are joined in the day-to-day running of the family business by their sons Shane and Rory, who joined in 2008 and ’09 respectively. “I would also like to pay tribute to my daughters Fiona, Aoife and Ciara and daughter-in-law Loraine who have stood by in good times and bad and are always on hand if needed. It’s a blessing that they’re involved,” the affable Offaly man concludes.
“When the building industry fell through that was a blessing in disguise for me because the two boys came in and brought a new energy and a new lease of life to the business. Our son-in-law, Mark, had also joined as office manager and he’ll be responsible for compliance going forward, which is a big thing now and something we treat very seriously. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution made by our drivers who have played their part in the growth of the company.
“As a family business, we can provide a personal touch and we can all put our heads together to decide how best to move the business forward. I have to say, we wouldn’t be where we are today only for Shane and Rory. I’m heading into my 70th year now and, when I started out I couldn’t have imagined that it would go so well. Youth is a fantastic thing and it’s great to have that energy in the business today.”
All told, K Buggy Coaches currently generates gainful employment for a team of 25. That in itself is a remarkable achievement, never mind the wonderful services provided for the past 21 years.
K Buggy Coaches Ltd.,
Coolnahiley, Tullamore, County Offaly.
Tel: 057 9331457