Cherokee County took delivery of 12 new Cat 12H motorgraders at the Joplin branch of Fabick CAT, then drove them along old Route 66 to Columbus, Kan., via a police escort May 21. The parade stopped at the Railroad Overpass Bridge in Galena and at the Rainbow Bridge between Riverton and Baxter Springs in Kansas.
Cherokee County has 1,000 mi. (1,600 km) of unpaved roads. The main industry is farming and crop production. To increase efficiency, the county has assigned it’s 12 motorgrader operators a machine, which they keep at their house, and a specific area they maintain. Since the operators live throughout the 590 sq. mi. county it saves both time and fuel for them to start working directly from their home.
The newest grader in the county’s fleet was a 1988 model that had approximately 30,000 hours on it. Per Commissioner Pat Collins, the county spent $50,000 last year just on maintenance and they knew that was going to increase. The new graders not only have better fuel efficiency, heat and air (which the operators love), but Fabick will buy them back in five years if the county decides to sell them.
“It’s a huge order for us,” said Travis Lathrop, southwest regional manager of Fabick CAT. “It’s a good deal for the taxpayers of Cherokee County. They’ve made a very wise investment here.”