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Snowcat Adventure & Usage Forum Snow Trac, Kristi, Thickol/LMC, Tucker, Bombardier stories & discussions

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  #1  
Old 04-17-2006, 04:57 PM
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Default How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

The Snow Master & Track Master top out at 13.5 MPH with the standard factory engine and gearing.

The Snow Trac will usually top out at 25 MPH, with a healthy 1600 and standard gearing. Some different gearing was optional.

Most Groomers are made to operate at around 10 MPH.

Old Steel Track Tucker Sno Cat's top out at about 11 MPH and boy is it noisy! ( the little 3 1/2 inch rollers are turning at 3000 RPM's)The next generation of belted track tuckers will run comfortably at twice this speed. The latests generation of Tucker, with it's moulded one piece tracks can go substaintially faster, posibly 35 to 50 MPH. One of the Dealers of Tuckers told me that the new one rode nicer than his new pick up.

An old Bombardier "B12 Snow Coach" which had Ski's in front and tracks under 2/3 the length of the body, and easily carried a dozen people, could cruse up to 45 MPH, making it hands down the fastest snow cat. Produced from around 1937 to 1973 they were used as tour vehicles in parks and some are still in service at Yellowstone. They were also used for Glaicier Touring in Canada and an even larger version, the B18, was used as School Buses in Canada. In deep snow they are a little sluggish when turning, like a Boat.

The latest "Speed Champ" is probably the Hagland Susv. There are a couple hundred at Ft. Wainright in Fairbanks and more down the road at Eielson AFB. The Arctic Training facility, just south of Delta Junction AK also has a Fleet. They will cruise along at 40 maybe faster and are amphibious. I've seen one being towed at 50 MPH along the richardson Highway, between Eielson and Wainright by a "Duce and a half", I half expected to see the tracks catch on fire. Later the same year I clocked one driving under it's own power at 47 MPH.

Nodwell's and Bombardier's bigger track rigs only run about 10 MPH Max. But there smaller J5 will crank out 35 to 40 MPH.

Kristi's were offered with a variety of engines, VW, Porsche, Corvair and what ever else, so your guess is good as mine as to their top speed. I guess you'll just have to clock one.

Thiokol built a snow cat called a RANGE MASTER, I have been led to believe that only 800 to 900 were built, and that all of them went to the military. These had real tall road gears and could really go. They are especially popular with hunters.

BP/Arco built a couple of really different monster snow machines. They were the size of a tug boat, had an actual pilot house and drove around on 2 huge counter rotating 'screws'. Each screw was about a 10 or 12 foot diameter cylendrical tank with an angled rib welded on in a spirial. To turn one speeded up one of the screws. It was like riding on 2 augers. It floated, and wouldn't run very fast or turn very sharp. One of the 2 machines lives at the ColdFoot Camp, along the haul road for the Trans Alaska Pipeline. top speed was estimated to be 3 or 4 MPH. Be warned: there are no services on the "Haul Road", it's dirt and Clodfoot is 250 miles from Fairbanks, the last vestage of civilization. It's not a good "Day Trip"! Carring 2 spare tires is recomended if you decide you want to see this one.

Those little bombardier sidewalk snow plows, SWD or SW48 will do 30 to 40 MPH, but only on hard, level ground. One little bump and you end up laying on your side. And they are a pain get tipped back up! In the course of their regular duties, plowing sidewalks, they are pretty good at: cutting bicycles and Trikes in two, trimming fenders off cars buried in snow banks and pretty much destroying anything left out on the side walk.
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyndon
An old Bombardier "B12 Snow Coach" which had Ski's in front and tracks under 2/3 the length of the body, and easily carried a dozen people, could cruse up to 45 MPH, making it hands down the fastest snow cat. Produced from around 1937 to 1973 they were used as tour vehicles in parks and some are still in service at Yellowstone. They were also used for Glaicier Touring in Canada and an even larger version, the B18, was used as School Buses in Canada. In deep snow they are a little sluggish when turning, like a Boat.
Lyndon, these are still very popular in the upper midwest. I know of people who use them to deliver ice fishermen to their fishing spots on the frozen lakes in Minnesota. They are quick, comfortable, and carry plenty of gear on the frozen lakes. Essentially they are treated as Snow-Taxis on the lakes.
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Here are two more of the Bombardier B12 Snow Bus units. These photos are from a guy named Frank Walsh who operates B12's to deliver ice fisherman out on the lakes. He and I trade information and photos from time to time. The distance photo was take at "The Lake in the Woods" and the upclose photo with the pretty girl is of a restored unit, I think from 1941.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Wow, very nice photos.

That's "lake of the woods" my backyard.

yeah we have a lot of B12's running up here, I'd love to have one.

Awesome lake machines, fast & cushy.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Dave, welcome to the Snowcat forums at ForumForums. I see from your other post you are a Tucker guy. We've got a few members here with Tuckers who may be able to help you out. In the mean time search around the threads, ask all the questions you want and post up some pictures when you get a chance.

BTW I'd also love to have a B series Bombardier.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Thanks for the welcome, I don't know that I'm so much a tucker guy, I love the sedan bodies for sure.

See our use would be some lake running for ice fishing (Lake of the woods) and some forest trail running by our cabin. So a bigger cab would be awesome.

This 1342 would need an eventual cab conversion/mod for us. I guess that doesn't scare me much though, I'm a body/paint guy & somewhat of a fab guy.

A bombardier B12-ish machine would be the ultimate for us. But they are so hard to find.

The tucker I found is priced nice & i need to jump on it if I'm going to get it. I'm just wondering if the bogies, rails, belts etc can take speeds 15 to 20 mph unloaded without much danger of early wear?

Hey thanks for the welcome, i dig those snow tracs too, bigtime. I've been a lurker for sometime and I've followed some of your guys threads.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

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Originally Posted by Lyndon View Post
Old Steel Track Tucker Sno Cat's top out at about 11 MPH and boy is it noisy! ( the little 3 1/2 inch rollers are turning at 3000 RPM's)The next generation of belted track tuckers will run comfortably at twice this speed.
Has anyone tried any sort of sound deadening measures to try to knock down some of that noise?? Obviously it's inherently going to be noisy, but the giant steel 'drums' are going to cast most of that. If some sort of padding or foam was inserted it seems like you could dissipate a lot of the noise.

Of course moisture would then become an issue . . .
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Yes, I did. Swapped out the steel tracks for the rubber-belted one's and insulated the crap out of the body and firewall!
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

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Yes, I did. Swapped out the steel tracks for the rubber-belted one's and insulated the crap out of the body and firewall!
I sprayed a 2 part epoxy similar to Rhino-Liner that is used in pick up truck beds onto the underside of my Snow Trac. I put some indoor/outdoor carpet on the floor inside the cabin. It did some good. At some point in the future I think I may spray the Rhino-Liner type material on the INSIDE of the Snow Trac, covering the floor, the firewall and the sidewalls below the seats. I think that will work a whole lot better than what I have now.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Great thread Lyndon. I love those B-12s. The Tucker manual recommends a top speed of 15 mph with the steel tracks. The amount of time and money I have into mine, 3-5 MPH is is fine by me. I still don't understand the noise complaint. I keep my tracks well maintained and adjusted and they don't seem all that loud. I guess when you operate heavy equipment for a living, a Tucker is considered "quiet". Great pictures guys. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

hey northerndave...what part of lake of the woods are you? my rig's usually parked on the lake over by the warroad area all winter for fishing....and i know where there is a b-12 possiblly for sale...
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Dude I just bought a Tucker lol!!

I think the B12 is definately the long term goal for me though.


you'll see this thing out on the lake this year.







I'll likely keep mine between Warroad & springsteel.


What's your cat? where do you usually fish?

(I'm in roseau)
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

I also live in roseau and i leave my rig at springsteel and fish fivemile and whisky.....




last years pic



todays pic in my front yard

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Old 12-13-2010, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

very cool! I've not seen you out there yet. I know i'll be up to whisky and probably 5 mile too. I set up on 5 last winter, on the swift ditch trail but he kept the trail well off of the 5 mile to the south so we weren't really "on the 5"

I have a friend that has a place on the estates so I'll probably park mine at his house & leave onto the lake from there.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by northerndave View Post
Wow, very nice photos.

That's "lake of the woods" my backyard.

yeah we have a lot of B12's running up here, I'd love to have one.

Awesome lake machines, fast & cushy.
Hi, we have one for sale, ran a few years back so it needs carburator work and also cosmedic work, it is going to be on a Auction that will be held Sept 10, 2011, you can go to www.cpauction.com for pictures and details. or call me at 970-270-8771 and I can send you more picture and information on it also have a Tucker mid-engine for parts and Thiokol parts, if you know anyone that needs some, also steel track tucker parts.I don't have time to get on here much I'm easier to catch on the phone.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

I had my M29C weasel up to 35 MPH on a freshly plowed county road. It was fun, but scared the hell out of me too. You really have to trust your tracks
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

My Thiokol 4t2, with the 223 ford 6 cylinder, three-speed combination, will do 40, flat out on a smooth gravel road, but any turning would be suicide to be sure... it was fun for a brief period though... she's much happier at 20 or even less, in the deep snow, on those 32 inch wide tracks!!
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

a friend =)
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: How fast will a Snow Cat Go?

my suzuki jimny on tracks topps 70 km\h on gps
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