Dan Osborne, a skier from Florida, believes that he has figured out a way to revolutionize the Groomer. Often a symbol of the heavy industry that comes along with placid experience of resort skiing, Dan not only thought that more efficient groomers would lend a helping hand to efforts to fight climate change, but cheaper grooming (less gas used per area of grooming) also ensures less money spent on maintenance for ski resorts.
Interestingly, a lawn mower got Osborne’s attention when he was on his way to his office. He noticed that the mower cut three lanes wide. He says, “That was my ‘aha’ moment. Hundreds of hours of research and much refinement later the EcoGroomer evolved to a place where it is both technically feasible and economically viable to pursue.”
His idea is this:
The weight of the cab of any cat is part of what sucks up so much gas. A typical snowcat is about 400 horsepower. But if you eliminate the cab and just add the snow-processing units to the sides you halve the power needed to run each additional unit: 200hp rather than 400hp. The math adds up to triple the coverage area for only twice the fuel. Osborne’s data says the EcoGroomer has the potential to save over 20 million gallons of diesel fuel at U.S. ski resorts by 2020.
Osborne says that although his machine will be able to handle grooming most green and blue trails, more conventional groomers will still have to be used on more steep and aggressive terrain.
A basic prototype of Osborne’s machine was quoted to be built by Pristen Bully within a six to eight month period. Osborne found this quote to be too lengthy of a production, so has looked toward a US manufacturer to complete the groomers production within a three to four month period. He is quite vocal that he wants this idea to be turned around as fast as possible. In an interview with Michael Frank of Adventure Journal he said in regards to pushing Eco Groomer on manufacturers, “I am somewhat of a rebel in their world. This is the crux of bringing new technology to market. Stay with the old manufacturers or bring it to market another way. We will see. This is going to happen, it is just a matter of with which manufacturer and how fast.”
If you have any doubts that this may become reality, it is very important to note that Monster Energy Drink has come on board as a sponsor of Eco Groomer.
Info/image from Adventure Journal