Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

County to purchase new truck and grader


November 30, 2017

Kimball County will soon boast a new road grader, being built for the Kimball County Road Department, as well as, a new pickup truck for the Kimball Sheriffs Department.

Commissioners opened sealed bids for a 2015 or newer road grader, during the Nov. 21 Board of Commissioners meeting, from Caterpillar, represented by Larry Burback, and Murphy Tractor-John Deer, represented by Brian Holvert and Joe Blanke.

John Deere bid a 2018 670G with a 5 year/5,000 hour warranty, for $211,047. Cat’s competing bid was for a 2018 120M2 for $213,500 with the same warranty and a little added “bling,” as the Commissioners called it - an $18,000 parts and service credit that can be used on any Cat machine or any other parts the county needs replaced or serviced.

Blanke explained that with the cost/hour on these machines, the county would be in much better standings if they purchased a used grader, however the board did not agree with Blanke’s logic and the two used graders that were presented by Deer did not meet the specifications.

Cat also presented a used grader to the board that was also older than the bid sheet requested.

During a lengthy deliberation, the board considered input from Dave Hottell, Kimball County Road Superintendent and decided that spending an extra $1,500 made sense, based on the parts and service credit. They accepted the bid for a new grader from Caterpillar.

After the decision was made to purchase the new grader from Cat, the board discussed, and subsequently decided, listing the 1994 770 DH Motor Grader, 2000 Back Sloper and the 1981 John Deer 4440 Tractor through an online auction company. These items were listed as surplus property and are considered obsolete by the county. The two online auction companies that were under consideration was Big Iron Auction and Auction Time.

The new grader is expected in approximately 90 days.

Kimball County Commissioners also received several bids for a new pickup for the Sheriff’s Office. Bids were received from Transwest Chevrolet Buick of Sterling, Colo., Transwest Ford of Torrington, Wyo., Transwest Crysler of Limon, Colo., and Panhandle Automotive Group of Sidney.

Specifications for the vehicle were to include a cage, grill guard and a tool box. Panhandle Automotive was given the bid as it was the only bid that included all three specified items.


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