A Hitachi customer for more than 30 years, Gallagher Group has a fleet of more than 100 models (ranging from three- to 35-tonnes) in its plant fleet today, as well as seven 35 to 85-tonne Hitachi excavators working in its quarries.
The roots of the company extend back to a small groundwork contracting business, established by Pat Gallagher in 1973, after he purchased a machine from his former employer. “I plucked up the courage to tell him that I wanted to buy an excavator from him,” explains Pat. “He told me, ‘There’s enough in this world for all of us’ and I’ve lived by that motto ever since.”
Initially working on local jobs, such as digging trenches on large council housing estates, the company expanded into quarrying approximately 30 years ago and property around 20 years ago. “Each part of the business knits together, there’s a synergy between them,” says Pat.
As the company grew, so too did the headcount: “We employed some of the best people in the south-east of England, and we still do today. That’s been the foundation of this business and its success, at every level.”
Equipment has also played its part and Pat has invested in hundreds of Hitachi machines over the years. There are three main reasons why he has continued to buy Hitachi equipment over the decades: “Firstly, I look at residual value – you can sell Hitachi anywhere in the world. Second, reliability – you turn the key and it performs. Third is driver comfort. Hitachi scores highly on all three.”
The company keeps its new machines until they reach 8,000 hours and then trades them back for new models approximately every three years. It has developed a strong working relationship with representatives of Hitachi Construction Machinery UK as Pat testifies: “What they say they’ll do, they do. That’s all we need. And when you have a problem, they are there to help you.”
Looking back, Pat is proud of what his company has achieved, together with three of his four children who are now involved in the business: “We started at zero and we have come a long way. I wanted the very best of whatever I was involved in. I’ve still got that ambition to be the very best at everything we do. We have an expression within the business: ‘Excellence. Delivered.’ I still want to be excellent and 50 years on, it’s even more important to us.”