FPUD approves replacement of loader

The Fallbrook Public Utility District (FPUD) approved the replacement of one of its loaders.

A 5-0 FPUD board vote March 27 approved the acquisition of a 2017 Volvo L45H loader from Volvo Construction Equipment for the Lakeside company’s bid amount of $110,171.32.

“It’s a replacement of a loader we had that blew a cylinder, had an engine failure, (and) needed to be replaced,” said FPUD assistant general manager Jack Bebee.

FPUD has an asset management plan to ensure the reliability of the district’s fleet of heavy construction and maintenance equipment. A long-term plan to replace or retire 11 heavy equipment vehicles was presented at FPUD’s May 2016 board meeting, and that plan included replacing one loader during Fiscal Year 2016-17.

“We have a comprehensive plan that we’ve developed on replacement of heavy construction equipment,” said FPUD general manager Brian Brady.

The 1985 Caterpillar IT-12 is the oldest loader in FPUD’s fleet, and that 65-horsepower loader was the one originally scheduled to be replaced. That plan changed when the 1990 Caterpillar IT-18 loader which was scheduled for replacement in 2017-18 had a major engine failure. The 85-horsepower 1990 loader was sent to auction.

Although the 1985 loader is still functioning 32 years after its manufacture, primarily due to comprehensive preventative maintenance performed by FPUD staff, its age and condition warrant its replacement and that loader will be replaced during Fiscal Year 2017-18.

The replacement of the 1990 loader necessitated bids for a new loader. All three of the bids were under the $152,000 budgeted amount with Volvo Construction Equipment providing the low bid and Hawthorne Cat of San Diego providing the next-lowest bid of $114,566.12 for a 2017 Caterpillar 914M loader. The bid amounts include sales tax.

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