Peter Sully is one man who knows a thing or two about the haulage industry.
For Peter is the son of Peter Sully Senior, otherwise known as ‘Mac’, who has been working within the industry since the 1970’s. The Sully family hail from near Brannockstown in Co. Kildare and it was here that Peter (Junior) gained his first taste of the industry.
The only agriculture within Peter’s background is through work he carried out as a teenager, on neighbouring farms in the locality.
“I worked on farms when I was younger before I started driving.” Peter told Kevin of That’sFarming.
“Just spreading slurry, turning hay, baling and working on the farm, nothing major.” he added.
In reality, it has always been trucks and haulage for Peter Sully. The addiction to the industry was born upon Peter senior commencing his own foray with the sector, as he began work with Spollan’s, now Kilsaran Concrete.
“He started off in 1977 with Spollan’s...They had a few plants around Kilcullen and my father started there and it went from there.” Peter explained.
“Then Kilsarans bought them out in 1990 and we are with Kilsaran ever since.”
Peter Sr began his career driving for the company before he eventually bought his own lorry (a Hino 8-wheeler) in 1977.
“He bought his own lorry then in 1977 and started out that way.” Peter said.
“Kilsarans bought Spollans out in 1990, then my father bought a brand new Hino truck in 1992 and his business started to grow from there.” he added.
Peter senior’s involvement in the sector meant that Peter Junior had many experiences in the cab throughout his youth and it was these experiences that created an addiction to ‘All Things Haulage’ and set Peter up for a future involvement behind the wheel.
“I was always out in the truck with him,” said Peter.
Peter’s Journey/History of Sully Transport -
After starting out with Spollans, now Kilsaran, Peter senior built up the fleet of Sully Transport to contain 17 trucks in total.
“He built up the fleet. We had seventeen trucks in the good times.” Peter junior explained.
Peter junior first became involved at the age of 18, back in the year 2000. He admits that he “couldn’t wait” to get away from school and after completing his second last year and Peter subsequently left school and made his return home, where he began work driving a break-down van.
“I started in the maintenance van, doing breakdowns, tyres and maintenance,” Peter said.
“My brother was also doing a little bit of driving at the time.”
Although content with his return home, Peter still harboured hopes of driving one of the family’s trucks and upon turning 18, he obtained his licences.
“I was 18 when I did the licences…The minute I turned 18 on the 1st of March, I applied for it straight away.” Peter noted.
“The minute I passed the test I was in behind the wheel straight away.” He laughed.
The soon to be 36-year-old has now been back and working within the family business, Sully Transport, for almost exactly half of his life thus far and he wouldn’t trade it for anything.At 73-years-old, Peter’s father ‘Mac’ is still driving to this day, but under the Peter Sully Truck Hire prefix.
“He is running five little small trucks himself now, doing small deliveries and loads,” Peter said.
“I drive under Sully Transport and my father under Peter Sully Truck hire. The two of us are sort of in it together.” he continued.
Team/Services/Peter’s current role -
The main focus of the work carried out by Peter and the team of Sully Transport is with Kilsaran Concrete.He had previously carried out mainly tipper work, though in recent times Peter’s role has varied from both tipper work and concrete transportation.
“I could be drawing into Naas and Newbridge or into the Dublin bases as well…It is all Kilsaran based.” Peter explains to That’sFarming’s Kevin.
Currently, Peter is working with just the one truck, meaning he is the only driver within Sully Transport. He can always call on some outside help from his father, however, when needed. Peter is now the main man within Sully Transport, though he is also helped out by both his two sisters, Lourda and Patricia, and his mother, Anne, who all help with the books.
“It is a family run business.” Peter stated.
“My mother and my sisters look after the paperwork for me.”
Any maintenance is carried out by Peter’s brother, Martin, at their base in Brannockstown, meaning the whole family is involved.
“My brother, Martin, does all of the maintenance for us here.” Peter said to Kevin.
“He used to do a bit of driving, but he has gone back to the spanners now.”
As mentioned, Peter and Sully Transport are now currently working with just the one lorry, having previously had seventeen trucks on the road at one stage. The truck in question is a DAF XF, Peter’s pride and joy.
Make - DAF
Model - XF 106
Year - 142
“I bought that last year. A friend of mine knew I was looking for one and he came across it.” said Peter.
“Lucky enough my brother in law was in England at the time and he went out and looked at it in Manchester. That’s how I got it (the truck), he said I would be mad to leave it there.”
Future Hopes -
More than happy with his choice of career, Peter has no plans to abandon his haulage background in any way shape or form.
He is happy with the current rate of progress within Sully Transport and does not envisage adding further lorries to the fleet, due to the unpredictability of the industry and past experiences.
“I am happy enough to stick with the one (lorry) and that’s it.” Peter stated.
“We learned our lesson the last time, we were lucky we got rid of them in time.”
He hopes to continue the long-standing relationship between his family and Kilsaran over the coming years, in what has proven a fruitful venture for both parties to date.
“I’m 18-years with them now and my father is 42-years with them.” Peter said.
“I have seen plenty of lads coming and going,” He joked.
Peter may not also be the last line of the Sully family to stake a place behind the wheel, as he has two young sons (Aidan and Cian) who may at some stage wish to join the fleet.
“More than likely.” said Peter when asked will his sons follow his path in the future.
“I will probably try and steer them away from it, but if they want to go driving, I can’t refuse them either,”
Why Haulage -
Although he admits the industry does present many challenges and is very volatile, Peter thoroughly enjoys what he does.He is driven by a sense of pride in keeping the Sully Transport name going, as well as a strong passion for trucks.
“It is both a love of the trucks and family pride.” Said Peter when asked what keeps him behind the wheel.
“It is keeping the Sully name going, after the family starting it off and us all getting into it.”
A man who has been driving for very near half of his life thus far, driving trucks is not a career to Peter, but it is all he has ever known.
“If I packed the business up in the morning, I don’t know what I’d do.” Peter concluded.
Do you own your own haulage company or work behind the wheel for one? Want to share your story and be featured in our weekly series? If so, contact Kevin now at firstname.lastname@example.org.