Best in the west
Truck & Driver|September 2020
Best in the west
With a longitudinal location further west than Land’s End, the Argyll village of Acharacle is home to Loch Shiel Garage. T&D heads for Scotland’s remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula
John Henderson

Every summer tourists make their way to the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, the most westerly point on the UK mainland. The remote but ruggedly beautiful area boasts some of Britain’s most spectacular sunsets. This peninsula is only accessible by a B class road, which provides challenges for unwary visitors.

Providing recovery services for vehicle breakdowns, soft verge mishaps and road traffic accidents in the area is the responsibility of a select band of local heroes, employed by Loch Shiel Garage in Acharacle. The village is home to just 201 people and Loch Shiel Garage’s team of six full time and two part-time staff make it a key employer in the area.

Brothers Andrew and John Cameron have owned Loch Shiel Garage for the last ten years. John previously worked in the premises as a mechanic when it was operated by Shiel Buses. “We are both time served mechanics. I originally worked with our father providing engineering services for the fish farm companies. The plan was for Dad and me to work in the Shiel Buses Garage, but sadly he passed away before that could happen,” Andrew recalls.

During the last decade, the Cameron brothers have completed a substantial investment programme in the landmark garage, which has seen every piece of equipment renewed and the building refurbished and extended.

“The garage extension was completed around two and a half years ago, it has transformed everything and brought a lot of new operating efficiencies,” Andrew confirms adding, “We’ve now space for four ramps and an inspection pit. We do MoT testing up to Class 7 and have four diagnostic systems.”

The customer base is almost exclusively local, apart from tourists visiting the area in the summer season. There are few HGVs based on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, but John reports a huge variety of work with cars, vans, 4x4s and pick-up trucks. These are joined by estate vehicles and off-road equipment.

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September 2020