East Penn Twp. considers new wheel loader
East Penn Township road crew members check out a new wheel loader while the 50-year-old model it will replace sits in the background. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS
East Penn Township got a look at a new piece of equipment which could replace two — including one which is 50 years old.
The township supervisors held a special meeting Thursday morning. An equipment dealer brought a Caterpillar 926M wheel loader for the supervisors and road crew to inspect.
The supervisors will vote at their meeting next month whether to purchase the loader.
But road crew members and supervisors said they were impressed with the machine.
“It’s going to be safer, we can see behind us better, and do a better job,” said township Supervisor Gary Kuehner, who has extensive experience with the East Penn road crew as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
The cost to purchase the loader from the dealer, Cleveland Brothers, would be $226,000. The township is looking at financing the purchase through Mauch Chunk Trust. That would be finalized if they go ahead with the purchase.
Kuehner said the truck will be useful year-round because it has removable attachments.
The loader can be used for snow drifts which are too large for a truck with a plow. There is also a broom attachment which can be used to sweep cinders off the road in spring.
Township roadmaster Brandon Bradford said the loader will replace an earlier model which is 50 years old. He said it could also replace a tractor which they currently use for brush cutting and sweeping.
“This one could be used year-round,” Bradford said.
The supervisors’ next regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3.