FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, February 12, 2009

From what I can deduct from the web the SnoBear has been in production for several years in a plant in Fargo North Dakota. Designed primarily as a self-propelled ice fishing hut. The Canadian reseller of the machine is SnoBear Canada in Regina.

This one was on a trailer passing through Tisdale this morning and the folks with it were kind enough to show it to me and gave me a chance to take some pictures of the interior (below) completely fitted out for fishing with swivel chairs and places for fishing poles and cup holders. As a fishing hut this is way up there in the plush luxury world with complete insulation, its double glazed windows and an RV furnace to keep the indoor fisher-persons in total comfort. The 36 volt electric ice auger is an accessory and does not come with the machine.

The vehicle itself is pretty amazing. With a forty horse power gas engine it can cruise along at a pleasant fifty kilometres an hour. The tracks have individual braking and as you can see in the trailered pictures it hunkers down some fourteen inches from its operational mobile height for fishing and transport.

It has loads of features and a pretty wide range of extras including its stereo system that can be added to make this the winter cottage that moves around on its own. You can check out its features and details by going to the brochure for the machine which is on line and pretty much gives you all the details a person needs to know.

One of the things you won't see on either the US or Canadian web site is what it costs. I suspect it is one of those things that if you have to ask how much, you can't afford it. But I did a little digging and it seems the basic price is around $34,000 US. But with all the things a person might want to add to it that price could easily climb to around $40,000 US.

It doesn't take much imagination to realise that this could be far more than a fishing hut that moves around by itself. On the US web site you will find a page of pictures with the machine rigged for some pretty practical and useful roles. Tour operators, ambulance, emergency measures, search and rescue could all use a vehicle like this because unlike a regular snow machine where the operator is out there in the elements this vehicle is heated and could safely handle the worst of weather conditions.

The Fargo based manufacturer has had to lay off some workers because of the economic slowdown in the United States economy because of cut backs in orders. It is possible that there may be some discounting available on present inventory.

One way or another it is a remarkable machine and pushes the winter frontier back a big bit.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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