2024 ISTPG Groomer Program Update

by Chris Willey, co-administrator
posted 1/19/24

We have almost two weeks of grooming throughout the state. There have been several questions, concerns and frustrations in that time. I will try to answer as many of those as I can. As always, if you have questions, need information, repairs, ideas for modifications to equipment, or any other concerns talk to your ISSA Region Director, ISTGP Region Rep, or email the ISTGP Committee at ISSA.RSC@gmail.com. Now for the updates:

Getting logged in:

If you already have a GTS app account, the email and password that it is under is the login info for your Groomer Tracking Admin if you were listed for your club. If you need access yet, send an email to me with "GTS Admin Access Request" in the subject line. Include your name, club and what email address you want to use, and I will send it on to GTS.

Groomer tracking or trails not matching the map on GTS:

GTS is working to and will adjust the trails to the tracking that your groomer runs as time allows. They are working to adjust the maps as they see the tracks come in different from the original map.

Additional GTS features and admin controls:

There are more parts to the administration side of the program that are not turned on yet. GTS will be making those parts available as they are tested with the tracking data received from the groomers. I am waiting to hear on timing from GTS when these additional features will be live.

Questions and concerns for GTS:

Once the additional features are turned on you will have a "Help Form" you can fill out and submit. Until this happens please send questions and concerns to the ISTGP email RSC.ISSA@gmail.com and they will be forwarded to GTS. The only contact email we have right now, is the owner of GTS and he asked us not to give that out to everyone and filter the questions, answer what we can and pass on the rest as they come in.

Searching and looking at the tracking data:

There are alot of features to the GTS program and more to come. I have found that logging in on a computer works a lot better than using a phone or the app. To look at individual tracks and data (mph, time etc) Use the drop down menu on the left side of the screen and search by date, club, and machine.

Groomer operator lists:

I am working on updating the lists. I have one more class roster to receive to complete the update. As soon as I have them finished up I can send them out as I get requests.

Groomer operator classes:

No classes planned as of this time. If you need a class in your area, please let an instructor or myself know how many clubs/people need/want a class in your area?

Getting stuck and wanting groomer upgrades, trades, new/different equipment:

We have a set list and plan for the current needs/wants from the clubs that applied for changes. We are sticking to that plan and Working with the DOT as best we can to get some equipment bought with RTP funds. To say this process is slow is an understatement. We are still waiting for DOT approval of our bid specs.

Grooming and getting stuck go hand in hand:

I'll share what I have posted on Social Media and emails. I've been hearing and seeing a lot of clubs concerned with the deep snow conditions and challenging grooming. Here's my response and what I've been suggesting. It’s been a struggle. We wanted a lot of snow. Well, we got it, let's use it. . A lot of clubs are having the same issues. Two clubs over here with PRINOTHs are having the same fight I'm having with a Tucker. It's deep and hard to get through. Just my $.02 but with no base and the ditches full my suggestion is to run without the drag on any trails that pose a challenge. Then going back the next day with the drag. This will reduce the likelihood of getting stuck and/or equipment breakage. It will also knock down the drifts and treacherous spots for Snowmobilers. A different machine, a different drag, lighter, different brand or design isn’t gonna change the situation and it’s not gonna make a difference with this snow. We gotta work through it and get it packed down. The best advice I can give operators is to let the sleds beat down the trail or unhook the drag and run down the trail, use the blade and then go back and get the drag, It’s all grooming in the end and paid by the mile. My hats off and I thank all the operators out there and getting the trails into shape. Thank you for your time and hard work. To the guys getting stuck, YOU are putting the trail where it’s supposed to be. GOOD JOB guys!

Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.