When something is referred to as “ultimate,” you can be assured that it will stand the test of time. Now more than a decade after its invention, the Ultimate Groomer remains a fixture in the marketplace as it has been designed to withstand the toughest of winter conditions and leave miles of smooth snowmobile trails in its path.
The Ultimate Groomer Drag Line of equipment is owned and manufactured by Universal Truck Equipment (UTE), which sells heavy equipment up-fitters to municipalities and owner/operators. UTE manufactures its own plows, wings and scrapers in Galesville, Wis., where the equipment is put to the test in the state’s winter conditions. UTE purchased the Ultimate Groomer Drag Line in 2010, and since then has been continuing to work on and improve the product.
The Ultimate Groomer Drag is designed to be pulled behind a tow unit to groom snow trails effectively. It comes in several sizes ranging from eight-feet wide to 12-feet six-inches wide in the base design that has a 20-foot long snow processing area.
Greg Konkel, UTE sales representative, says the key to differentiating themselves from the competition is by building their drag with tilted side rails to create strength throughout the entire drag. The company also uses an additional internal tubing which provides extra strength.
“We have our cutting blades tilted back to create a smoother pull without the blade chatter of others – this theory is relative to the design of a grader blade,” said Konkel.
The Ultimate Groomer Drag also offers a hydraulically controlled ski to smooth out the ride of the drag and has the ability to find and maintain your sweet spot throughout the grooming process.
Ultimate Junior Groomer launched
With the evolution and success of the Ultimate Groomer, UTE recently launched the Ultimate Junior Groomer Drag.
“This drag shares the same proven design of the original Ultimate Groomer Drag while offering the versatility of a self-contained power unit to be towed by any tow vehicle with a receiver hitch,” said Konkel. “Its self-contained power unit is housed in a high-quality lockable aluminum toolbox which contains items such as a battery, trickle charger and mounting for the antenna to work its wireless controller.”
Konkel said that the major benefit to using the Ultimate Junior Groomer is its durability due to its additional tubing, extra bracing at critical points and additional mounted plates at the connection sites. Each unit is inspected and tested to ensure it functions correctly once a customer receives it.
The hydraulic ski has the ability to make “good operators” into “great operators” said Konkel. It is unique to the Ultimate Junior Groomer and enhances the functionality of the grooming drag.
Konkel says that like many other drags on the market, the Ultimate Junior Groomer can use the stiff hitch to move the front of the drag up and down. If the front of the drag needs to be raised, simply stiff hitch as needed and return to the same grooming position where the ski was set to maintain a consistent trail.
“We have found that the addition of the ski to the Ultimate Junior has greatly diminished the amount of load on the tow vehicle as it distributes the weight of the drag and makes it easier to pull,” said Konkel.
He adds that UTE chose the engineering design for the Ultimate Junior Groomer Drag because the company identified and appreciated the strength and durability of the original product.
Since assuming ownership of the Ultimate Groomer Drag, Konkel says the company has made a few minor improvements to the design. The perimeter of the drag is constructed with two-inch by six-inch runners and all internal supports are built with two-inch by four-inch tubing.
The drag attains its strength through its tilted rails which create strength across the entire drag and eliminates the risk of the drag twisting and becoming compromised. The Ultimate Groomer also offers a standard adjustable stiff hitch with three settings to provide customers with the ability to set the drag to their own tow equipment.
Konkel says there are many options to enhance the Ultimate Groomer. “We have also provided customers with custom options such as AR400 steel pan and runners, fifth-wheel hitch and custom club sign boards. If the customer desires a specific option, the team at UTE will work to ensure their needs are met.”
Konkel says that hook-up should only take five to 10 minutes. When using the Ultimate Groomer drags, a user needs a tow vehicle with live hydraulics that has three selector control valves (SCV) to operate the wheels, stiff hitch and ski, and if a hydraulic wing is ordered, a fourth SCV will be needed. A pintle hitch and an electrical connection are also needed to run the lights.
For more information on the Ultimate Groomer products, visit www.ultimatesnowgroomerdrags.com.
All photos courtesy of Universal Truck Equipment