For father of three, Daire Maher, a life working behind the wheel of a truck was something he always dreamed about from a young age.
“All I ever wanted to do growing up was to have my own lorry.” Daire said.
Born and reared in Fethard in Co. Tipperary, the haulier has now been working behind the wheel in his own right for twelve years after officially making his start in 2006. Married to farmers daughter, Marcella, though this is as far as the agricultural influence goes, with Daire’s life having been based about all thing’s haulage and machinery related.
“My father was civil and plant hire contractor and we always kept lorries.” Daire told That’sFarming's Kevin.
“Then I have an uncle on the continent with lorries for the past forty years.”
His uncle, Bill, is the man behind Maher’s International transport and is quite possibly one of the reasons behind Daire’s love for trucks, though his father, Michael, also kept a fleet of his own.
“He (Bill) got lorries in the early 70’s and he has been working on the continent since 1978.” Daire said.
“My father always kept lorries too…My father always had Dodges and Hinos, tipper lorries, and he had a track unit too.” Daire explained to Kevin.
So deeply involved are the Maher family in the haulage industry, that they have had trucks within their possession for almost seventy years. This meant Daire got to spend as much time as he liked in the cab of one of the family’s many lorries, something which shaped the future of the Fethard man.
“I would have grown up around trucks and my family actually have trucks since the 1940’s.” Daire explained.
“I have another uncle that drives lorries as well…A first cousin of my dad’s, he has trucks as well. They would have been everywhere.” He adds.
Daire’s journey to date -
For Daire, getting behind the wheel of a truck was a lifelong ambition from an early age.
He departed school in 1997 and following that he began his career working with machinery, firstly by driving diggers and machinery for his father’s Civil and Plant hire company.
“I left school in 1997 and went driving diggers and working on the roads with him (his father)” said Daire.
This was not to last long, however, with Daire determined to gain his place behind the wheel of an articulated lorry. This led to the Tipperary native pursuing his rigid and artic licences as soon as he could.
“I got my licences then as soon as I was able to and I started shifting gear for him (Daire’s father) with a low loader.” Daire noted.
“We would have been doing a lot with roadworks and that…That’s all I ever wanted. I wanted machinery and lorries and that was it…I love the machinery too, but I was always mad for the lorries.” he added.
Daire’s father, Michael, still has a tipper lorry of his own working with Roadstone, having always previously had two with them as part of the owner-driver scheme.
“He has had two tippers hired into Roadstone going back for maybe 25/6 years.” Daire noted.
“He is semi-retired, but he still drives…He still has two lorries.”
Daire’s true journey under his own name, began at the tender age of 23, though he was operating as a sole trader for many years beforehand.
“I went out on my own when I was 23 and I started D Maher haulage Ltd in 2009.” said Daire.
“I operated as a sole trader for four years before that.” He explained to Kevin.
Daire’s journey began with a Scania 144, though he hired in another driver to undertake the long haulage trips, as he himself was working with his father in Dublin at the time.
“My first lorry was a Scania 144. I had that doing refrigerated work for my uncle.”
“Dublin was booming at the time…So, I stayed working at home. We were doing side work in Dublin and I used to go work with my father…I had the lorry going as well as kind of a sideline thing for myself.” Daire noted.
Daire’s absence from behind the wheel was another experience that wasn’t too last long, with the father of three eventually reclaiming his rightful place as the main man.
“At the end of 2005, I decided that I wanted to go on the lorry myself full-time.” said Daire.
It was in September of 2005 that Daire relinquished his role with his father and began undertaking refrigerated and tipper work on his own. This also marked the time that Daire’s father, Michael, gave up one of his lorry’s places working with Roadstone, allowing Daire to take the position.
“Essentially what happened is I took on one of his (Michael’s) places in Roadstone in 2005.” Daire noted.
“We had two places in Roadstone for two lorries and I took over one of them. It wouldn’t have been full-time, but things were starting to happen and in 2006 we were really busy at home with the motorways. Motorways were being built in the area and we were drawing to them.”
Already an eventful year, 2006 also marked the year that Daire purchased a brand-new Mercedes lorry. The green and white colour scheme was only first introduced upon this purchase in 2006 and has now become synonymous with the company.
“I bought a brand-new Mercedes lorry in 2006” Daire explained.
“I bought my own tank then in 2008, but things began to quieten down here and I started doing low-loader work. I started doing a lot of UK work with the low-loader…I was doing a bit of continental work as well. Basically, I did what I had to keep going.” He adds.
At the moment, Daire carries out driving duties himself, while his wife Marcella is the one responsible for the book-keeping.
“Marcella does the office work.” Daire said.
The main port of call for Daire and the team in recent years has been the transportation of calcium carbonate, which is used in animal feeds, slate and blacktop production, on the
aforementioned owner-driver scheme for Roadstone. This, Daire says, is his “bread and butter”, while he also carries out some low-loader work on occasion.
“90% of my work would be with Roadstone, but I have a low loader as well and have maybe 10 private lads that I do work for,” said the Tipperary man.
Daire is also heavily involved in the running of the Tipperary Truck show and is one of the committee members.
Currently operating with one truck within the fleet, Daire’s pride and joy is his Scania R560 Streamline.
Make - Scania
Model - R560
Power - V8
Plans for the future -
One of the biggest developments that will occur within D. Maher Haulage Ltd is the addition of a new lorry, which will arrive next year.
“I have a new S650 going on the road in early 2019.” Daire said.
The lorry will again feature the unique green and white colourings and markings, now synonymous with the fleet. This also means that the R560 will make way in 2019, with Daire choosing to not bite off more than he can chew and stick to the solitary lorry.
“It is easy managed what I have now.” He stated.
The main aim for the company over the coming years is to consolidate the success achieved to date, whilst also continuing his long-standing work with Roadstone.
“I have no plans to expand or to get out of the owner-driver scheme. I have a good steady base of work that I will just keep.” Daire told That’sFarming.
“I just want to keep the lads that I have, happy…At the moment it is all tank and low-loader work. Roadstone is the bread and butter so I will try and keep that work going.” He said.
One thing that is certain of the future, is that Daire will continue doing what he loves and will not be relinquishing his place behind the wheel anytime soon.
“I like the driving too much to come off the road.” He laughed.
The father of three says his three sons, Charlie, Ben and Louis, who all hold an interest in either machinery or lorries, meaning there could possibly be another Maher generation behind the wheel at some stage.
“I wouldn’t drive them into it (haulage) either. You will always plan out your own path in life.” Daire advised.
“Maybe one of them will get into it. If they want to do it, they do, if they don’t, they don’t.”
What about the industry keeps Daire going -
A true truck enthusiast and mad for machinery since he could walk, there is a lot about the haulage industry that instills passion in Daire. The main thing for Daire, however, is that he doesn’t see it as a job, rather a way of life.
“I love the machinery, but I was always mad for the lorries.” said Daire.
“It’s a way of life for me like…I wouldn’t be doing anything else…All I ever wanted to do growing up was to have my own lorry,” He exclaimed.
Would you like to contact Daire or follow his journey in the sector? You can do that right here