Road Tankers celebrates tenth anniversary

For the past ten years, Road Tankers Armagh has established itself as one of the leading tanker manufacturers in Ireland and the UK. For their tenth anniversary, Irish Trucker takes a look at the company and its success.

Road Tankers Armagh has developed an enviable reputation for the manufacture of high quality fuel tankers since its inception in 2001. We speak to managing director Trevor Wilson about operations at their Keady based premises. Road Tankers Armagh specialises in the manufacture of high quality fuel tanks, most notably for rigid trucks. The company is also equally well known for its refurbishment and remounting services. Over the past ten years the company has built up a significant customer base amongst fuel distributors on both sides of the Border on the back of manufacturing and refurbishing high quality ADR compliant tanks. “The majority of our customers would be involved in the domestic / commercial fuel sector supplying kerosene, gas oil and petrol. We supply a range of tankers in different sizes and can accommodate the customer to their specifications,” said Trevor.

Having made a significant impact in the Republic of Ireland market, Trevor has found that the bank’s refusal to release money down south has had an impact on the business. “In fairness, we are still very busy and we would have a big customer base down south, but definitely since the bank’s stopped lending , we have noticed a difference.” Trevor is in no doubt that the best form of advertisement for them is through word of mouth and potential customers seeing their work in operation. “Most of our sales have been made through word-of-mouth or personal recommendation, which speaks volumes for the quality of our tankers. We have been lucky in that respect, we haven’t had to go out chasing work,” he added. Trevor has more than 21 years’ experience in manufacturing engineering. The company’s core activities are spilt into a number of distinct areas, new tanker manufacture, refurbishment of existing tanks and finally remounting existing tanks on new trucks. It also offers ancillary services such as spray painting, graphics and DOE and PSV preparation. Trevor explained that all work is carried out to the highest health and safety standards. “Our new tankers are built to the new ADR regulations using only high quality components. Similarly, our refurbished tanks and remounted tanks meet all ADR regulations.”

With its own in-house design service, Road Tankers Armagh build to individual customer requirements. “Every customer would have a different specification. We work with the customer from the design stage right through to delivery. That is one of our strongest selling points,” he remarked. The company operates from a purpose-built 4000 square foot premises, which is equipped with leading edge equipment. Welding, cutting and folding equipment and all the usual machinery that you would associate with a modern engineering workshop is in plentiful supply. “We have the equipment to work in steel or aluminium. In this business you have to have all the equipment.”

Road Tankers’ staff are all trained to very high standards, which reflects strongly in the build quality of the company’s product range. Trevor is acutely aware of the important role the staff play in the ongoing success of the business. “They are all highly skilled tradesmen. The quality of their work is second to none and they play a very important part in keeping our customers happy.”

In keeping with this quality ethos the company only uses materials and components that are compliant with the latest ADR regulations. In that vein, the company’s large stock of hoses, reels, pumps and metres all comply with industry best-practice. “We deal with all the leading suppliers in the industry. We only use high quality equipment in the manufacture of our tankers.”

The key component in the process – the actual tank – is imported from a leading supplier in the UK. Once the design of the tank has been agreed with the customer, the whole manufacturing process takes about three weeks to complete. “A turn around time of two weeks would be exceptional for this type of business, when you consider the amount of fitting and fabrication that is involved.

We specialise in three sizes of tanks, a 5,000 litre mini, a 7,000 litre midi, a 13,000 litre standard tanker and a 26,000 litre tanker. ”

While some customers specify all new equipment, others require what can be best described as a mix and match service. Thus the need for the refurbishment and remounting service. “Some customers would come to us with their old tanker to be refurbished and remounted onto a new chassis and cab, while others would want a new tank mounted on a new lorry. It would depend on individual customer requirements.” Road Tankers Armagh specialises in giving its valued customer base a personalised and professional service, where the requirements of the customer are of paramount importance. The company’s attention to detail and the build quality are other key selling points, according to Trevor. He elaborated: “We are strong on giving the customer personal attention. We also specialise in quick turn around times. We understand the customer wants to get the truck out working as soon as possible, so we work closely with them to that end. We can do all that work in-house. When the truck leaves here it is ready to work. The complete service takes about four weeks.”