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Interesting Snow Plowing Films from the late 1930s, with Walter Snow Fighter trucks

This silent two part film (the second follows below), like many discoveries was made while searching for something else. It is an amazing twelve plus minute film, documenting the use of  a Walter four-wheel-drive “Snow Fighter” in the winter during the mid 1930s.

The film was shot, probably in Oneida County, New York, an area known for heavy lake – affects winter snow. The location is usually referred to as Tug Hill, but actually is the Tug Hill Plateau and is located between Lake Ontario and the Adirondack Mountains.

A 1932 Walter Snow Fighter Model FSB is shown (above) in a catalog illustration.

Contained is some amazing footage shot after about a five foot snow storm. You will watch as the Walter Snow Fighter driver has to bash his way, one hit at a time through some very deep drifts of up to six to eight feet deep.

The film shows how much times have changed since the days of much heavier snow falls. It also shows you some priceless footage including the locals riding in the bed of the truck for a thrill and possibly to add weight, along with many spectators.

You can also learn more about the the early pre war Walter Trucks at

15 responses to “Interesting Snow Plowing Films from the late 1930s, with Walter Snow Fighter trucks

  1. Oh man, that plowing style must have been really rough on both the equipment AND the operator. It looks like some of those drifts might even challenge a Linn half track. And that stuff ain’t the skier’s favorite perfect powder, either. In some of the scenes you can see the thick layer of icy crust on top of the snow. That’s some heavy stuff!

    And as you probably know, David, the Tug Hill Plateau can still be counted on to provide some of the coldest temperature readings and highest snowfall amounts in the entire region. Thanx for the “cool” vid.

      • Yeah, that’s pretty nippy. Makes this morning’s temp seem downright tropical by comparison. Must have been a chore to get that old beast to start in those condition. Watching these vids reminded me of the old all wheel drive International KB that we had here in town long ago with an enormous snow blower mounted on it that eventually ended up at Ralph’s. Must have been way easier to deal with the big snow drifts with it, I’m sure, but MUCH higher maintenance than a simple V-plow.

      • Maurice Walter was my step grandfather and I have found many interesting things about him . He designed the first tank in WWI. I have pictures of my brother and I when I was little on fire trucks he designed Great piece of history. Thanks for sharing!

    • Andy, Thanks that is a great one also, I initially posted it but found the other two later that are clearer.
      I think they are some how all filmed at about the same time. Very interesting!!

  2. How long were Walter Snow FIghters built?

    There were a bunch in service around central New York in the early ’70s, whose drivers seemed to take pleasure in how far they could send mailboxes flying when they plowed out our street!

      • My Dad (Guthrie Machinery Co) Was Walter truck distributor for Oregon & Washington from 1962 thru . approximately 1988 -90 Our last sale 3 -40ft plows SeaTac International in the mid 80’s , they may still be in service .They were/ are impressive to watch ! they ran them @60-65mph staggered side by side trowing snow 100ft , they loved them!, we sold one more Walter truck around 1988? a Rapid Response Crash truck to PDX , 500 gallons of water, foaming agent and cab mounted tourette nozzle 8v92 gemmie,& allison automatic trans It would squawk all tires on launch , I think 0-60 15 -17seconds, Not sure but it was quick , We had leaky water tank problems with it, I’m not sure how long they stayed in biz after that. I’m not totally positive on dates .Great trucks, and good people, There may be something left of Walter Truck , in Canada, American LaFrance Co

  3. Oh , they had some great promo reels in the 50’s and 60/s too the most memorable for me was tugawar with Cat D9, D9 didn’t have a chance

  4. I worked in production for Walter Motor Truck Co. in Voorheesville, NY from 1972 to 1980 when the original company went bankrupt. They were built by another operation after that for a while but they never were as good as in their heyday. They were some great trucks built by some great people, but all good things must come to an end.

    • Do you have a link to the duel between the D9 and Walter? I would love to see it. I just bought a 1985 Snow fighter with a 903 Cummins. Darnit. No snow to push

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