Mahnomen County, Minnesota is a small, rural county with county, township and tribal agencies struggling with limited funding. “We’re one of the poorest counties in the state, but we still have to provide a level of service to the public that they expect,” says County Engineer Jonathan Large.
In 2012, Mahnomen County decided the quality of road maintenance performed by private contractors was inadequate. The county found a better way by purchasing Cat® motor graders. “Using our own motor graders, we felt we could provide a better level of service and improved control,” says Large. “It’s worked out quite well. The public says the roads are in better shape.”
The Mahnomen County Highway Department owns Cat 140M2 and 140M3 Motor Graders. The machines are operating about one-thousand hours a year, primarily maintaining 144 miles of unpaved roadways pounded by heavy farm equipment and trucks. “Displacing gravel, putting mud on the roads, there’s a lot of pressure on the roads,” says Maintenance Supervisor Lyndon Bendickson.
Bendickson points to warranties as another reason why Mahnomen County turned to Cat motor graders. “Ziegler Cat and Caterpillar warranties cover the machines for the period of time that we run them. We know that any costs are operational costs and consumables like tires, cutting edges, oil and filters. Service is excellent. I call and they’re here.”