Lite Trax goes in the snow

  • 04-Feb-2009 08:22 EST
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The twin snowmobile tracks used on the Lite Trax give good grip and maneuverability.

The Lite Trax is a niche-market product, built in Utah, and designed with rural Rocky Mountain cabin owners in mind. The small tracked vehicle has the unique ability to combine the traits of a four-wheeled off-roader and a snowmobile; it is not limited by a lack of snow nor by too much. When spring hits the Rocky Mountains and the south slopes become bare while the north slopes are covered in deep drifts, the Lite Trax is able to handle both.

Lite Trax uses snowmobile parts for the tracks and idlers; but, without skis on the front, it is still viable in mud and sand. Using standard snowmobile parts gives customers in remote areas easy access to parts should they be needed. The twin tracks cover enough area that the total ground pressure is less than 0.5 psi (3.5 kPa), providing traction in various conditions. With the hydrostatic drive and grip from the tracks, the 700-lb (318-kg) dry vehicle can carry 600 lb (272 kg) and tow 1000 lb (454 kg). Lite Trax offers extras such as cargo trailers on runners for winter hauling.

Parts of the production process are outsourced: The company provides the engineering, solid modeling, welding, and assembly, but laser cutting, metal forming, and powder coating are not done in-house. The Lite Trax has about 150 suppliers.

Since it's a small-volume product, options are targeted toward specific customers. The Lite Trax uses an automotive battery and can be fitted with remote battery access points either to jump-start the Lite Trax or another vehicle. In cold weather, this is a convenient option.

The 85.9-in (2184-mm) vehicle can seat up to four with optional rear seating; otherwise, it performs as a two-seat utility vehicle.

Power comes from a Honda-sourced GS670 two-cylinder, 24-hp (18-kw) gasoline engine, which powers the hydrostatic transmission through direct drive.

Although most business occurs between September and December due to the weather, the vehicles can be used year-round.

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