Mountain resort operators work in some of the most challenging terrain imaginable. Gullies, deep ditches and steep inclines, not to mention deep, deep snow are all part of a day on the slopes. Equipment such as the Jarcrac Multi takes these challenges in stride.
Jarcrac started in 1998 when CEO and founder Jari Konttila built his first two-tracked machine with a friend in a small shed. The first machine had a two-liter Toyota gasoline engine and transmission, and came from second-hand parts. Jari’s first machines operated as snow groomers and personnel carriers.
“By 2010, the demand had increased for the tracked vehicles, so he started metal works and the manufacture of the machines on a full-time basis as a sole proprietor. He had one employee assisting with the welding and assembly process,” said Jarcrac spokesperson Jere Konttila.
Jarcrac’s early machines came with a modified track system from a unique military vehicle called Bandvagn 202, and the engines were second-hand from Mercedes Benz vehicles. According to Jere, customers enjoyed the small machine’s advancing capabilities.
“Those machines could be tailored to fit customers’ needs. If the customer had an idea for an accessory, we worked to refine the idea and create the system,” he said, adding that this custom approach is still an important part of Jarcrac’s support to make the machine fit each customer’s exact needs.
In 2014, the first forest machines, built on the Bandvagn 202 tracks, were manufactured with articulated steering. These first machines found their way to locations such as Latvia, where the demand was for low ground pressure tracked machines, just like those Jarcrac was producing.
With prospects for continued growth, Jari took his company to the next level in 2015 when he moved it from a basic sole proprietorship into a limited company creating Jarcrac Forest Finland Oy. At this time, the company began creating bigger updates to their forest machines. “Updated designs offered new cabins and stronger components, and there was more emphasis on operator comfort and ergonomics,” said Jere, remarking that all of Jarcrac operations take place at their factory in Lapland in Ranua, Finland, where they weld and build the main configurations and assemble the final machines with a cohort of five multi-skilled employees. Dealers are found in the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, the U.K., Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, and the U.S.
Multi offers huge capability
The Jarcrac Multi design, launched in 2019, was a marriage of aspects from the company’s formidable range of snow machines that use the innovative Bandvagn 202 track system. “The Jarcrac Multi design is based on the good aspects that we’ve picked up from our forest machines and the older machines that had the Bandvagn 202 track system, and that’s why we’ve been able to keep the base machine comfortable, reliable and strong,” said Jere.
“I think the name fits this machine perfectly. It’s a small two-tracked multi-purpose machine, which has nearly unlimited possibilities for equipment. Attach a category II, three-way-hitch on it, and you’re good to go for pretty much every accessory that is compatible with the hitch.”
He says that the machine’s large surface-area tracks are very gentle on the ground and allow it to advance in areas that might be inaccessible to other vehicles. Also, the long tracks are designed to be used year-round, and the high ground clearance makes this machine excel in soft soils and snow.
“We also manufacture small-sized forest machines for thinnings and sensitive grounds as eight-wheeled and tracked versions,” Jere said. “The small forest machines we make are economical and conserve the forest soil. In thinnings, they produce a better result than the large machines because they don’t require wide trails between the trees. This aspect allows for more of the proper trees to grow for a final tree felling in the future.”
Jere says he has seen a growing demand for small all-terrain vehicles like the Jarcrac Multi because they can be used for so many purposes. For example, Jarcrac Multis are being used by electrical contractors as carriers, in the tourism business as a maintenance vehicle/groomer, for towing sleds and in the geo-service sector where Multis help make roads for heavier mining equipment. Some forest machines have been accessorized with ore drills for mining companies and others have total radio control of the whole machine for fencing companies. As the equipment’s tracks are for year-round use, managing and grooming forest hiking trails is also suitable.
“We’ve designed the Multi to be a versatile all-terrain vehicle in the multi-purpose machine market, suitable for contractors and other businesses that require many uses from their machine,” he said, commenting that the Jarcrac Multi fits well in the groomer market since it can be used on icy terrain and deep snow, as well as in the summer for forest trail management.
The Jarcrac Multi with snow grooming equipment is ideal for work on cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails and even steep ski hills as a cable winch can be attached to the machine. Ice-oriented steel cleats with spikes can be installed on the tracks as a method to enhance the Multi’s surprising capability further.
The snow grooming equipment for the Multi includes a snowplow with four, six and eight functions, a 200-centimeter- (78.8-inch-) or 250-centimeter- (98.4-inch-) wide leveling drag and track-setters. Driving and steering functions use a joystick for control and the equipment functions have a dedicated control board.
“As a small machine, it doesn’t really outperform the large groomers, but the costs of using the Multi are lower, and it benefits from the small size in tight spaces and soft areas. One option for snowmobile clubs is to buy two of these smaller machines for the price of one bigger machine. This type of purchase gets more done while keeping the maintenance costs low,” Jere said, mentioning that the Multi is a reliable, smaller and lighter machine with a design that is simple and functional.
Operating the Jarcrac Multi is simple and safety is built-in. Multis sport a simple structure and are easy to maintain without needlessly complicated electronics or other components. Thanks to Multi’s operational simplicity, basic training on control devices, maintenance spots and machine safety are easy processes that get operators on the job quickly. The cabin of the Jarcrac Multi is rollover (ROPS) and falling objects (FOPS) tested up to 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) in the earthmoving machinery class and Multi is made according to the European machine directives.
For more information on Jarcrac and their innovative Multi, visit www.jarcrac.com.