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bbakernbay

Just Wondering What % of OFSC Club/District Groomers are Parked

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It would be interesting to know what percentage of OFSC Groomers are either parked or have less than 50% of their normal grooming hours to date.

 

There are some Clubs that have lent their Groomers to other Clubs to help out because of heavy traffic or major mechanical breakdowns.

 

The Board of Governors should develop some policy to encourage sharing but I know there are numerous issues that need to be negotiated between the parties involved.

 

The OFSC should consider some incentives to ensure Groomers are better utilized in circumstances like we are presently experiencing.

 

Anxious to hear your thoughts.

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The biggest problem is the cost of floating and who is paying for that...

I think it was 3-4 years ago, they needed s groomer at Elk Lake and I was willing to go with the Pisten Bully to help them out. The first problem was that nobody wanted to pay for floating. The second problem was that the majority of the board didn't want to help them out. So at the end nothing happened...

After this I have spoken several times to governors but nobody would support my plan to have a budget at the OFSC of $50,000 for floating, still don't agree about this.

Thanks

Greg

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Agreed that Floating Costs are major impediment and that is one area where OFSC Head Office could get involved.  Maybe someone in the float business could offer an estimated km cost of floating a Groomer say 400 Kms.

 

I also think that OFSC should develop a boilerplate Agreement that could be used or amended by the parties involved or at least a Checklist that needs to be followed to ensure that everything is covered in advance.  Pre delivery inspection, inspection on receipt and thereafter, Who operates, who gets grooming hours, who pays for fuel, what happens if damage occurs, major mechanical failure, other payments and the list goes on.

 

The average snowmobilers primarily cares about trail conditions and has no understanding or interest in all the intricacies of moving groomers between Clubs or Associations.

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I think after May 31/2017 all assets from the clubs paid by permit money belongs to the Districts. So I think that floating groomers around will become easier. 

The cost of floating is 2-way, an example from Ottawa to Elk Lake is about 600 km that means the delivery is about 12 hours and that at $150 a hour is about $1800 to deliver it there and another $1800 yo bring it back. Floating is expensive.

Now, who is driving the groomer, an operator of the club who's groomer is going or an operator of the club who receives the groomer. The groomer of the club who offered the groomer knows how to operate the groomer but don't know tbr trails and the "hidden" rocks. Another tough thing. 

For me, the receiving club is paying for fuel and the operator. The grooming hours goes to the club who offered the groomer.

I know already that some are not agreeing with me but I think both clubs need to "gain" something otherwise it will not work...

it will be a tough one....,

Thanks

Greg

 

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I wonder if there is someone on here that owns a trucking business and could do this as a donation?  Would there be some sort of tax receipts they could get from the club or the ofsc?

Edited by gobills
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2 hours ago, gobills said:

I wonder if there is someone on here that owns a trucking business and could do this as a donation?  Would there be some sort of tax receipts they could get from the club or the ofsc?

It takes some specialized equipment to do these moves. As well, the truck has to make a complete trip to drop the groomer off and then another complete trip to pick it up when the receiving club is finished with it or when the donor club needs it back. An association I was involved with did send equipment north to Elk Lake, Cochrane and Markdale over the years. We used a tractor dealer to move the equipment. He did not do the move it for free but did treat us well on the price.

To expect a equipment owner to absorb what could be 4 days of travel + expenses  and do the moves when you need them done is not impossible but is a stretch in my opinion.

I agree with Greggie that the OFSC /Districts should have a system in place with defined terms of agreement and a budget available to pay for such moves. When there are major breakdowns, time is of the essence and the time wasted negotiating all the items is time the groomer could be ON THE SNOW. Since the OFSC has ultimate control of all groomers it shouldn't be rocket science to get it set up.

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The one thing that i can say is that clubs that always have the snow and the weather to groom,  should have no issues with not being able to have accesss to groomers, while many clubs have equipment and hardly use it. Like last year when ofsc pulled a groomer out of cochrane cause they had 3 and not enough kms. Give me a break.  But yet other clubs have 3 and hardly can groom. Now that makes sense. Grooming and the movement of groomers should all follow the weather and go to the clubs that can groom and have snow. Just my opinion.. 

 

Let the haters start.

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4 hours ago, IQ TURBO said:

The one thing that i can say is that clubs that always have the snow and the weather to groom,  should have no issues with not being able to have accesss to groomers, while many clubs have equipment and hardly use it. Like last year when ofsc pulled a groomer out of cochrane cause they had 3 and not enough kms. Give me a break.  But yet other clubs have 3 and hardly can groom. Now that makes sense. Grooming and the movement of groomers should all follow the weather and go to the clubs that can groom and have snow. Just my opinion.. 

 

Let the haters start.

100%

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I think the first step may be to try and set something up at the district level.  D15 had something in place for this year.  I don't know all the details but from what I picked up on Facebook when Kap got a new Pisten Bully this year there was no (or not a valuable enough) market for their old tractor unit so it was kept by the district as a spare to be deployed where needed in the event of breakdowns.  This happened and it was floated from Kap to Greenstone (Longlac/Geraldton) when both their machines (including Hornepayne's old BR that they got last year) went down.  Not sure how that worked with the groomer reduction plan but seemed like a sensible use for a machine that was still serviceable but did not have a value in the marketplace as it currently exists.  

 

I also know our district had contingency plans developed for the different clubs to groom neighbouring trails in the event of breakdown. I just know about it from a club level (i.e. in the event of an issue with Hearst's groomers we would groom part of the A trail along Hwy 11).  

 

I think MOTS and the "strengthening" of the districts, for lack of a better term, makes things like this more workable and may assist over time.  Provided things can be worked out at the district level.  Ours (D15) from my perspective as a club member/volunteer seems to be making it work well.  

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I think that moving Groomers within any particular District is much more easily done because of the lesser distances to transport and the fact that Clubs know each other's people and issues fairly well so that makes it much easier.  In addition the District President can help facilitate this much easier.

 

I would think that moving Groomers beyond District boundaries is much more difficult.

 

There may be a lot of southern Clubs giving back $$$ this season if the weather doesn't change in a hurry due to very low grooming hours.

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Once MOTS is fully implemented (May 2018) every groomer will be owned and controlled by the OFSC (aka Fleet Manager). At this point groomer deployment will outside the district/club control. So if a groomer is not being utilized in 1 area it could be moved at the fleet managers discretion. No local input required. Budget for floating would be held st the OFSC. Grooming hours would accrue to the district using the unit. And the district would be responsible for maintenance and repairs. 

 

The last report we got from our gov was that a groomer rotation program was under consideration. Groomers in high use areas would rotate to low use areas in order to get to the average of 10 yrs/ 5,000 hrs replacement target. 

Edited by Big Pete
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  I believe that In district six we have 7 groomers down do to break downs . That said last night we in snow counrty made the decision to pay to float two groomers in from dist 5 one will go to Haliburton one to Barry,s Bay.

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11 hours ago, Big Pete said:

Once MOTS is fully implemented (May 2018) every groomer will be owned and controlled by the OFSC (aka Fleet Manager). At this point groomer deployment will outside the district/club control. So if a groomer is not being utilized in 1 area it could be moved at the fleet managers discretion. No local input required. Budget for floating would be held st the OFSC. Grooming hours would accrue to the district using the unit. And the district would be responsible for maintenance and repairs. 

 

The last report we got from our gov was that a groomer rotation program was under consideration. Groomers in high use areas would rotate to low use areas in order to get to the average of 10 yrs/ 5,000 hrs replacement target. 

Big Pete

 

Very pleased you responded with your excellent insight on what is currently underway on the MOTS initiative.

 

This sounds like exactly what is needed in the current situation.

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11 hours ago, bbakernbay said:

Big Pete

 

Very pleased you responded with your excellent insight on what is currently underway on the MOTS initiative.

 

This sounds like exactly what is needed in the current situation.

Brian,  it may be what is needed but it creates a whole bunch of issues. The first and most problematic is the issues of repairs. Under MOTS the district is responsible for repairs. So district x groomer gets moved to district y. District y breaks the machine but doesn't  have the money to fix it. Where does that leave District x when the machine gets returned. 

 

Second issue is ongoing/routine maintenance. Same scenario as above. District y anticipates they need the grommet for 2-3 weeks. No circle checks performed or routine maintenance performed. And because the operator knows it's only on site for a few weeks, it's let's drive it like we stole it.  What's the recourse for District X? 

 

And in the new MOTS paradigm, D-X operators would not be traveling with the units. Why would Y pay the travel/accommodations/wages of an operator from X when they have qualified operators locally. D-X can't insist since the OFSC owns the groomer and can put it where they want. 

 

And then there is the issue of the groomer rotation plan. District Y averages 800 hrs per machine because of the length of the season (mid dec to early April). District X averages 250 hrs per machine due to season length (mid Jan to End of Feb)

 

under this groomer rotation plan that is being considered, a new groomer goes to District Y and would be there for 3-4 seasons. At that point it would be shipped to District X so it would not accumulate hours as quickly and get it to 10yrs/5000hrs

 

So D-Y gets new equipment and D-x gets the hand-me-downs with the increased repairs/maintenance and overall reduced reliability. Oh, I forgot to mention D-y sells 1500 permits and D-x sells 10,000 permits. And the ridership survey from 4-( yrs ago ago says 70% of D-x riders do not ride outside their home district   

 

 

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17 hours ago, old sledhead said:

  I believe oppositionn district six we have 7 groomers down do to break downs . That said last night we in snow counrty made the decision to pay to float two groomers in from dist 5 one will go to Haliburton one to Barry,s Bay.

Yup, we had a short discussion about moving groomers and there was no opositIon

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6 hours ago, Big Pete said:

Brian,  it may be what is needed but it creates a whole bunch of issues. The first and most problematic is the issues of repairs. Under MOTS the district is responsible for repairs. So district x groomer gets moved to district y. District y breaks the machine but doesn't  have the money to fix it. Where does that leave District x when the machine gets returned. 

 

Second issue is ongoing/routine maintenance. Same scenario as above. District y anticipates they need the grommet for 2-3 weeks. No circle checks performed or routine maintenance performed. And because the operator knows it's only on site for a few weeks, it's let's drive it like we stole it.  What's the recourse for District X? 

 

And in the new MOTS paradigm, D-X operators would not be traveling with the units. Why would Y pay the travel/accommodations/wages of an operator from X when they have qualified operators locally. D-X can't insist since the OFSC owns the groomer and can put it where they want. 

 

And then there is the issue of the groomer rotation plan. District Y averages 800 hrs per machine because of the length of the season (mid dec to early April). District X averages 250 hrs per machine due to season length (mid Jan to End of Feb)

 

under this groomer rotation plan that is being considered, a new groomer goes to District Y and would be there for 3-4 seasons. At that point it would be shipped to District X so it would not accumulate hours as quickly and get it to 10yrs/5000hrs

 

So D-Y gets new equipment and D-x gets the hand-me-downs with the increased repairs/maintenance and overall reduced reliability. Oh, I forgot to mention D-y sells 1500 permits and D-x sells 10,000 permits. And the ridership survey from 4-( yrs ago ago says 70% of D-x riders do not ride outside their home district   

 

 

And that is the achillies heel of the whole plan very well stated 

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Having district based groomer fleets may be better than the current system of club based groomer fleets.

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2 hours ago, Blake G said:

Having district based groomer fleets may be better than the current system of club based groomer fleets.

Yes and no, don't think that clubs are happy if the District takes one of their groomers and helps another club out. In their opinion it's their groomer and the ownership in "only" what the District have. 

Or if the District takes one of their almost new groomer and switch it with an older groomer.... Some clubs take care of their groomer, other clubs not.

Not sure how to this makes the clubs happy...

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I don't see how the MOTS Groomer Reduction Schedule can be justified.


I believe District 11 loses 3 more Groomers next season and things are really tough for many of the Clubs this season.

You break the will and enthusiasm of long standing Club Volunteers by implementing unjustified cutbacks that are absolutely tearing the guts out of some clubs.

 

I am afraid that some Clubs are reaching the breaking point and the consequences won't be pretty.

 

Picking up the pieces will be 100 X harder than many believe.

 

Some Clubs are almost solely dependent upon one or two key people.

 

Believe me, they are getting near the end of the line.

 

These new Regional Managers better be ready.

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I couldn't agree with you more Brian.

 

 I have been involved with our club now for the last 2 years since I retired and from what I have seen what volunteers we do have are getting burned out.

 

We have a small core of volunteers that do 90% of the work. I do not see how we are going to sustain this sport if more people don't get involved.

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What ever happened to the volunteer hours towards a trail permit?  My observation is that when people are young they have little money and lots of time.  As people get older they have less time and more money. Why not attract some new blood volunteers in by giving some incentive like volunteer hours in exchange for a trail pass or so many hours gets you a certain % off.  Volunteer burnout is real in almost all volunteer organizations - but here we actually have something people want/need.  Don't ask someone to come and volunteer then ask them to pay full bubble.  

 

What if we said 10 volunteer hour gets you a permit at 25% off, 20 hours 50% off, to a max. 40 hours 75% off - perhaps there still needs to be some money exchange for insurance portion of the permit. 

 

Imagine if a club could get 10 volunteers to bite at 20hrs, that's 200 volunteer hours.  That is one weekend for a new volunteer and a tremendous help for the club.  It might even get some of the new blood to stick around longer. 

 

Didn't a system like this exist before and if so what happened to it?  

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JMO.

As it is now, at least in some clubs, groomer sees exceptional care and attention is driven like repairs are coming out of their own pockets. I could see more club members saying screw it and taking less care n driving it as such when they feel they have no vested interest in it. No doubt there needs to be a system in play where groomers can be more easily moved from area to area but put them at a value similar to someone driving a rental car,  to me, will not end well.

I've always wondered why the OFSC did / does not adopt a 100% spec groomer from no more than a couple of different mfgs.

That way, common parts would be easily shared between clubs when an emergency break down occurs. It would also increase their buying power by an appreciable factor which in turn would cut down overall operating costs. 

I've also heard operators complaining their XYZ groomer is not optimal for their area because it has trouble / not enough power for the hills or is too large for their tight trails, why was more forethought not put into the purchase in the first place?

Edited by ZR SLEDHEAD

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1 hour ago, ao-oa said:

What ever happened to the volunteer hours towards a trail permit?  My observation is that when people are young they have little money and lots of time.  As people get older they have less time and more money. Why not attract some new blood volunteers in by giving some incentive like volunteer hours in exchange for a trail pass or so many hours gets you a certain % off.  Volunteer burnout is real in almost all volunteer organizations - but here we actually have something people want/need.  Don't ask someone to come and volunteer then ask them to pay full bubble.  

 

What if we said 10 volunteer hour gets you a permit at 25% off, 20 hours 50% off, to a max. 40 hours 75% off - perhaps there still needs to be some money exchange for insurance portion of the permit. 

 

Imagine if a club could get 10 volunteers to bite at 20hrs, that's 200 volunteer hours.  That is one weekend for a new volunteer and a tremendous help for the club.  It might even get some of the new blood to stick around longer. 

 

Didn't a system like this exist before and if so what happened to it?  

Welcome to the forum ao-oa.

The permits are MTO controlled so it would not be legally possible unless the MTO/OFSC approved it and then you would have to deal with the logistics and untruths about hours served etc.

 

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1 hour ago, ZR SLEDHEAD said:

JMO.

As it is now, at least in some clubs, groomer sees exceptional care and attention is driven like repairs are coming out of their own pockets. I could see more club members saying screw it and taking less care n driving it as such when they feel they have no vested interest in it. No doubt there needs to be a system in play where groomers can be more easily moved from area to area but put them at a value similar to someone driving a rental car,  to me, will not end well.

I've always wondered why the OFSC did / does not adopt a 100% spec groomer from no more than a couple of different mfgs.

That way, common parts would be easily shared between clubs when an emergency break down occurs. It would also increase their buying power by an appreciable factor which in turn would cut down overall operating costs. 

I've also heard operators complaining their XYZ groomer is not optimal for their area because it has trouble / not enough power for the hills or is too large for their tight trails, why was more forethought not put into the purchase in the first place?

Just because you choose only 2 suppliers doesn't mean that their parts dept's have the parts you need in stock when you need them and close to you or that they can provide immediate service.

In many parts of Ontario, especially southern Ontario, the clubs chose tractor based groomers. One of the main reasons for this choice is because of the abundance of tractor dealers in their area for parts and service availability. More dealers = more chance of parts availability and fast service response.

 Putting a "100% spec groomer" in these areas could lead to waiting for parts and service since there may only be one dealer in the province for the brand and they may be located 100's of kilometers away from the groomer in question.

The tractor based groomers are usually larger and some types/makes of the tractor conversions work better in some terrain than others. Groomer operators are sometimes like many employees IMHO. They think only they know what is the best equipment for the job they do and often do not understand or think about or have concern for all the factors in the brand decision the club made.

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I think going forward, moving groomers should be easier, if it is easier, the operators receiving the loaned groomer may be more apt to look after it as if it were their own. Let's face it, this equipment is bought with permit dollars, we should all respect the equipment t we have, no matter where it comes from.

 

I think district alignment will make this easier......for the club personal that is allowing district alignment to take place. If your district has aligned a trail committee that is efficient and realistic, moving a groomer is easy and painless.

 

For the districts that are having a hard time aligning,  look at it like an extension of your club, we are involved in a club for one soul purpose,  to make snowmobile trails, don't make it harder then it is.

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