The contract to supply Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) with tractors for snow-blowing duties is most likely the largest and most keenly sought-after in Ireland.

The contract was last filled with around 40 Massey Fergusons and the appointed supplier was required to supply new tractors for three winter seasons.

Change of plans

This arrangement was interrupted by a reappraisal of the supply situation and was curtailed by the DAA, which put the contract out to tender once more this summer.

Several big names threw their hats into the ring, but it’s understood it was Templetuohy Farm Machinery (TFM) which eventually won out and has been awarded the task of supplying 37 tractors this autumn.

TFM Headquarters
TFM’s home base in north Co. Tipperary

While it may be thought that building an extra 37 tractors might be no great issue for any large manufacturer, sources within the industry suggest that actually gathering together this number in time for the start of the contract would be no easy task for any company.

However, the supply of machines is becoming less of an issue as back orders are being fulfilled and inventories recover, allowing TFM to be confident of having the machinery in place on time.

TFM DAA John Deere tractors
TFM is celebrating 40 years as a John Deere dealership in 2023 and held a well attended open day in March to mark the occasion

The tractors will be fitted with a mix of blades and blowers to clear snow off the runways, apron and taxiways.

They will emerge from the winter with very few hours added to the clock, most probably less than 50, even if there are harsh periods, and below 10 if it is an easier season.

Agriland understands that the deal has been formally signed off this week but both sides are remaining tight lipped about it for commercial reasons. The competition is intense and not always forgiving.