Award success for Rathcoole Commercial as it marks a decade in business



Established 10 years ago, Rathcoole Commercial stands today as one the largest CVR testing centres and commercial vehicle garages in the country. Irish Trucker touched base with its General Manager Joe Robinson to find out more about the ins and outs of the company, its growth year and year and overall hopes as a business going forward.

These are busy times at Rathcoole Commercial and the plan for GM Joe Robinson and the rest of the team in Greenoge, Dublin 24 is to try and keep things that way right through to next year.

Established by Paul Cooke in 2013, the company has grown from strength to strength since then to the point where it now employs 32 full-time staff, providing a range of servicing and testing solutions for commercial vehicles – from small vans to HGVs.

With business thriving, Joe Robinson joined Rathcoole Commercial as General Manager a little over two years ago and was good enough to take the time to fill Irish Trucker in on the details of what they’re all about.

“We have three facets to the business currently,” he outlined. “We have our commercial vehicle garage; we have our commercial vehicle test centre and we also have a rental business where we rent and lease vehicles from small vans to HGVs.

“We work from 7am to 11pm five days a week here. That’s where we are as a business and, at the moment, it’s very busy here as you can understand.”

Of course, it hasn’t all been straightforward for the business in recent years.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the government lockdowns which followed it in order to try and combat the spread of the virus, affected companies worldwide and Rathcoole Commercial was one to feel the initial impact.

However, as its GM explained, having a wide range of services was of massive benefit to the business in what were very much unprecedented times.

“Covid impacted everybody and having the three facets of the business here, one helped the other and we all helped each other throughout the business,” said Joe.

“We did have an immediate impact during Covid but it was short-lived and we were back to full staff and full working within three months.

“Since the pandemic has abated, we have been extremely busy. The only thing that we have noticed from a business point of view is the usual downturn in the latter part of November into December has turned around into January for some reason.

“Maybe that will revert back in years to come, but that’s what we found over the last two years.”

Right now, there are plans for Rathcoole Commercial to put a third LCV lane in and a dedicated lane for tachographs and vehicle tracking later on this year.

Keeping its facilities upgraded regularly is one of the key ingredients to the company’s success to date.

It’s award-winning workshop services all types of vehicles – DAF, Ford, Renault, Mercedes, MAN, Volkswagen etc – and is ideally located close to the M50 and N7. It is also ISO 9001 certified and features a wide range of cutting-edge tooling and diagnostic equipment.

Since ‘Day One’, repeat business has been central to Rathcoole Commercial’s rise, as it continues to provide a comprehensive range of commercial vehicle services and solutions to Irish businesses of all sizes.

“We have been working within the industry for many years and it is key to build relationships and retain what customers you have and then also go try and get new customers,” Joe pointed out.

“We’ve been very, very fortunate in that respect. I suppose, our opening hours are very appealing to commercial vehicle operators that their vehicles aren’t off the road during their core hours.

“They can drop them in here when their drivers are finished and they get tested, serviced, inspected – whatever it needs to be and they’re ready for collection at seven o’clock in the morning.”

All of the company’s towing from small vehicles to trucks is carried out by Swift Tow – a towing a recovery specialist which operate all around Dublin and into counties Kildare, Wicklow and Meath (check out for more).

A key component in delivering its service, it’s no surprise to see Rathcoole Commercial go with the best in the business when it comes to a towing a recovery specialist.

The same could be said for the team of staff it operates with at Unit 200 Grants Lane in Greenogue.

Joe is happy to report that Rathcoole Commercial’s employees make up “a great team” that are working under good conditions and are also well paid for their expertise.

All of that considered, the burning question is what has been the secret behind the company’s undoubted success over these past 10 years?

How has a small start-up grown into a thriving business which holds a golden reputation amongst its customers?

For Joe, so much of it is down to the service itself and making sure that the client is always taken care of in an efficient and timely manner.

“We pride ourselves in being an alternative to the main dealer,” he said. “We have an array of stock that we keep in our stores which would probably parallel any of the main dealers out there.

“So, when a vehicle is dropped in, it’s all about downtime and we try and minimise the downtime for the operator, particularly on the commercial vehicle side. It’s so vital for them to have their vehicles up and running.

“At any given time, we would have in excess of €200,000 worth of stock in our stores. That’s be the general run of the mill stuff up to mirrors, lights, shocks, calibres – stuff that we know gives trouble on particular models.”

In February, Rathcoole Commercial was named ‘Commercial Vehicle Operation of the Year’ at the annual SIMI Irish Motor Industry Awards.

The awards, which were handed out at a ceremony at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin, were adjudicated by an independent panel and operate across all sectors of the Irish Motor Industry with companies selected having demonstrated an award-winning level of excellence and best practice over the last 12 months.

Speaking on the success, Rathcoole Commercial’s GM described it as very much being “a group effort”.

“We’d been trying and going hard at it for the last 12 months and all of the boxes were ticked for it,” Joe stated.

“We have ISO Certification for our workshop now and it means the systems are in place now to take the next step and try and build the business bigger, get a few more staff and put more trucks through the workshop.”

Indeed, further growth is the ambition for the company going forward and who’d bet against it given the form it has shown over the past decade?

“The hire business is growing steadily and the workshop business is going strong, so hopefully we can just continue to grow and keep our customers satisfied like we’ve been doing,” Joe concluded.

Rathcoole Commercial
Unit 200 Grants Ln,
Dublin 24
D24 NH96
Phone: (01) 401 6840
Email: [email protected]

First published in Irish Trucker magazine Vol 26 No 3, May/June 2023