Blake Jeffries is Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Pleasant Valley, Saskatchewan. “When complaints come from ratepayers, I’m the guy who has to handle them,”
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Blake Jeffries is Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Pleasant Valley, Saskatchewan. “When complaints come from ratepayers, I’m the guy who has to handle them,”

he says. And as the senior person on Council he plays a major role in budget decisions. So when the time came to replace their only grader, he made sure they considered all options. “We asked for a rep from each manufacturer and gave them time to present their product,” he says. As well as quality,

“The main things we would look at are warranty and service, and SMS Equipment has good programs on both."

“The main things we would look at are warranty and service, and SMS Equipment has good programs on both."

On this particular grader, we got a four-year warranty and they provide all the service for three years or 2,000 hours including all oils and filters and we liked that. They were above the competition.” Jeffries reckons that is important because in the summer it’s on the road every day, grading both primary and secondary roads. “We like to keep them crowned so the water will run off when it rains,” he explains. “And the other priority is intersections, where drivers brake and accelerate, causing washboard—we grade that off.” Operator Murray Brown is highly pleased with the municipality’s new Komatsu GD655-6. With several years’ experience operating leading competitors’ models,  

“It has done everything I’ve asked it to: moved dirt, filled in sloughs that were half filled with water,”

“It has done everything I’ve asked it to: moved dirt, filled in sloughs that were half filled with water,”

he says. “And to back out of the sloughs all I used were the mirrors and the articulation.” Brown says the Komatsu’s comfort is an important feature. “There’s nothing worse than a seat that doesn’t fit you,” he says. “Because at times we run 12 hours a day.” And the visibility is great he adds. “I can always see the blade; controls are quick, and the steering wheel has a very positive feel compared to a joystick control.” Which he says is much better for precise tracking.

“They were here to help us out.”

“They were here to help us out.”

He says previous to acquiring the GD655-6, they had heard little of Komatsu graders. That soon changed when the SMS Equipment representatives came out with the machine. “As it was a new grader for us, we really appreciated that all of our questions were answered on the spot,” he says.
And that solution led to another SMS Equipment purchase.

And that solution led to another SMS Equipment purchase.

Jeffries had asked if they deal in wheel loaders. The municipality had a trailer that was a little higher than the standard and so were having problems loading it. “The rep brought out a high lift loader and it was perfect,” says Jeffries. “We used it for a few weeks and were all happy with the warranty and the price so we held a meeting, pulled the trigger and bought it.” While he gives full credit to SMS Equipment for the grader and loader solutions, “I like looking like the hero,” he quips.