USAF Thiokol 601

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

Keith_J

Active member
2,895
6
38
Location
Schertz TX
Ah, a snow cat. Explains the belting track. Only meant to spread the load over snow. Still very interesting that Thiokol made it. They are noted more for their solid rocket motors.
 

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
<snip>
I couldnt help but notice......"future owner of a M35a2" ????? I could help with that if you decide that sno-cat Dosnt sute your needs.:wink:
Sorry, but I recently won a couple of eBay auctions. Just waiting for the currently owners to get the cash. Now if you can find me a decent MEP.... :)
 
Last edited:

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
Ah, a snow cat. Explains the belting track. Only meant to spread the load over snow. Still very interesting that Thiokol made it. They are noted more for their solid rocket motors.
Not quite. These are all-terrain vehicles that spread the load over snow, sand, mud, dirt, grass, salt flats, etc. This series of 'snowcat' actually does poorly in any deep snow compared to lighter, wider tracked units.

The link between Thiokol, snowcats, and rockets is closer than you think. I believe the story goes that the military was looking for a vehicle to recover test rockets (made by Thiokol) from the Utah test ranges. Anyone who's ever driven a heavy wheeled vehicle over the salt flats knows that once a tire breaks through the crust, you're done! A local university built a few prototype tracked vehicles and then Thiokol, who of course had the inside track and manufacturing capabilities, began mass producing them for the USAF.

Thiokol also later began making true snowcats (that would lose a track if they tried to turn on hard ground, like grass) and chairlift equipment for the ski industry. That part of the company was eventually bought by DMC (yup, DeLorean!) until he went 'bust' (in more ways than one). Then it was bought (or restarted) as LMC (Logan Manufacturing Company) by an employee group before finally fading into history. I'm sure I don't have the history exactly correct, but it's something like that.
 
Last edited:

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
Heads up, the 601 should be on the move tomorrow afternoon for repositioning. Taking her south to get the mice chased out for Weare. Most of the trip will be along I-91 between St Johnsbury and Windsor VT.

Currently parked next to a civvy cousin, the Thiokol 1201C(WT).
 

Attachments

SteveKuhn

New member
1,227
4
0
Location
Hasbrouck Heights NJ
Brings back fond memories of my Revell catalog with one of these towing a large artillery piece. Or was it a trailer mounted rocket?

Did anyone know you can spend > 30 mins looking at Revell models on Google that you built as a kid? Without finding the Snow Cat?

Steve
 

Carl_in_NH

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
844
1
18
Location
Wilton NH
Hope you have a good trip down the highway with the 601 in tow, Bob. Been to Windsor, VT., many a time; the American Precision Museum is a favorite place in town to spend a couple hours looking at historical machine tools. The diner downtown is a great place to grab lunch, too.
 

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
Brings back fond memories of my Revell catalog with one of these towing a large artillery piece. Or was it a trailer mounted rocket?

Did anyone know you can spend > 30 mins looking at Revell models on Google that you built as a kid? Without finding the Snow Cat?

Steve

Maybe you're thinking of a USArmy Weasel pulling a smaller artillery piece?

I know some model companies did make models of other snowcats, just not this one. I believe there are models out there of other Thiokols, Tuckers, Aktiv SnowMasters, Ohara (Japanese, not Irish), BV206 (more of an ATV), etc. You might even find a model of the 'Lost in Space' Chariot. It was built on a Thiokol Snowcat chassis, possibly a 1201.
 

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
Hope you have a good trip down the highway with the 601 in tow, Bob. Been to Windsor, VT., many a time; the American Precision Museum is a favorite place in town to spend a couple hours looking at historical machine tools. The diner downtown is a great place to grab lunch, too.

I hit the road too late for any site-seeing, but I'll be driving that route quite a bit in the coming years, so I'll get to the museum eventually. Didn't even have time for lunch.
 

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
I got the 601 towed south on Tuesday as planned, just much later in the day than planned. She wasn't going to run right for me (white smoke from the exhaust and a blown master or slave steering cylinder), so it was winching and towing time. Nephew was with me just to observe, but now he had to steer and brake the cat as I pulled it down hill. I would have felt a little less uneasy about this if he at least had a drivers license. :neutral: He did fine.

Since I couldn't drive it onto the trailer, had to use the truck winch (on the front) to pull it on. Then when I turned the truck around and tried to crank the tongue up to connect to the truck, the handle of the trailer tongue jack broke. Hi-lift jack to the rescue. Stuck a small bolt through the hole where the jack handle had broken off and managed to crank the jack foot up (out-of-the-way for towing) using a pair of pliers as a handle. It didn't go up easy, but it went up. Tossed everything into the back of the truck and hit the road. Hmmm, should I have left the bolt in that hole? Read on...

The trip down was uneventful. Cousin was positively giddy to see the cat. He's a pure Mopar guy, but is willing to make an exception for this Ford-powered beauty. 8) Hopefully a new gasket or two and she'll be purring again. His marching orders are, make the M43 road-worthy first, then make the cat purr. No matter what, the cat is going to get a ride to Weare, but the M43 has to make it on its' own.

On the trip up, at maybe 22-2300hrs, I get the flashy-flashies from someone passing me. I pull over to see if maybe a strap is flopping around or a trailer light is out. Nope. Maybe just a Moose alert. Start to get back in the truck when I notice that hot metal smell, like welding. Arrg! The inner body of the tongue jack had slid down through the outer tube and the foot had been riding the pavement for some (thankfully small) amount of time. A bit of metal polished off the front of the foot, but no real damage. I bet the sparks looked really cool! :mrgreen: Shoulda left that bolt in the hole. :doh:

During an after action review with the trailer owner, the jack was disassembled and it seems that an internal bearing had disintegrated some time ago. That's why it was so hard to crank up and the handle broke in the fist place...too much friction. At least my friend holds me non culpos mentis...or somesuch. :rolleyes: Still, I hate returning borrowed stuff broke. If it hadn't been the 4th, I'd have fixed it up with parts from TSC.

Anyway, due to a late departure, I only have a few pictures of recovering her from the mountainside for your perusal, and none of the trip down or delivery. She's about 30mins from Weare now. The moose will miss her while she's gone.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

RangerBob

New member
697
1
0
Location
NM/NH/AK
Reminds me of 2 of the ARFF rigs we used in Antarctica. They were big and slow but they handled the snow real well. We did have one get stuck when the driver tried to climb a snow drift after a big storm and it sank.
Are the yellow units Foremost/Nodwell 110s? (on closer exaimination, I think not, but similar, maybe a Foremost Chieftan?)

I see most of the rest of your fleet has Mattracks. Man, those are stupidly expensive!! :shock:
 
Last edited:

Carl_in_NH

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
844
1
18
Location
Wilton NH
Glad to hear the 601 made it down this way, Bob. Brother Murphy likes to visit during such activities, and given the length of the trip and size of cargo it sounds like you had a minimal amount of trouble.

Need help getting it steering again, or are you all set?
 
1,544
59
0
Location
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Are the yellow units Foremost/Nodwell 110s? (on closer examination, I think not, but similar, maybe a Foremost Chieftain?)

I see most of the rest of your fleet has Mattracks. Man, those are stupidly expensive!! :shock:
Yeah they are chieftains, we had 2 one was 4 door crew cab and one was a 2 door. Also the 4 door used a separate Tecumseh diesel engine to power the fire pump and the 2 door used a PTO to power the pump.

They are Canadian made, I know that. We could use some new ones, but because of funding everything has to be American made. While I agree with using as much American made gear as possible, there aren't any American companies building anything as capable as the chieftain or Ivan the Tera bus for that mater. The tried replacing the Tera bus with a huge rig made by Caterpillar. The Caterpillar rig just isn't as capable or easy to maneuver or drive as the Tera Bus, which means they hardly use it. And I don't even wanna know what the Caterpillar rig cost, id guess total cost delivered to be about 500k.

The mat tracks aren't all they are cracked up to be, they are pretty slow and VERY rough ride. Id get in trouble for driving through soft snow to cushion the ride instead of staying on the packed road. Plus the Fords they are on are the dreaded international 6.0L diesels. Also they didn't upgrade the power-steering so they are next to impossible to turn at low speeds. They are looking for replacements but nothing promising has been found.

I suggested either using a Haaglund or a Pistenbully with an ARFF pod on the back. They used to use a couple Nodwell's but stopped due to parts availability and reliability.
 

Attachments

therealsundance

New member
412
15
0
Location
Lutherville, MD
Yeah they are chieftains, we had 2 one was 4 door crew cab and one was a 2 door. Also the 4 door used a separate Tecumseh diesel engine to power the fire pump and the 2 door used a PTO to power the pump.

They are Canadian made, I know that. We could use some new ones, but because of funding everything has to be American made. While I agree with using as much American made gear as possible, there aren't any American companies building anything as capable as the chieftain or Ivan the Tera bus for that mater. The tried replacing the Tera bus with a huge rig made by Caterpillar. The Caterpillar rig just isn't as capable or easy to maneuver or drive as the Tera Bus, which means they hardly use it. And I don't even wanna know what the Caterpillar rig cost, id guess total cost delivered to be about 500k.

The mat tracks aren't all they are cracked up to be, they are pretty slow and VERY rough ride. Id get in trouble for driving through soft snow to cushion the ride instead of staying on the packed road. Plus the Fords they are on are the dreaded international 6.0L diesels. Also they didn't upgrade the power-steering so they are next to impossible to turn at low speeds. They are looking for replacements but nothing promising has been found.

I suggested either using a Haaglund or a Pistenbully with an ARFF pod on the back. They used to use a couple Nodwell's but stopped due to parts availability and reliability.

The Cat is just a modified Articulated Dump Truck that has been converted.
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks