CAT® rental power saves peanut wholesaler $200,000

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Keith Baxley had a problem.

As the owner of a collection point for freshly harvested peanuts that come in from the field, the co-owner of Hemingway Fertilizer & Peanut Co. found himself without power, and 20 semi-trailers full of peanuts that were in danger of rotting.

With the clock ticking, his son contacted a rental representative with Blanchard Power Systems in West Columbia, S.C., who located an XQ300 generator set for him in Louisville.

The 150 kW mobile genset arrived early the following morning, and was running by 4 a.m., powering 3,600 rpm fans that dry the peanuts that arrive from the farm at 29 percent moisture content. 

With the fans able to run, the moisture content of the peanuts was brought down to the desired 10.5 percent, saving Baxley about $200,000.

“That’s the first time we ever had to use emergency power,” Baxley says, “so we really hadn’t thought about it. But now that we’ve had to do it, you know, it gives me peace of mind knowing that I can call the local Cat dealer and can get some help.

“So it lets you sleep better at night, and that’s a big thing.”

Lee Cassidy, a rental representative with Blanchard Power Systems, says that when a customer needs rental power, the first thing he determines is what they are trying to power, and how many amps are required to support it.

“When a customer calls, sometimes they will know exactly what they need and you can tell pretty quick just from being in the business that they know what they’re talking about,” Cassidy says. ”But other times, they’ll just call and say, ‘I need a generator,’ and you basically have to walk them through it and figure out.

“We’ll be as hands on as you need us to be,” he adds. “A lot of times, big industrial customers will want one of our technicians on site to make sure everything is connected and functioning properly. We can handle it either way, and it’s up to the customer—I tell them we’ll do as much or as little as you need us to do. ”   

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