Red Willow County commissioners replaced a 1993 Caterpillar road grader with another Caterpillar, upgrading to a 2010 Model 140M at their weekly meeting Monday morning.
The new Cat grader will cost $150,314, and will be delivered to Commissioner Steve Downer's District 2 shop in Bartley on or about March 1.
The Caterpillar total bid, from Nebraska Machinery of North Platte, was $207,314, minus a $57,000 trade-in on the county's old Cat grader, and plus $16,000 for a "cross slope" programable grade control, for a total bid of $166,314. The Cat bid without the cross slope was $150,314.
Commissioners considered two other bids:
* From Murphy Tractor (John Deere) of North Platte, A 2010 John Deer 770GP, $202,137, less $49,000 trade-in, for a net bid of $153,137 which included the cross slope standard. A Murphy Tractor representative told commissioners that the cross slope option could be removed, estimating it would subtract $15,000 to $18,000 from the net bid. The grader could be delivered in late January/early February.
* From Titan Machinery of Lincoln, a Case 865 VHP, $204,100, less $48,000 trade-in, cross slope standard, for a net bid of $156,100.
The grader would be delivered in May 2010. Service would need to be done in Lincoln, or a service technician would have to come from Lincoln.
Downer's motion was to purchase the Cat without the cross slope option, for a total bid of $150,314; the motion was seconded by commission chairman Earl McNutt.
Fellow commissioner Leigh Hoyt preferred the bid from Murphy Tractor for the John Deere grader.
Hoyt estimated the Murphy Tractor John Deere cross slope option at $16,000, subtracted that from the total bid-minus-trade-in of $153,137 and came up with a bid of roughly $137,137, or $13,177 less than the Caterpillar bid. Hoyt agreed with Downer and McNutt that while Caterpillar makes top-of-the-line equipment, he's not convinced that the Caterpillar grader is $13,177 better, or that it justifies passing up a lower bid.
McNutt defended his selection of the second-highest bid by citing Caterpillar's service and reliability, as well as its trade-in value.
Downer's motion to purchase the Caterpillar passed 2-1.