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
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???