Lacombe County councillors have given the green light for staff to purchase three new graders to replace those in its current fleet.
Typically, the county’s graders are used about 1,600 hours every year. This year saw those hours increase significantly, due to an increase in time spent removing ice and snow over the past couple of years.
The need for replacement, according to manager of operations Phil Lodermeier, came from an accumulation of “a greater amount of machine hours on the graders over a shorter period of time”.
Graders are typically purchased every five years, with an extended warranty of 8,000 hours. At present, the graders up for replacement are approaching the 8,000-hour mark after just four years of service, because of the increased winter workloads.
Five new graders were purchased in 2010 at a cost of $280,900 each. At that time, staggered delivery times were requested as a way of maximizing the use of then-existing machines.
Three new graders are estimated to cost around $1,065,000, with the three being replaced expected to bring in just over $400,000.
The difference will be funded through the county’s Capital Equipment Reserve.
Councillors approved the purchase during their June 26 regular meeting.
The county’s equipment fleet is typically evaluated once a year in early fall to determine which items need replacing.