Mechanized snow surveys in Montana

TitleMechanized snow surveys in Montana
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1948
AuthorsWork, R. A.
Conference Name16th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 16th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1948
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsOversnow vehicles, Tests

A Tucker Sno-Cat, a power-driven over-snow vehicle, and a two man crew of trained snow surveyors were used to measure 24 snow courses extending a distance of 300 miles. The 1948 model Sno-Cat, 4-door sedan, was powered by a 95 HP Plymouth engine, and had a 3 speed transmission. The unit was equipped with sleeping bags, tent, stove, and emergency supplies for 2 men. A Dodge Power Wagon with a special bed on the chassis was used to transport the Sno-Cat in the valleys below the snow line. The Sno-Cat traveled 331 miles between February 12 and February 29, 1948 over light sandy snow up to elevations of 9000 feet. The Sno-Cat averaged 5.1 Mi./gal. Gasoline and the repair costs were $10.70. The Dodge Power Wagon averaged 8 Mi./gal. Gasoline over roads considerably snow-blocked. Snow-Catting was difficult where snow lacked cohesion. Wider and longer front skis are recommended to increase the bearing surface.Discussion by Fred Paget.