A week after the Ste Genevieve County Commission voted to buy three new Western Star dump trucks for a price expected to cost around $450,000 once a grant is figured in, Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson doubled down on the need.

“Everything we do revolves around trucks,” he said at last Thursday’s Commission meeting. “There have been some questions about money, but the whole system revolves around dump trucks. Any time one is down, the guys on it are not going to accomplish as much.”

He said that he and Second District County Commissioner Joe Gettinger have more than 60 years combined experience in construction.

“We can tell you, if your tools are not right, you’re not effective,” Nelson said.

The road and bridge crew has suffered an increasing number of mechanical breakdowns with their vehicles. The commissioners have been disillusioned by both Freightliners and Internationals and have opted to give Western Star trucks a chance.

Road and bridge foreman Scott Schmieder visited a Western Star factory in Portland, Oregon, in May 2018.

He talked with both sales people and line workers and was impressed with the quality.

TAG Truck Center of Farmington won a close bidding competition with a bid of $112,300 per truck for either one, two or three trucks.

With beds added, the cost would be about $170,000 apiece, minus a $41,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant the county has been awarded, for a total of about $449,000.

Nelson said Thursday that one of the dealers the county has purchased from in the past made a last-minute pitch for the county to stay with Freightliners. However, Nelson noted, “The decision has been made.”

At one point this summer, four of the seven dump trucks were out of commission.

Repair and towing bills have also increased for the aging fleet of trucks.

See complete story in the November 6 edition of the Herald.