Family firm has evolved from farming to construction

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A contractors with primary clients in the major utilities has expanded to employ at least a dozen workers.

For almost 20 years Donald McLean Contractors (DMC), based at Tangytavil Farm, has offered a range of professional and quality services, including, this year receiving the coveted  accreditation in Quality Standard ISO 9001.

Speaking about the accreditation, Donald Jnr said: ‘This achievement will allow us to build a stronger relationship with the three main utility companies.

‘Providing them with confidence that we have quality systems in place for

dealing with the management aspects of a contract as well as the practical.’

Since Donald (Junior) became a partner with his father Donald the firm has expanded, but at a controlled pace, with the aim of being competitive and on a manageable scale.

School was not for young Donald, 42, and he said: ‘I have always been interested in construction.

‘I left Campbeltown Grammar School one month before I turned 16 and took a job with one of the many Irish firms that were in Argyll at the time installing new ducting for telephone lines.

‘I learned a lot about road works and tar reinstating while working on this contract and from then I knew that his was the type of work which interested me.

‘I worked on a number of other construction projects before becoming a partner with my father in 1999.’

The fledgling partnership invested in plant which allowed it to supply labour as well to some of the larger firms working in and around Argyll and Bute.

Donald added: ‘We have 12 full time employees, plus me and my father and two part-time in the office.

‘This year we purchased our first tar paver.

‘I always wanted our own machine for laying tar. Laying tarmacadam by hand, on some of the larger jobs, is back breaking work and slow going.

‘With the paver we are in a position to competitively quote for larger jobs such as farm roads and long driveways.’

In the past 12 months DMC has also invested in its hire division renewing the fleet of excavators which ranges from 14 tonnes to one tonne.

DMC provides a range of hire equipment to private clients, utility and construction companies with or without an operator as well as a busy skip hire service for Kintyre.

Services carried out throughout the year include: hard and soft landscaping, drainage installation and repairs, drain jetting and drainage surveys.

Donald Jnr said: ‘We have squads on 24 hour call-out for Scottish Water and for domestic customers with private water supplies.

‘We keep a large stock of water pipe repair fittings of all sizes along with drainage materials.’

Recent works have included jobs in Islay, Oban and Tarbert as well as South Kintyre.

DMC has won contracts from SSE and Scottish Water in the past year giving a good building block for 2019.

‘The secret of our success is hard work and maintaining high standards of quality in whichever service we provide,’ said Donald Jnr, ‘I like to keep overheads lows and production high to enable us to stay competitive against our competitors.’

Donald Jnr and his father Donald McLean at Tangytavil Farm. 25_c52dmc01_Donald_James_Donald_McLean

Donald McLean and the DMC full-time mechanic Adrian Kimak. 25_c52dmc02_Donald_James_Adrian_kimak

DMC Logo. 25_c52dmc03_logo

The tar paver at work in Barrglen. NO_c52dmc04_Tar_paver_Barrglen

A pair of 14 tonne excavators working together. NO_c52dmc05_14 tonne_machines

The Killegruer outfall. NO_c52dmc06_kiligruer_outfall

Service installation at a High Askomil new build. NO_c52dmc08_Service installation at High Askomil new build

Track reinstatement at Tarbert. NO_c52dmc07_track_reinstatement_tarbert