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Old 01-08-2014, 11:45 AM
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Thumbs up Lite-Foot Snowcats

I recently purchased a 1979 Lite-Foot snowcat from a cabin owner in Salt Lake City, Utah.



It's seems that information is very scarce on these cats and I've been doing some research to gather as much as I can.

The original builder, Bill Salt, has past away, but I have had some great conversations with Kevin Smith who partnered with Bill and knows alot about the origins of these great machines.

Here is a little history that Kevin sent me:

"
OK, here's a history lesson for you.

Bill Salt owned and operated an ornamental iron business and built these cats more or less as a hobby. He used the old weasel steering differential and modified the drive axles to gain some width. The engines and transmissions came from wrecked vehicles and although he seems to have favored the 250 cid Ford, I've come across some 300 cid sixes and also a Chev or two. He would hand fabricate the cabs and later he made a fiberglass cab.

Bill didn't assign serial numbers or keep records of what components went into which cats but if I had to venture a guess I would say he built somewhere in the neighborhood of around twenty five cats over about a 20 year period. Most of Bill's customers were cabin owners using the machine for winter access.

The early logo was hand painted on the front of the cats and looked like this:
Lite-Foot

In 1991 I came into the picture. Bill was trying to sell his "snow cat business" and it looked and sounded like a fun way to make a living. I bought Bill's equipment and inventory and rented his shop from him. He tutored me and we built one machine together. It was hydrostatic drive but used Bill's cab, chassis and tracks. Bill built a decent machine and he had a pretty good "following" but I could see some changes were needed if I was going to sell this machine to utility companies. I continued to use the Lite-Foot name but changed the logo.

Over the next three years I re-designed the Lite-Foot to better target the telcom and utility market and it continued to evolve for another three or four years. In the process I developed a hydrostatic machine that performed extremely well in the dry powder we have here in the western U.S. and as our reputation grew so did the business.

LMC (previously DMC and prior to that Thiokol) was struggling to stay in business at the time and eventually closed their doors which put additional pressure on us to grow the business. Our overhead was low, we had no debt and I was hesitant to change that. As luck would have it PistenBully was looking for a utility machine to fill a void in their product line. They approached me in 2005 and after considering several options we sold the Lite-Foot design to PistenBully in 2006.

The name was changed to PistenBully Scout and I spent the next year working with the incredible team of people at PistenBully USA in Reno, NV., the PistenBully dealers throughout the U.S. and some great people at the parent company in Germany.

After my non-compete agreement expired I started my present business building tracks. While my focus is on complete track sets for popular machines no longer in production I also specialize in fabricating or duplicating obsolete parts such as the track rollers for the older Tucker Snocats.

I hope you find this enlightening and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your Lite-Foot. I'll do my best to answer them.

Regards,

Kevin Smith

R V Specialties, Inc.
928 W. South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

[IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG][IMG]chrome://skype_ff_toolbar_win/content/space.gif[/IMG](801) 355-4171
litefootsnowcats@aol.com
www.snowcattracks.com "




So far, I am really happy with the quality of this machine and curious about others that folks might have.

If you know anything about them or have one, please document it here for people to reference.











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  #2  
Old 01-08-2014, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Interesting read. It's cool to hear how things evolve over time.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

a new demo scout was at the jamboree in 2013. I didn't care for the joystick steering.
I got the factory tour last summer and it was interesting . johndeere diesel engine. it a really mobile machine.
it is in the $125,000 range
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

So the Lite foot went to the Canyon, then to the Scout?
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

scout replaced the canyon in the pistonbully line of cats. The canyon wasn't built here.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Here is an interesting article showing the aquisition of Lite-Foot snowcats by Pistenbully in 2007.

http://www.formatic-by-k.com/en/comp...e-company.html

2009

PistenBully celebrates the 40. Anniversary. Around 17,000 vehicles have been sold to 66 different countries since 1969.
2008

Launch of the PistenBully 400. From its comfortable cockpit to its powerful yet economical engine to its robust frame structure - the PistenBully 400 has been designed to cater in the most effective way possible for the demands of the driver.

Expansion of the PistenBully family. The Formatic brand belongs to Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG since 2008. With the Formatic 350 Kässbohrer offers the most cost-effective vehicle on the market. The production of the Formatic snow groomers is still placed in Replot, Finland. The woldwide experienced PistenBully-Team supplies Sales and Service.
2007

The PistenBully 600 Polar was developed for maximum thrust. With 490 hp and a 4.60-metre wide clearing blade, it is second to none for moving mountains of snow.
Acquisition from Keiteleen Latukone Oy. Integration of Paana ski-trail grooming machines into the PistenBully product range. Worldwide distribution of the successful Scandinavian model.
Already established on the American market for more than 10 years under the name Lite-Foot, the PistenBully Scout is now taking over the rest of the world. It will transport up to 10 people anywhere.
2006

The PistenBully 600 harbours a fiery 400 hp beneath its bonnet. State-of-the-art technology combined with a red-hot-design - the new PistenBully 600 marks a new dimension in slope grooming. Never before has there been this level of operating and driving comfort!
More than 15,000 PistenBully have been built since the beginning of the PistenBully production.
2004

In the Antarctic, a PistenBully fleet of more than 80 machines carries out indispensable work at over 10 research stations.
2003

The PistenBully 300 Polar and the new cable winch set the benchmark for the market.
2002

Move to the new company headquarters at Laupheim, Germany.
2001

Product introduction of the PistenBully 100 All Season.
1999

Launch of the PistenBully 100 for the preparation of cross-country ski-tracks, snowmobile trails etc.
1998

Initial public offering of hte Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG: the share is first noted at Frankfurt Stock Exchange in September 16th.
1997

The 10,000th PistenBully is delivered. In over 52 countries these vehicles are now in use.
1995

Formatic moves to new headquarters at Replot, Finland.
1994

The product range Geländefahrzeuge of the former Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke GmbH is transformed into an independent enterprise.
1992

Start of production of the BeachTech 3000 beach cleaning machine, intended as a seasonal counterbalance towards the winter business of PistenBully.
1987

The company Frosty Systems is transformed to Formatic.
1984

With the PistenBully 200 DW the first snow cat for scarps comes into being. A winch supports and secures the vehicle on its extreme up and downhill rides.
1983

The Flexmobil is developed - a faster transport and work vehicle, which is suitable for traffic and thus designed for flexible on - and offroad use.
1982

Together with his sons Tore and Mats Kaj Carlson founded the company Frosty Systems. They developed ”Frosty“, a multi-functional track vehicle with hydrostatic drive.
1979

10 years of PistenBully: more than 2,000 vehicles find themselves in use in over 35 countries.
1972

The XI. Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan are the breakthrough on the international market. The construction of the third independent product range of the Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeuge starts..
1969

The debut of the first PistenBully by the Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke Ulm, at that time Germanys largest producer of motor-coach- and truck-trailers. A basic principle emerged from Kässbohrer’s experience still applies today and has become the standard for all snow groomers. The most important features of this principle are the hydrostatic drive for straightforward power transmission, the steering wheel for safe manoeuvring, a low centre of gravity for extreme inclines and operations on steep slopes, the platform to provide the option of transportation and, of course, the diesel engine.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:43 PM
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Default History of Bill Salt of Lite-Foot Snowcat Company

William Francis Salt, Jr. "Bill" 1923 ~ 2006 William Francis Salt Jr., 83, passed away peacefully at home Friday morning, November 3, 2006. He was born January 8, 1923 in Ogden, Utah to Frank William and Emma Kunz. He married Della Jo Hickman on August 8, 1942. Sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple September 14, 1983. Bill grew up in Salt Lake City where he owned and ran Salt Ornamental Iron for 40 years. Later he created the Lite Foot Snow Cat Company and then Bill Salt Enterprises where he built air boats. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1959 he won the Great Western Championship and was a member of the All American Trap Team. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also had passion for the great outdoors. Family was his #1 priority.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Great info!
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Nice listing of the "Timeline" of Circle K. I never can get the spelling of the parent company right! Kassbohrer!
When I started collecting snow cats in 94, I called their what was then only facility in North America, Grey Maine, and arrainged a tour. Flew to Boston and my associate, a hydrology professor, BA U-mass, Ma MIT, Phd Tufts, and I drove a nicely restored Porsche 912 there. They were very cordual, we toured the facility, I showed them some of my pictures, and explained that what I collected was older, smaller machines. I generally stayed away from fancy hydraulics, too expensive for a hobbiest such as myself. They in turn informed me that they didn't start making the machines until the mid 60's, and that they didn't handle anything but grooming equipment. Tucker, Thiokol, and Bombardiere produced much wider lines for "ACCESS". Tucker and Bombardiere both started in the 1920's and Thiokol started in the 50's. They offered ACCESS machines for Expeditions, Phone Company and Power Company service and some other limited industrial uses as well as snow grooming applications.
Well I thought I was out of luck with Pistonbully/Kassbohrer, thanked them for the tour and asked if we could wander around their yard and take some pictures. The entire years supply of new cats for north america was there, probably 50 to 75 new machines. Their assembly facility was similar to various Boeing plants I had worked in. Their payrol had just arrived, and the checks were all from Germany!
Around behind one of the buildings were a few carcases of old stripped machines, and a J5! I went back in and asked about the J5.
Quote: " Oh that, we forgot we had that. One of our dealers in Rutland Vermont took that in on "trade-in". The Rutland dealer went out of busines and we ended up with it. You can have it for 500 dollars" SCORE! I always wanted a J5. As i'm writing out the check it dawned on me, How am I going to get it home to Seattle from Grey maine? Before I could speak the manager/President of the division adds," We'll ship it to you, we have a 450,000$ winch cat going out that way and we can put it on with that".
They forgot to ship it with the winch cat, called me up and apologized and said they would send it with another load going to the port of seattle that was destined for Alaska.
Kassbhorer which builds over-the-road tour busses, aircraft parts, and some other stuff was almost bought out by Bombardiere a few years later. The deal fell thru. bombardiere likes to buy companies that are in similar businesses to them, beef-up and shore up what was once their competitor, then raise prices all around. They are a major manufacturer of aircraft parts, as well as snow cats.
I got a ride last winter in a 650,000 Piston Bully, and brought ear plugs as most snow cats require them. Didn't need them. I think the seats cost more than my car! Really nice ride!
Thanks again for posting their time line.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Here are a few pics of Bill Salt snowcats. Courtesy of the Phil Sharpe Collection.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Nice photos!
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Great pictures. I haven't seen any of those before. Thanks!
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Thinking about buying this . What do you guys think?
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

After reading this entire thread and reading up on the weasel diffs.

I would not at all be afraid of that.......

Mike
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

I have a deal worked out on it . Just waiting till after Christmas ! Merry Christmas Everyone !
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

What do you think top speed would be on this lite foot ?
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

Since the final drive/differential is out of a Weasel, maybe as fast as 35 mph.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M29_Weasel#Specification

The steering diff. has two speeds, and they can really move out on level ground..

It would depend on if the final drive sprocket in the tracks were of similar size, and I am betting based on the photo's that yours may be larger, and there for even a bit faster than a Weasel....

Regards, Kirk
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

i have recently seen some cats pop up for sale that i always figured were Bill Salt, Lite foot machines, but the sellers are calling them Sharpe Engineering Cats. (maybe they just have a sharpe engineering sticker and the seller is wrong) Does anyone know if Phil Sharpe made a cat that looks like a early Lite Foot?

Also some of these cats have an oc-4 rear end. Some have the weasel diff.
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Old 12-30-2015, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Lite-Foot Snowcats

_AJ_ seems you have quite busy and all, any chance you are coming to the leavenworth jamboree?
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