Former HC&S equipment being moved

Keli’i Crabbe, owner of Hawaiian Heavy Equipment, hooks up (first photo) and loads (second photo) a 5,000-pound Tournahauler tire into the bed of one of the sugar cane-hauling trailers Thursday afternoon along Mokulele Highway in Puunene. Crabbe said he has been working for months moving gear he bought and helping auction customers who purchased heavy equipment from the former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. move the machinery off-island. Getting excavators clean enough to pass U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection for shipping averaged 150 hours. High-pressure hoses and a variety of solvents needed to be used. “No dirt, not one stone, nothing,” he said. Crabbe said today is the day all equipment purchased at auction is supposed to be removed, but there is still so much remaining. He said a half-dozen machines he bought are locked behind a gate, through which he hasn’t been for two weeks. “I’m tired. I want to go home,” said the Molokai business owner.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos