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How do you become a groomer driver/pilot/admiral?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I really fancy learning how to drive a groomer. Anyone know how to go about it?

Thanks
post #2 of 13

Me too..

I also would like to learn how.

I have a nice ski hill a few miles from my home, and the groomers are the only ones who actually make decent money.
post #3 of 13
Many groomer operators are big equipment operators in the warm season. There's a union of operating engineers that offers apprentice training.

The other route is through a ski area management training program like the one offered by Gogebic College in Michigan's UP.
post #4 of 13
To be an admiral .... well, well, well, now .... a cabin boy ayeh .. ye be?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Many groomer operators are big equipment operators in the warm season. There's a union of operating engineers that offers apprentice training.

The other route is through a ski area management training program like the one offered by Gogebic College in Michigan's UP.
What he said^^^
If you pay attention to the grooming at some resorts, you'll notice that there is a real talent to it. Last season was a real test of those talents with the marginal snow they had to work with, and yet, they made it doable!

Kudos to the unsung hero of skiing...........the groomer!
post #6 of 13
I have a couple of nephews who drive groomers for a weekend hobby. They were experienced track operaters, ie. can drive heavy machinery like bull dozers, or diggers/excavators that operate on tracks. Driving a machine with tracks is a completely different skill to using driving a machine with a steering wheel and wheels. Before you take a groomer up a mountain slope or on a narrow track in the dark you would need to be a competent 'track' operator or you could get yourself into trouble very quickly.

Not sure where you could learn to drive tracks, maybe check out your local earthmoving or construction firm to see if they take on trainee operators. You might find many construction firms have to shut down over winter when the ground is frozen, so they might like someone who only wants to work summers. My nephews have a father and grandfather who own construction companies, so had a big foot in the door there.

I think being a groomer driver or snow maker would be the best job on the mountain during the ski season because you have the days free to ski. If you work an afternoon shift, like 4 pm to midnight, you can have a bit of alseep in and then ski still you start work. Whereas a liftie would have to be the worst, espcially on a powder day.
post #7 of 13
You can do some real damage really fast too. Not just running the tiller too deep and peppering the slope, but things like running over a line of hydrants in a blizzard.
post #8 of 13
Here in Colorado, just apply for a job. Loads of employee turnover makes for lots of open slots on our crew at Vail, for example. The only requirement is a Colorado driver's license.

Or, ask someone if you can go up on the hill with them for a few hours during their shift. Most enjoy the company and would be happy to give you some "stick time" (or yoke time, depending on the model). If you don't know any groomers, call the mountain managers and ask for a ride.
post #9 of 13
Operaters as Kneale noted usually have a backround in Heavy Equipment of some type. Most newer track machines are operated with a joystick not the old lever system. You want to see a BTO(Big Time Operater)at work! Midwest prolly has some of the best in the biz. They run equipment in the Wheat fields all Summer.;-)
post #10 of 13
We'd love to have a Dutch person on our crew. We've already got a Scot, a Czech, a Slovak, several Aussies, and some guys from North Dakota . www.skijob1.com. They'll even arrange a work visa for you.
post #11 of 13
Kind of thread drift, but g0mer who are you? When I saw your first post on this thread it felt like you are someone I should know.

Do you know any of the folks mentioned here by any chance?

http://www.coloradoanticket.com/wint...mer_story.html

--
Dave in Spokane
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by julie from nz View Post

Not sure where you could learn to drive tracks, maybe check out your local earthmoving or construction firm to see if they take on trainee operators.
How abut a tank operator in the Army? : Free training and 4 weeks vacation/year.
post #13 of 13
Dave, it's your student, Ray. Yes, I'll never forget Doug's face when I told him I accidentally groomed some guy's adobe wall on Forest Road. It was icy, the guy wanted me to plow his driveway. Since I had only been grooming about a week, I thought that sounded reasonable. Didn't work out so well. Nice to see you!
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