Frequently Asked Questions
What size drag do I need?
4 foot drags work best behind utility snowmobiles. 5 footers work best behind an ATV/UTV with track kits. A 5 foot may hold too much snow to be pulled behind a snowmobile effectively, unless you have the most powerful utility sled of the line.
If you are trying to tame smaller bumps, a 6 foot long should do the trick. If your bumps tend to get bigger, you get a lot of traffic, or you have really flat/straight trail, an 8 foot length may be preferred.
If your trails have a lot of tight tree-gates or hill climbs, a 6 foot will be more maneuverable then a 8 foot length.
For medium and heavy duty lengths, a medium duty 6×14 to 7×18 is best suited behind an SUV/Pickup with a Dominator Track Kit. A Heavy duty 8×14 to 12×24 are intended widths/lengths for tracked grooming vehicles like Snocats, PBs etc.
Generally, we try to match the width of the drag to the width of the grooming vehicle, as close as possible.
How do I pay for my order?
We request a 50% deposit to begin your custom groomer project. We will invoice the remaining 50% when your shipment is ready. We accept Checks, Money Orders, most Credit Cards and Paypal. Your final payment must clear before we ship your groomer. Please inquire if you have any other payment questions.
If you are coming to pick-up your groomer in person, we recommend that you bring cash. YMW needs your check to clear before we allow you to take the drag, so paying with a check at the time of pick-up is not optional.
How quickly can you get my Drag ready/When is the best time to order?
We usually have 1 – 4×6 in stock (and coming soon, we’ll ALSO have 1 – 4×8, 1 – 5×6 & 1 – 5×8, in stock) – and we can typically ship this in-stock item, the same week you order (not including any accessories to-be added on).
Any other size, or a drag with accessories takes 2-4 weeks from the time we get your deposit, to the time your groomer arrives. As soon as the snow flies, the orders start to fly-in also. We typically get the most orders between November and February, so waiting until then to order, could delay your shipment by a week or 2. As soon as you are ready, place your order with us, to assure a prompt build/delivery.
For my ATV – what do you recommend for a hitch, Ball Hitch or Pintle?
Given that a ball hitch does NOT have too much range, if you have tall snow-banks to climb, or deep water bars you go into and out of – the limited range of a ball hitch may cause the hitch to pop off your grooming machine in some situations. We only recommend a Ball Hitch if your trails are relatively flat and easy to maintain.
If you have a lot of extreme pivots, or snowbanks entries/exits – a Pintle hitch offers much more range, and a very low chance of popping off under such extreme conditions.
How do I groom trails?
If you are a first-time groomer with a new Light Duty Drag, please watch the Light Duty video.
The video explains; how to hook up the drag, how to trim for different snow conditions, how to navigate while grooming, and how to straighten your groomer if you hit any rocks with it. We also explain not to groom unless there is adequate snow depths to effectively cover rocks. If rocks are sticking up out of your trail, it is too early to groom.
Basic Grooming instructions
Always have working lights on your grooming vehicle. And always perform a pre-groom inspection of the vehicle and drag. When you take a break, never block the trail or stop on a corner. Leave plenty of space to get by, and park in a high-visibility area of the trail network. Always leave groomer running (lights on) when stopping in narrow trail or low visibility areas. If you break down, move your machine & groomer off the trail, if possible. Always have a communication device or partner, if cell-service is not available.
Groom after you have Broken the trail with a snowmobile or UTV. In NH we need 12-24 inches of snow to cover our rocky sections, typically before we bring a drag out. You may need only half that amount of snow, if you have little or no rocks to cover. We have found that power grooming with 2 groomers at once, does 3 times the job in half the time.
Ride the trail and allow a day or two after the storm/ride – for the snow to set up and freeze before grooming. This will lift the height of your groomed surface considerably. This is primarily for the first storms, to establish and continue to gain more base in the trail.
The jack chain on the light duty’s allow you to trim the cutter bar height, if the drag is holding too much snow. Adjust 1 link up or down, at a time – until you find the sweet-spot for the days’ conditions. Wrap the chain around the cross-bar BEFORE latching, to get half-link height-settings – for extra fine adjustments.
If you try and bring the groomer out before you have broken the trail, you can get stuck easier and more frequently.
You can break trail with the drag, if fully trimmed in the Pan position – but keep in mind this is harder on the groomer (clutches/belts/bearings etc). Once the trail sets-up, you get better traction – which is easier on the drive-train & will burn a lot less gas. Typically, we carry an empty drag up any good hill. Then, we drop the drag down or float the drag, down the hill – to fill your bumps. This is how a ski resort would groom. Carrying an empty drag up-hills, will cause less wear on your grooming machines.
5-15 MPH is the suggested grooming speed range. Slow down in spots that need more attention, speed up when the trail is already flat. Grooming over 15-20MPH will usually cause the snow to fly up and out of the drag, reducing grooming effectiveness.
It is suggested to leave 1-3+ feet of loose snow material on the edge of the trail. Not grooming trunk to trunk right off – allows you some extra material to bring in, if you get a warm stretch, or need to fill a washout, bumpy section etc.
Leave yourself some material close by to sunny or bumpy spots, as to relocate your snow pile to cover your problem area. Usually wait a few hours after the sun sets before attempting to fix, and generally check the forecast for an overcast stretch of days, to keep your fix intact.
The next consideration is frequency
How often do you need to groom? – This will be different for every groomer we sell. It depends on a number of factors. Sun exposure and traffic frequency/timing are some of the most important to consider.
Medium to large bumps formed by sled traffic need to be dealt with quickly or they will freeze into place, and become harder to cut-down. If your traffic comes on the weekends, Sunday nights will be the best time to groom and fix your trails. If you wait until Monday night, the bumps may set-up and be harder to fix.
Groom typically 2-3 times per week, unless you have really heavy traffic, you may need to groom every day or every other day.
When I hit a rock, the trim chain pops off the catch. Is there a way to keep it on better?
Yes, try this method. Hook the chain at the desired trim height, then wrap the chain around the trim tab and cross bar twice. Hook the clasp to make this wrap semi tight. Wrapping keeps the chain from hopping off the trim tab, except for extreme rock hits.
The soft chain design allows the drag to ‘hop’ over tall-rock strikes, vs being locked into place. Along with the light weight design, this makes the drag more agile during extreme impacts. These considerations keep the drag from damaging your grooming machine.
The groomer makes a lot of noise at road crosses. I am worried I might wake-up and upset the neighbors. Is there a way to quiet-down the road crosses?
We find that crossing the roads at 1-2MPH significantly quiets down the dragging noise of the steel on pavement. Make sure to spot that no traffic is coming if you go this slow across a road-cross.
If you have to travel a good distance on pavement – jack the drag way up, onto the back edge of the pan. If your travel on pavement is longer then 300 ft., we suggest the Transport Wheels for Light Duty option.
I am looking for a Custom/Small Groomer. Can you make me a Medium Duty 4-by groomer?
We can make most-any type of drag you can dream up. In 2018-2019, we plan to introduce a Medium Duty 4 and 5x, to address requests for an HD small groomer. If you have real challenging terrain, we can make you a double-spine, box tube small groomer. We can also make you a trip-blade 4 or 5 foot drag. Please use the contact form if you are looking for a Medium Duty small drag, or another similar groomer. Please go into detail in the questions box – about the exact drag details you want us to quote for you.
I live in Canada. Can you ship me a groomer?
Yes we can! We have many groomers already working in Canada, Alaska, Australia and all over the US. Please inquire if you have any questions about a shipment, North of the border or to another continent.
I want to Touch-Up my Drag. What Paint should I use?
Yankee Metal uses Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Oil Base – Designed for metal, this high quality coating provides excellent resistance and exceptional durability.
I bought a groomer from YMW, and it’s too big for my snowmobile to pull. Can you Help!?!?
(I have a version 1/2 light duty, and I want to trade-in for a version 3 with accessories)
Sure! We would be glad to help you get into the right size groomer.
Our policy is to place your groomer on our website, for sale as used. We will negotiate a fair price to sell at, and apply 85% of that sale to your replacement groomer (15% goes to YMW for facilitating the sale).
The buyer of the used groomer pays for shipping from your location. You are responsible for palleting your return-groomer, and returning the groomer to the place you had it shipped to, before the day/time we schedule the shipment.
You are responsible for palleting and shipping costs of the new groomer, plus any price-overages on the new groomer. If the new unit and shipping are less then the amount YMW owes you for the used sale, YMW will refund you that amount.
Please use the contact form, to begin the Exchange/Trade-In process.
I ordered a groomer and made a deposit. I don’t want it any more. Can I get a refund?
Our Policy is Yes – but only a partial refund will be returned. We charge a 20% restocking fee for any returns of unused stock, or cancelled orders.
If you order a groomer and make a down-payment, and then back-out of the purchase – YMW will refund you 80% of your deposit, ONLY AFTER your groomer sells to another party.
By placing an order and sending YMW a down-payment – you agree to this Policy.
Do you offer service?
Yes, we will service your groomer. Depending on how far away you are from New Hampshire, it may be easier and less expensive to find a local welder to fix your groomer. We can fix or upgrade any product we have sold. And we can ship you replacement or upgrade parts, if you have a local welder to install them. Please use the contact form to start a service request.
I have a version 2 light duty 4×6 YMW groomer. I keep breaking my break-away hitch every year, and I have to get it repaired. Do you have an improvement for this wear-item?
Yes we do. Our version 3 groomers now use a heavy-duty hitch that does not bend/break away. We can make and ship you this upgrade, to have your local welder install it. Or you can remove the A-frame portion of your groomer, place this on a pallet, and ship back to us in NH – and we can upgrade the hitch for you. Please use the contact form to request a quote for this service
Are your Corduroy Attachments ONLY for X-Country Ski Trails?
Great Question! The answer is NO! And here’s why.
Recently an old-timer explained to us how and why Corduroy is used in his system. He made some great points, I want to share.
He said: Corduroy improves those times of year, (usually into March and April, or really cold days), when the flat-groom sets up to be hard as a rock, or a sheet of ice.
Riders who have head out too early in these conditions, know all too well – when No snow is kicking up to cool the sliders or the heat exchanges – you either over-heat or you stick your tracks, if you stop on the trail. These rock-hard conditions can put the kibosh on a early morning cross country run.
The gentleman explained THIS time of year, is when They lay down Corduroy.
When skis hit the Cord, they break up the grooved-surface, creating cooling and lubrication for the sleds. In many different applications, you can create workable material if you laid down Cord, the previous night. Corduroy can extend or at least improve the late (or bone-cold) part of season, for snowmobile traffic.
We thought it really made sense.
Can I groom my local pond/lake?
YMW doesn’t not recommended grooming on frozen water. If you really know your lake and you’re planning to groom it with a light duty groomer and snowmobile or UTV, we recommend taking a number of precautions before EVERY grooming run.
PLEASE exercise EXTREME CAUTION. The lake needs to be thicker then 12″ of ice to groom. The friction created when grooming is more disruptive to the ice then just riding across it. Any hidden cracks can be opened if the ice is weak. And traveling at slow grooming speeds makes the chance of breaking thru, greater.
YMW recommends any person grooming on ice MUST religiously verify and follow these steps every time.
#1 – Ice must be verified with a nearby auger hole to be 12 inches thick, at the thinnest part of the trail cross on the lake (usually where the current is greatest and/or the part that melts first)
#2 – Every foot of the ice that is intended to be groomed should be checked by sleds first, and at low speeds – looking for any cracks, dark spots or pressure ridges. Clearly mark any suspect areas and course the trail away from any hazards. If there are too many suspect areas, the ice should be allowed to get at least 6 inches thicker, or 18 inches thick before another inspection/attempt is made.
#3 – NEVER groom a lake alone. ALWAYS have a chase sled close by and within visual contact. For emergencies, both sleds need a cell phone or 2 way radios, if no cell service is available. Be prepared for the worst.
#4 – Always be prepared to gun the gas or abandon ship – if you can jump to solid ground. If you start to break thru the ice, don’t go down with the ship.
YMW does not recommended grooming on ice. YMW will not be held responsible for any damage, loss, injury or loss of life by misuse of our products on or around any body of water. Please see our polices page for more information.
Why are your Drags made to bend when they hit a rock?
The drag is attached to your tunnel or hitch frame. If the drag doesn’t bend and absorb the energy of fetching a rock, the next part in-line to bend and fold is YOUR TUNNEL or HITCH FRAME! And you don’t want that to happen.
Trust our experience. If you hit a rock and bend our drag, you will be happy that you are straightening that $50 piece of cutter-bar stock with a sledge hammer, and not taking the sledge hammer to your bent-up tunnel or hitch frame of your grooming machine.
Bending your tunnel or hitch frame could TOTAL your grooming vehicle. so let the drag take the hit, instead. This is our theory, and we stand behind it.
Please watch this video “Getting Hooked In The Woods” to see this safe-guard in-action.
Yankee Metal Works – Troy, New Hampshire – 603-852-6891