Raher Transport Ltd gets the cream


Raher Transport Ltd)

Celebrating 20 years in business, Raher Transport Ltd provides a top-class milk collection and delivery service for Glanbia in Co. Waterford. Not one to rest on his laurels, owner Mark Raher intends upgrading his already impressive fleet in 2020.

The highly-regarded farm-to-factory bulk haulage transport business currently runs three Volvo and two Renault Euro 6s along with a single Renault rigid. The oldest truck in the fleet is only four years old, but Mark likes to keep his vehicles fresh and plans on taking delivery of two brand-new articulated units next summer.

“I hope to have them here in July,” he says.

“The importance of having reliable trucks in this line of work cannot be stressed enough. Between March and October, we could be running the trucks for up to 22 hours a day, so they have to be able to perform.

“Not only do you need a good truck, but you also need a good warranty and a strong back-up service, which is why we deal with McCarthy Commercials and Surehaul (both in Kilkenny) for all our Volvo and Renault needs. They make sure that are wheels are turning all of the time.

“All our trucks are on service contract which gives us additional peace of mind.”

Based in Lemybrien, Co. Waterford, Raher Transport work exclusively for Glanbia who supply them with their milk collection tankers. Decked out in the Glanbia colours, the tankers are designed to reduce milk collection times on farm and automate the secure transfer of information needed to pay farmers for the milk collected. They boast state-of-the-art technologies such as GPS supplier recognition, data transfer by satellite and GSM. They are equipped to pump up to 60,000 litres of milk per hour and have a capacity to carry 28,500 litres. High-speed pumping has become a prerequisite since the milk quotas were lifted in 2015.

While Glanbia maintain the tankers themselves, the trucks are serviced and maintained by the aforementioned main dealers. Mark buys his tyres from Eoin Power Tyres in Kilrossanty who he says “has never let me down”.

The affable proprietor goes on to explain: “We collect milk from 300 farms in the East Waterford area. Most of it is delivered to Belview, with the remainder going to Glanbia’s other processing facilities in Ballyragget and Wexford. We deliver over 150 million litres of milk per annum,” Mark explains.

“We collect from farms in Lemybrien, Kilmacthomas, Rathgormack, Clonea Power, Portlaw, Stradbally, Kilrossanty, Bunmahon, Carrick-on-Suir and Ballyneale, and have added Kill and Dunhill to our catchment area in the last two years following the retirement of Sean Kelly. Since taking over Sean’s run, we’ve been collecting from an additional 54 farms.”

The family-run business has never been busier thanks to the abolition of milk quotas.

“The volume of milk we collect has risen by 30% in the last four years. Production has exploded since the milk quotas were done away with,” continues Mark.

“Your average dairy farmer is now milking between 140 and 150 cows. We’ve come across a lot of new entrants, fellas who moved across from beef and tillage because they can be sure of their cheque at the end of the month. The decision to abolish the milk quotas has been a real game-changer.”

Raher Transport is proud to be associated with one of Ireland’s biggest and most successful companies. With deep roots in the dairy industry, Glanbia has a turnover of over €3.5 billion per annum, almost 6,000 employees and a presence in 34 countries around the world.

“They’re a great company to work for. You know where you stand with them and get paid at the same time every week. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with Glanbia and hope that will continue to be the case for many more years to come.”

The Lemybrien-based concern employs 10 staff, including drivers who work different shifts. It goes without saying the drivers are highly-skilled, professional, friendly and reliable.

“They have a great rapport with our customers, who they’re on first-name terms with. You have to know your customer and be willing to work around their schedule. The last thing a dairy farmer wants to see is a fella coming to collect milk when they’re in the middle of milking. Timing is everything.”

Since Raher Transport was established by the late Larry Raher in 1999, its name has been synonymous with high quality milk transportation from farm-to-factory. Larry, who passed away in 2010, worked for Waterford Foods for over 30 years and when it was privatised, he decided to go out on his own.

He delivered milk to Waterford Foods until they amalgamated with Avonmore to form Glanbia, who Raher Transport have been working for ever since.
Mark runs the business along with his mother Ann and wife, also named Ann. Mark and Ann are parents to Chloe (20), Megan (17), Adam (10) and Larance (seven).

Looking to the future, the Waterford man says: “We want to keep the show on the road and continue to provide the best possible service that we can.”
Here’s to the next 20 years of Raher Transport Ltd!

Raher Transport Ltd
Co. Waterford.
Telephone: 087 6313354
Email: [email protected]

Published in Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, Jan/Feb 2020, Vol 23 No 1