In this new series, Truckers shines a light on the job and lifestyle of Ireland's truck-drivers. This job comes with a unique set of challenges, whether the drivers are long-haul or local, are single or have families.
Through their cargo, truckers carry the lifeblood of industry for the nation, but are facing tough times as they strive to keep their trucks on the road.
The series is narrated by Daithi O'Sé who is familiar with the lifestyle, with trucking blood in his own family.
This six-part series documents Irish trucking from different angles of the business: removals, recovery, aid missions, delivery, long haul and cross-country.
Programme One: MOVERS
Moving house is known to be one of life's most stressful experiences. For some truckers, it's their daily grind to help people negotiate that stress as they relocate their households or businesses. When the Celtic Tiger property market was at its height, business was brisk for removal companies. But these days, a typical removal job is relocating a family from Stillorgan to Sydney so the emotional stakes are higher and the logistics more complex.
Aubrey McCarthy is the third generation of his family to run AMC removals, which is in the middle of an export boom - with a twist. Overseas shipping, and moving the household possessions of whole families relocating, has become a mainstay of their business compared to the more local moves that were their bread and butter previously.
Aubrey finds his business to be a double-edged sword: under his management, AMC employs sixteen people and keeps him constantly on the road, but the demands of the lifestyle have played havoc with Aubrey's love life.
Don Langan is on the back-to-work scheme hoping to get a slice of the action with his new removals business, Get Cracking. Having returned to Ireland from San Francisco at the start of the economic crash, former construction worker Don, his wife Natalyai and their two small kids have had a huge lifestyle change. If Don can't make a success of the new business here, they may find themselves moving their own lives, lock, stock and barrel to Australia.
Programme Two: RECOVERY
Day and night, seven days a week, a group of dedicated truckers come to the rescue of drivers on Ireland's roads. In this often weather-dependent industry, no one day is the same for a Recovery Operator and his tow-truck, dealing with everything from flat batteries, punctures, blown gaskets, burned-out cars and road-traffic accidents.
Jim O'Sullivan is a veteran of the Recovery industry. Jim's family-run business in Co. Meath operates as a local agent for some of the main car-insurance companies in Ireland working closely with the local Gardaí. They are kept busy all year round and on call 24/7.
Jim knows that when his phone rings, he must drop everything even if it means missing important family occasions. In recessionary times and what with tough competition in the trucking sector, turning down work isn't an option.
New to the business, Woitek Szopinski and his father run their small Recovery operation in North West Dublin. Originally from Poland the Szopinskis turned a redundancy into an opportunity and bought their first tow-truck.
With dreams of expanding their company and owning a fleet of trucks, they must first overcome the hurdle of being officially recognised. Until then they must rely on word-of-mouth or advertising and wait for the phone to ring.
Programme Three: AID MISSION
Trucking provides an essential lifeline to Irish charities delivering humanitarian aid to Europe's most vulnerable communities. Gary Lowham and Ger Culotty, two passionate volunteers are transporting a Team Hope load from Dublin to Romania. Using their annual holidays these truckers face rising fuel costs, harsh weather and European police checks. A breakdown on the continent could severely affect their recession hit businesses back home.
Gary Lowham is a second generation Dublin trucker now based in Tralee. A lifelong convert to trucking his 30 year career has spanned both short haul and long haul driving. Becoming a family man forced him to give up the European open road but nine years ago a desire to help others drew him back to the continent. Now on his 21st aid mission his charity work has taken him from Belarus to Bucharest.
Tralee-born Ger Culotty has been trucking for 15 years. His livery of three artics haul general goods across Ireland. Ger has accompanied Gary on five trips to Belarus but this is his first run to Romania. A father of two, Ger is a committed charity worker combining his European missions with an annual Irish truck run in aid of his wife's niece who died of leukaemia.
Programme Four: DELIVERIES
All day, every day delivery companies are on the road carrying goods and keeping businesses alive around Ireland. Delivery deadlines collide with traffic jams as drivers adapt to customer needs, often against the flow.
Rory Ormond is up early and works late to ensure fresh flowers from Holland make it to florists around Dublin in pristine condition daily. Rory works long hours to ensure his floral services business stays afloat, but at what cost to his family?
Wexford-based courier Jenny Barr was born to drive. Her father and grandfather were chauffeurs and after Jenny was made redundant from her job as a PA in London, back in 2000, Jenny decided she too wanted a life behind the wheel. Working as her own boss, no job is too big or too small for Jenny as she fights to keep her van on the road.
Programme Four: LONG HAUL
From Longford to Lake Como, Long Haul Truckers are flying the flag for Irish exports. Covering miles of motorway, trucks drive day and night carrying Irish goods directly to consumers all over the continent. In ' Truckers: Long Haul" we climb up into the cabs they call home, and get a true taste of life on the road.
22 year old Alan Molihan drives trucks across Europe for the family business. He loves driving, but the road can be lonely and dangerous for a young man far from home. Carrying refrigerated goods including horse meat, it's a long way from the N7 to Northern Italy.
Sligo-born Shane Cawley has been a trucker all his life and now specialises in quick turnaround deliveries of Irish exports to the UK. Shane loves driving, but the pressures of life on the road take their toll and he has some good advice for younger truckers taking to the wheel today.
Programme Five: AID MISSION
Trucking provides an essential lifeline to Irish charities delivering humanitarian aid to Europe's most vulnerable communities. Gary Lowham and Ger Culotty, two passionate volunteers are transporting a Team Hope load from Dublin to Romania.
Using their annual leave for their charitable endeavour, these truckers face rising fuel costs, harsh weather and European police checks. A breakdown on the continent could severely affect their recession-stressed businesses back home.
Gary Lowham is a second-generation Dublin trucker now based in Tralee. A lifelong convert to trucking, his thirty-year career has spanned both short haul and long haul driving. Becoming a family man forced him to give up the European open road but nine years ago a desire to help others drew him back to the continent. Now on his 21st aid mission, his charity work has taken him from Belarus to Bucharest.
Tralee-born Ger Culotty has been trucking for fifteen years. His fleet of three articulated trucks haul general goods across Ireland. Ger has accompanied Gary on five trips to Belarus but this is his first run to Romania. A father of two, Ger is a committed charity worker combining his continental missions with an annual Irish truck-run in memory of his wife's niece who died of leukaemia.
Programme Six: CROSS COUNTRY
Roscommon woman, Ann McQuaid has been driving since she was a girl. From a haulage background, Ann originally tried her hand at rally-driving. These days she's a familiar sight driving up and down the country in her unmistakable, pink-liveried Scania. But times are tough for even the most experienced drivers and Ann faces an uphill struggle to keep her own small business afloat.
It's different for Arunas Zelnys, who works for a big, international haulage firm, O'Reilly Transport, based in Dublin's docklands. Arunas' family were victims of one of the terrible Soviet purges in occupied Lithuania and after his father was exiled to Siberia, where he died, Arunas began his driving career as a tank-driver in the Soviet Army. In the 1990s, Arunas moved to Celtic Tiger Ireland and built himself a happy new life and career as a cross-country driver.
TRUCKERS IS PRODUCED BY RTÉ TELEVISION