The factory of the slopes factories

Written by Enrico Grigoletti
Photo by Alberto Sinigaglia

Week 46
MOTORS

Winter is around the corner, but for many, winter has already ended given the fact that many snow businesses completed their production months ago.
Laupheim, a twenty thousand-inhabitant city in Southern Germany, is home to a renowned global automotive company with an exceptional reputation in ski slope and trail preparation: PistenBully.
Founded in 1893 by Karl Heinrich Kässbohrer, the company have been active in the special transportation field for decades. But it was only in 1969, with the first test drive on the tank training ground, that PistenBully began to attract attention.
The first PistenBully prototype offered hydrostatic drive and steering wheel control. Soon after it went into full production with a diesel engine. For the snow business it was a real revolution. It didn’t take long before the company expanded its global business presence as it head off to the 11th Winter Olympics in Sapporo, garnering praise and recognition. A short time later PistenBully was picked up by the US market too.

PistenBully has around 500 employees based all over the world with a total turnover of € 214 million, and outposts in more than 100 countries including Antarctica. The 70.000sqm Laupheim factory manages the production of all PistenBully vehicles including the newest PistenBully 600 E+ – the world’s first snow groomer with a diesel-electric drive – and all BeachTech machines, which include a total of 600 PistenBully’s and 60 BeachTech vehicles per year, and an average production cycle of seven to eight working days per vehicle.
Beside the warehouse and the main vehicle assembly line, the Laupheim factory has a separate production and assembly area dedicated to tracks where 20,000 pieces, from aluminium to synthetic rubber, are produced every year.
Today PistenBully is broadening its offering with the introduction of SNOWsat, a professional slope and fleet management system with snow depth measurement, and with the acquisition of Soft Track Supply, Inc., the well-known maker of tracked utility vehicles located in Cartersville, Georgia.
Designed and engineered for the harshest conditions, the red cabin vehicles are the ones responsible for shaping your favourite slopes and for keeping them safe. Don’t forget it.

It’s no secret that PistenBully it’s the slope’s Ferrari.
Around 600 PistenBullies are produced every year with a production cycle of around 7 – 8 days per vehicle.