The Rural Municipality of Canwood No. 494, an agriculturally-based Saskatchewan municipality serving a population of 1,381 people, is enjoying its new relationship with SMS Equipment.
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The Rural Municipality of Canwood No. 494, an agriculturally-based Saskatchewan municipality serving a population of 1,381 people, is enjoying its new relationship with SMS Equipment.

Large relative to other Saskatchewan RMs, it includes 27 townships versus the normal of around nine. So it has a lot of primary and secondary roads to look after year-round. “We have 718 miles [1,156 km] to maintain,” says Dwight Diehl, Foreman. “And that’s times two because each road needs two passes.” Grading in the summer and snowplowing in winter keeps their five graders busy.

“With snowfall, we need to get the roads open as soon as possible"

“With snowfall, we need to get the roads open as soon as possible"

"So we run anywhere from 12 to 15 hours a day, sometimes more,” he says. “And even then it’s often three or four days by the time everything is done.” When the time came to add that fifth grader to their fleet, they debated whether to rent or purchase. And, Dighl admits, they didn’t know much about Komatsu graders. “Then the SMS Equipment rep came by with a rental price which was really good and it was for a brand new GD655 grader,” he says.

It seemed to be the perfect solution,

It seemed to be the perfect solution,

so “we rented it for a year, then leased it for another three.” The RM continues to be very pleased with the machine. “I like the cab, visuals are good—you can see your moldboard very well which is a definite plus—and the hydraulics are responsive,” says Diehl. “The seat is comfortable and easy to move and the adjustable steering wheel is nice.” He says all of these factors are welcome especially since “snowplowing takes a lot out of a person.”

Reliability and service are impressive.

Reliability and service are impressive.

“It has given us zero problems,” says Dighl. “When we had a sensor go, SMS Equipment was there in a few hours. They are nice people to deal with.” Lorna Benson, the Canwood RM Administrator, whose responsibilities include advising Council on budget matters and tendering for quotes to present to Council, agrees. “We were new to SMS Equipment and found they were easy to deal with, and very friendly,” she says. “The Komatsu grader was our first experience with them."
"They never forget who you are.”

"They never forget who you are.”

Benson says she believes that a good working relationship is very important, “and SMS Equipment provides that,” she says. “We know them; we base our decisions on them. Because when we buy a piece of equipment it’s important that it be dependable, not breaking down in times when we need it.” That relationship goes deeper into the community. “When we had to raise enough money to re-shingle the roof on our rink, we are happy to say that SMS Equipment pulled through and contributed,” says Benson. “SMS Equipment came through when we asked for support.”