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

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2006, 06:39 PM
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Default New Guy w/ Tuckers

First off, I hope I posted this in the right place... Anyway, my name's Andy and I live in the hills of Western New York state, Southeast of Buffalo (where we get lots of lake effect snow :) ). I own a very nice '67 Tucker 442-A and co-own a '62 443-A that's not much more than a parts machine. Here's a couple pics:
'67 442-A




'62 443-A


Here's the story of how I acquired the machine (Warning: This might be long). Back in '97 while in high school, I got a job working at a small private ski resort, the Buffalo Ski Club, 3 miles from my house. I had always been intrigued by anything mechanical, so naturally I immediately fell in love with all the snow equipment. I particularly liked the "Old Tucker" as it was known, the '67 I now own. The club bought the machine brand new in '67 and took very good care of it. When I began at the area in '97, we had the '67 Tucker, an '82 Tucker 1542, a late 70's Thiokol 2100, a '63 Thiokol Spryte, and a DMC 3700. Most of this equipment had seen better days, except for the 2 Tuckers that somehow managed to survive largely unscathed. Years passed and I managed to pay my way through college working at the area. Along the way we acquired new and better (?) equipment. We were in dire need of a better groomer, so we bought a very used but still serviceable '92 LMC 3700 from a neighboring ski resort, Holimont. (Holimont happens to be the largest private ski resort in North America, located in Ellicottville, NY). The Spryte and 2100 were the first to leave after the aquisition. A few more years passed and we acquired another LMC 3700 from an auction at a closed ski resort. This machine was a very good buy since it had only 3000 hours on the clock. Along the way, the Tuckers were used less and less since we didn't need them to roll the hills anymore, we now had packer bars and tillers behind the groomers. So, in January of '04 the "Old Tucker" went up for sale. I just couldn't let it get away, so I threw down the $3000 and brought it home with only 5470 miles on the odometer. I use the machine for hauling a sap tank during maple syrup season and also for my business to access or recover broken down machinery in winter months. So that's how I got the '67.
The '62 was for sale by yet another local ski area. I went halves on it with a friend and for $200 a piece we brought that one home. It's very rough. The tracks are about shot and aren't even on the machine anymore they got so bad. We actually mounted tires on it just so we can move it around. It's kinda fun to drive it down the road too :) . It has lots of good parts on it though and the engine had been recently rebuilt so it was worth the money. My friend owns a '78 1642 and someday hopes to restore an early sedan.
So that's the story of my 'Cats.
Coincidentally, I'm still employed at the Buffalo Ski Club as the area's heavy equipment mechanic. Last year we acquired a '94 LMC 3700 CFS BearTrac that had only 700 hours on it. The story is that it was used by LMC as a demo machine and when they went out of business it just sat around until we bought it.
I also worked for 2 seasons at Holimont as a groomer and heavy equipment mechanic. While working there I attended Pisten Bully service school and operated and worked on Pisten Bully models 100, 200, 260, 300, and 300 Park Bully.
I graduated with an Industrial Engineering degree in '04 (after 6 1/2 years of college part time) and took an engineering job with a very high-end precision pneumatics company, but hated every minute of it, so I left. I then sailed as a merchant marine on the Great Lakes on 600 foot lake freighters from 11/05 to 11/06 but I was away from home too much and the job was inherently too dangerous for my liking.
So I'm back working at the ski areas. I just can't stay away..lol.
I also operate my own business on the side, doing fabrication and welding jobs, and light and medium duty truck, equipment, and trailer repairs.
At any rate, I stay busy.
I also own a '55 Willys CJ5 Jeep, a '49 Chevy 3600 pickup that's under restoration, a '70 F-350 dually stakebed that I use as my welding truck, an '87 F-250, a '96 Neon so I can afford to drive the trucks, and I'm also the caretaker of my fiance's 1950 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup.
That's probably enough info about me to nauseate just about anybody so I'll shut up now. I'll leave you all with a few more pics of some of the stuff I play with:
'82 1542 towing a snow gun sled that I also built (the big red thing)


'79 DMC 3700 behind our '92 LMC 3700C


Me with PB 300 Park overlooking Ellicottville, NY Don't let the Tshirt fool you, it was 14 degrees out


Me pushing snow uphill with a PB 300


No pics of the Spryte, 2100, or BearTrac (yet).
See ya'll on the forums.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2006, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Post often and post more great info as you have just done. There are a lot of us snow cat addicts on the forum. We can never get enough info on the cats and the people own and operate them.
Bill
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

I agree with MTNTOPPER, we would like feedback on your experiences with the different snow cats that you have operated. Each of us are in different parts of the country with different snow conditions and experiences. I think some cats work better in some conditions then others. We would like to see pictures and experieces that you have had over the years. I hope we can get some great pics from everyone this winter.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Welcome to the forum Andy!

It looks like you reside in my old stomping grounds.

I used to live in Derby, E. Aurora and Holland. Pretty much circled your location.

Never skied at Buffalo Ski Club but used to visit KB frequently (as it was the closest) but I preferred Holiday Valley.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Hey Andy , Welcome, glad to see you made it.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:51 AM
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Default tucker 2743

yep it is the big tucker.. the machine I have been using for tha past 15 years to access a back country chalet is the 1976 tucker "deep powder" cat.
tracks have six belts each and six boogies on each track set.
tracks are 4 feet wide and section tha contacts the snow is 7 feet long for each track. We experience lots fresh cold deep powder. packing 12 persons plus a weeks worth of gear in 15 feet of snow Yes 15 feet plus of snow.
the ole tuck has 6500 hours on origianl engine and second trans mission.
Main issue we have is meatl fatigue on the wide track cleats causing them to crack..
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Old 02-18-2007, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Welcome Andy. Thanks for the great pics and story. Keep 'em coming. Been many years since I've been to the "club."

Best of Luck - Paul (an ex upstate NY'er)
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Hey Andy,
Sweet Tuckers. What kind of snow gun is that....a
Brontosaurus Ratnik ?
ex-NJ/NYer
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Quote:
Originally Posted by On Donner Summit
Hey Andy,
Sweet Tuckers. What kind of snow gun is that....a
Brontosaurus Ratnik ?
ex-NJ/NYer
The snow gun is an HKD Spectrum. They're becoming very common now. They're usually just mounted on a 4" pipe that's firmly mounted in the ground, but we needed to make snow in the middle of a wide open hill, so I built that big red sled for it.
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Got it, thanks.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: New Guy w/ Tuckers

Thanks for the great post - I too am a recent member here. Great community and I think when it comes to snowcat posts:

"Theres is no such thing as a bad post - some are just better than others"

Welcome.

Paul
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