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weird thing on the trail: explain this to me


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A group of friends and I were snomobiling near Tower this weeked. We were headed West on the Taconite Trail (I think) and came upon a swamp/crick where a groomer had gone through the ice. The thing was almost exactly half submerged, at about a 45 degree angle. The trailer had been disconnected and was pulled back but was still there.

The only way I can imagine they could get that thing out is with another groomer or maybe two. There's no way to get a truck in there and this thing is REALLY buried deep, not to mention frozen solid in.

But the part we couldn't figure out is that they covered the machine with straw and pine branches, almost as if to camoflage it. Why the heck would they do that? It wasn't hidden. There was snow top of it already.

What are we missing??

Great trip BTW. Weather was perfect and by and large the trails were awesome.

Tom grin.gif

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I can only guess, but I assume that they were using all the stuff they had at their disposal at the time to pile on top and around it to insulate it to keep it from getting too frozen in. As you can tell, this warm winter has kept the swamps, streams and run off from springs from freezing deep on the trails. This is nothing more than disastrous for the groomers. The ice made up here isn't of the quality of previous years. Obviously, all they had on hand in the middle of the woods still wasn't enough to keep it from freezing too deep inside. Can't have the ice wreck too much. I couldn't tell from your post, but I think you meant that the front end of the groomer went in. If so, the motors are usually on the back on those. They wanted to keep the front end from freezing, and I can understand that.

I assume that all the folks needed to access all the right machinery were away for the weekend. They can bring in big tractors/loaders and bull dozers to pull it out. Its a pain, but it's been done before.

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We had ours go through the swamps 2 times this year..... best way to get them out is to bring in a track hole and lift the front end out and push/drive it out

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It was the back end that was underwater. (I think. The plow end was way up in the air.) It was kind of eerie looking through the window and seeing the guy's lunch wrappers and a Mt. Dew bottle floating around.

I guess insulation is the most feasible answer. I just can't imagine that that would gain you more than a couple hours of insulation and this thing had been there for a few days at least.

I wouldn't have wanted to be in that thing when it went in... it would have made for a cold ride back!

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Normally it's the tracks that go through and the rest get's hung up. All the ice around it will have to be broken and one or more track hoes will have go go in and lift and pull. Maybe a cable skidder too. The straw and pine boughs might have been to try insulate the engine compartment if it's a diesel and the engine wasn't under water so that maybe the fuel won't gel. They probably figured any little bit is worth a try. It's a major undertaking, lots of work to get one of those machines out if it's buried as you say. Especially if it won't run under it's own power.

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It's a nightmare that I go through every snow. I haven't broke through this winter in the swamps yet but I also haven't taken the groomer out on the lakes this year either. Who ever owns the groomer in question is probably looking a thousands of dollars just to get the right equipment out there to get him out. Plus the damage to the groomer itself, plus the damage to the trail, plus the lost time. Not a good winter for them. Maybe all that debri was kindling. He might of been thinking about insurance. grin.gif

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I have a thought about the straw. When I first started winter camping, my dad used lay a bunch of straw down and then set our tent on top. As the straw decomposed, it gave off heat. Just a thought.

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I'm sure the straw and branches were used to keep it from freezing the groomer solid into the ice. Just pulling it out would be a lot easier than having to cut it out of the ice as well.

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I saw pictures of it on a sledding website, bummer.... they might have put the straw around to try and keep the diesel from gelling also. They're gonna need some big toys to get that one out, looked to be about 3 down in the back end.

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That was the DNR's groomer!

Being a groomer operator, I know all about those kind of situations....The guy was probably out there at 3 am and had no cell reception either.

Take Care,

J

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Quote:

I saw pictures of it on a sledding website, bummer....


Which site? JD? or Snowmobile fanantics?

Thanks Pier

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Xplorer,

Can you shoot me an email with the site this is on. Curious to see the pics. I have a good buddy that works for the DNR and I am sure he would like to see the pics.THanks.

oh psenst at rjs5300 dot com

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