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Thread: Groomer idea

  1. #1
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    Groomer idea

    I have an idea for a human-powered groomer. I'm wondering if anyone has considered this type of thing. Instead of dragging something behind me while I walk in snowshoes, I thought rolling something heavy made more sense. So, I found 3 big truck tires all the same size in a throw-away heap behind a tire shop. My plan is to cut a plywood wheel for each "bookend", and squeeze the 3 tires together with a long threaded rod through the centers of the plywood wheels.

    So, imagine 3 big tires upright, side-by-side, sandwiched together by plywood on the ends, and threaded rod and washers/nuts in the center. The rod would extend a few inches out on each side, and would fit into bearing blocks welded or bolted to arms on a yoke. The yoke would come together at a "tongue", which would have a handle on the end that I would hold behind me as I walked. Each tire weighs something like 40 pounds, so the whole rig would probably be 150 pounds. I'm not worried about it rolling, as the tire diameter is probably 27 or 28 inches. I'm a little worried about being able to turn it and pull it uphill...but it can't be any harder than dragging something through the snow.

    Thoughts? Ideas? I have the tires, the wood, and some of the other materials, so right now, this has cost me nothing.

    190mm 9:zero:7, Bud & Lou on HRDs, X9 crank running 1x10.

  2. #2
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    Oh, I should mention. The idea here is that my grooming is done in 1 pass after a snowfall. I have about 1 mile of trail total, so stomping gets to be a pain after each snowfall, when you have to go back and forth 5 or 6 times.
    190mm 9:zero:7, Bud & Lou on HRDs, X9 crank running 1x10.

  3. #3
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Qyota, I think you are on the right track. I feel that one of the best groomers for riding would be several fat knobby atv tires setup somewhat like you are experimenting with.

  4. #4
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    I second the Atv tires. Lots of snowmobile and Atv traffic by me. The Atv tracks are much nicer to follow. The seem to pack the snow better. More weight and less furnace area.

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    build it, try it, let us know.. sounds interesting.. I have a butchered small tracked snowblower,, I was thinking of using to push such a roller,, rather than pull,, since the tracked snowblower would need the snow packed to get bite..

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    I find the atv tires impossible to ride in,
    The deep round impression in the ground makes balancing impossible, any variation to the left or right grabs the tire and pulls you into the soft powder.
    Maybe I just suck at balancing, but I find snowshoed or walked trails easier to ride.

    A rolling groomer is not a bad idea, but the geometry constantly fights the really deep snow. You're still intending to pull it while walking?
    Rolling groomers become exponentially inefficient the deeper the snow gets, the larger the tire you can get the better.
    The reason they may be not as popular man-powered is that you may require a rigid handle to keep them from falling over in the snow, and they don't adjust to varying depths of snow.

    There's a great site on man-powered groomers, most are tray based wedge shapes with weights stacked to match conditions. Human Powered Trail Grooming - Home

  7. #7
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    I measured the tires at 30.5" in diameter, so they should roll fairly well. Stacked upright together they measure about 28", which will be a perfect trail width. The yoke/handle will be rigid, so I don't see how the tires could fall over, unless I was on a drastic sideslope, which I try to avoid on my property.

    I'll get building it, and taking pics. I need to gather a few supplies first. Oh, and that trip to sunny Florida beginning at the end of this week will shoot a big hole in development time. Oh well. :-)
    190mm 9:zero:7, Bud & Lou on HRDs, X9 crank running 1x10.

  8. #8
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    roobydoo, we aren't talking about a single tire. I'm thinking about something 24-30" wide. Knobby riding lawnmower tires might work well.

  9. #9
    rda
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    Groomer idea-img_20140206_164929_678.jpg

    i made this last week from stuff i had laying around. i made it from a piece of telephone pole. i pull it behind my quad. Snow is almost too deep for quad now. The system i found that worked was:

    1- make a loop not pulling anything to get a track started.
    2- make several passes pulling a car tire with rim to knock down the center between quad ruts
    3- make several passes with roller to smooth/pack.

    what others said about rolling and deep snow is true. my roller is pretty small diameter and will just plow if you don't know the snow down with a tire first.

    i used this method to do a 3 mile loop and we rode it yesterday for the first time and it worked very well. it got better with each lap as we got the lines established.

    we probably have around 10-12 inches around, anymore and the quad method woudn't work, i was dragging bottom most of the time and had to give it hell the first few times through.

  10. #10
    rda
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    Groomer idea-img_20140206_174559_007.jpg

    here is the finished trail. it was almost like riding on dry ground in some spots.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    build it, try it, let us know.. sounds interesting.. I have a butchered small tracked snowblower,, I was thinking of using to push such a roller,, rather than pull,, since the tracked snowblower would need the snow packed to get bite..
    I had a similar idea like yours - an old self-propelled rototiller. Could make a heavy pan for the back attached to the tine height adjust. The tines could then take care of rough hardpack too Wouldn't ever be allowed on any trails I ride, but if I had my own I'd bust out the welder and give it a shot

  12. #12
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    If I am visualizing correctly what the original poster is describing, you are talking about a variation on a very common ski trail grooming implement. Normally with the ski groomers they use a section of corrugated plastic culvert because snow doesn't stick to it very well. Diameters vary from 24" up to 36". There are a few trail systems using this type of thing for fat biking too. Here is a link to one used at Levis Mound: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=b1edb1e564

    Rollers tend to be great for initially compacting heavy snowfall. They take less effort to pull than a lot of sleds, drags... They don't do anything to process snow, pretty much just compact it. Because of this they are pretty much only good for compacting new snow, not renovating trail that may be older and bumpy. Another big issue with rollers is that they tend to leave bumps/rollers in the trail if you don't pull them with a pretty constant force in deeper snow.

    Putting a compaction pan on the rear of the roller (as seen in the Levis Mound roller design) can help a lot to smooth things out and take out irregularities. You can use weight on the pan or some of the ski groomer rollers use dampened shocks (like what hold the back hatch open on a hatchback). The dampened shocks work really well and don't add weight to the implement (maybe a good or bad thing depending on conditions).

  13. #13
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    Yes - basically I'm trying to recreate that pull-behind snowmobile groomer, but for use behind me on snowshoes.

    I have the luxury of riding these trails exclusively, so they don't get post-holed or rutted by the general public. A bumpy surface just hasn't developed this winter.

    Also, this would not be used to form new trail necessarily...only to compact freshly fallen snow on an existing snowshoed trail.
    190mm 9:zero:7, Bud & Lou on HRDs, X9 crank running 1x10.

  14. #14
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    The one thing I'd do differently than you mentioned is to have the yolk come together as handles in front of you. As the rig will be tough to pull at times as it is, you will have far more strength to push than to pull from behind you. The other option is to attach it to yourself with a harness (like a hiking backpack) so you can pull from your shoulders and hips instead of your hands.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

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