MD Workman Ltd. is an inter-continental haulage company based in the outskirts of Monaghan town. It is owned by Malcolm and Hillary Workman who also farm pedigree stock.
Malcolm had been involved in the haulage industry in Northern Ireland for many years before he met and married Hillary.
They moved to Monaghan where Hilary is still engaged in running the farm she grew up on as a child.
The couple are parents of three daughters and a son and have been married for sixteen years.
Once they moved to Monaghan, the newlyweds saw an opportunity to branch out with their own company and Malcolm purchased a Volvo Globetrotter truck and Pezzaioli trailer.
Their fleet of three trucks are all exclusively Globetrotters. “That’s just the type of truck that Malcolm favoured,” explained Hillary.
“Because we do specialised work, we have always had a run with Pezzaioli - the Italian coachbuilder who manufacture the livestock decker trailers,” she added.
The Workmans specialise in exporting pedigree animals throughout the continent. All of their work is export from one country to another, including Britain, France, Poland and Lithuania, to name a few.
Hillary explained that it is generally always cattle and sheep; however, they have brought pigs from Denmark to England.
“We were doing a lot of work with pigs, bringing them from Ireland to England initially and the pedigree work would have been a smaller percentage,” explained Hillary.
“As the pig work changed, it increased on the pedigree end of things”. Hillary believes that the growth in exports of pedigree animals is attributed to the internet and social media.
“Over the past ten years, exports have increased hugely," said the transport manager, “A lot of breeds have their own Facebook pages and everything so it's making everything accessible, she added.
The Workmans have always had an interest in pedigree stock which is how their business has grown in that area.
The hauliers have pedigree Simmental cattle and a range of sheep breeds. They are also one of the founder breeders of Rouge De l’Ouest sheep in the country; the flock was established thirty years ago and they have added other breeds through the years.
Hillary had been the Rouge Society secretary for the past twenty-five years and has just stepped back from the role last year.
Speaking about the role of transport manager, Hillary explained that her job is to set up all the work ahead of the lorries.
This includes working with farmers and vets in different countries - getting the testing ready on time, paperwork and ensuring that trucks are in place.
The paperwork that Hillary is referring to is obtaining the correct approval by the export authorities before the truck leaves the country. That paperwork is issued by the export authorities in the country that they’re exporting from.
The health certificate of the animal also needs to be approved and there has to be an approved journey plan put in place.
“It is a very strict protocol and a long process,” explained Hillary - who said that MD Workman Ltd wouldn’t necessarily complete the entire journey.
“We can work in conjunction with a second transport company who could meet us along the route and continue on to the final destination” she stated.
Brexit could be a big challenge for the hauliers as the UK is currently operating under the European single market; however, if Brexit happens as predicted in October, then the UK would be known as a ‘third country’ which would require a different set of paperwork and a lot of extra work for Hillary.
Working with animal welfare and the Road Safety Authority can also be logistically difficult as sometimes both are conflicting.
The driver’s hours and the hours for good animal welfare are not running parallel in all cases; this is why the entire route must be approved by the correct authorities.
As the drivers, including Malcolm, could see their week spent away from home, Hillary looks after the farm.
“My son Johnathon helps on the farm when Malcolm is away,” explained Hillary - who said that Johnathon plans on attending Ballyhaise Agricultural College after he finishes his Leaving Cert this year.
Johnathon has had his own pedigree flock of Zwartbles sheep since he was a child.
For now, Hillary is busy with her animals on the farm while maintaining her position as the company’s transport manager.
The mum-of-four hopes to continue the success of their business into the future.
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