Can-Am Defender Accessorized For Snow Trail Grooming

Pennsylvania snowmobile club utilizes Can-Am side-by-side vehicle to maintain winter trails

News Jerrod Kelley

The Willow Creek Snowmobile Club (WCSC) recently invested in a new Can-Am Defender XT CAB HD10 side-by-side vehicle outfitted with many Can-Am accessories, including a Pro Mount plow and Apache 360 LT track kit.

The off-road vehicle will be utilized to groom the club’s snowmobile trails. The Can-Am will made its maiden grooming voyage on the club’s brand new trails Friday, Dec. 20, according to club member Joe Strotman.

I recently spoke to Strotman about the Defender purchase and build. The club is making an effort to rekindle the passion for snowmobile riding in northern Pennsylvania because it’s a healthy alternative to being cooped up all winter.

“We chose the Defender side-by-side vehicle due to the dealer support we received from Jim Coast Sales and Service,” said Strotman. He added that the Jim Coast staff also helped them build the vehicle to meet the club’s needs.

He added the reliability of the belt system when pulling the drag was also a deciding factor. “We took input from Arrowhead Groomers and our dealer that the belt system could withstand the load of pulling the drag,” stated Strotman. “We can’t wait to see what she can do.”

According to Strotman, not just anyone can operate the Defender vehicle. “The operating of the groomer will be a shared responsibility among those members who’ve been trained by the U.S. Forest Service,” he explained. All club groomers had to take a grooming education course given by the USFS Allegheny NF and produced by the New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA).

In fact, the club bought the Can-Am and is doing the grooming because the ANF, which previously took care of the snow trails, had budgetary cuts. The vehicle will certainly get its shot at proving its worth, as this area in the Keystone State typically gets 60 inches of snow per year, according to the Allegheny NF site.

The steel 6-foot by 12-foot Arrowhead Hydraulic Mini Groomer is designed to be used by side-by-side vehicles to groom snow trails.

But, just because the Can-Am has the all-season Apache 360 LT track kits, warm cab and plow doesn’t mean it will be able to partake in all the trail-riding fun. “The vehicle is currently only used for grooming, as our system of trails is only open to snowmobiles,” stated Strotman. But the 82-hp Defender, with its 69 lb-ft torque will be used plenty pulling the Arrowhead 6-ft. x 12-ft. Electric over Hydraulic Mini Groomer.

WCSC held its first club meeting Dec. 19, 2019, at The Willows restaurant in Bradford, PA.

The new WCSC logo, designed by Ron Bradley, adorns the Can-Am Defender SSV’s door.

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