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Plow with Snow Cats

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnowyPennsylvan, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. SnowyPennsylvan

    SnowyPennsylvan Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I was wondering if anyone had ever heard of someone plowing with a snowcat, I mean, I've been to alot of places in Colorado where the towns own one or two snowcats, but I've never seen plows on them or anything.

    More specifically though, I'm wondering if anyone has ever thought about using a snow groomer, like they have at the ski resorts? I was out skiing yesterday, and I saw the groomers, and I saw the plow trucks plowing driveways, and it made me think.

    First of all, moving them would be a pain, but if you had a big parking lot contract, you could probably bring it in on a big trailer and leave it there for the season.

    I'm not to familar with snow groomers, but from what I've seen, they not only plow the big snow drifts, but they also compact the snow underneath them. I guess this wouldn't be too great for plowing, but maybe you could use it to make a first pass, and then come back with a truck to finish it or something.

    Another useful thing is that alot of these things have plows on the front with wings and a plow on the back that drags any excess snow.

    I guess that if you were to just buy one straight from the factory, it wouldn't be at all useful for plowing purposes, but surely, with some money put into it, you could modify it to be a good working plow.

    Next thing would be how much these things actually cost. I'm sure that they cost at least $100,00 or more, but like I said, if you had a BIG parking lot on contract, it would probably be useful enough.

    So has anyone ever thought of converting one of these things? Has anyone ever seen them? I'd be interested in hearing ideas or information on both snow cats and snow groomers.
     
  2. Ian

    Ian Member
    Messages: 96

    Snowcat for plowing?

    I don't think it would work for several reasons. They have no traction, what I mean is they need to leave some snow behind to drive on. The tracks won't bite into pavement to move any large amount of snow. The tracks have to be removed to transport. They are extremely expensive. I have worked at a ski area and have seen them do some amazing stuff and my dream retirement job would be to drive one. I can't see them being useful for plowing. Now a Cat Challenger series tractor has some interesting possiblities.
     
  3. SnowyPennsylvan

    SnowyPennsylvan Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Thanks Ian.

    That was exactly the information I was looking for.

    This was just an idea that I had thought of and I wandered if it was at all probable.
     
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,489

    Have'n been a a snow cat operator (groomer) for over 22 years ,I have operated LMC ,imp, 2100, 3700, 4700, piston bully, bombardier br400, me, mp, & plus , prinoth T4, snow cats and was the trail maint supervisor at an new Mexico ski area. first of all you realize that just the cat with out implements is a little over $100,000 +,
    I have cleared streets and parking lots, and groomed countless miles of ski trails in the Rocky mountains, and in the mid west. Yes they will push the snow!!And you will have to clean up after them with a plow truck,because there cutting edges are jagged like a saw blade
    They will dig up the street, asphalt, concrete, gravel, especially if the tracks are equipped with carbide ice picks.
    The blade would be great, 12 way blade!! on my plow truck would be a dream come true, all of the down pressure you could want, you can control the angle (roll) of approach on the blade( controls the amount of bite the blade has, allot or none). wings like V blade & a center section that goes side to side like a plow blade, boy,, could wind row with one of them, and stacking snow would no longer be an issue. and Tilt one side (corner) of the blade higher than the other. Also there is no blade trip so when you hit that immovable object you will come to a stop
    I could go on and on about snow cats and grooming but this is plowsite, not the Rats' Den ( thats the cat opps hang out) a hole another story there!!
    so thats my $0.02 worth fro now......
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2005
  5. wakesetter2001

    wakesetter2001 Member
    Messages: 58

    Hi There from Oregon

    I have some first hand experience and wanted to let you both know that you are right and wrong about some of the groomer facts. I plow snow for a side job in a resort community in central Oregon called Sunriver. I also groom snowmobile trails for a local club that takes care of 250 miles of trails. I run a 2004 bombardier BR 275 snow groomer. 275 horse power all hydrostatic drive and all computerized. 13' front blade with 12 way positioning and a 13' tiller on the rear for processing the snow after it is leveled by the blade. You are right in saying they are very expensive. We just got the groomer I run this October for a very good price of $275,000. It cam on a lowboy with out the tracks, blade, or tiller because of being over sized load if they are on. The track are 5' wide each for a total of 10' of width on the ground and 12'6" from outside of track to outside of track. So ya moving it would be a big deal. Now if you want to park one in a lot and just use the blade to clear snow it would do it and it would do it well, the track are steal and have 1/2" sharpened Ice spikes that are adjustable about every 2' along the tracks. We use the groomers to clear the snow parks where you unload you snowmobiles and it does not take much time to do it. With to positioning that you can do with the blade you can roll snow with what i have experienced up to 20' out ahead of ya and that is 13' wide and you can pile it as high as you would like.

    If you have any other question I would probably be able to answer them for you. The machine and a blast to operate and more comfortable then any pickup you could think of. I will add a picture of one like what I run but I don't have a picture of our cat yet.

    BR 275ss.JPG
     

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