AmSnow.com is now SnoWest.com
The “Traction and Control” business has been an important part of the snowmobile industry since the very early 70s. Early snowmobilers usually ran in deep snow off-trail conditions, because, well there simply was not a trail system established yet.
As soon as groomed trails and ice-covered race tracks took shape, a search for products that could improve control on the harder more slippery surfaces became a necessity for both racers and trail riders. This became even more of a necessity when sliderail suspensions and cleated tracks became more of a standard. Unstudded cleated tracks were unpredictable “skates” as soon as they hit ice.
The first attempts into more predictable traction were to grind ¼” bolts and install them into the cleats with washers. Next came the “Hilti” construction nails which were sharp, skinny and light. All this and more finally morphed into machined steel studs with a ¼” thread that screwed into woodworking T-nuts. This was both easier to install, and the studs could be manufactured in different shapes and lengths to fit individual trail conditions and special race sleds. Studs also could come in stamped shapes, offering more “grip surface” in loose conditions. Popular configurations included the Kalamazoo Kangaroo Claw, the Woody’s Traction Star Stud and the longer Kicker stud that mounted directly under the slide rail for maximum traction pressure!