In the Know

West Coast Tomato Growers | Hawthorne Power Systems Customer Spotlight

The family of Harry Singh Jr. has been farming high-quality tomatoes in California for over 70 years in northern San Diego County along Interstate 5 near Camp Pendleton. Until 2011, West Coast Tomato Growers (WCTG), formerly Pole Tomato Sales Inc. was the largest tomato grower in the United States. Their tomatoes are grown on poles, in pristine conditions, and shipped the same day as harvest on refrigerated trucks.

Singh Jr. turned to Hawthorne Power Systems to ensure WCTG receives uninterrupted power throughout the growing season. Rented seasonally, WCTG now has three Cat diesel generators: one Cat XQ1000 diesel generator set provides backup power to the packing shed, a second Cat XQ600 supplies standby power to the refrigerated warehouse, and a third Cat XQ60 gen set delivers prime power to a maintenance facility.

The 60 kW generator operates for 8 to 10 hours per day with no power lines running to the new maintenance shed. During packing season in the warmer months, there are occasional power brownouts and blackouts, but the Cat XQ1000 and XQ600 automatically come on within 7 to 10 seconds of any power interruption, ensuring WTCG has continuous power. If power is lost at any time, the system stops working, which immediately comprises the tomatoes.

“The spot where the farm sits is 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 Power Systems Rental Sales Representative. “When a fire does hit, the authorities cut off the electricity, so WCTG needs that reliable standby power to keep their sprinklers on and not lose their crops.”

WCTG depends on Hawthorne to provide seasonal rental power in run-ready condition guarding against costly production loss. “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.”

Mosier continues, “I call them, and they are right there to give us what we need,” Mosier said. “Since we partnered with Hawthorne, they have provided us with rental diesel generators that are set up real well. They send an experienced technician who makes sure that everything is functioning properly.”

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Contact
Kyle Farmer
Engine Business Manager
858.376.6821 office
760.715.9565 mobile
kfarmer@hawthornecat.com