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Multitasking in Ireland

McMonagle Stone, based at Mountcharles near Donegal City in the North of Ireland, owns 5 quarries and produces a range of stone products from paving and sets through architectural and landscaping to garden furniture, construction and on to chippings for roads and paths. In addition to using local stone, the business also imports stone from the UK and beyond. When cut to size and polished, if required, the stone is sold throughout Ireland or exported, for example to the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan. 

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The company was founded by Dan McMonagle, and while he re­mains involved, the day to day running is in the hands of sons Michael, sales director and Daniel, operations director.

Quarry duties

One of the local quarries produces a popular Quartzite with a unique soft colour. With some distance between the quarry and factory, logistics is an important part of the production process. McMonagle Stone depends on an eight-year-old Valtra T130 with 11,000 hours on the clock. Apart from regular servicing, the tractor has an almost clean sheet as far as maintenance costs are concerned. 

According to Michael McMonagle, reputation was an important factor when purchasing their Valtra. 

“We use mostly Volvo machinery in the quarries and factory yard, and we knew Valtra had had a relationship with that company, so we made enquiries and found that, while the Volvo relationship ended some time ago, the tractors maintained an excellent reputation,” Michael says. 

Dealer location was also a key consideration. “The nearest dealers for Volvo equipment are in Belfast and Dublin, and while parts deliveries can be made the next day, down time is problematic. We’ve a Valtra dealer just up the road and they can be here very quickly – not that we’ve needed them for anything other than routine matters,” Michael adds.

The company’s driver Mick Carr also likes Valtra, and Michael admits that this too is important.“If the driver likes a machine, it is less likely to have problems,” he points out.

Farm duties

On most days the T130 carries out quarry duties and is connected to a heavy-duty tipping trailer. Late in the day and on weekends it is often driven to a nearby 220-acre beef farm. There the Valtra is used for pasture maintenance and for spreading slurry and muck, the by-products of the 40 suckler cows and between 300 and 350 stores brought in for finishing.

The Valtra tractor is key to operations at the quarry and on the farm, carrying out both duties with equal ability. Since Valtra Team visited the McMonagle quarry, stone mason’s yard and farm, the company has decided to replace its existing T130 – with a new Valtra T model, of course! 

Source: Valtra EME , AGCO Deutschland GmbH