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US (CA): Tomato growers benefit from CAT on-site power

The family of Harry Single Jr. has been farming and growing high-quality tomatoes in California for over 70 years. Now called West Coast Tomato Growers (WCTG), their tomatoes are grown on poles and are shipped the same day as harvest on refrigerated trucks.

“The farm sits in a wide-open area and when the Santa Ana winds kick in, that is where a fire is likely to hit,” said Jim Letizia, Hawthorne Cat Rental sales representative. “When a fire hits, the authorities cut off the electricity, so WCTG needs reliable standby power to keep their sprinklers on, so their crops are not lost.” Other circumstances such as rolling blackouts performed by their utility company, occasionally cause power to be temporarily or completely shut down. To guard against any type of power loss, which could hinder production, or cause shipping delays and crop spoilage, WCTG needed a reliable source of standby power.

XQ1000 Generator Set

Sing Jr. turned to his local Cat dealer for three Cat diesel generators, rented seasonally, to ensure WCTG receives uninterrupted power throughout the growing season. One Cat XQ1000 diesel generator set backs up the packing shed, a second Cat XQ600 supplies standby power to the refrigerated warehouse, and a third Cat XQ60 gen set supplies prime power to a maintenance facility.

“With perishable food, if you go down for a day, you’re in real trouble,” says Russ Mosier, WCTG maintenance supervisor. It’s like having insurance on a car—the one time you get in an accident, it pays for itself. That’s basically what these generators are—insurance for us so we don’t lose any products or production time. With help from Caterpillar, no critical production time or crops are lost.”

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