18 September 1998

McHale makes for hearty bale wrappers

One company that has made

a significant impact on the

Irish and overseas markets

is McHale Engineering of

Kilmaine, Co Mayo.

Stephen Howe discovers

the secret of its success

"MAKE-EM perform. Make-em simple to operate. Make-em last." That was the advice of Irish farmers and contractors to brothers Martin and Padraic McHale when they began making bale wrappers nearly 10 years ago in the workshop of their machinery dealership in Kilmaine, Co Mayo.

The advice has stood them in good stead, according to Martin McHale, now the sales director of McHale Engineering. From just two machines in 1989 the company now manufactures more than 1500 bale wrappers a year, plus a range of bale handlers, splitters and grabs. And it now exports to most countries across the world where grass is a major crop.

The companys success is down to three reasons, maintains Mr McHale. First the company places a high priority on responding to customer comment.

"We made a point of listening to customers in the early days when they came into our dealership and we still do. Whether criticism or praise, all views are passed on to the people who matter on the factory floor," he says.

Second, is the toughness and durability of the companys machines, claims Mr McHale. "Our heavy-handed contractors put our machines through their paces and expect them to last."

The third reason for the companys success is directly due to the countrys wet climate. "Co Mayo in the west of Ireland, produces the heaviest crops of wet grass which means our bale wrappers must be well engineered to withstand the stresses and strains," he explains. Average output for a round bale wrapper in Ireland is 15,000 bales/year. In France, where bales are also 20% lighter, it is only 5,000 bales/year, says Mr McHale.

State of the art computer controlled engineering technology, a skilled workforce and strict quality control and testing before the machines leave the factory, have also helped the company to expand rapidly on home and export markets. McHale bale wrappers now account for 37% of the UK market and 15% of the world market which is supplied by 50 manufacturers. &#42