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Author Topic: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?  (Read 1635 times)

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Offline Haleiwa

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Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« on: November 23, 2020, 07:24:52 PM »
I drive by one every day, and I always think it looks like it could work in the woods, but I've never been around one close enough to know how heavy the frame is.  This one is used for snowmobile trails.  Has anyone ever seen one used to skid logs?
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Offline Riwaka

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 08:18:02 PM »
Are you referring to Snocat? Might want to check the cost of replacement parts before taking one to the woods.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2020, 08:25:47 PM »
I grew up on a Ski-Doo and have been around many a Tucker. I don't think they would survive long as a skidder on bare ground. Winter time, good snow pack, and logs on a scoot, it really wouldn't be much different than dragging a groomer of the same weight. 

Overall I think it would turn out to be of very limited value. 
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Offline celliott

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 08:35:03 PM »
Costly replacement parts, and they arent really protected for the log woods. Tracks and undercarriage kinda fragile when you start driving over slash and stumps, probably not a good idea.
Bombardier made a tracked skidder, but very different than a snowmobile groomer. Ive been around tucker sno cats and pisten bullys, and I own a skidder. I wouldnt skid wood with a groomer...
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Offline barbender

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 08:49:46 PM »
Yes, on a snowmobile trail😁
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Satamax

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 04:00:37 AM »
To explain my background, i've been working for Serre chevalier, a ski resort, for the past 27 winter seasons. I run a chairlift. But have done other jobs there too. 

I have seen groomers all that time.  Mostly Kasborher, and Prinoth. A bit of ratrac too. 

Something which happens often, in snow; the arms holding the wheels. Onto which the tracks run, break of the chassis, and have to be re welded. If possible. Spoked wheels, and hydraulic hubs fail quite often too. Tracks come off. Hydraulic tubes break quite often too. The chassis is ladder type, Less than a 1/4 inch. May be  1/8. There is tons of hydraulic pumps on those. And when the circuit gets contaminated, they all fail. The blades on Pisten bully are just 1/8 metal, Welded as a sort of triangular beam. I've seen at least 3 completely wrecked. Metal cut. 

In the forest, i would be concerned of the branches and stumps, getting into the tracks,. Which are just stripes of rubber, fitted with aluminium blades. May be making the tracks a single big sheet of rubber could help. 

But myself, i would rather get a GAZ 71, instead! :D 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 08:40:28 AM »
Max, i hope you just talked the entire world out of snow groomer logging for eternity.  That sounds like a complete hindenburg. 
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 05:37:20 PM »
There are a couple of older Bombardiers that people refer to as "snowcats" that are useful for homeowner, winter logging on packed trails. J5 and Muskeg are both pretty rugged with full belly pans ( they are tub construction). They have steel crossbars on heavy rubber belts. However, I wouldn't recomend them for anything more than a 40-50 HP tractor could do except they will do it on packed snow trails. ( Plan ahead ! )

Bombardier also made a 'Jimmy Skidder' with a Detroit engine and some beefed up parts on a Muskeg chassis. They weren't a big success but cost Much less than a KMC which had many of the same problems with tracks vs stumps and rocks.

Bombardier also made a self loading logging machine like a Muskeg. Some deep dives in thier history will show them.
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Offline krusty

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2020, 01:59:31 PM »
I have a J5 and a JW48 which are similar except width. Neither are any good in deep snow and will just get hung up and you will create new cuss words.

Offline dbussiere

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2020, 09:48:55 AM »
Very interesting topic here as I'm actually looking at a Bombardier BR100 (Bombi) to use as "skidder" ! But I have to admit you guys put a little doubt on my mind...

What I found interesting with the Bombardier BR100, it's the close cabin for 3 persons. I was figuring out to use it with the kids, just having a ride in the woods with them to pull out a few trees on weekend days. No big work here, just cool days with them. Also what I found cool, is that the one I'm looking for, has a detachable hydraulic snow plow in the front which could be useful to clear the trails around the shack.

But when I read your posts, I'm not even sure if this kind of machine would be strong and weights enough to pull out a trailer loaded with 5 or 6 trees let's say 8-10 inches, 12 feets long.

Well ! There's matter to reflexion here. Thanks all for your posts.
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Offline Satamax

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2020, 10:59:25 AM »
This could be of some interest to some of you. Mind you, what I have said about branches in the tracks is valid. Skidding or logging in the snow, may be. On the stumps, no way!



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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »
Fwiw.. My experience is that putting logs on a trailer allows maybe 7-10 times more logs to be moved by the same machine in the same terrain as compared to skidding.  So that means the drawbar requirements of one or two logs on a trailer will be maybe 1/7th to 1/10th of skidding it.  Perhaps that is one way to log with a snow machine and keep it alive longer. 


The more drawbar power required to budge a load, the more torque the engine will generate, the more and ring and pinions or planetaries or whatever will try to rotate gear boxes plum out of the frame, tearing stuff up.   So keep the torque down and get more hours out of your machine. 
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Online 230Dforme

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2020, 05:55:01 PM »
Good afternoon 
I have a 1976 Tucker SnoCat 442A I believe, Id have to look

Bought from original owner 30 yrs ago 

Has 4 steel pontoons and steel tracks
They work by the machine sitting on the pontoons in the snow, and the tracks 
propel the the tractor forward 

There are about 320 roller bearings on the tracks, they are not designed to
carry the machine on dry ground

You can move machine around on 
pavement or good ground, but made to sit in snow

They are however, designed as pulling
machines
I have skidded logs at camp easily, but
they are not skidders, they are ski area 
groomers

They are very cool and very well made
Im in agreement w earlier posts and
I am referring to an older machine




Offline dogone

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2020, 08:02:05 PM »
    I have used bombardier muskeg carriers extensively. On snow in the Yukon and dirt/muskeg in Alberta. They can get hung up in deep snow or worse yet on a stump. Didn’t get stuck in muskeg but just lucky. Had a lot of trouble with the Dropbox in drive train.
  Got gassed once from Carbon monoxide from leaking manifold. You are sitting right beside the engine.
   We had a Bombi in camp one winter Mostly a toy , other than moving three bodies I don’t see much use for it.
    Try a Nodwell. They are a bombardiers big working brother.

Offline Satamax

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2020, 10:46:57 PM »
Here, you can see how it's made underneath. 

Forget about the language, sorry! 



Lots of expensive parts! 
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Offline J 5

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2020, 08:23:38 AM »
             I've used J5's for skidding in the bush for years, they are able to get through in tight spots , anything wider than 5 feet no problem. With a good packed frozen trail they can haul for their size, with little damage to the trail.
                                    I recently finished a muskeg, it won't replace my J5's 

 

 , but will be used on the wider skid ways.
                                     J 5

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2020, 12:19:57 PM »
Nice. How much do those units weight and horsepower ? How big and long are the logs your skidding ? 

Offline J 5

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Re: Could a snowcat work as a skidder?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2020, 04:33:28 AM »
    Couple pics of one of my J5's, this one is at least 50 years old, and performs well as we keep our outside boiler fed. Waiting for freeze up and then will give the Muskeg a shake down run.
                                                                                   J 5

 

 


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