As part of this week’s All things Haulage series, That’sFarming caught up Cavan resident and long-time haulier, Mr. Glen Chambers. Read his story in full below.
Now based near Shercock in Co. Cavan, Monaghan man Glen Chambers has been in or around machinery for the entirety of his life.
“I live just outside the town of Shercock…I am originally from Co. Monaghan, about three of four miles down the road.” Glen explained to That’sFarming’s Kevin.
That is because the haulier is one of the Chambers family, of Chambers Agri, a contracting and plant hire firm run by his uncle, Richard. The company was originally started by Glen’s grandfather, Walter, many years ago before it was taken on by Richard and Glen’s father, Gordan. The family also have a claim to fame in that Glen’s grandfather was one of the first people in Ireland to bring a thresher into the country.
“My grandfather would have started it (the business) and my father and Richard took it over then.” Glen told Kevin.
“He was one of the first men to take a thresher into the country.”
Glen’s uncle, Richard, was the man responsible for the Agri contracting side of the family business, with Gordan looking after the plant-hire side, that was until Gordan decided to get out of the enterprise approximately 27 years ago.
“My father went with the diggers and Richard went with the agricultural end of it.” Glen noted.
“My father then got rid of everything…about 26/27 years ago. He drove diggers, my father, for years and he is still driving them.” He added.
Glen’s father also kept livestock at one stage though they have now since been long sold, while his uncle focuses solely on the contracting side of things, with all land rented to a neighbour.
“He (Glen’s uncle Richard) never really had livestock, he would have always been at the agri work.” Glen stated.
It was these early experiences and this childhood spent around machinery that persuaded Glen that a life working with machinery was made for him, making him a third-generation contractor AND machinery fanatic.
“I was just always into machinery.” Glen explained.
Glen’s journey into Haulage -
For Glen himself, his journey into the industry began upon leaving secondary school. Glen left school at 16 years of age and from that day forward, he was working alongside his uncle with Chambers Agri.
“I am at it since I was 16 when I left school.” Glen said.
After working for his uncle and the team of Chambers Agri for a period of approximately 11 years, Glen then began working on the Drogheda bypass.
“I left Richard then for a good while and worked on the Drogheda by-pass. I was there from the very start to the very finish.” said Glen.
“I was driving big 60/70 tonne diggers loading dumpers, driving dozers and dump trucks and everything.” He continued.
Glen admits to “always” having held an interest in haulage and all things truck-related from his teenage years, thanks in part to a friend in school who was just as passionate about them as he was.
“From a very early age, I just had a big interest in lorries.” Glen noted.
“There used to be a young lad in school…two years ahead of me and he was big into lorries. He used to buy the ‘Truck and Driver’ (magazine). When he was finished with them, he used to give them all to me. I still have boxes of them here.” Glen laughed.
This and the decline in digger work are what truly set Glen on his way and penultimately led to the Cavan-based, Monaghan man pursuing his rigid and artic licences over ten years ago, both of which were obtained within quick succession.
“I got the licences in 2007.” Glen explained.
“I got them both straight away, one after another within a couple of weeks.” He added.
After the competition of these, Glen then proceeded to take on his first role within the industry. This role just so happened to be with the same company he now works for today, BM Transport.
Glen’s experience within the sector is not limited to work carried out with BM Transport either, as the Monaghan man also took on work with a local haulier for a period of six months. The absence from the BM team was not too last long, however, and Glen soon returned to working with the Murphy family of BM Transport.
“I was also with a McKenna man in Monaghan for six or seven months and then went back to BM.” Glen stated.
This was not to be the only break Glen took from working with the BM Transport team, as he also took a two-year hiatus upon the birth of his son, Luke, in 2014.
“I left then for about two years…I am back now about two and a half years.” Glen admitted.
BM Transport/ Glen’s role -
A family-run enterprise first founded in the early 2000’s and based out of Newbliss in Co. Monaghan, BM Transport was originally founded by Brendan Murphy.
“They actually started off with small vans with curtain siders on them.” Glen stated.
The company is now run by the majority of the Murphy family, with Darren, Ronan, Donal, Sean and Lisa all holding a role within the enterprise.
“Darren, Ronan and Donal are in the office. Sean is on the road, and their sister Lisa works in the office as well” said Glen.
The work of BM Transport is primarily focused on two-liner, flatbed, curtain liner and rigid work. Glen’s work sees him carrying out haulage consignments throughout the UK, with the Monaghan man spending five nights a week on the road. The team also offer low-loader services, though Glen admits this is mainly for recovery work and for the transportation of the company’s vintage lorries to truck shows throughout the year.
“I am in England every week. I usually go out on Sunday night and I am back in (home) on a Friday night,” Glen explained.
“It is mostly precast concrete.” He adds.
Picture - Dan Lote
The Fleet -
Glen informed That’sFarming that there are currently approximately 107 lorries within the BM Transport fleet, varying in make from Volvo to Scania.
“There are about 107 lorries I think and about 350 trailers or maybe a little more.” Glen notes.
“They have a mixture of lorries. They have probably a bit more Volvo’s than Scania at the minute (in the fleet).”
Upon Glen joining the BM Transport team, there was a fleet of nine lorries on the road, meaning they expanded by over 90 lorries since then, a feat in itself.
“When I started with BM, they had only nine lorries.” Glen said.
The lorry for which Glen is responsible is perhaps one of the most unique of them all, as he drives a Scania 480 164L bullnose lorry. Glen’s journey with BM Transport actually began with a Volvo F12 380, though he admits to being much happier in his beloved 480.
“I started off on a ‘wee’ flat-cab, low-cab, FH12 380. I started off doing trips to England in it.” Glen explained.
Make - Scania
Year - 2002
Model - 480 V8 164L bullnose.
(Picture - James Thompson)
Glen recently took a trip to Holland where he competed at the Assen Truckstar festival. He finished second in the Decibel contest, making it the first lorry to have ever placed in the competition from outside Holland.
“I took it to Holland this year to a truck show and I got second place overall in the Decibel contest, for the loudest truck…Nobody has ever one that trophy, first second or third, from outside Holland. I was only 0.2 decibels off the lad that won it.” He adds.
Future Hopes -
In terms of the future, Glen couldn’t be happier with his current situation and his role with BM Transport.
Although he departed the company twice over the years, the Cavan-based Monaghan man is quite sure his future remains with the Murphy family.
“I can’t see me leaving now, they are far too good to me.” Glen chuckled.
Another thing certain in Glen’s future is that he won’t be relinquishing his place behind the wheel anytime soon.
“I’ll stay behind the wheel.” Glen said.
“You’ll never see me in an office, that’s one thing for sure. I am a driver and that’s it.” He laughed.
Although Glen has “often” contemplated purchasing his own lorry, he remains unsure if that is on the agenda, though he won’t officially rule it out either.
“I have often thought about it…Maybe in the future, down the line, but I can’t see it at the minute.” Glen noted.
Glen has also no plans to abandon his career in contracting either and admits if the money was there, that’s where he would be.
“I just love it (contracting). Ploughing would be a big thing for me too, I always loved it.” Glen told Kevin of That’sFarming.
Married to wife Noeleen with three kids (Alex, Luke and Shania), Glen admits there may be one or two Chambers behind the wheel at some stage in the future in the shape of his two sons, Alex and Luke.
“The pair of lads are absolutely tractor mad and lorry mad.” Glen said.
Glen will also make his way back to Assen in Holland in 2019 where he will look to go one further and take home the top prize for the loudest truck.
Why Haulage -
As the saying goes, ‘Variety is the spice of life’ and for Glen, this is most definitely the case, as he thoroughly enjoys the changing landscape of the job and the challenges it presents.
“I like the challenge of it. With what we do, every single day is different.” Glen said.
“It is different all of the time…I like the challenge of it.” He added.
A man with a strong passion for machinery, trucks and one who “always had to be driving”, it was always inevitable Glen’s future would take him behind the wheel.
“I just like being out and about and seeing all around the place.” Glen admitted.
“It’s either in you or it's not”.
Would you like to be featured like Glen? If so, contact Kevin now with a background of who you are and your experience behind the wheel to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note - Contracting pictures taken by SkyEye Photography. You can visit their Facebook page here.