Anthony Murphy Concrete – delivering since 1984!


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Delivering the goods to customers across Cork since 1984, Anthony Murphy Concrete Ltd. is the longest-running mini mixing business in the Rebel County. As they take delivery of a stunning new Volvo FMX11 380, we touched base with Anthony to recount the remarkable story of this exceptional operation.

With its genesis going back to 1984, when the late Eddie Murphy purchased his first concrete mini mixer and paired it with a Renault Dodge, Anthony Murphy Concrete Ltd. is now firmly established as one of Munster’s premier readymix concrete specialists, supplying large and small quantities of readymix to projects throughout County Cork.

The eponymous Anthony has been fronting the business since 1998, and he is ably assisted in

day-to-day activities by his wife Linda Fay and second driver Pat Vaughan. Having recently added a stunning new 211-reg Volvo FMX11 380 6 x 2 to the fleet, Anthony Murphy Concrete is in a strong position going forward, better placed than ever to continue providing regular and new customers with unrivalled product and service levels.

The new Volvo - a rearmost lift and steer tag on full rear air suspension – was purchased from McCarthy Commercials in Watergrasshill, with the bodywork carried out by Value Tech in Kanturk. A very economical and highly-manoeuvrable unit ideal for the construction industry, the new FMX 380 comes with I-Shift automated gearbox and a host of smart technology including drive, audio and safety packages. It is the perfect complement to Anthony’s 171-reg Volvo FMX 330 (while he also runs a ’05 FL250, which was being refurbished at the time of writing).

“When I bought the previous new one in 2017 it was my first time driving an automatic truck and I fell in love with the comfort level,” the Cork man reflects, when asked about his decision to invest in the new Volvo earlier this year. “With the rear steer as well, it was a fantastic package. It’s very hard to go back to gears once you get used to that level of comfort. With the automatic gearbox, it’s a much smoother driving experience all around, especially on hills. It did exactly what it said on the tin and that’s why there was only going to be one outcome when we decided to add a new model.

“The two FMX’s are almost identical. The newer one is slightly longer and the only real noticeable difference otherwise is that one has 380 on the side and the other says 330.

“I’ve always had Volvos, albeit mostly slightly smaller ones. The ’05 FL250 is being refurbished now and I had an FL6230 prior to that, having started with my father’s FL6190. I’ve effectively doubled in power in 23 years.”

With two trucks on the road full time and a third one being revamped, Anthony admits that there is possibly some scope to expand the business further. “The FL250 is on standby and will come into action when we have a truck being tested or repaired and it is also useful for accessing more difficult areas. However, taking on a part-time driver might be an option in a couple of months – if we can find one! It’s difficult to get help in any sector these days.”

Is this because people aren’t interested in working anymore? “No, I don’t think so. There are a lot of pharmaceutical companies located around here and many people have gone into those factories to work. They are paying very good money and it’s next or near impossible for a truck company or a builder to match wages like that.”

Casting his mind back to the origins of the longest-established mini mixing concrete business in Cork, Anthony continues: “The business was started in 1984 by my father, Eddie, who had previously driven for Ellis and ten Readymix. In the ‘80s, when the recession struck, he was let go and he purchased a mini mixer and started doing small jobs in tight space where bigger trucks couldn’t go.” Tragically, Eddie passed away suddenly in 1998 at the age of just 54. “I had served my time as a carpenter in Ireland and my two brothers, who are younger than me, lived at home with my mother, who told me that the only way we could keep the business going was if I came home and took over,

which I opted to do. I have built it up steadily and very cautiously since. I was only 24 when I took over and I had a lot to learn, so I’ve played a steady hand.

“I’ve met a lot of good guys along the way and they have looked after us and helped us keep things moving. Donal O’Mahony Commercials have helped with repairs, while the team at McCarthy Commercials, Express Tyres and Tim O’Riordan at Value Tech have all given me great support through the years. When you have those guys on your side and if you pay them as quickly as you get your bill, then you will never have a problem.”

Returning to the early days of the business, when his dad was putting in the groundwork, Anthony recalls: “He started with an old Renault Dodge truck and I can vividly remember him spending two weeks with it parked on the driveway trying to get the mixer up to speed. He probably spent as much time under it as inside it at the start! But all the hard work was worth it as he eventually got a great business going. I never imagined myself driving a concrete mixer for a living but it just goes to show you never know what life has in store for you.”

Anthony also gets a fantastic service from Roadstone and delivers high-quality readymix concrete from their quarries in Ovens, Ballygarvan and Carrigtwohill. “I use Roadstone exclusively because of the quality of their concrete. Although I am independent, they do play a big part in the success of the business. We cover within a 25-mile radius of those three quarries, which is a big area.

“When you have regular customers, you follow them and go where the work is. We deliver to small builders and to smaller jobs like driveways, patios and steel sheds but take on the occasional bigger job as well. We’d specialise in getting into confined spaces – even the FMX’s, which are longer, have tremendous manoeuvrability with the rear steer.”

Due to the nature of the work, it can be challenging to keep the fleet clean but regular washing and servicing of the units ensures that they not only perform to optimal levels but also look the part at all times! “I’m fortunate to have a very good driver with me – Pat Vaughan from Kilnamartyra,

Macroom. Pat is very reliable and it’s a bonus that he is mechanical-minded. We both work five-and-a-half days a week and we get along very well together. My wife, Linda, is MD of the business and she is fantastic at looking after invoicing, tax and accounts, etc.”

In many respects, Anthony Murphy Concrete exists today as a tribute to Eddie Murphy. “That’s true and, like I said, even though I had an interest in trucks as a young lad, I honestly never pictured myself driving a concrete mixer,” Anthony confirms. “My mother, sister and brothers were delighted when I took over and realistically I just couldn’t go back to Australia after what happened. We all rallied around one another and pulled our weight and things have worked out fine.

“It was a great honour to take over and I kept Dad’s name on the trucks for the first six or seven years. I got a new one in 2000 but the 2005-reg was the first one I put my own name on. I still work for a few people that he worked for back in the day. Or you could find yourself working for a son or daughter or friend of one of his customers.”

No job is too big or too small and it doesn’t always matter to Anthony if a profit can’t be turned every time… “We’ll do anything – even if somebody only wants half a metre, that’s no problem,” he concludes. “Not everybody has access to a twin-axle trailer to collect it and the concrete is of better quality out of the back of a mixer truck.

“You are obliging a service on the smaller jobs but I could do a small, awkward job this evening and the brother or brother-in-law of that customer could then ring you for a bigger project next week.

Word of mouth is the best advertisement of all and when you pride yourself on providing a reliable service then the end product is going to speak for itself.”

Anthony Murphy Concrete Ltd.,

Whitethorn Lodge, Meadstown, County Cork. Tel: 086 2606256

Email: [email protected]

Published in Irish Trucker & Light Commercials magazine, October/November 2021, Vol 24 No 6