Commissioners find solution for CAT blades

By Taylor Risse

On Thursday, November 14, the Bennett County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting with representatives from Butler CAT of Rapid City to discuss what to do with the two CAT blades the county recently purchased.

At the last meeting, Highway Superintendent Terry Smokov brought it to the board’s attention that there were problems with the new blades.

Jerry Heiser and Dan Werdel from Butler CAT, started the meeting by expressing the high priority of their relationship with Bennett County. Heiser told the board they were at the meeting to work with the commissioners to come to an agreement that works well for both entities.

Bennett County originally had asked Butler CAT to take both CAT blades back. 

It was discussed that the 2001 machine is where the most problems are but there are some problems with the 2006 as well.

Most of the concern is the differential lock not locking and unlocking when it is supposed to. Other concerns were one of the blades chattering and the other breaking back.

Butler CAT recently had a mechanic in Martin to go through the machines and he thinks the differential lock is not unlocking on the 2001.

Since Butler sold the county working, mechanically sound machines, they will take the 2001 back to their shop and fix the differential lock at their cost.

Another issue with the 2001 is the moldboard chatters when blading causing washboards in the road. Heiser told the board the moldboards were tightened in the shop but they would look at it when it gets back to Rapid City. Werdel presented a warranty proposition to the board for a 50/50 payment, power train and rear end warranty for eight months or 400 hours, beginning after the differential lock is fixed.

Butler is sending their mechanic back to Martin to take a look at the 2006 because the highway crew feels there is a differential lock in that machine as well. Another issue with the 2006 is the blade is breaking back too easy. Heiser explained that the machines have a slip clutch that allows the blades to break back some to protect the machine if it hits something hard. When the mechanic is here, he will show the highway crew how to adjust that so the blade doesn’t break back so easy.

Werdel also proposed a warranty for the 2006 that includes a 50/50 payment, power train, hydraulics and rear end warranty for eight months or 400 hours.

A motion was made and approved to accept the warranties from Butler CAT.

Werdel also told the board that if they find a differential lock issue with the 2006, Butler will fix it, at their cost.

The board praised Butler CAT for working with them and being so cooperative.

Commissioner Wayne Bond also thanked Smokov for fixing his approach and the road near his place.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •