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50 years keeping up with the times - Innovations that shaped the industry

Lagt til av: Espen Børresen | publisert: 03.09.2012

This year, PRINOTH is celebrating its 50th anniversary and can look back at half a century of innovation. Innovations that significantly shaped the snow groomer industry.

The first snow groomer prototype was produced in 1962. Since then PRINOTH has grown into an internationally successful company and from its core business of snow groomers has branched out into two further areas, namely those of tracked utility vehicles and vegetation management devices. The past shows that PRINOTH has had a strong influence on the piste vehicle industry over the past 50 years and has driven it forward thanks to its love of innovation. Continuous further development and the inexhaustible search for new ideas have made PRINOTH's development center famous around the world. Our engineers deliver results that perform very well on the market. This is how the company quickly established itself as an innovation and technology leader within the industry and now provides customers with high-quality solutions for piste grooming.

Visions that moved the world
It all began in Gardena, where the dedicated racing driver Ernst Prinoth opened his workshop in 1951. Fascinated by snow vehicles, the visionary first began by developing the snowmobile and produced the first prototype snow groomer, the P 60, in 1962. Two years later the first production vehicle rolled off the assembly line.

Snow tillers and articulated vehicle frames
These developments progressed further until PRINOTH invented the first hydraulically driven snow tiller in 1973, thereby laying the foundations for piste grooming. Another innovation of the time was the invention of the articulated vehicle frame, which came onto the market in the seventies with the PRINOTH BIG. For the first time in the industry, a vehicle frame was not soldered but screwed together using rubber parts, which ensured optimal ground contact and improved the surface of the piste.

LEITNER was also developing snow vehicles. In 1974 the manufacturer sparked nothing short of a revolution with the LH 380 by replacing the mechanical drive with a hydrostatic one.

Hydraulic suspension
In 1990 LEITNER wowed the industry with a world first. The LH 500 was the first snow groomer with hydropneumatic suspension, complete with electronic leveling and an adjustable chassis. Single-wheel suspension with a hydraulic rocker function ensures outstanding driving comfort and optimal ground contact on all terrain

Lightweight aluminum cab
When the first T4S was developed in 1992, PRINOTH was the first and only manufacturer (and still is to this day) to make drivers' cabs out of aluminum. Aluminum cabs weigh less than steel and fiberglass cabs and are more resistant to corrosion.

The EVEREST in Pininfarina design
Six years later in 1998, PRINOTH brought the Everest onto the market and thereby broke the power limit of the time with over 400 hp. Collaboration with Pininfarina attached even greater importance to design, which made the EVEREST stand out as a modern-looking snow groomer. Today almost 40 of snow groomers sold worldwide are over 400 hp.

Mergers that changed a whole industry
At the beginning of the new millennium, LEITNER took over the PRINOTH company and continued to run the business under the name PRINOTH. With the launch of LEITWOLF as a premium brand in 2002, PRINOTH became the absolute technology leader and set new standards in ergonomics and comfort. In 2005, PRINOTH took over the entire snow groomer industry from Camoplast (formerly Bombardier).

The best piste surface. The power tiller
Continuous further developments of the tiller finally led to the launch of the POWER tiller in 2003, which was and still is the best tiller on the market. The biggest improvements are the construction of a clamping bar, which is similar to a windshield wiper and provides the tiller with better ground contact, and the improved tooth arrangement on the tiller shafts.

The highest degree of efficiency: the BEAST
In 2009 PRINOTH brought out the BEAST, which, with more than 500 hp, is the largest and strongest snow groomer in the world. Thanks to over 40 more output with optimum piste quality, the BEAST sets new benchmarks in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. Its maximum working width of 7.1 meters over the side wings and a width of 5.21 m over the tiller shaft allow it to prepare an exceptionally wide track in just one ride. The highly effective grooming speed also contributes to the increased output.

A new winch conquered the steep slopes of the world
A year later the SHERPA winch came onto the market, with WINCONTROL automatic pulling force control for use with 4.8 ton pulling force on the BEAST and 4.5 tons on the BISON. Together with an unrivaled cable length of up to 1200 m, the SHERPA winch makes grooming extremely steep slopes even safer, easier and more efficient. At 4.8 tons of pulling force, the SHERPA winch is the strongest winch on the market.

Environmental friendliness and sustainability with the new LEITWOLF
In 2011 the new LEITWOLF was released as the first Euromot III B compliant snow groomer.
PRINOTH demonstrates its corporate responsibility particularly through the use of clean technologies. With "Clean Motion", we are meeting the demands of ecological and economic sustainability in snow grooming. The new LEITWOLF with new emissions standards was developed for this reason and has allowed PRINOTH, as the first manufacturer of snow groomers, to set the worldwide trend towards a new emissions standard. Compared with similar vehicles, the new LEITWOLF emits 50 less nitrogen and 90 less particulate matter. A clear statement against climate change.

A world first: parallel offset of the tiller
Another highlight presented by PRINOTH in 2011 was the parallel offset of the tiller. The lateral offset ensures a perfect piste surface across the entire width of a slope without roughing the edges, even when driving at an angle. Optimum vehicle stability on slopes is ensured at the same time. The driver can determine the type of trailing characteristics of the tiller himself and select parallel offset or free trailing mode depending on the situation, which opens up completely new possibilities for snow grooming for the first time.

Today customer requirements are PRINOTH's top priority. Decades of research and development work have enabled PRINOTH to establish trends, assess customer requirements and drive new technology forward in cooperation with its customers. PRINOTH has succeeded in establishing itself as a sustainable and innovative company. Today the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its vehicles are a top priority.

Source: Prinoth

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