If I were to write a reference for Tony O’Driscoll, it would read something like this; a motivated self-starter with a passion for all things mechanical and a tenacity to take on tasks with drive and a willingness to learn. How did I come to this conclusion after just one conversation?
Because Tony started work in a garage when he was just sixteen. For five years, he repaired trucks and trailers. Eventually, when Tony felt that he had secured the knowledge he needed. He broke away and started working on his own, repairing trucks and trailers from the back of a van.
“I used to go around to people’s yards or their work” explained Tony “I continued that for nine years and then I went driving a truck for Tony Doyle Transport - a good neighbour and a good friend of mine from Cork.”
The Cork man was driving with Doyle’s for nine years and from there, he got the opportunity to buy his own truck in 2003. Tony went about his business and started moving diggers and dumpers because people were trying to move their own with tractors and trailers.
“One thing I’m very proud to say is that I’ve never taken work off of anybody because the type of work I got into, there was nobody doing it” smiled Tony.
Business as Usual
Tony started off with one truck, transporting machinery to and from building sites. “We deal an awful lot with hire companies here in Cork to and from building sites; cherry pickers, dumpers, diggers and rollers” he informed me.
In 2003, all was going well with the business; however, in 2008, the recession hit, and Tony went back to just one truck. He was down, but not out and Tony’s tenacious side would not give up.
Luckily, in the past five years, things have once again got very busy, so O’Driscoll Transport has gone up to two trucks again.
Tony is happy to talk about his trucks. “I’m just after taking delivery of a 141, R450 Beavertail truck and I have a 131, Renault Premium track unit with a mac, three-axle trailer behind that,” he said.
The O’Driscolls specialise in the plant hire industry and construction, “We specialise a lot with access - that’s the cherry-pickers. We deliver a whole lot of those,” said Tony.
That is not the only string to their bow, the O’Driscolls are also into food transport.
The company also owns a fleet of six Iveco Daily Fixed refrigerated vans. They deliver fresh and frozen produce in the surrounding city and county of Cork for a cash and carry company. They transport goods from the cash and carry out to several restaurants, hotels or anyone in the food industry.
Tony employs five drivers, including son Anthony who started this year. Anthony is a qualified mechanic, he served his time with McCarthy commercials. He had had his licence since he was 18 and he’s been in the background all along.
He left McCarthy in February of this year and went to work with his father. “He does everything, he’s out in the artic today, he’s a backup driver for the artics but he’s running the vans” explained Tony.
Eventually, the plan is for Anthony to take over the running of the refrigerated goods side of the business.
The transport business actually involves more of Tony’s family members. His wife Annmarie does the administration - she works in the office as the transport manager.
Tony’s daughter Ava who is fourteen, helps a bit as well, doing some paperwork and office work. “She is very passionate about the trucks,” said Tony, “her ambition is to go driving one day” he added.
Sometimes hauliers must carry unusual things. “I once had to carry an aeroplane” smiled Tony, “the wings were taken off it. It was a small microlight one. They wanted it taken down to Waterford Airport, I don’t know what they were going to do with it. It was certainly unusual.”
Tony is measured about the job though as he explained that safety is paramount when transporting anything on the road, “if you have to stop and get out and do a check, you just have to do it, whether you are in traffic or not.” Safety is the big issue.
Tony explained that there isn’t a whole lot of safety training involved with his type of work. “A lot of what I do is common sense,” he said.
"We load the machinery on and off the truck, but we don’t go digging holes or anything."
"It’s very diverse so you must have a good head for machinery. It’s a great help that I’m mechanically minded myself. But that’s about it” he concluded.
Image Source: O’Driscoll Transport / Facebook
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