Q: What has 8 cylinders,
a spool in the differential and still turns on a dime?
A: A unique, one of a kind
machine machine…a V8 snow blower built in Muskoka.
At first glance, the visual appearance and concept of utilizing a big block V8 to clear your average suburban driveway seemed,
well, ludicrous. Why would anyone ever need this much motor? Why? Are the fuel prices not high enough for you yet? My initial
impression was one of surprise and astonishment at the shear girth of the Herculean beast. Without a doubt, this machine is
eye candy for gear heads of all walks of life. A true testament to this fact were the numerous, unsuspecting citizens driving
by rubber-necking and feverishly trying to slow down as they drove by with just a hint of what this machine had to offer.
In most cases, this machine has nearly double the engine displacement of most modern vehicles sliding by the driveway. I suddenly
felt like I was 18 and bullet proof again! The one task that I loathe has now taken on a whole new meaning. Yup, I could get
used to this!
to compare this ‘thing’ to well, what else? A traditional garden variety snow blower. Once familiarized with the
features, I realized that there is a lot more going on here. It LOOKS like a conventional blower. Well sort of…but that
is where it ends. Once you use it, there really is nothing to compare it too. Nothing! It has electric start, auger and steering
controls and yes, it clears real-estate of snow (and anything else if you let it.) However, there is so much more to the point.
The machine is a perfect blend of automotive, industrial and ergonomic balance. The final product is ease and simplicity with
reliability. Upon closer inspection, it becomes very clear that each part has more than one function in the interest of spartan
design and ensuring the engine remains the star of the show. The twin vertical 4 inch pipes scream testosterone, but they
also have the throaty exhaust note barking at the sky, and along with them, those nasty fumes that are usually getting in
my face with my 12 horse. It is as quiet as any new blower on the market. The gear whine from the Milodon gear drive is music
to my ears. The machine has a full compliment of gauges and yes, the handle bars are heated with the engine coolant and serve
as the main control center with fail safe spring return to center hydraulically actuated spool valves crafted to appear as
traditional snow blower cable controls. A unique approach to using what most blowers do not have, coolant! I was able to use
my favorite mitts without compromising my comfort by using gloves and index fingers to access steering controls. A very nice
feature. From there, the fluid force is directed at twin hydraulic motors placed discretely inboard of each independent walking
beam. This puppy turns on a zero turning radius akin to skid steer loaders. No effort, no belts slipping or freezing up. It
goes where I want it to with little effort from me. A slight downward force on the handle bars tips the Chevy 10 bolt equipped
auger off the ground to place it on the next tier of my walkway. This is actually easier to use than my old faithful Ford.
The 800 plus lb beast is nimble and restrained. Now I feel like a God! I confidently made my first pass at a freshly deposited
quality snow drift. Sort of using a chainsaw to cut butter would be a close analogy. This is where I stop, for one simple
reason. I am unable to accurately describe the fun when using “CRANKENSTEIN”.
For those who are fortunate
enough to get behind one of these, you will remember this article and agree. For those who have not had the chance, well,
I strongly recommend to make an effort. This machine is magic!
Wayne Vollick, B.E.Sc., M.E.Sc.,
President Quinte Consulting