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New Vehicle Maintenance Facility Most State-of-the-Art in the Industry

Categories: Inside Meadows Media Center Tech Talk

Vice President of Mt. Operations Steve Warila and Vehicle Maintenance Shop Manager Jeremy Evans talk about Meadows’ new state-of-the-art vehicle maintenance facility in this video.

In 1967 Mt. Hood Meadows opened with a fleet of five snowcats. These were basic grooming machines, more like a tractor with a cab on tracks that could pull around a roller to pack the snow. Snow grooming technology has seen considerable advancement - the cats are larger, with computerized systems, advanced hydraulics and electronics and rigged to attach complex blades and tillers. 

Guests walked by heavy equipment at the old shop location.
Guests walk by heavy equipment and fueling operations at the old shop location.

The original 4,300 square foot vehicle maintenance facility was designed to house and maintain the entire five-cat grooming fleet. But today, there is room in the old shop to work on only two modern groomers at one time. Meadows now has twenty snow cats and with a growing shuttle bus fleet, loaders and other heavy equipment, twenty trucks and other specialty equipment like four wheelers, the old shop has become woefully inadequate. The larger shuttle buses don’t even fit inside the old building, so mechanics do all maintenance and repairs outdoors, often on a snow or slush covered lot under the bus. 

Maintenance crew often laid in slushy wet snow to repair buses
Bus maintenance was performed outdoors - often requiring our crew to lay in slushy wet snow to repair the buses.

This summer Meadows constructed a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art vehicle maintenance facility adjacent to the Sunrise parking lot. The new facility can easily accommodate three snowcats, two large buses and a couple of trucks at the same time. The bays are wider to make it easier to get snowcats in and out and deeper so a bus fits all the way in. The increased square footage and access to vehicles alone will keep the machines on the snow with less down time. There is room to move equipment indoors to “thaw”, removing snowpack, ice and slush to make thorough inspections easier and more routine.

Interior of the spacious new 10,000 square foot vehicle maintenance facility
The 10,000 square foot facility provides the room needed to work on the current fleet of advanced equipment from snowcats and loaders to buses and trucks.

The relocation also removes the congestion that parking and fueling snowcats and other vehicles at the old shop created. While guests won’t see the new shop, they will notice higher quality grooming more consistently of all terrain.  Guests will also benefit from improved shuttle transportation between lots as the new facility will maintain the ever growing shuttle bus fleet, which is also used to transport staff daily from Hood River and Sandy. Most notably is increased safety and comfort for Meadows mechanics who currently work on buses outside in the parking lot. 

Snowcats congregating around the old vehicle maintenance shop.With the cats no longer needing to fuel at and park near the old shop, a 60 foot Sun Kid over the snow conveyer will be installed to add much needed terrain for lessons.