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Sno-Go Snowblower Working The Rim Of The World Drive

The Rim of the World Drive is a 101-mile-long scenic highway on the South side of the San Bernardino Mountains, first dedicated in 1915. At the very crest of the highway, it reaches a height of 7000-feet and affords spectacular views of the Inland Empire region and on a clear day Los Angeles is visible.

This circa mid-1930s image by the Roscraft Studios & Camera Shop in Crestline, California, taken on the Drive, shows a very large California Highway Department Sno-Go snowblower. The machine was built along the lines of a 1928 design by Dan Wandscheer of Dubuque, Iowa, that he patented.

1930's sno-go snow blower

  • Enlargeable image of the California Highway Department Sno-Go snowblower. 

The Klauer Manufacturing Company, also of Dubuque bought the patent rights from Wandscheer and started manufacturing the Sno-Go in 1928. Information about the early machines is limited, but a reference to a three-auger 1928 model states that it is powered by a Climax R6U, 6-cylinder 1200 c.i. engine; it would consume 175 gallons of fuel every 2 to 2.5-hours.

The 1928 patent application drawings (below) of a two-auger machine gives a general overview of its construction. The rear-mounted engine powered a transfer case that drove the blowers and augers directly, and the rear wheels through a transmission.

You can view another later Sno-Go along with ten other interesting large snow removal machines in a series of earlier articles. The photo is courtesy of the Michael J. Semas collection.

Sno-Go snowblower 1928

  • 1928 patent application drawings of the Dan Wandscheer design that was granted on Nov. 1, 1932.

sno-go

13 responses to “Sno-Go Snowblower Working The Rim Of The World Drive

  1. A collector up in Maine has a nice 1933 Klauer Model F that is very similar to this one. Needless to say, it’s very impressive. He has some other really big stuff including a 1934 Linn half track equipped with an enormous V-plow and both wings and a custom-built 1965 Kenworth 884-C that was originally ordered by Morton-Thiokol to haul rocket components around their plant in Utah.

    • P.S. On another site the owner states. “(He acquired it) in the spring of 2009. It has been on display at the Hayes museum in Woodland, California for quite a while.”

      Makes me wonder if it might be the same unit that’s in your photos. I don’t think there could have been very many of these things produced.

    • Wow! Kenworth 884 brings back spotty memories. Once worked at Kenworth on a custom built 884. Only closer to 1990, so a different truck. Think mine was actually called T884 for T800 truck with 8 wheel drive & 4 wheel steering. Might be the last really interesting job I’ve had. Think I still have a print of the original layout drawing somewhere.

  2. Here’s a slightly newer one – from the early 1940s – on an Oshkosh truck working.

    google: 1940’s Oshkosh SNOGO Blower Truck March 1, 2012

    Rodger, Thanks for posting this, but note that we do not allow off-site links as is stated below the comment box.

  3. When I was a teen growing up in rural Iowa, the nearby town of Lohrville used an old snub-nosed FWD truck to push one of these early rotary snow plows. The original plow engine that had been mounted behind the cab was long gone by the time I photographed it in 1972 and in its place on the chassis was mounted a late ’50s Oldsmobile — yes, the entire baby blue four-door — and the Olds’s V8 engine powered the blower blades. I still have an old Kodachrome color slide of the contraption somewhere in my photo archive.

  4. That Climax R6U had a 6″ bore and a 7″ stroke. 125 hp @ 1,000 rpm. However a dash control allowed the operator to over ride the governor which would give you 142 hp @ 1,200 rpm.

    Best regards,
    Terry

  5. The article narrative indicates that the fuel consumption was 175 gallons per hour. I think that is a bit excessive. I think that it should be 17.5 gallons per hour. If it were 175 they would have to have a fuel tanker following along behind.

    • John, The article I quoted was 175 gallons not for an hour but every 2-2.5 hours.

      If it was correct that is between 70-85 gallons an hour to power a hard-working 1200 c.i. engine or less if it was a typo and it was a 75 gal. tank.

  6. We saw it on the news on WDAY in North Dakota last night. It is being used in Bowbells, N.D . It hasn’t been used in 16 years. There only 2 left in existence ; the other one is in the Rocky Mt national park

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