Everything Vaughn Told us was a lie and LOFT money was used for the Excavator which we must now sell to make important grants work

Council votes 3-2 to approve a 304 Echo II MINI Excavator at $47,000


Ray Vaughn was asked to provide the differences between the mini excavator and our Current Backhoe.  He offered the following information:

  •  The Mini Excavator is now being used by more contractors because it is more versatile than a Backhoe and the Mini Excavator has more features.
  • It is a safer machine because the backhoe with the boom extended does not allow for a good visual of what is being done.
  • The Mini excavator has rubber tracks so it does not tear up grass like the backhoe.
  • The Mini Excavator uses 1.5 gallons of diesel per hour as compared to three galons on the backhoe.
  • It is more adaptable to use an air hammer or brush hog.
  • The Mini is 6.5 feet wide as compared to the 11 foot wide backhoe which because of the backhoe’s width, it is difficult to get footing on the side of the road.
  • With respect to the Backhoe it has teeth and will damage concrete ditches whereas the Mini has no teeth.
  • The Mini is 3000 lbs vs. 4500 lbs of the Backhoe
  • The Mini has a 10.5 foot extender as compared to the 14-17 foot extender of the backhoe.
  • The Mini has more versatility and can go near a fence 45 degree
  • The Mini can straddle a ditch which you cant with a backhoe.
  • The Mini is time savings there are only three steps and it turns 360 degrees whereas the backhoe requires seven steps to mov three feet at a timee.
  • The Mini requires a trailer because it goes only 2.5 miles per hour where as the backhoe can travel at 30 miles per hour that is why a trailer is required for the Mini.
  • The Mini can maneuver stably off the roadway not stopping traffic turning 360 degrees.
  • We still need our backhoe for moving stones and large objects etc.

There was a nine minute video on the operations of the Mini Excavator and no one councilor felt they needed to view it.  Councilor Bullard said he did not have to see it because he was in agreement to purchase it now.

Dr. Miller stated that since she was not aware of Mr. Vaughn’s job description that she would like to know what his job entails and how much time would be spent utilizing the Mini excavator.

Ray Vaughn said that he could use the excavator 50 hours a month because it is a lot quicker to dig ditches.  He said he is not a rookie and worked with John Peeler’s Mini excavator. He said the backhoe just cant straddle ditches.  He said he can dig up unnecessary grown foliage; he can dig when there is flooding, around ditches, grass, tree limbs and trim near fence.s. He said now because we do not have inmates he keeps mowing grass.  In the winter he will do more digging, etc.  He fills in water leaks and there was a hole and he filled it and on 1st Street he trimmed a limb.  It is non stop mowing and that is what he does now.

Councilor Bullard made a motion to purchase the Mini excavator and Councilor Tonja Brown seconded the motion.

Walter McKenzie asked whether there were bids from more than one company.  Manager Tebo stated that they went through the State’s contractors and received a competitive quote from the state which already gets competitive quotes. McKenzie stated there is a Company in Hamilton County 20-30 Minutes away that sells caterpillar Mini excavators.  He said the Town could rent a Mini Excavator from them for $192 a day or $1,500 a month and then we would not have to worry about maintaining the equipment.  He said the citizens expect that the Council talk about a $47,000 purchase.  Preferred Rental Services.  He went to Jasper and he had received a quote in 20 to 30 minutes. The cab will bend and it has one 24 inch bucket.  Ray Vaughn said the mini they wish to buy has two buckets.  Walter McKenzie said surely for the difference we could get another bucket.  However McKenzie said we could save money by getting a rental because we did not compare machines and prices which will beat the State contract.  Any piece of equipment purchased will require maintenance and keeping records on the maintenance.  If it is a Rental, the Town would not have to worry about maintenance  Walter McKenzie appreciated the Work Ray Vaughn did but he is not ready to make a decision.

If we buy this it can do more efficiently is what Councilor Bullard said.  Councilor McKenzie provided the councilors with specifications.  He said he ran to Jasper  at 2:30-3:00 this afternoon to get them.  Councilor McKenzie then said “Why the Rush on this.  We can make a decision based on all of the information.

Ray Vaughn said he was satisfied with the Mini which he tested and he said it was a lot safer Walter McKenzie then asked whether the Mini they want had a tilt feature so that the blade can work straight when the Caterpillar is on a slope.  It tilts 15 degrees. McKenzie said we haven’t had time and we need to compare for the best pricing for a mini with two buckets.

Since the motions had been made, a vote was requested for the Town to purchase the 304 Echo II Mini Excavator at $47,000 and the motion was carried by a 3-2 vote.

Karin for the blog

Leave a Reply