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View Full Version : 1939 snowplowing upstate New York



Ole Anderson
04-18-2014, 10:41 AM
I ran across this on YouTube. An old 1939 movie of the Walter Snow Fighter plow truck busting through huge drifts in upstate New York. Interesting if you can put up with the banjo accompaniment and old style narration. 700 ci gas engine and only 150 hp. Some of the banks it plowed back were 12 feet high.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZR2WbD3Hz0

John McClanahan
04-18-2014, 11:34 AM
I'm surprised that it was shot in color. Color photography was expensive back then. I wonder how much broken equipment they ended up with after ramming the snow piles like that.

John

David Weaver
04-18-2014, 12:01 PM
There are more recent videos of people still using walter snow fighters in northern New York. the trucks don't look that much different. I think Osh Kosh made some heavy snow trucks, too.

the last time I remember seeing a video of a walter snow fighter, it had a 300 cummins in it, which isn't a lot of power by current standards, but geared low and running slow, it's a lot.

Wade Lippman
04-18-2014, 3:19 PM
I saw one on TV about a railroad clear twice that height in the Sierra Nevadas.

Don Orr
04-29-2014, 11:25 AM
I grew up just south of Tug Hill and have seen snow like that many times. We had pictures of us kids standing on snowbanks that were even with the tops of the utility poles. Our town had big Oshkosh 4WD trucks with 2-wing V plows like in the video. Some storms were so big that the plows could not get through some places and farmers had to dump their milk because they could not get out. My uncle was raised on Tug Hill and told stories of snow so deep in some areas that the had to blast it out. These days they use huge rotary plows (think massive snowblowers) in many areas. Tug Hill is notorious for huge lake-effect snow storms.

Cool video-thanks!

Jerry Thompson
04-29-2014, 1:19 PM
I lived in Fair Have, NY for 5 1/2 years. The winter of 77-78 we got 26 feet. If anyone calls me a liar I would take no offense.

Ole Anderson
04-29-2014, 2:07 PM
From Wikipedia: Another Tug Hill location, Hooker (a hamlet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet_(place)) in the town of Montague) holds the state record for annual snowfall. Hooker also received an extraordinary accumulation of snow in the winter of 1976-1977, with a total accumulation of 466.9 inches – approximately 39 feet (almost 12 meters).

Curt Harms
05-01-2014, 6:40 AM
I lived in Fair Have, NY for 5 1/2 years. The winter of 77-78 we got 26 feet. If anyone calls me a liar I would take no offense.

Which might explain your current location of Orange Park, FL. Smart man.:)

Jason Roehl
05-01-2014, 7:38 AM
There are more recent videos of people still using walter snow fighters in northern New York. the trucks don't look that much different. I think Osh Kosh made some heavy snow trucks, too.

the last time I remember seeing a video of a walter snow fighter, it had a 300 cummins in it, which isn't a lot of power by current standards, but geared low and running slow, it's a lot.

I drive a plow truck for a friend who has a landscaping business. I can tell you from experience that engine power means almost nothing. In the vast majority of vehicles, you'll run out of traction long before you stall an engine pushing snow. And that's having observed or driven payloaders, backhoes and skidsteers with push boxes on them, 4WD 1/2-ton, 3/4-ton and 1-ton trucks and medium-duty, single-axle dump trucks (what I mostly drive, about 15,000 lb empty). That dump truck I drive is a '91 International whose engine is a DT360, rated for only 170 HP from the factory (and it really shows pulling a skidsteer on a trailer going uphill). It's never stalled on me, only spun the tires when I get too much wet, heavy snow built up in front of me.

But, as someone else said, I'd be curious to see how much stuff they broke. Ramming huge drifts like that when it's -28F WILL break things. It's pretty hard on the driver, too.