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Wellington North approves sidewalk tractor purchase

by Olivia Rutt

MOUNT FOREST - Wellington North has approved the purchase of a new tractor for sidewalk snow removal and grass cutting.

Council agreed on Aug. 29 to replace its aging tractor with a new one, at a cost of $138,405 plus HST from Holder Tractors Inc.

The township received six proposals from four companies. Staff, including equipment operators, evaluated the proposals using a weighted system for operational assessment, price, service reliability/ performance and safety features. Only three of the bids came in under the budget of $180,000.

Councillor Sherry Burke said she applauds staff’s involvement in the process. But she wanted to clarify why the recommended tractor from Holder Tractors scored less in operational assessment than the second ranked tractor from Work Equipment Ltd.

“I would say to you that that’s probably an indication of a Chevrolet versus a Cadillac,” said interim public works director Derek McCaughan.

The recommended unit is $140,841 compared to the second place unit at $165,909.

Councillor Dan Yake asked about the warranty and if staff was comfortable with parts, supply and service.

McCaughan explained the Holder tractor has a two-year warranty and staff interviewed references included in the proposal.

“If the unit is down for more than 72 consecutive hours, they have to provide ... a loaner vehicle,” he said.  

“In addition to that ... the unit that we currently have has been repaired and will be kept to back up the equipment that we’re getting.”

Acting mayor Lisa Hern was also concerned with the tractor.

“I Googled ‘Holder versus trackless’ and ... this guy down in the (United States), he was complaining that they have trouble getting Holder parts for the Holder tractor. Is there any experience with that here?” Hern asked.  

“We did contact the references for this; they indicated that they’ve had no issue with that,” said McCaughan.

“I think with any piece of equipment, you’re going to find some people who advocate for it and other people that have had a bad experience.”

CAO Mike Givens said the new evaluation process is much more elaborate than it was for previous equipment purchases.

“I know it’s not the piece of equipment that the operators maybe wanted from an operational standpoint, but we are talking about $25,000,” said Givens. “Derek and his team put provisions in place for the 72-hour follow up in case there are service issues. There’s been a lot of leg work around this. Certainly council gets to make the decision, but I think the process has to be applauded.

“I understand people get loyal to certain types of equipment; we can talk about red and green in this neck of the woods for a long time.”

Council approved the purchase of the Holder tractor, with Yake opposed. Mayor Andy Lennox was absent.

 

September 8, 2017

 
 

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