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

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  #21  
Old 01-07-2018, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

a little historical perspective of the Tucker Sno-cat, to start, a brilliant concept, trick the snow into thinking the Tucker is floating on the snow. and that worked!

the only real competition Tucker had when he started out, was snow shoes and cross country skiis, so, speed was never an issue, the Tucker pontooned machines were designed and meant to be run at 5 to 7 mph and no FASTER. at the higher speeds, the track system simply self-destructs and wear out at a very high rate. by design, tucker sno cats should not be run faster than 7 mph, and are a high maintenance machine, Tucker was far superior to snow shoes and cross country skiis. Tuckers were built to access the back county where there were no road and hill to steep.

And in every published "on snow trials" right up through the 60's, Tuckers were shown to be far superior in back country conditions !

as, competitors came to the market in the following years with rubber tracked machines, tucker continued to remain true to the original design, pontoons, 5 -7 mph machine, with the new rubber tracked machines were going, an unheard of 15 mph, WOW, and in the early 70's, tucker started offering a rubber tracks on their machines. they continued to offer pontoons into the early 80's. what seems true, speed was the new norm, and vintage tuckers can not compete, the are still 5 -7 mph, high maintenance machine, and yes, I should acknowledge the real issues with the construction of mild steel pontoons rusting from the inside out, with link pins that have worn nearly in half from use ( wears much faster the faster you go ) and rollers that are meant to wear to save the rails on the pontoons, that have flanges so razor thin. The real cost of replacing these items can run into some real serious money when done correctly, ( and yes, you can cheat death and make do with worn and patched together parts, all in the name of saving money ) these costs alone for the pontoon restoration can and do exceed the cost of buying a real nice Snow Track, and or, I dare say a Imp/super Imp.

please keep in mind, more smiles per mile in a Tucker and you meet the nicest people in a Tucker, stay orange and tucker on. I do enjoy the slow pace of traveling and adventuring out into the back country in a Tucker Sno-cat

And IMHO, for the vintage market in the real world, Snow Track is a better buy for the money.

The Legend of Tucker is unmatched and no other snow cat even gets close, and that is why I am drawn to these legendary machines and collect them, it is the history.

Last edited by Pontoon Princess; 01-07-2018 at 12:05 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-07-2018, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

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Originally Posted by Pontoon Princess View Post
...and yes, I should acknowledge the real issues with the construction of mild steel pontoons rusting from the inside out, with link pins that have worn nearly in half from use ( wears much faster the faster you go ) and rollers that are meant to wear to save the rails on the pontoons, that have flanges so razor thin. The real cost of replacing these items can run into some real serious money when done correctly, ( and yes, you can cheat death and make do with worn and patched together parts, all in the name of saving money ) these costs alone for the pontoon restoration can and do exceed the cost of buying a real nice Snow Track, and or, I dare say a Imp/super Imp.

please keep in mind, more smiles per mile in a Tucker and you meet the nicest people in a Tucker, stay orange and tucker on. I do enjoy the slow pace of traveling and adventuring out into the back country in a Tucker Sno-cat

And IMHO, for the vintage market in the real world, Snow Track is a better buy for the money.

The Legend of Tucker is unmatched and no other snow cat even gets close, and that is why I am drawn to these legendary machines and collect them, it is the history.
PP, There have been some serious advances in materials, as well as manufacturing processes since the heyday of the steel tracked Tuckers.

In some photos of restored machines the steel track parts look like they've lost a lot of their original size due to wear and/or the ravages of rust. I wonder how costly it would be to have some new parts made in a foundry overseas, as well as link pins made from better materials and of course some flanged bearings?

If I were uber-rich I'd much rather have a Tucker 743 Freighter than a SnowTrack. I could see my similarly fabulously wealthy buddies come over to show them my garage stuffed with beautifully restored vehicles. They might remember the SnowTrac as a Matchbox toy from their youth (I had one). But when I started the SnowTrac I can picture guys laughing at the VW exhaust sound and saying "Really, is this a joke?" But when I showed them the 743 and said it's the brother of the machines that went to the South Pole and then opened the hood and revealed the Industrial Hemi, I see smiles. And when that engine barks to life, I see guys smiling and nodding in approval. Priceless!

BTW, If I keep this up the forum's "SnowTrac mafia" are going to pay me a visit...
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  #23  
Old 01-07-2018, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

and you are right about the better materials that are now available and when you take advantage of this and make up new link pins, grousers, rollers, and rebuild/manufacture new pontoons, you still run into some very serious money, thank god for rubber tracked tuckers

do not underestimate the V-Dub mafia,

seems like a lot of uber rich CEO's first car was a V-Dub

and they drive Volvos now days,

and yes they do remember the toy snow track just like you did

and for my money a snow track is a better choice
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  #24  
Old 01-07-2018, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

Clickity clack, clickity clack, goes my tucker sno cat
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  #25  
Old 01-07-2018, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

PP, I agree it is not about speed. If someone really just wants to go fast, they may want to just travel by snowmobile. I'm not a Tucker guy (at this point) but I've sprained my neck a few times looking at them. I just hope Tuckers don't go the way of the Toyota FJ40. Even many of the people who loved them from the beginning have been priced out of that game now.

What I really enjoy is moving snow. Building road or grooming with the snowcat, plowing snow with a tractor, or blowing snow with our ancient Unimog. Skiing is right up there too. Tucker on!
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  #26  
Old 01-07-2018, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

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Originally Posted by Pontoon Princess View Post
and you are right about the better materials that are now available and when you take advantage of this and make up new link pins, grousers, rollers, and rebuild/manufacture new pontoons, you still run into some very serious money, thank god for rubber tracked tuckers

do not underestimate the V-Dub mafia,

seems like a lot of uber rich CEO's first car was a V-Dub

and they drive Volvos now days,

and yes they do remember the toy snow track just like you did

and for my money a snow track is a better choice
In your research about having new parts made, have you looked overseas for possible suppliers?

I mention this because one of my best friends worked for several years reverse engineering various automatic transmission parts. Knowing how and why they failed he would often improve the redesign by changing materials, or tolerances or processes. The company would then get quotes from vendors in Asia, typically Taiwan and South Korea and source them there. They would then sell them to transmission rebuilders in the US.

My understanding is that it was very lucrative for the company's owner(s).

Of course the size of the production runs would partially determine pricing, and of course there would be shipping charges, too, and maybe customs issues?

Just a thought...

There's a saying in the Harley world that's totally applicable to Tuckering. "It's not the destination, it's the journey".

Last edited by Blackfoot Tucker; 01-07-2018 at 06:17 PM. Reason: spelling!
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  #27  
Old 01-07-2018, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

interesting

the issue is not failure due to bad design, the reality is, that grousers and link pins are not greased, bare metal on bare metal, (FYI, both were hardened to rockwell 55 ) if greased was used, you would add dirt into the parts and increase the rate of wear, just a bad idea to do so. just a fact of life with a Tucker pontoon machine, pretty much any improvement you many make, just is not going to make it last longer or work better, tucker more less, got it right the first time, they just are high maintenance and require lots of attention. tuckers are not for the light of mechanical skills or pocket book.

and the journey has been wonderful


even more than before, smart money is buying a Snow Track, besides, they really are a blast at a car shows, blows the doors of the V-DUB groupies, funny thing even a KT-3 stirs the pot with the V-DUB folks

Last edited by Pontoon Princess; 01-07-2018 at 08:29 PM.
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  #28  
Old 01-10-2018, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

PP,

Call it "intellectual curiosity", but never having owned, driven or even looked at a steel track Tucker very closely, I'd like to know more. Could you perhaps take some photos of the various parts involved?

I've reached out to my buddy and when he asks questions I have to say "I dunno". My lack of knowledge is impressive...NOT!

BTW, Several years ago I almost bought a 543. It was listed on ksl.com and was in Pinedale, WY. It looked to be in surprisingly nice shape and the price seemed reasonable. Legendary forum member Weatherby was considering a Tucker for a restoration candidate. I was encouraging him to buy it, and didn't want to buy it if he did. So it "got away". In retrospect I should have just bought it and then offered it to him at cost.
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2018, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackfoot Tucker View Post
In your research about having new parts made, have you looked overseas for possible suppliers?

I mention this because one of my best friends worked for several years reverse engineering various automatic transmission parts. Knowing how and why they failed he would often improve the redesign by changing materials, or tolerances or processes. The company would then get quotes from vendors in Asia, typically Taiwan and South Korea and source them there. They would then sell them to transmission rebuilders in the US.

My understanding is that it was very lucrative for the company's owner(s).

Of course the size of the production runs would partially determine pricing, and of course there would be shipping charges, too, and maybe customs issues?

Just a thought...

There's a saying in the Harley world that's totally applicable to Tuckering. "It's not the destination, it's the journey".
very Lucrative! Hum!

sounds like a very very very rich person!

Just the person that should own my “lovely ever slightly used” Snow trac!
Way more cooler than a tucker!

I will even throw in the 15% price uplift for sending American manufacturing jobs over seas! Just for him!
And don’t forget the 5 year or 50 ft out the driveway warranty! This month only!

Mother getting her Washing Machine AND a DRIER now!
Course their made in......
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  #30  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cidertom View Post
PJL's Service cat, all your trail side needs:
C tom, great idea, so much so, that we are building a trail service sno cat trailer for you to put behind your sam superior snow trac, what color would it painted and how do you want it logo?
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  #31  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Tucker mania

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cidertom View Post
PJL's Service cat, all your trail side needs:
C tom, great idea, so much so, that we are building a trail service sno cat trailer for you to pull behind your sam superior snow trac,

what color would you like it painted?

how do you want it logo?
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