Pisten Bully 400 service and operations

   #1  

ArlyA

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This fall I was hired by a company to help groom snowmobile trail in out area. They use 5 Pisten Bully 400's and this thread with be about there service and operations. Here is me in front of one. More photos to follow.
 

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ArlyA

ArlyA

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Here is the 370hp straight 6 Cummins power plant these PB's have. As you can see, its turbo charged.
 

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   #3  

Blaszer

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These things are so cool. Looking forward to seeing more photos
 
  
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ArlyA

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Here is some drive motors, pumps and sprockets. This unit as three pumps, as seen in the 1st photo. Alpine units would have 4, another one for the tiller.
 

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   #5  

ruffdog

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I know Houghton gets a bunch of snow so what sports are you supporting up there with these machines?
 
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aeblank

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The pumps are piston / constant flow? Any idea what brand? (Eaton, rexroth, Kawasaki?).....
 
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Here is the 370hp straight 6 Cummins power plant these PB's have. As you can see, its turbo charged.

370 hp seems like a lot for grooming trails, compared to what some semis have. Jon
 
  
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ArlyA

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When you have some very large tracks and you need to roll them through snow, plus tow some implement. This adds more and more to the power required to move along. These machines max at +- 10 mph. Over the years snow machines like these have been built, you'll see larger and larger HP engines have been utilized, while there top speed has not been increased.

370 hp seems like a lot for grooming trails, compared to what some semis have. Jon
 

bridge4

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How big are the modern engines? How often do you need to pull everything apart for service? Once a year? Or is it more based on time and conditions!
 
  
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ArlyA

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The tracks and suspension seems to need the most servicing. I'll post photos of that tonight.

Technical Data
-------------------------------------------------------
Type Cummins QSL 9
Cylinders 6
Displacement 8.9 l / 8,900 cc
Power output (ECE) 280 kW / 381 PS / 375 hp
max. torque 1,519 Nm at 1,500 rpm
Fuel tank capacity 260 l (69 gal)
Fuel consumption from 19.0 l/h (5.02 gal/h)
Exhaust emission standard EUROMOT III A / TIER 3

More specs can be found at

PistenBully 4

How big are the modern engines? How often do you need to pull everything apart for service? Once a year? Or is it more based on time and conditions!
 
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Amvcane

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ArlyA, what type of material are the motor drive cogs made of?
 

bridge4

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I did not realize how big these machines are. Thought they were a little bigger than a snowmobile.

I think there are some smaller ones, but some of them get real big.
 

bridge4

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I did not realize how big these machines are. Thought they were a little bigger than a snowmobile.

I think there are some smaller ones, but some of them get real big.
 
  
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ArlyA

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They are steel, encased in HDPE or maybe some UHMW-PE polymer. Or some plastic similar to that. Sorry that I didn't have a camera with me today. :confused:

ArlyA, what type of material are the motor drive cogs made of?
 
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ArlyA

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The tracks were pulled to service the torsion bars, hubs bearings and the tracks themselves. These are not the wide at 30+" something. (I forget there actual width) In the second photo is the cylinder that keeps them tensioned which is adjustable via the operator.
 

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ArlyA

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While the tracks were off, I replaced all the bent tack mount brackets as seen in the 1st 2 photos. The water bottle was to cool the plates as they were ground down. I also had replaced a complete cleat and guide since a bolt was broken within the unit but no photos were taken. :(
 

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IXLR8

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How long does it take to do this service? I am guessing this is the yearly get ready for winter service.
 
  
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ArlyA

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I'm quite new at this but we've been working on these two machines for two weeks now. Granted that's as we await on parts and others impairments, so this is not solid work time..... Oil changes, suspension works, tracks idler bearings etc, etc. Snow machines need lots and lots of maintenance.

How long does it take to do this service? I am guessing this is the yearly get ready for winter service.
 

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In watching YouTube Videos, it seems Pisten Bully is getting into agriculture now too. Their ability to pull, yet float over wet ground is where farmers are most interested in them. With PTO's and 3 Point hitches on some of them now, I can see the draw. The tracks seem like a maintenance headache, but what kind of tracks aren't really. If you go where most machines cannot, then there is going to be a cost for that.

Congratulations on the job. I bet that will be fun!
 

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In watching YouTube Videos, it seems Pisten Bully is getting into agriculture now too. Their ability to pull, yet float over wet ground is where farmers are most interested in them. With PTO's and 3 Point hitches on some of them now, I can see the draw. The tracks seem like a maintenance headache, but what kind of tracks aren't really. If you go where most machines cannot, then there is going to be a cost for that.

Congratulations on the job. I bet that will be fun!

I assume the Bully tracks are similar to dozer or excavator tracks as far as dirt usage. Jon
 
  
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ArlyA

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You can purchase whatever cleat style and width, to fit your particular needs. Ours are on the narrow side at 38" due to the medium moisture content snow we receive here and our trails narrow width. Those cleats make the Bully very close to the same width as the drags we use. We use rubber cleats for road crossings. Cleats also come in steel or aluminum construction and up to 6ft wide for the 400. They are different from construction machine tracks.

I assume the Bully tracks are similar to dozer or excavator tracks as far as dirt usage. Jon
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Here are photos of some of the suspension components. The 1st one is some of the torsion bars used in each machine. Do note, 2 of them go all the way across so they are longer. Next are 2 sets of driver cogs on machines that are in the shop today. Yes they are different. Then 2 idler arms and yes, they do break. :eek: Last one is a welder working on suspension breaks. Clear as mud??? :eek:
 

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ArlyA

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Kässbohrer has had there fingers in the ag industry for many years. I friend of ours in Sioux Falls SD runs a business pushing beets into processors with his bullys each fall. I just looked for a video of that being done but could not locate any. I'll email him and ask if there is any.


In watching YouTube Videos, it seems Pisten Bully is getting into agriculture now too. Their ability to pull, yet float over wet ground is where farmers are most interested in them. With PTO's and 3 Point hitches on some of them now, I can see the draw. The tracks seem like a maintenance headache, but what kind of tracks aren't really. If you go where most machines cannot, then there is going to be a cost for that. Congratulations on the job. I bet that will be fun!
 
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TCowner

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Our snowmobile club had a Bombi BR180 for trail grooming for several years. Maintenance and some pretty high depreciation on these specialty trail grooming vehicle caused us to go in a different direction. We purchased a new 150 hp Case IH tractor and installed Soucy tracks. The cost was comparable to that of the larger specialized groomers like new Tucker Sno-Cat or Pisten Bully. The advantage we saw was that we purchased a new tractor with a warranty and service that could be done by our local dealer. The dealer was also a Soucy dealer so there was experience with these types of tracks on tractors and combines.

So we purchased a tractor that could be sold with about 500 hours and would have its new tires as they were never used. Low hour tractors hold their resale value so well that we found the cost per hour for the equipment was lower than for the specialized equipment.

Now, there is an issue with weight and when they get stuck, and they do, they are a bit of challenge to "unstuck" them. And on some of our hills, when icy, we can struggle. We are looking into some ice studs for the tracks but no final decision has been made.

In SE Minnesota are snow depth levels are much, much less than that in the UP of Michigan so the tractor/track program may indeed not work there. But for our use, with a much more moderate snow base, we are quite happy with the results. In fact, we were so happy that we added a John Deere with tracks to our trail grooming arsenal about 3 years ago.
 
  
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ArlyA

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This organization just sold there last tractor which was a JD with a Soucy kit. They tell me it towed well but steering was an issue but the real negative was they completely rebuilt the tracks every 2 years or so for about 20K. Before that I know they ran some new Hollands with some different track kits.

Our snowmobile club had a Bombi BR180 for trail grooming for several years. Maintenance and some pretty high depreciation on these specialty trail grooming vehicle caused us to go in a different direction. We purchased a new 150 hp Case IH tractor and installed Soucy tracks. The cost was comparable to that of the larger specialized groomers like new Tucker Sno-Cat or Pisten Bully. The advantage we saw was that we purchased a new tractor with a warranty and service that could be done by our local dealer. The dealer was also a Soucy dealer so there was experience with these types of tracks on tractors and combines.

So we purchased a tractor that could be sold with about 500 hours and would have its new tires as they were never used. Low hour tractors hold their resale value so well that we found the cost per hour for the equipment was lower than for the specialized equipment.

Now, there is an issue with weight and when they get stuck, and they do, they are a bit of challenge to "unstuck" them. And on some of our hills, when icy, we can struggle. We are looking into some ice studs for the tracks but no final decision has been made.

In SE Minnesota are snow depth levels are much, much less than that in the UP of Michigan so the tractor/track program may indeed not work there. But for our use, with a much more moderate snow base, we are quite happy with the results. In fact, we were so happy that we added a John Deere with tracks to our trail grooming arsenal about 3 years ago.
 

bridge4

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This organization just sold there last tractor which was a JD with a Soucy kit. They tell me it towed well but steering was an issue but the real negative was they completely rebuilt the tracks every 2 years or so for about 20K. Before that I know they ran some new Hollands with some different track kits.

How much/how often do you need to do similar to the current machines you are running?
 

cdaigle430

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I see these everyday-they make them about 500 feet from where I work in Lewiston Maine.
 
  
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ArlyA

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I'm new here but they did tell me that maintenance was a issue with the JD and its Soucy pods. Towed good but operators had difficulty keeping it on the trail. Sorry I can't be more informative.

How much/how often do you need to do similar to the current machines you are running?
 

cdaigle430

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370 hp seems like a lot for grooming trails, compared to what some semis have. Jon

They need to work hard at high elevations and the push snow while dragging snow.
 

jonsstihl

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I used to drive snow cats for a ski hill started on a br 275 then went to br 350 even got to drive a prinoth beast back when it was a BR500 prototype. double the horsepower of a br275 and 50% wider blade on the front. Bombardier sold out to Prinoth but they are still assembled 20 minutes from where I live. Drove a pisten bully as a demo at the ski hill. does it have the ball for the joystick??

I would think the maintenance would get to you but you definitely float better in thick powder. the pisten bully i drove had aluminium crossbars on the tracks.

keep an eye on those cross bars they can really do a number when they break. We had carbide cleats on the cross bars for ice but if you put to many on it actually made it worse because there was less pressure per cleat the more you add on. I think we had two carbide cleats per cross bar but not on every cross bar.

the coolant hoses around the wipers really helped when operating near snow cannons that stuff really gummed up the machines.
 

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there are aftermarket companies that rebuild rear sprockets but the recipe for the plastic (resin) is very important to make them last.
 
  
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ArlyA

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More service photos taken today. First ones are repairing of the cracked torsion bar anchor tubes. Then what the all-way blade setup looks like.. Last ones are the next welding job to replace the worn blade cutting edges.. Do they need it?? :confused2:
 

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The Bombi was a specific model made by Bombardier. Here is a photos of one. Are you sure that's what you had???

Our snowmobile club had a Bombi BR180 for trail grooming for several years. Maintenance and some pretty high depreciation on these specialty trail grooming vehicle caused us to go in a different direction. We purchased a new 150 hp Case IH tractor and installed Soucy tracks. The cost was comparable to that of the larger specialized groomers like new Tucker Sno-Cat or Pisten Bully. The advantage we saw was that we purchased a new tractor with a warranty and service that could be done by our local dealer. The dealer was also a Soucy dealer so there was experience with these types of tracks on tractors and combines.

So we purchased a tractor that could be sold with about 500 hours and would have its new tires as they were never used. Low hour tractors hold their resale value so well that we found the cost per hour for the equipment was lower than for the specialized equipment.

Now, there is an issue with weight and when they get stuck, and they do, they are a bit of challenge to "unstuck" them. And on some of our hills, when icy, we can struggle. We are looking into some ice studs for the tracks but no final decision has been made.

In SE Minnesota are snow depth levels are much, much less than that in the UP of Michigan so the tractor/track program may indeed not work there. But for our use, with a much more moderate snow base, we are quite happy with the results. In fact, we were so happy that we added a John Deere with tracks to our trail grooming arsenal about 3 years ago.
 

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eagle628

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They need to work hard at high elevations and the push snow while dragging snow.

I saw someone stall out a PB600 pushing snow. There is definitely no such thing as too much power.
 
  
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ArlyA

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I now see I answered the wrong qestion. Sorry about that... I'm new at this place, but to the best of my limited knowledge, these machines have had grief with there torsion suspension. I'll check tomorrow how many hours are on this particular machine.

How much/how often do you need to do similar to the current machines you are running?
 
   #45  

jonsstihl

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our front blades had a plastic liner to keep the wet spring snow from sticking.

cool pics those are definitely well worn. how many hours on the machines.


during the ski season. our machines ran a lot in one day. day shift ran them from 10:30am to around 10:00pm then night shift ran them from 11:00pm to around 7 or 8 in the morning.

do they have DEF and all that emissions good stuff.
 
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jonsstihl

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here is what I think he meant basically a br275's little brother
 

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   #47  

jonsstihl

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Bombardier sold their recreational vehicle division to Camoplast then camoplast sold to Prinoth. I dont remember exactly what years we had prinoth br350's in 2007 so it was a while ago.
 
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jonsstihl

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whatever you do do not break the front glass, it is expensive and if you look closely has hundreds of tiny defroster lines in it. we had an operator put a functioning snow cannon through one once. what a surprise.

he was supposed to help move the snow cannon around with the machine but the snow maker forgot to turn off the cannon but had it lowered so the machine operator ran into it.
 
  
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ArlyA

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The 2 machines in the shop now both have 8000+- hours on them. Seems the one is getting its blade cutting edge refurbished for the 1st time. For those who might not know, all glass in these machines is electrically heated and that includes the RV mirrors. Windshields have been broken in them. Later I'll post a few photos taken today.
 
  
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ArlyA

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We have 2 or 3 machines in the fleet that run that DEF chemical in them.

our front blades had a plastic liner to keep the wet spring snow from sticking.
cool pics those are definitely well worn. how many hours on the machines.
during the ski season. our machines ran a lot in one day. day shift ran them from 10:30am to around 10:00pm then night shift ran them from 11:00pm to around 7 or 8 in the morning.
do they have DEF and all that emissions good stuff.
 
 
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