Author Topic: Snow Dog Track Sled  (Read 25545 times)

Offline mboss13

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #120 on: Mar 05, 2018, 02:30 PM »
Took my compact 10hp into about 10 inches of slush with even some sitting water. Pulled me and Sierra shelter at lower speed. It would spin out if giving it too much gas, but pretty satisfied, especially in several inches of water on top of ice.

Online DaleL57

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #121 on: Mar 05, 2018, 05:58 PM »
Called Ackerville Lawn and Garden in Slinger,Wisconsin last week.
Thought I'd stop on Saturday to check out the Sled Dog.
Guy told me that he was sold out of them.
Said he wouldn't get any till fall
Are they in that much demand?

Online Gamalot

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #122 on: Mar 05, 2018, 06:22 PM »
Called Ackerville Lawn and Garden in Slinger,Wisconsin last week.
Thought I'd stop on Saturday to check out the Sled Dog.
Guy told me that he was sold out of them.
Said he wouldn't get any till fall
Are they in that much demand?

There is a few answers to that question. First, this is the first year for them here in the states. Lots of dealers were unsure just how popular they might be so only ordered in a few units which pretty much sold out immediately. Then it got to a mad rush with dealers calling their distributor wanting more units but that caught the distributors with their pants down. I guess there were a lot of non believers that these would fill a nitch and the last thing both dealers and distributors want is to get stuck with a bunch of left over Snowdogs taking up floor space until next season. I tried to haggle with my dealer when I  bought mine and he just told me, if you don't take it he has 4 others who will come right down to get it. He only bought 2 and neither one was on his showroom floor for more than a day. Who Knew?

Gam
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Offline Rugburn

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #123 on: Mar 06, 2018, 07:21 AM »
The dealer in Norwich, NY has two on the floor, one of each size.

Offline Poco+loco

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #124 on: Mar 07, 2018, 03:33 PM »
By Studs, I hope you mean Ice Screws! It was a simple job but you have to raise the track an inch off the floor so you can roll the track to each of the cross paddles. I stuck a pipe through the track frame in the front and raised it up a few inches on 4 X 4 s. I used my floor jack in the rear on the sled hook and jacked it up after I removed the rear rubber flap. The entire process took about a half hour and I staggered the screws, 3 in one paddle, each side and the middle and then 2 in the next paddle either side of the middle. The dog will go just fine on ice without screw studs but if you want to pull a load they sure will make a world of difference. I believe that Snowdog does not recommend the real snowmobile stud bolt spikes for our tracks, just screws and the track has molded round spots where the screws go. A pack of 150-200 screws will leave you extras and you can use 1/2" or 3/4".

Gam
I hear that to many screws in the track make it harder to steer. How do you know how many screws  to screw in, and what pattern works best?

Online Gamalot

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #125 on: Mar 07, 2018, 03:48 PM »
On each paddle of the track there are 5 molded round spots for the screws to go into. I don't see how fully studding or fully screwing the paddles with 5 in each would effect the steering. I explained how I screwed mine but I am not the expert here on screwing. It steers just like it did without the ice screws only better since they have awesome grip on bare ice. I don't see where adding 5 screws to each paddle will make that much difference unless you wanted to race with the Snowdog. I did this.

0---0---0---0---0  screws in the middle and both outside 0 s and then this

0---0---0---0---0  screws in the two 0 s I did not use in the above paddle, the ones to the right and left of the center 0.

Not too sure where you are hearing this from but I doubt it is good advice.

Gam
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Offline Rugburn

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #126 on: Mar 07, 2018, 04:12 PM »
I've seen some of the snowmobiles use a repeating V pattern, like a tractor tire tread.

                                        V
                                        V
                                        V
                                        V

Online Gamalot

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #127 on: Mar 07, 2018, 05:42 PM »
I've seen some of the snowmobiles use a repeating V pattern, like a tractor tire tread.

                                        V
                                        V
                                        V
                                        V

I am not too sure that snowmobile tracks come designed with the 0 spots for screws and instead they use bolt through spikes in the flat part of the track rather than at the end of each paddle. Keep in mind the Snowdog does not have the raw power of a snowmobile and the clutch hooks up at a much lower engine RPM but with plenty of low end torque and it has nothing out in front of the track that it pushes so it just pulls. Same principal as a front wheel drive car with all the weight over the engine and it pulls the car instead of pushing it. The Snowdog is a pulling tow motor while a snowmobile is a pushing machine with much greater high end capabilities once it gets floating. Make no mistakes, you could get both the dog and the snowmobile highly stuck in the wrong stuff with or without studs or screws.

Gam
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Offline metalbender

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #128 on: Mar 07, 2018, 06:27 PM »
From my experience, too many screws make hard to steer. I loaded up the track  on my first build, tendancy to go straight was very strong, most notably on glare ice. I removed about half the screws and problem solved.  Prob only have 60 in the second build

Offline Rugburn

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #129 on: Mar 07, 2018, 06:33 PM »
Gam, the tractor tire pattern works well at all speeds pushing or pulling. I just happened to notice, while walking on Oneida lake this winter, the sled track I was on had a V pattern on their cleats. I thought to myself that it was a good idea. It looks like a pattern option given your provided hole locations for the ice screws you like. Proven worldwide. Less screws too, as metalbender suggested. I may buy one of these machines, I'm a fan! Nice ride.

Online DaleL57

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #130 on: Mar 07, 2018, 06:34 PM »
Gam,
Thanks for the reply.
I'll keep that in mind when I go look at them in the fall.
 

Offline mattyb516

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #131 on: Mar 08, 2018, 06:33 PM »
I have heard too that too many make steering difficult. My inclination was to load up the track with studs but never took steering into account. I donít think it would make a difference on snow but on glare ice, it would definitely bite too much.

 I was going to install my screws today for a trip this weekend but wonít have to now after this storm blew through. I saw a video of someone who made some very nice mods to his snowdog and he used a staggered pattern exactly the way Gam posted (great visual btw). All you folks have been fantastic with information and conversation about this fancy little machine
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Offline mboss13

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #132 on: Mar 08, 2018, 06:57 PM »
It's not really that easy to steer the dog to begin with and takes some practice. I don't think the screws will make it any harder or easier to steer but I can see how they would prevent you from spinning out.

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #133 on: Mar 08, 2018, 07:10 PM »
I had my dog on glare ice with and without screws the way I showed my pattern. I guess I see it all from a different perspective. Without studs the dog went fine on glare ice but steering was pretty wonky and if the sled I stand in or those being pulled got a little sideways they could easily spin the entire works right out. After I put the screws in the dog drove straight and steered great and then I was trying to figure out how to keep the stuff behind me tracking straight. On some snow there is no issue with any of this but glare ice is problematic and the screws sure do work. I don't think I need any more but I would not want any less. YMMV so if you like just add a few at a time until it feels right for you. BTW, anyone who has run a snowmobile on glare ice knows and understands they need carbide runners up under the skis as well as spikes in the track to be stable and steer true.

Gam
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Offline esox slayer

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #134 on: Mar 08, 2018, 07:54 PM »
I had my dog on glare ice with and without screws the way I showed my pattern. I guess I see it all from a different perspective. Without studs the dog went fine on glare ice but steering was pretty wonky and if the sled I stand in or those being pulled got a little sideways they could easily spin the entire works right out. After I put the screws in the dog drove straight and steered great and then I was trying to figure out how to keep the stuff behind me tracking straight. On some snow there is no issue with any of this but glare ice is problematic and the screws sure do work. I don't think I need any more but I would not want any less. YMMV so if you like just add a few at a time until it feels right for you. BTW, anyone who has run a snowmobile on glare ice knows and understands they need carbide runners up under the skis as well as spikes in the track to be stable and steer true.

Gam

According to the Snow Dog reps, there's some sort of "kit" available for the actual SD sleds, my FD has the kit coming, will try and remember to get a pic of the kit and post it, along with manufacturers part number...
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Online Gamalot

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #135 on: Mar 09, 2018, 06:08 AM »
According to the Snow Dog reps, there's some sort of "kit" available for the actual SD sleds, my FD has the kit coming, will try and remember to get a pic of the kit and post it, along with manufacturers part number...

The screw stud kit from Snowdog is part # 18100 and gives you 100 screws. I have never seen the screws they offer but since I already had plenty of the Kold Cutter screws which are of the same basic function I used what I had. I am sure there are probably a number of brands of ice screws and some have carbide points that might last longer. I would be interested to see if SD recommends a particular screw pattern.

Gam
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Offline Poco+loco

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #136 on: Mar 09, 2018, 07:28 PM »
I had my dog on glare ice with and without screws the way I showed my pattern. I guess I see it all from a different perspective. Without studs the dog went fine on glare ice but steering was pretty wonky and if the sled I stand in or those being pulled got a little sideways they could easily spin the entire works right out. After I put the screws in the dog drove straight and steered great and then I was trying to figure out how to keep the stuff behind me tracking straight. On some snow there is no issue with any of this but glare ice is problematic and the screws sure do work. I don't think I need any more but I would not want any less. YMMV so if you like just add a few at a time until it feels right for you. BTW, anyone who has run a snowmobile on glare ice knows and understands they need carbide runners up under the skis as well as spikes in the track to be stable and steer true.

Gam
As far as keeping the stuff behind you tracking straight. Snow dog makes an accessory item called sled skates part #5500-9900-0001, and they bolt on the back of the bottom of the sled that you tow behind. I ordered these from my dealer because on glare ice , the sled does fishtail to the point of spinning out, and taking the snowdog in the front with it. If you look on the various snowdog videos and such, there is one that shows this very clearly. Snowdog donuts , I think the video is called.

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #137 on: Mar 10, 2018, 05:40 AM »
As far as keeping the stuff behind you tracking straight. Snow dog makes an accessory item called sled skates part #5500-9900-0001, and they bolt on the back of the bottom of the sled that you tow behind. I ordered these from my dealer because on glare ice , the sled does fishtail to the point of spinning out, and taking the snowdog in the front with it. If you look on the various snowdog videos and such, there is one that shows this very clearly. Snowdog donuts , I think the video is called.

I saw the sled skates on the SD site and wondered how well they might work. Wish you would post an actual picture of them and give us a review. I am a tinkerer in my shop and usually try to DIY simple stuff like this if I can. Nothing on the site stated they were made of Carbide that will last infinitely longer than regular steel and they just appear to be a U bolt style attachment that apparently goes on the Hyfax runners in the rear of the stand up sled. Would I also need them for additional sleds I often tow? I sure did have the conditions on glare ice where all the towed sleds behind the track sled were wagging the dog but just going slow made it manageable.

Gam
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Offline BlackDucksAndBrownDogs

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #138 on: Mar 10, 2018, 07:41 AM »
I've put quite a few miles on the dog over the last week.  Much of the travel has been on glare ice.  If you tow a heavily loaded jet sled as the "caboose" most of the sway disappears.  The lack of hyfax runners adds just enough resistance to stabilize things.  Note that some sway remains -- it doesn't pull straight as an arrow.

I will stud the track before next season.  On Tuesday I towed a passenger and could feel the track struggling for traction.

Yesterday was a real test for the machine.  We were on the fringe of the nor'easter and received 12  - 14" of fluffy powder.  Snow was still falling when I left the access.  I confess I was a little underwhelmed by the performance.  The track labored to gain traction and would break free if I applied too much throttle.

After I caught enough smelt for bait, I picked up a buddy.  With 600# in tow, traction was a real problem.  We made it, but couldn't travel faster than a jogger's pace.  Still beats walking!! ;D

The return was a different story.  The snow settled over the morning and the dog came to life.  Easily towed gear at 15 mph before dropping my buddy off.  With 175# less in the rig, the last leg of the trip was a blast!

I now believe that the standard frame has too much buoyancy.  I am going to experiment adding ballast (I'll carry my deep cycle battery in the basket) tonight.

Gam, I haven't forgotten about your pictures.  Just too busy fishing right now.  Once trout season ends on Thursday, I'll snap a few for you.

Offline Poco+loco

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #139 on: Mar 10, 2018, 01:32 PM »
I saw the sled skates on the SD site and wondered how well they might work. Wish you would post an actual picture of them and give us a review. I am a tinkerer in my shop and usually try to DIY simple stuff like this if I can. Nothing on the site stated they were made of Carbide that will last infinitely longer than regular steel and they just appear to be a U bolt style attachment that apparently goes on the Hyfax runners in the rear of the stand up sled. Would I also need them for additional sleds I often tow? I sure did have the conditions on glare ice where all the towed sleds behind the track sled were wagging the dog but just going slow made it manageable.

Gam
They are made of hardened steel ,I just receaved them today ,and haven't installed them yet. There is no safe ice left in our state to give you guys a review, and I wish I could post a photo of them, but I don't know how. But If you go to snowdog's facebook page , there is a link that shows them and how to install them. I think it is,  https://snowdog.com/content/manuals

Online Eyes R Bitin

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #140 on: Mar 11, 2018, 09:46 AM »
I've put quite a few miles on the dog over the last week.  Much of the travel has been on glare ice.  If you tow a heavily loaded jet sled as the "caboose" most of the sway disappears.  The lack of hyfax runners adds just enough resistance to stabilize things.  Note that some sway remains -- it doesn't pull straight as an arrow.

I will stud the track before next season.  On Tuesday I towed a passenger and could feel the track struggling for traction.

Yesterday was a real test for the machine.  We were on the fringe of the nor'easter and received 12  - 14" of fluffy powder.  Snow was still falling when I left the access.  I confess I was a little underwhelmed by the performance.  The track labored to gain traction and would break free if I applied too much throttle.

After I caught enough smelt for bait, I picked up a buddy.  With 600# in tow, traction was a real problem.  We made it, but couldn't travel faster than a jogger's pace.  Still beats walking!! ;D

The return was a different story.  The snow settled over the morning and the dog came to life.  Easily towed gear at 15 mph before dropping my buddy off.  With 175# less in the rig, the last leg of the trip was a blast!

I now believe that the standard frame has too much buoyancy.  I am going to experiment adding ballast (I'll carry my deep cycle battery in the basket) tonight.

Gam, I haven't forgotten about your pictures.  Just too busy fishing right now.  Once trout season ends on Thursday, I'll snap a few for you.

BD&BD,
I'm trying to think what the buoyancy does.  In what conditions would that be a detriment and when would it be an advantage?  Would you get the compact model if you could change things?

Thanks

Offline BlackDucksAndBrownDogs

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #141 on: Mar 11, 2018, 05:14 PM »
I'm trying to think what the buoyancy does.  In what conditions would that be a detriment and when would it be an advantage?  Would you get the compact model if you could change things?

Ideally, I would NOT buy a Snowdog without a demo ride on both the compact and standard frames.

I suspect the additional buoyancy of the standard does not allow the machine to compress the snow enough for traction when pulling a heavy load.  That is, the track shears fresh powder instead of gaining positive grip.  The plus side is that the machine doesn't bulldoze its way through the snow.

Using the battery as ballast did help.  Plus, my machine has a tendency to lean/carve to the right so by offsetting the battery to the left, it provided a little more stability.

I fished a smaller lake today.  It has continued to snow so I didn't take any chances -- I groomed a trail with a single sled and no gear first.  Then, I loaded everything but the kitchen sink and hauled it out to my spot.  Once I got the pop-up in place, I groomed two lanes for my traps (New England talk for tip ups).  After getting smelt, I just dragged the jet sled around by hand to rig out.  Worked really well.

My trails drifted in so I groomed a second time mid-morning.  The return trip with all my gear was a breeze.

I may not be able to do that on big lakes, but it is an option.

One other thing to consider -- the standard frame is NOT maneuverable.  It is happy going straight and making big, wide turns.  My machine is a cumbersome SOB in the backcountry.  Takes a lot of effort to negotiate tight corners even marginally well.

The compact must be more nimble?

One question for owners -- Is anyone else having trouble with the brake?. I've been adjusting the tension/calipers daily but by the end of the trip, I've lost the brake.  May need to request a warranty repair.

Online Gamalot

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #142 on: Mar 12, 2018, 08:28 AM »
I notice none of the conditions you describe. The difference between the compact and standard models have more to do with engine HP and weight than with the track itself which is only around 8-10 inches longer. I have never driven a compact Snowdog so I can't honestly rate any differences regarding how well they steer in tight conditions. I can say the downward pressure on the bars lifts the front of the dog and makes it turn tighter. I have my bars in the lower setting for stand up driving. Where I did lose traction while climbing up the launch ramp I had my buddy crouch in the basket of the machine which added an additional 180 pounds and it climbed right up through almost a foot of powder snow on top of slick ice.

I do agree the machine is a bit top heavy and can be tipping on uneven terrain. Being just 20 inches wide and every bit as high you certainly can lay it over which I have done. I added a set of grab handles on the front end of my Standard 13 HP model to assist in righting the machine in the event it does lay over. With the snow cover on it there just is no place to grab in the front so the handles do the trick.

On the flat ice out in a field or on an old wood road I find no issues at all with just the way I have mine set up. Poking your way through a tight forest on a trap line where no machines have gone before might get very tricky. Keep in mind the machine itself is about 5 feet long and with the bars in the drive mode they add close to another 5 feet in length or about as long as a snowmobile. You do need some room for maneuvering in a wooded setting but you don't have a set of skis sticking out in front to get caught on obstructions and small trees. I really think I can make a tighter turn on my Snowdog than most snowmobiles can.

The clutch mechanism IMO is a major plus on my Snowdog. It hooks up at much lower RPMs than any snowmobile I have ever driven and it hooks up with a greatly reduced smoother and slower take off. I can creep along at 1 or 2 MPH and at very low engine RPMs while most snowmobiles need to be revving quite high just to get the clutch engaged. Lower engine RPMs equates to lower fuels consumption and less torque and spin to the track on take off.

Your idea of adding a 70 pound deep cycle battery in the basket makes perfect sense and puts an additional 70 pounds right over the track which has to add traction. So far I have found the ice screws make a major difference on bare ice but on ice that has some wet or stuck snow on it the dog has no problems at all. It is a strong locomotive capable of pulling a very substantial load out on flat ice which is exactly the purpose I bought it for.

I had a Polaris RZR with chains all around that did a fine job until we had over a foot of hard packed snow. I thought about putting tracks on it but the tracks alone would cost more than a Snowdog and even then the machine would end up almost 6 feet wide and take up my entire truck or trailer bed leaving no room for the rest of my gear. You also need wide open woods for a 6 foot wide machine to travel through while hunting or trapping.

There will be places and conditions where the Snowdog excels and other places where it is best left at home. I think thick ice with a top crust and deep slush might present just such a condition where the Snowdog should stay home. I have blasted through 2 foot high snow drifts but I am not sure how well it would do out in a field with a full 2 feet of deep heavy snow. The term "Grooming the trails" on snowmobile trails comes to mind because they don't do all that well in 2 foot deep snow that is not groomed either. We can be sure there will be lovers and haters of these little machines but count me as a lover because I know the limitations and can deal with them. I don't like ice fishing when I am standing in 6 inches of slush anyway and it is not all that much fun when there is 2 feet of fresh snow on top either. I got mine stuck just once where I got tossed off track in between trees and with a tree in front and on both sides. The only way out was backwards and without the reverse gear on my B13ME model I had to get my Kubota to pull it out.

During the hunting season I will absolutely have one of these with me in the Snowdog basket.   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BGZA052/ref=s9u_psimh_gw_i3?ie=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pd_rd_i=B01BGZA052&pd_rd_r=d48c46a2-25f8-11e8-a97a-9ba70c80a3ad&pd_rd_w=xgFpT&pd_rd_wg=5HT5v&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=5MYHJZW36W6R8ND2EGTP&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1dd2ffc3-992f-4bde-81b0-de270e0ead5a&pf_rd_i=desktop

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Offline Gunflint

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #143 on: Mar 12, 2018, 01:51 PM »
Thank you all, especially Gam, for all this great info. Has anybody asked Snowdog to be a sponsor? It is a great product.
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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #144 on: Mar 12, 2018, 02:11 PM »
Thank you all, especially Gam, for all this great info. Has anybody asked Snowdog to be a sponsor? It is a great product.

I have mentioned to Sergei Banshchikov, client department at Snowdog to sign up and join these conversations because he is a wealth of information about their machines. I will say that he did join a forum directed toward the trapping sports and did his best but those guys were pretty relentless in hammering him and these machines from the trapping point of views. Seems that everything he said was met with complete disdain on that forum but I never read any reviews there from a trapper who actually owned a Snowdog, they just knew they did not like them right from the giddy up and had no interest in them. Very tough crowd there and they might have scared Sergei away from joining other more receptive forums. I do believe they would be a great sponsor here and the Snowdog fits right in with our sport.

Gam
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Offline Gunflint

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #145 on: Mar 12, 2018, 02:17 PM »
Quote
It is a strong locomotive capable of pulling a very substantial load out on flat ice which is exactly the purpose I bought it for.

I think this says it all. That is exactly why I bought mine.
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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #146 on: Mar 12, 2018, 03:29 PM »
I think this says it all. That is exactly why I bought mine.

Think about this Gunflint. Most of the guys who even have a Snodog don't really know just how strong they really are.

In the picture I will try to attach I had me and my dog in the first sled. Behind that I had my super large Otter XT Pro Resort 3 man flip over loaded with all my gear. Behind that I had 2 Clam 2 man flip overs plus and additional sled and all of those were loaded with the gear for 4 fisherman. Granted I was on about 6 inches of hard snow that was stuck like glue to the ice so I had great traction. The Snowdog pulled it all with very little effort all the way across that lake with the 3 other guys riding in their sleds. Well over 1,000 pounds on the flat snow covered ice. Walking and pulling each of our own gear would have taken a good half hour to go that 3/4 mile but the Snowdog dragged it and us all in less than 5 minutes and we were all fresh when we got there. Really, no more needs to be said for hard water fishing transportation.

Gam


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Offline Poco+loco

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #147 on: Mar 15, 2018, 07:09 PM »
Anyone use the stud ice screw brand "Grip Studs"on the Snowdogs ?

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Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #148 on: Mar 15, 2018, 07:51 PM »
Anyone use the stud ice screw brand "Grip Studs"on the Snowdogs ?

I am not sure about these Grip Studs. The Snowdog track has molded round spots for the ice screws to go in to but I am not sure large enough for these Grip studs. I used what I had in either 5/8 or 3/4 inch length, http://koldkutter.com/. Much, much cheaper for a bag of 250 at around $25 and that is plenty to do the track twice with some to spare. They work perfect and are sharp as you would ever want. I never lost a single one all season long and if all you ride on is ice they will last a long time.

On a completely different note but related.

I use and love my Jack Trap, cross jack 31 inch tip ups. I bought a set of 5 years ago and just IMO they are the very best tip ups money can buy. NY now allows me to use a total of 7 lines, all tip ups or a combo of traps and jig rods. I ordered 2 additional tip ups from Jack Traps to match my old set. In the process I learned that Jack Traps, made in Maine is also a Snowdog dealer which goes right along with our sport of ice fishing. Much to my dismay I also learned they are still out ice fishing up there with well over 18 inches of ice while I sit here in southern NY looking at feet of snow in my yard and more coming and open water on all my local lakes.

Gam
If I agreed with you we would both be wrong!

Offline Gunflint

  • Team IceShanty Addict
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  • Posts: 505
Re: Snow Dog Track Sled
« Reply #149 on: Mar 17, 2018, 09:38 AM »
There is a new video that shows the new reverse lever on the handle.  It looks sweet. It is around 40 seconds into the video. They also show a hard cowling.






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