The History of Sno Trac
Updated: Apr 24
Chuck Fox and the History of Sno Trac: From a Passion to a Modern Take on a Classic Design, a History of Innovation and Adventure.
From the mountains of Sweden to rural North Idaho, and across the world, the Sno Trac has inspired humans to go where few have gone before for nearly 70 years. Our beloved Sno Trac's rich and inspiring history can be traced back to its origins.
Beginning in 1954, a Swedish farm equipment engineer named Lars Larsson set out to design a snow vehicle that would be able to traverse the snowy Swedish terrain and carry him and his brother to a remote fishing cabin that they shared. The result was the original Aktiv Snow Trac – a tracked vehicle powered by a Volkswagen engine and designed to be controlled by a steering wheel, much like a car. The Snow Trac was a huge success, and Larsson began producing the vehicles commercially. For 24 years the original Snow Trac was produced and exported around the world, becoming a premiere snow vehicle brand.
Aktiv Snow Trac (source)
In 1981, production of the Snow Trac ceased, but the legacy of the vehicles did not. The 2,300 vehicles in circulation were used for countless purposes such as search and rescue operations, Arctic and Antarctic exploration, ski resort grooming, railway maintenance, military operations, and utility work. They were also found to be useful in other loose ground conditions and a few even saw use in the sandy terrain of the Sahara Desert. Larsson’s Snow Tracs are still being used today.
For decades, Snow Tracs have allured anyone with a passion for winter and historic vehicles. When the founder of the modern-day Sno Trac, Chuck Fox, found one of Larsson’s vehicles on a used car lot in Bonners Ferry he was immediately captivated. He concluded that he both wanted and needed such a vehicle. However, Fox did not have the capacity to take on another project since it needed significant repairs, and the Snow Trac was eventually taken off the lot, but his intrigue did not subside.
About 6 months later Fox was able to find more technical and mechanical information about the Snow Trac and concluded that he wanted one. Unfortunately, at the time, there were few, if any, mechanically sound Snow Tracs available in the United States. Undeterred, Fox decided to build his own.
Although Fox began building his prototype in the fall of 2016, supply chain issues because of the Covid-19 pandemic presented a significant challenge to completing the project. After overcoming these challenges and completing the design in early 2021, Fox finally owned his own Sno Trac, reimagined from the original to meet the needs of modern snow travel. Seeing how well it proved itself in the snow, Fox began to produce the vehicles commercially and revived the legacy of the original Snow Trac.
To Fox, having a Sno Trac is a necessity for living in the rugged North Idaho mountains, where deep snow is common in the winter months. His love for winter, snow, and the beauty and challenge of successfully living in this environment inspired him to bring Sno Trac to life. His favorite activity with Sno Trac is to simply explore the winter setting, taking in all its beauty, preferably with family and friends.
As production has increased, a mantra has developed among the Sno Trac team: build it lighter, stronger, quicker. If we accomplish this, we offer our customers a better product and provide them with a safer and more reliable product, all while being mindful of cost efficiency. Today’s Sno Trac has every ability as the original (and then some). Its uses are as limitless as your imagination. Ranches, utility companies, the oil and gas industry, surveyors, ski resorts, and all lovers of the winter are among our beloved community of customers.
Early reactions to the Sno Trac have proven that the market Aktiv Snow Trac enjoyed continues to exist and its needs have not been met. Sno Trac fills that void. Despite early challenges, Sno Trac has seen great success and validates the need for a high-quality snow vehicle. Reflecting on the origins of Sno Trac, Chuck Fox writes, “I have asked myself on numerous occasions if I could have foreseen the future from 2016 thru today, would I have proceeded? The answer is yes! The unpredictable is unseeable and once you are in the fray, you can’t quit. A company cannot overlook its employees and others who work with you. All have believed in the project and are the foundation of current success and success to come.”
Even with our rich history, this is just the beginning for Sno Trac. With the bright, snowy future ahead, we get to explore uncharted territory and go where few have gone before. We exist to support whatever your winter dreams may be and transport you to your next adventure. Dominate the snow with Sno Trac.