how do i become a snow cat driver

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how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby lukethefarmer on 06 Dec 2013, 16:08

im 18 years old and have worked on farms since I was 12 so have quite abit of experience with big machines and always wanted to drive a snowcat when theres nothing to do in the winter on the farm and have no idea where to start. im also studding agri mechanics at college if that helps with anything

any help/advise would be much appreciated

luke
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Re: how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby admin on 06 Dec 2013, 23:39

lukethefarmer wrote:im 18 years old and have worked on farms since I was 12 so have quite abit of experience with big machines and always wanted to drive a snowcat when theres nothing to do in the winter on the farm and have no idea where to start. im also studding agri mechanics at college if that helps with anything

any help/advise would be much appreciated

luke


Hi Luke,

Operating snowcats is definitely a blast, and I'm sure you'd love it. In fact, a lot of what we do could definitely be considered "snow farming."

Heavy equipment experience is looked kindly upon by grooming managers, so that should work in your favor. Now you need to find a ski area that's hiring groomers. A good starting point is to follow the classified ads on the Ski Area Management Magazine website. They often have listings for groomers. Check it out at http://www.saminfo.com/marketplace/clas ... employment. Entering as a rookie operator, the best advice I can offer is to come in with an open mind, and don't be a know-it-all. Ask questions, and be ready to learn from the veterans. Operating snowcats isn't much different from operating any other heavy equipment, but grooming has its peculiarities and its own "culture." You'll gain respect by asking questions and proving yourself in your work.

As a groomer, you must keep in mind the purpose of your activity. You always have to remember that your top goal is to produce a high quality skiing surface. This means you need to understand what a good skiing surface is. We want an aesthetically pleasing, soft yet durable surface for skiers to enjoy. One of our primary activities is undoing what the skiers do; that is, we remove the bumps and imperfections that they create, and we return snow up and toward the middle of the trails, since skier traffic tends to push snow down and to the sides of trails.

Maybe the best way to start is to go for a ride with a groomer at a nearby ski resort to see what it's really like, and to ask all of the pertinent questions. Industry networking can never hurt, and even just riding along is fun! Are you located near any ski resorts???
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Re: how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby lukethefarmer on 07 Dec 2013, 06:18

no im from the uk but me and most of my family have been skiing for years so could ask when we go and cheers for the help buddy
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Re: how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby admin on 07 Dec 2013, 10:29

lukethefarmer wrote:no im from the uk but me and most of my family have been skiing for years so could ask when we go and cheers for the help buddy


I would guess that the Scotland areas are the nearest for you. Worth checking out. Good luck!
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Re: how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby lukethefarmer on 11 Oct 2014, 14:43

I went for a ride in a snowcat and really enjoyed it and they guy we went with was really helpful and explained how everything works and that his one was brand new out of the box and it had an electric motor on it to help save fuel. as im still at college I wont be able to get a job this winter but this time next year I will be hoping to be on one for the winter. is there any places to look for training or a job to enter as a rookie?

cheers for all the help!
luke
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Re: how do i become a snow cat driver

Postby PB400Fan on 11 Oct 2014, 17:40

Your best bet is to shoot for the larger areas over the smaller ones. They tend to hire a few new operators each year, and you stand a much better chance of getting in unless you've got a good connection at one of the smaller ones. Anything you can do between now and then to get more seat time in heavy equipment the better, it'll give you a leg up on the competition you'll be going against for the grooming position. If a mountain is going to hire first year-rookies, they'll probably be more likely to hire one that has at least operated heavy equipment before vs somebody that's never been in anything

Over the winter, start considering the mountains you want to consider working at and start following their sites in the spring,summer and fall of next year for when they start posting the positions. If you get an interview, you've got to be enthusiastic and sell them on the fact that this is something you want to do for a while. A lot of people flame out and never end up making it as operators and it ends up being a total waste for the mountain. You've got to convince them that you won't be one of those guys

Unfortunately, i'm not really familiar with ski areas outside the US, but if you were ever considering traveling to the States to work, I could recommend a few mountains to check out, at least on the east coast


good luck! Hope you end up getting the job...
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