Caterpillar is assuring Berkeley County officials that a new tractor for the landfill is a 2010 model, even though it was built in 2008.

A councilman is saying the county could take a hit when the tractor is resold and is calling for a new machine.

Mark Flanders, a John Deere representative who lost the bid to supply a competitive machine, visited the landfill and wrote down the serial number on the machine to check it against a database used at auctions.

The list showed the machine was a 2008 model. He said he was rebuffed when he brought the discrepancy to county officials.

Water and Sanitation Committee Chairman Tim Callanan brought the issue to council's attention at the May 14 meeting. He said he's concerned the county will lose money when trying to resell the machine.

When Callanan questioned the purchase at the council meeting, County Attorney Nicole Ewing said Caterpillar had assured the county the tractor was a 2010 model and warned that Flanders could face trespassing charges.

Callanan said the county should be thanking Flanders instead.

"He has done the citizens of Berkeley County a tremendous service," Callanan said.

A Caterpillar representative told Director of Procurement John Hamer in a letter they consider the machine a 2010 model, even though it was built in 2008, because it had never been used. Hamer told council it meets the legal and technical requirements of the bid.

Callanan said he will ask at Monday's council meeting that county officials ask Caterpillar to trade the tractor for one that was made as a 2010 model.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or