Author Topic: Snowdog!  (Read 3209 times)

Offline bigace

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Snowdog!
« on: Jan 28, 2023, 06:12 PM »
Been diving into videos of snowdogs and Iíve been debating buying one so I donít have the lug around a trailer.

Anybody have any experience with one of these?
Also, do you know if you can legally use them in pa? I know they donít allow quads or snowmobiles on the ice so I assume the same with a Snowdog.

Offline greenbackhunter

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2023, 03:00 PM »
FYI they are made in Russia. No parts are getting imported, so that may be an issue.

Offline badger132

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2023, 04:17 PM »
FYI they are made in Russia. No parts are getting imported, so that may be an issue.

I heard they are now built in Iowa, probably for that reason.

Offline Itinerant

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #3 on: Jan 30, 2023, 12:01 AM »
I have three friends and acquaintances who have Snowdogs and have fished quite a bit with them, two transport the machines and gear via trailer and the third puts everything in the bed of his truck. They are simple and reliable machines which pull a surprising amount of weight.

Snowdog has begun manufacturing at least some models in Iowa and issued a press release last year saying they were moving all production for North American distribution to the US.

Offline cwavs1982

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2023, 09:15 AM »
Don't have personal experience, but from the chatter here on the Shanty and from guys I follow - they all recommend getting the unit with reverse if you can afford it!  There was a post here a year ago or so that had a lot of good info.
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Offline dearjimschmidt

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #5 on: Jan 30, 2023, 09:22 AM »
I heard they are now built in Iowa, probably for that reason.

They are working on moving all production to Iowa, the only thing still coming from Russia is the frames.  I visited with Tim the owner (yes he is russian) this past weekend at the HWF event, where snowdogs where featured, and these moves plans were started in Jan. of 22 hopefully fully moved over by the end of the year 23.
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Offline BuschaLatte

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2023, 09:47 AM »
Plenty of people build there own.  Search the group Tracksleds of the north.

Pretty simple really - old sled (cheaper the better) - cut off everything outside gearbox and tunnel.  Mount engine and CVT.  Fab up handlebars and tow for a sled. 

Design wise I prefer the Tingerdog - can be bought without engine for about 4k I think.  Still too rich for me.  Hense the DIY one.
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Offline theskydiveguy

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #7 on: Jan 31, 2023, 11:14 AM »
I love my snowdog - there is an excellent Facebook Group for them.

It fits in my truck - or small trailer. It fits in the back of my garage perfectly and it's light weight. No insurance or registration here in Ontario - I drive over 6KM yesterday and it runs like a top.

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Offline WALL E GATOR

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #8 on: Jan 31, 2023, 12:29 PM »
I have had my Snowdog for 3 seasons now. I transport it on a large hitch hauler so I can still get all my sleds and flip in the bed of my truck. It gets this ol' fat man and all his gear and fishing partner pulled out onto the ice, probably over 1000lbs. they don't go too fast only about 20mph but pull like the devil. Its a briggs n straton engine that even a mechanically inept like me can take care of maintenance etc. Only problem I have had is my choke cable got stuck and so I may have to replace it but not a big deal. Can be a bit of a beast to steer, basically you have to wrestle it like you would with a rototiller.
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Offline mboss13

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #9 on: Jan 31, 2023, 01:35 PM »
I have one of the original imported machines, had it since they first appeared in states and only had to change a battery once. It does great on a frozen lake and fits on HF scooter carrier. I can pull a flip over and all cargo no problem. Going up any larger hills is a challenge and has to be hit with speed or it struggles. I have the sport version so only the smaller motor so that may be a factor. No registration needed is a selling point. Perfect companion for early ice, before you can drag out the full wheelhouse.

Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #10 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:02 PM »
Google tracsled builds.  SnowDog is a manufacturer name.  Easy to build and see guys selling nice ones for under $15 hundred..   
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Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:04 PM »
Love my homemade one.. ;D






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Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:13 PM »
Nice. ive been getting pieces together and building one too.


Offline krispcritter

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:36 PM »
"If you build it, they will come." Not just for ice fishing. Hauls fire wood too.
Love my build.





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Offline GBguy

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:38 PM »
What do those things weigh? I'd be afraid of hitting a bump and having all that weight hanging off a hitch hauler and breaking something.

Offline WALL E GATOR

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #15 on: Jan 31, 2023, 02:51 PM »
What do those things weigh? I'd be afraid of hitting a bump and having all that weight hanging off a hitch hauler and breaking something.

ABOUT 300LBS.
No worse than hauling a dirtbike on a hitch hauler.
FISH ON! and Tight Lines

Offline jethro

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #16 on: Feb 03, 2023, 08:02 AM »
Isn't it funny how everything old comes back around at some point. These devices were on snow over 100 years ago.
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Offline BlueDuck

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #17 on: Feb 03, 2023, 09:56 AM »
Finally saw one in action on the ice a week ago.  I was impressed. 

Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #18 on: Feb 03, 2023, 10:52 AM »
Finally got this one painted and stickers on it.  ✌️✌️


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Offline cwavs1982

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #19 on: Feb 03, 2023, 11:10 AM »
Finally got this one painted and stickers on it.  ✌️✌️



Sweet looking unit!!!! @) @) @)
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Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #20 on: Feb 03, 2023, 11:30 AM »
Thatís my second one .  First one was a long track and I couldnít close my tailgate.  This one fits fine . Working on one now thatís about 4.6 ft..   ;)
  Scott needs to send me more stickers.. ;D
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Offline cwavs1982

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #21 on: Feb 03, 2023, 11:47 AM »
Always have huge respect for someone who can tinker with a design that they have in their heads! 
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #22 on: Feb 05, 2023, 09:47 AM »
I've had my Snowdog for 3 seasons now. Original model since they first appeared with a 13 HP B&S engine and no reverse gear. Simple fix was to buy a cheap ATV winch and set it up to swap between front and rear attachment. I carry a small collapsible Kayak anchor and just drill a hole, drop it in and winch the machine out. Slush is the major issue if you don't see it coming. On bare ice you will absolutely want the track studded with ice screws and I also attached ice skegs/carbons to the back of my sled to keep me going straight. Since all the weight, 300 pounds, is directly over the track these machines, factory or homemade, are animals at pulling heavy loads. Most of them can be a bit top heavy and tippy so plan on having to lift them if you do flop over in deep snow. IMO these would be much better if they were wider and had dual tracks. Maybe one of you guys who build these will do just that by linking two chassis together.
Legally, the snowdog's don't have VIN numbers so they are not considered as motor vehicles. You don't ride in or on them, just get towed behind them. Snowmobile chassis do have VIN #s so this could be a problem if you run across the wrong official. I have had mine out on a few Sullivan county lakes and never even been asked for any paperwork. Snowmobiles are way faster but who in their right mind wants to drag a bunch of gear behind them and go much faster than 15-20 MPH. I have seen guys on snowmobiles and ATV/UTVs blasting and watched their gear flying out all over the ice. Mine has never been at full top speed while pulling anything but me in the single sled and 20 MPH is plenty fast enough. It never fails, we get out to our spot on the ice and one of my pals forgot something back in the truck and has to run back. I think they just like playing because they are fun when not dragging a load. Further north in NY is where these machines should be best because down here in the southern area we get less ice and have severe limitations on where they can be used. Using them on dry land could be a plus for hunting and trapping but they are a bear to steer in tight spots unless you have a decent wood road or trail with places to get them turned around.
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Offline dubob

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #23 on: Feb 06, 2023, 09:49 AM »
Legally, the snowdog's don't have VIN numbers so they are not considered as motor vehicles.
Mine is a 2020 model and it DOES have a VIN #.  It is printed on a white sticker that is stuck to the front of the steel, motor mounting plate.  The dealer I bought it from said the VIN # is also stamped into the plate, but I haven't been able to locate that yet.  Utah is incorrectly registering them for the first time this year as snowmobiles even though the state code (Law) definition of a snowmobile doesn't fit the snowdog type machines.
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #24 on: Feb 06, 2023, 12:32 PM »
Mine is a 2020 model and it DOES have a VIN #.  It is printed on a white sticker that is stuck to the front of the steel, motor mounting plate.  The dealer I bought it from said the VIN # is also stamped into the plate, but I haven't been able to locate that yet.  Utah is incorrectly registering them for the first time this year as snowmobiles even though the state code (Law) definition of a snowmobile doesn't fit the snowdog type machines.

Everything I have read, even on the newest models, says the numbers on your label are serial numbers and NOT Vehicle Identification Numbers. I won't argue if you believe your model is in fact considered a vehicle or not but I highly doubt you can get it registered as a vehicle unless you ad a bunch of required safety equipment such as brake lights, blinkers and maybe even seat belts where there are no seats. I think the main difference here is you can't steer it while sitting on it so in essence it is considered more like a walk behind lawn mower or rototiller. For sure, every state is different with these things and many will do whatever is necessary to be able to tax and get the dollars from the registration process and attach crazy and costly rules to them.
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Offline dubob

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #25 on: Feb 06, 2023, 04:05 PM »
For sure, every state is different with these things and many will do whatever is necessary to be able to tax and get the dollars from the registration process and attach crazy and costly rules to them.
Utah considers this class of recreational machines as Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs).  They are required by State Law to be registered as OHVs.  The Utah DMV used my Snowdogs 'Serial Number' as the VIN # on my machines registration.  So, yes, every state has their own set of rules for how these will, or will not, be classed for registration where required.
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Bob Hicks, from Utah
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Offline Gamalot

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #26 on: Feb 06, 2023, 04:23 PM »
Utah considers this class of recreational machines as Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs).  They are required by State Law to be registered as OHVs.  The Utah DMV used my Snowdogs 'Serial Number' as the VIN # on my machines registration.  So, yes, every state has their own set of rules for how these will, or will not, be classed for registration where required.

That sounds about right Bob. Here in NY and up in the northern Adirondack mountains I have heard stories, Unconfirmed, Snowdog machines are not allowed to recreate on the open snowmobile trails but they are however allowed and employed by some clubs to tow trail grooming apparatus behind them to smooth out the trails. Typical for the NY way of thinking. You can't use the trails but you can fix them with your snowdog tow machine. LOL
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Offline GBguy

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #27 on: Feb 06, 2023, 06:03 PM »
I don't suppose NY lets people drive their Snowcat groomers as recreational vehicles on the trails either, huh? Bunch of hypocrites.  ???

In Wisconsin all of our registered recreational VEHICLES (snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs and off-highway motorcycles) use their serial number, except boats which have a hull ID number. Not sure why some think there's any different in a VIN vs serial number.

Snowdogs and other homemade track machines aren't able to be registered in Wisconsin but can be used on the ice and private property with permission. However their predecessors from 50 years ago, the Bolens Diablo Rouge is considered a snowmobile and able to be (and required to be) registered for use on trails and frozen waters. Those had two tracks but pulled a sled and steered much like a snowdog.


Offline dubob

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #28 on: Feb 07, 2023, 08:48 AM »
And all of this - from whatever state - comes from people making the laws that have absolutely NO clue as to what a Snowdog is or how it operates.  The number of buffoons running the state agencies making these decisions is mind boggling to the actual owners/users of these machines.  And, of course, if asked, they are ALL more knowledgeable about the subject than us common folks.  😉
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Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 80 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

Offline fly_rodder

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Re: Snowdog!
« Reply #29 on: Feb 07, 2023, 09:50 AM »
That sounds about right Bob. Here in NY and up in the northern Adirondack mountains I have heard stories, Unconfirmed, Snowdog machines are not allowed to recreate on the open snowmobile trails but they are however allowed and employed by some clubs to tow trail grooming apparatus behind them to smooth out the trails. Typical for the NY way of thinking. You can't use the trails but you can fix them with your snowdog tow machine. LOL
Considering that snowdogs top out around 20mph on open ice it might cause some traffic or accidents when combined with packs of snowmobiles going 40-60 mph on the trails.   YMMV.

 



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