James Moran is a Longford man by birth and a mechanic by trade, hailing from near Legan, in the Slashers county.
It is here that James was born and reared and where the base for the family business, Billy Moran & Sons Ltd, is located. In the past, the family had once farmed near their base in Legan, with James grandfather dabbling in the industry.
“My grandfather farmed in a small way, but that was really it.” James Moran told That’sFarming.
“All of my father’s brothers were mechanically minded and ran their own car and truck garages.” he added.
This is where the James received his interest in all things mechanics related and marked the beginning of what has been a lifetime working with engines.
How Began/Journey thus far -
It truly all began when James’ father, Billy, embarked on his own mechanical career, bringing a young, enthusiastic James along for some of the journeys.
“When I was young, my father worked for Johnston Farm equipment in Longford. He was then fixing tractors at home in the evening in a small shed behind the home place.” James noted.
“From that then, we would have grown from tractors. My father then worked for Sheridan plant sales in 1998 and I used to be with him on a Saturday. When I was 16 then, I went working for Sheridan full-time.” James said.
It was then three years later that Billy Moran & Sons Ltd was born, with the company officially founded in 2001. Surprisingly, their maiden year in business began with one solitary van, before a second one was added to the ranks and the rest, as they say, is history.
“We had a van on the road and then we bought the second van in early 2002. My father and I were on the road freelancing, maintaining, servicing and fixing machinery.” James told Kevin of That’sFarming.
“Then in 2004, we built our first big workshop and began selling plant and machinery then.” James added.
Upon request, the Moran family began fixing trucks for the occasional customer, before things began picking up on that front. Then in 2009/2010 the family completed the development of a workshop solely for HGV work.
“We kind of got more into fixing more HGV’s.” said James
James journey behind the wheel of the family truck began when he got his licences approximately five years ago and he couldn’t be happier.
“I got my licence about five years ago now.” James said.
A true family-run operation, the team consists of James, the main man himself, Billy, and James’ sister, Avril, who works in the office.
“Avril is in the office taking care of all the paperwork, booking in work and that sort of thing. She is also the head of the social media.” James stated.
They were also helped out up until recently by James’ brother William, who only left the family company in the past year to commence a career as a full-time artic driver.
“My brother William decided to leave the spanners about a year ago when he got the full licence for the artic.” said the Longford man.
“He is driving for a local transportation company and he is in and out to England weekly...He might come back to us when he gets fed up behind the steering wheel, but then again he might not...We’ll let him do his thing” James chuckled.
Always busy, the Moran’s have a few more full-time staff within their ranks, with some part-timers helping out cleaning at the weekend and another full-time employee due to start in the coming weeks.
“We are currently waiting for a man to finish up on a job to come with us full-time,” James explained.
With regards to the services offered, there is not much that the Moran family do not touch on.
“We kind of have our fingers dipped in every pie.” James said.
They carry out not only truck, car and machinery repairs, but also Pre-NCT and MOT servicing, they offer roadside assistance and recovery, and they also find the time to sell agricultural machinery, such as JCB teleporters/telehandlers and Hitachi machinery.
“Hitachi and JCB are two of our main priorities.” James noted.
Following the passing of James' uncle, who was a car salesman, James and the team took on the role themselves and began selling cars from their yard in Legan.
“Then in 2011/2012 we got more into selling cars and vans, for when the construction end of things was quiet.” James said.
James would also be widely known as a dedicated auto electrician, with no wiring job having stumped him as of yet.
“There are not too many wiring problems that have failed me yet.” said James.
“I would be kind of widely known as an auto electrician, for trucks machinery or anything...I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t get to the root of it.” he continued.
It was actually only five years ago when the Moran family purchased their maiden truck, a 2003 MAN L10180, with the taking off of their recovery and roadside assistance business venture.
“She is still doing the job and it’s still in everyday use.” James said.
This was followed by their most recent purchase and the second and final addition to the fleet, a 2011 MAN, just last year in 2017.
“We kind of got back into construction in the middle of last year, when the boom kind of took off again. We held strong again and there was an opening there for the sale of machinery and construction again.” said James.
The family then began buying back in “quality used machinery with the original paintwork” and they needed a new mode of transportation to deliver them.
“We said we were going to have to buy some sort of truck for the transportation of these machines, and for trucks and machinery that needed recovery or repair.” James said.
Make - MAN
Model - TGS 26.480,
Year - 2011
Others - 6x2 tractor unit. Brand new plant body fitted.
The truck, although generally always busy, was even brought to the recent Tipperary Truck show, where James took home some silverware. The award taken back to Legan in Longford by James and the crew was the Dualla Show Best Man Highly commended award, sponsored by Walker Commercial Vehicles.
“I had her (the truck) in Dualla recently and I came home with a bit of silverware as well.” James told Kevin.
Future Aspirations -
As always, Billy and his family will keep working tirelessly to get through the heavy workload in front of them.
“We will keep doing what we are doing and try to look after our loyal customers to the best of our ability.” James told Kevin.
There are no major plans for a shake-up on the horizon, though for James his life is going to change significantly over the coming months, but for the better.
“I have a little baby on the way.” James exclaimed.
Why he loves what he does -
James readily admits that it was always the dream as a young lad in school, to return home to work alongside his father, Billy, a dream now well and truly achieved.
Driven not only by family pride, but also a strong love for machinery and anything with an engine, James is well and truly living his best life.
“My main objective is to keep the family name going and to keep the name good.” James noted.
“There is pros and cons to everything...But as long as you have your health and a bit to eat, what more could you want?”, James advised.
A more enthusiastic and positive person within the industry you won’t find, than the ever-dedicated, machine-mad, Mr. James Moran.
Would you like to contact Billy Moran & Sons Ltd? You can do so via their Facebook page here