Allison Transmission Contributes to Tucker Sno-Cat’s Success
To Marcus McNeil, the relationship between his family’s business, Tucker Sno-Cat, and our Allison Transmission team isn’t necessarily just about the number of years. It’s more about the model number.
“That was back in the 540 days,” he said, when asked how long Tucker Sno-Cat has been working with us. “Then it was the 545s.”
To the uninitiated in Allison speak, that would be in the 1980s when we started supplying Tucker Sno-Cat with Allison transmissions for its four-track snow clearing machines.
“It’s been a great relationship with Tucker Sno-Cat,” said Ted Ostrye, VP of Allison Distribution. “Their machines continue to be industry leaders and Allison has played a key role in establishing that reputation. It also shows the breadth of the Allison product and its application in both on- and -off-highway machines.”
A Different Over-Snow Design
The Tucker Sno-Cat motto is “No snow too deep, no road too steep.” E.M. Tucker Sr. designed the first model Sno-Cat partly based on his experience as a child walking through deep snow to reach school near his childhood home outside Grants Pass, Oregon.
Tucker created his snow clearing machines differently than others. Instead of the two tracks that competitors like Prinoth and PistenBully use to propel those machines, Tucker developed a four-track system.
“The four-track is easier to groom snow runs and leaves a better trail,” McNeil said. “That’s the key to our success.”
Family Tradition Continues
Tucker initially built the Sno-Cat in California before moving operations to Medford, Oregon, to be closer to where he was raised. The family ties to the business continue today as McNeil, who was 16 when he started working at the company, is the fourth-generation family member to oversee the business.
His mother, brother and cousin also work at Tucker Sno-Cat and the fifth generation is working with the family.
McNeil said the company has long gone with a Cummins engine to power Sno-Cats. They’ve been equally loyal to pairing those engines with Allison transmissions.
“When you say you have a Cummins coupled with Allison, that means a lot,” McNeil said.
These days, Tucker Sno-Cat is relying on Allison 2500 RDS and 3000 RDS transmissions for its machines.
The focus on R&D is to build stronger, lighter machines that are more durable. The company has also launched the Tucker-Terra line, which is suited for a variety of markets, including oil and gas, telecommunication and agricultural.