Tryon backs off $53,500 backhoe purchase

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tryon Town Council has backed off purchasing a backhoe the town was considering buying out of Charlotte for $53,500, after receiving $15,000 for trading its old backhoe.

Council held a special meeting last Thursday, April 2 with commissioners deciding they didn’t like the deal being offered.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said employees went to Charlotte recently to view the 2012 Caterpillar being sold. Davis said all three employees liked the equipment and after going back and forth with the representative, Davis said the company would not come down off the $53,500 purchase price. Davis said they did discuss a maintenance agreement, but would not throw in a warranty.

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Commissioner Roy Miller said the town has recently spent approximately $6,000 on its 1996 backhoe and the Charlotte company was only going to give the town $15,000 to trade it in.

Commissioner George Baker said he’d rather kick in another $5,000 and use the old backhoe. Baker also said the average price for a backhoe such as the town’s used one is $28,000.

“I understand we need it and think we need to get another one,” Baker said, “but that ain’t the one.”

Baker said he doesn’t want to do business with a company that won’t throw in a $500 warranty on a vehicle they are selling for $65,000. The total price of the 2012 backhoe would cost the town $53,500, including a $15,000 credit on the town’s trade-in.

“If he doesn’t want to throw in a $500 warranty on a $65,000 vehicle I don’t even want to do business with him quite frankly,” Baker said.

Miller suggested the town sell its old backhoe to Harmon Field.

Harmon Field uses the town’s backhoe for its needs. Baker said Miller’s idea to sell the old one to Harmon Field is a good idea that he hadn’t thought of prior to Miller’s suggestion. Miller said selling the backhoe to Harmon Field would give the town a bigger bang for its buck considering the money the town has put into it recently.

Baker suggested Davis come back with estimates on what it would cost to fix the town’s 1996 backhoe. The backhoe is currently leaking oil.

Commissioner Happy McLeod suggested Davis go back to the Charlotte dealer and say council isn’t interested in the terms presented to see what other offers they would make.

Davis was also directed to look at other Cat dealers, suggesting ones in Spartanburg and Greenville, S.C.

Davis said he will make attempts and if something comes up he can bring the issue back to council at its April 21 meeting.