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Old 01-03-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
t-head
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Default Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s



On The Old Motor you can learn all about The Walter Snow Fighter. An early powerful brute of a truck made in New York that plowed highways and airports. Stop by and see an incredible film we have of one in Upstate N.Y. plowing 5' of snow. Two clips of the cool film we have posted can be seen below.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

About 20 years ago, a buddy and I were walking one of the local junk yards (near Duryea, PA), and way in the back were a number of big old trucks from the '40's & '50's, all on 20" rubber or bigger.

Among them was an old Walter Snow-Fighter, with a blower on the front. I think it may have come from the local airport at Avoca.

The blower was a two-stage, with two auger-screws (stacked), driven by a dedicated Waukesha power-unit mounted on the rear frame. The PU was about the size of a Ford Ranger Pick-up !

I don't recall whether the truck was 4WD or not, nor do I remember if it hada single rear or tandem.

It did appear that it had been "driven to where it sat".... and looked salvageable.

I wonder if it's still back there ?

OshKosh also had some great snow-fighting equipment, including RR-syle rotary plows, even back in the 1920's...


SC Frank
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

There is a film from 1939 of a Walters with a Frink V plow pushing snow in the Tug Hill area of New York which is in the south-east corner of Lake Ontario. The film was lost and about to be thrown away when some one kinda accidentally found it. I'll see if I can find the link and post it. Pretty kewl film.
We had a contract to work on a Walters in my younger years. They are a heck of a truck even today. I jacked up 3 corners one day just to see if it was a ' 100% drive ' vehicle as advertised, it was. This particular one had around a 700-800 cubic-inch engine from Waukesha.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZR2WbD3Hz0&sns=fb

Try that.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

When I was in the air force, my room mate was in the roads and grounds crew, and he drove an Oshkosh with a huge snow blower on the front, powered by a huge diesel engine where the truck body should have been. It was a semi automatic, with four wheel steering and four wheel drive. He took me for a ride one night, clearing the road to the radar site on the mountain. It was a very spooky ride, way up there in the cab, on a narrow mountain road with no guard rails. I have a photo of me standing on top of the blower.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

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I recommend this film also as it is very entertaining as I watched it a couple of times.

There are some great scenes in it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

When I lived in upstate New York, by the small town of West Walworth, the town had a Linn for snow plowing. The Linn is a half track and had no problem with the large snowfalls we'd get.

http://www.ancientalley.com/ancient/linn/linn2.htm
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

Like this one Tom? This one was at the HCEA show in Bowling Green Ohio.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

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Like this one Tom? This one was at the HCEA show in Bowling Green Ohio.
Yes, it was a long time ago, but it was like that with a huge V plow plus wings.

We had snow banks sometimes 10 feet high and us kids would build tunnels in the banks to hide in after we'd throw snowballs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

I wonder how many seasons those old beasts lasted with that kind of punishment ?

Patrick's clip in #4 has sound, and you can hear the impact of the plows hitting the snow-pack...
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

The last time I plowed for the township was in the early 80's and we were using a 1952 Cat 12 grader with a V and wing and 2- 1957 FWD's with either V and wing or 14' one ways and a wing. Trick was wind up to about 20mph and hit the snow with the clutch in so you could back out and ram again, if you tried to power thru the snow would come around the ends of the plow and you'd be stuck. The FWD's I was around had International 501 6 cyls and 5x2 trans so with TLC they would last.....Good Lord just thinkin about it my feet and hands are cold.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

I like the plow but the BLUEGRASS music was awesome.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

Great post - timely too !

Like an icebreaker on rubber ....

I am in Anaheim, CA right now

Nice to be sitting around in a t-shirt with the sun setting
and not freezing my @ss off for a change ...



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Old 01-03-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

I attended a meeting at the Maine DOT one time and they had photos on the wall of some of the most amazing snow equipment I had ever seen. Very cool stuff. Is it just me, but it seems like, for the most part, we don't have snow or freezes like we used to. We have had some big storms the last couple of years, but not the frequency of old.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

Your right, we don't, or haven't had, any tough winters or storms like those in a while. I believe weather is cyclic and we're still coming out the 'original' ice age as well as the 'little ice age' of the 14th century. The global warming folks don't like to hear that.
The Tug Hill of New York[ not far from here] still gets some of the greatest snowfall amounts in the country or Canada. Mostly lake effect off Ontario.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

I've plowed with a Water before.It's not as much fun as it looks.I was used to plowing with a B model Mack,and I would start to drag after about 30 hours.In the Walters I would start to run down at 15 or 20 hours.The later one I ran was all wheel drive,but there wasn't all that much difference from the early 30's machines.Noisy,cold,like running a bulldozer over ledge for hours.It was only used for breaking open roads that had been lost when the snow piled up faster than the trucks could get to it and to open up some of the roads to get the milk out of the farms.That was always a priority,get the milk out.That was more important than the mail.Lots of times in a blizzard I would get confused,lose all sense of direction,not know which way was up,down,right,left,and while I might be a mile from home I would feel like I was the only person left in the world.We had no cell phones then so the only way anybody would know I had a problem was if I didn't show up in a half day or so.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

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Your right, we don't, or haven't had, any tough winters or storms like those in a while. I believe weather is cyclic and we're still coming out the 'original' ice age as well as the 'little ice age' of the 14th century. The global warming folks don't like to hear that.
The Tug Hill of New York[ not far from here] still gets some of the greatest snowfall amounts in the country or Canada. Mostly lake effect off Ontario.

Just heard on last night's weather report at 11 PM that last winter set a record for the warmest, driest winter for NE Penna since 1921.

I remember my Grandfather saying to me back in the 1970's and 80's that
"we don't get winters like we used to"... and he was a pretty accurate man, not prone to exaggeration.

I have mixed feelings about the mild winters; I don't complain about NOT having to shovel feet of snow, but I also know that means the climate is changing, and probably not for the better...

SC Frank
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

Keith is sure right. Over the years I've had the opportunity to drive and work on several old 'snow fighters' like Walthers, FWD and Oshkosh. I feel the Walters is the best, but, they all are brutal. These things were built back when men were men. They had no creature comforts and wore you out quite quickly, well, wore me out pretty quickly even with all the fun I was having.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

I plowed snow for 40 years at the school system I recently retired from. Not with the huge trucks in the videos but still sometimes working 24hrs. straight to get the buildings open for school. This is the first winter that I didn't totally dread. It's nice to sleep in and only venture out when I have too. I was the one who had to call in the plow trucks so I rarely got a nights sleep all winter. There is alot of stress for plow drivers as you have to be constantly alert and rarely have clear windows to see out of and alot of the plowing is at night.people don't always get the plows a wide birth like they should.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:13 PM   #21
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

Great video and good music !
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #22
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Default Re: Incredible snowing plowing films from upstate NY in the 1930s

That was a great film, and great music, but I could do without the smart ass comments of the commentator.
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