Webster County invests in new tractor to mow along ditches

A new tractor will help the roads department mow alongside Webster County roads in a more timely fashion.

The Webster County Board of Supervisors purchased both a new Kubota tractor and a new Kuhn disc mower during the regular meeting Tuesday morning.

The tractor will be purchased from R&J Material Handling, of Fort Dodge, for $50,654.18 with a two year/2,000 hour full coverage warranty, plus a three year/3,000 hour powertrain warranty.

All options considered were around 100 horsepower tractors with cabs, and all came with a similar warranty, Webster County Engineer Randy Will said.

The tractors the county currently uses for mowing have a bit of age on them, Will said.

“For the past few years it feels like the growing season gets ahead of us a little bit, and we don’t get things done as timely as we should,” he said. “If you don’t get the grass mowed as quickly as you should, you have a little exposure to liability.”

Anderson Implement, Humboldt Red Power, and K.C. Nielsen also provided vendor proposals.

While a John Deere or International tractor might be more traditional, Will said he looked into all the tractors and determined the Kubota would be adequate.

None of the dealerships had one of these machines on hand for a test drive.

The vote for the tractor purchase was 4-1, with Supervisor Keith Dencklau voting no, because he said the operator should get a chance to try out the tractor before purchasing it.

“If I spent $50,000 on a car, I would want to test drive it first,” Dencklau said.

The tractor should arrive early to mid June, Will said.

The mower purchased was a Kuhn Model GMD 280 disc mower, with a 9′ – 2″ cut. The total price was $11,100 from Carroll Implement, which has the state bid for these mowers.

“So we will have a total of four mowers, the heavy duty ones and then two that are disc mowers that can travel quite a bit faster,” Will said.

In other business, the supervisors approved a permit for Pro Cooperative, Pocahontas, to provide dust control treatment in Webster County, bringing the number of dust control vendors this year up to four.

“This is the situation we have had for quite a few years,” Will said.

Citizens hire the dust control companies themselves, Will said. The permit is required before a company can do the work, and the roads department will coordinate with the company.

Companies now approved are

• Deano’s, Mason City, applying calcium chloride

• Heffron, Windsor Heights, calcium chloride

• Jerico, Indianola, calcium chloride

• Pro Co-op, lignin sulfonate