Town approves $600k for new hydrovac

Hydrovac / stock photo
Written by Stu Salkeld

Stettler town council approved just over $600,000 to buy a new hydrovac that uses high-pressure water to break up earth which is then vacuumed up for removal. The decision was made at the Nov. 1 regular meeting of council.

Director of Operational Services Melissa Robbins presented councillors with the results of a request for proposal (RFP) for a hydrovac truck, a purchase which Robbins noted was previously included in the 2022 capital budget.

Robbins noted the town received four offers from its RFP, but there were problems with two of the offers.

Rival Hydrovac (Rival) offered a vehicle for $639,900, Industrial Machine Inc. offered a vehicle for $813,320, Superior North America (RamVac) offered a vehicle for $616,659 which Robbins noted did not meet the RFP specifications and lastly FST Canada Inc. (TruVac) offered a vehicle for $497,785 which Robbins stated did not meet specifications.

She stated during her presentation that the two offers that didn’t meet specifications were removed from consideration, leaving two other offers.

“Comparing the two low bidder models, the RamVac only has a reach of 12 to 17 feet, with the Rival reaching 25 feet which is our minimum reach specification,” stated Robbins in her memo to council.

Coun. Wayne Smith asked if that reach is multi-directional and Robbins answered affirmatively.

“Therefore, based on the minimal price difference, the Rival is better suited for our needs and meets the RFP specifications. Warranty prices will be explored at the time of the hydrovac delivery which is expected to be April 2023.

“Because of the unpredictable price fluctuations, Rival will not quote warranty prices until the unit is built. Approximate cost of extended five-year warranty is $7,000. Warranty purchase options to be considered at time of delivery,” she noted.

Robbins noted that the Rival product is sold by a dealer in Stettler, and she has apparently been invited to their facility for a tour as the vehicle is prepared.

Later in the meeting, both councillors, Gord Lawlor and Scott Pfeiffer voiced interest in also going on the tour.

During discussion, the topic of hydrovac vehicles that can perform multiple duties came up. Robbins stated she didn’t feel that was the best option because if for some reason the multi-use vehicle goes out of service, then multiple jobs are delayed. Also, combining a hydrovac with a flusher can be expensive and complicated.

Stettler town council unanimously approved the purchase of the hydrovac from Rival Hydrovac for a purchase price of $639,900 plus tax.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.