Best purchase

The savings in Canazei are already enormous after just one season with 6 SNOWsat-equipped vehicles

"Despite the warm weather last week we are not worried about the end of the season", laughs Fernando Perathoner, Technical Director of the S.I.T.C. S.p.A. (Società Incremento Turistico Canazei, Italy), "we are very relaxed because we are superbly equipped. Indeed, our slopes are always perfect – and they will continue to be so right up to 12th April 2015, when everything closes. We have SNOWsat to thank for that!"

Silverio Pezzei, Slope Manager with responsibility for snow production throughout the entire ski resort, adds: "For our firm it is the best purchase of the last few years!"

Following the first winter season during which the resort has been working with SNOWsat, we have interviewed the "real" users of the system to get a true impression of the advantages and above all the savings.

PistenBully News: How did you hear about SNOWsat?

Fernando Perathoner: Four years ago, Valter Tura, Manager of your Italian branch, took us to Madonna di Campiglio to show us what the present SNOWsat V3 is all about. It was still called "Package 4" then. The idea of this satellite-guided system impressed us from the start. The accuracy of geodata was still lacking at that time and, thus, full mapping, but the snow depth measurement was demonstrated in a very credible and easily identifiable manner on the hills that had been specially built for test purposes and then levelled again. Some functions that we would have liked such a system to have were still missing. However, it was clear tous from that day on that this would be our system of choice for investment in the future, once it was refined. We examined the system very carefully and identified relatively quickly the requirements that we then passed on to Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG: we wanted the data to be available to drivers in real-time on a monitor in the vehicle. We also requested other specific data that was not yet available at that time.

PistenBully NEWS: Why and when did you finally decide to go ahead with your purchase of SNOWsat?

Fernando Perathoner: In January 2014, we were taken along to Engelberg-Titlis to see the progress that had been achieved from three years of development and practical testing. We were all totally astounded and impressed that everything that we had commented on before had since been realised. The only thing that was not quite perfect was the resolution on the monitor. But it was clear to us that this was our product, to which we had contributed to a considerable degree with our high requirements! And the display is razor-sharp now too …

PistenBully NEWS: And in June of last year you finally made the decision: you ordered SNOWsat V3 for 6 of your PistenBully. Did everything go well with installation and commissioning?

Fernando Perathoner: Admittedly – we did have a couple of concerns at the start. Particularly because of the base station being installed up on the mountain. I was worried that it might not be possible to install this on time if the snow came early. And the base station is ultimately the heart of snow depth measurement! But thanks to your engineers everything happened on time and smoothly – and at the start of the season we were ready to begin this adventure.

PistenBully NEWS: Be honest – really without any technical problems?

Günther Burchia, master snow maker at the Belvedereski resort: There were of course a few issues at the start with such a complex satellite system. But one call to the technical team was always enough and any problems were immediately resolved. That always worked really well.

Silverio Pezzei: One really important advantage is the fact that we got everything from one firm – Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG is our only contact, and we have already been working with their commercial and technical teams for many years.

Fernando Perathoner: I have to say that this investment has truly been made at the right time. If we had still not had SNOWsat during this difficult winter with the little snow that did fall from the sky, then I don‘t know how we would have got through this season so well.

Günther Burchia: Previously, we have always been making snow up to the end of February – and definitely when there is so little natural snow. But thanks to SNOWsat, we were able to stop with snow production a whole week earlier, because we had distributed the snow evenly throughout the resort. We know exactly how much snow we have, where it is and where we need to move it. And above all we know that whatever happens there will be enough until the end of the winter season.

PistenBully NEWS: What do you see as the major advantages of SNOWsat?

Fernando Perathoner: Completely spontaneously and without doubt I can sum that up in one word: SAVINGS – savings in snow production, savings in the fuel consumption of the PistenBully, savings in labour organisation.

PistenBully NEWS: Is it possible to translate that into actual figures?

Fernando Perathoner: The accounts for the season aren‘t complete yet, but I can say with absolute certainty that we were able to reduce our snow production by 80,000 cubic metres – the other savings resulting from this haven‘t been worked out yet. And we all know what machine-made snow costs. So I am reckoning that our investment in SNOWsat will have paid for itself in less than three years.

PistenBully NEWS: And what do the drivers think about SNOWsat?

Silverio Pezzei: I am sure that some of our drivers were worried to start with about being monitored. But they now understand that the documentation of their work, which they can also view on the PC each evening before their shift, gives them the opportunity to improve their driving performance and control of the PistenBully. The display in the vehicle also helps decisively during their work.

Fernando Perathoner: By doing the same work in the same time, but at lower revs and, thus, with lowerfuel consumption and with less wear and tear, they have thoroughly grasped that SNOWsat offers crucial advantages in the economic sense from the company‘s perspective, but also with regard to their own safety.

PistenBully NEWS: We are of course thrilled that you are so pleased with SNOWsat, but – hand on heart –where is it lacking, or what would you like to change?

Silverio Pezzei: Clearly – you can always make anything better! But I am convinced that, aside perhaps from small software optimizations, Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG has the situation in hand and the system will continue to be refined. We have already seen that with our own eyes over the last few months with impressive results!

S.I.T.C. S.p.A. – Società Incremento Turistico Canazei

  • Founded in 1947, today the S.I.T.C. runs the entire "Belvedere – Col Rodella – Sass Pordoi" ski resort, covering 120 hectares with 15 cable car and lift facilities.
  • 90 % of all slopes are covered with 418 snow guns.
  • A transport capacity of 27,000 passengers/hour guarantees pure skiing pleasure at any time.
  • 30 employees with 15 snow groomers ensure perfect conditions on the slopes.
  • The business relationship with Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG began in 1979 with the purchase of a PB 170 D.
  • 6 PistenBully have been equipped with SNOWsat since 2014 and are working inthe Belvedere ski resort. An expansion of the system is already being planned.
Silverio Pezzei, Slope Manager of Canazei, Italy
Fernando Perathoner, Technical Director of the S.I.T.C. S.p.A.
Günther Burchia, master snow maker at the Belvedere ski resort



Dennis Kinsella

New England Regional Manager
Telephone: +1 207 777 7300
Cellular phone: +1 603 842 9001
Fax: +1 207 784 5840
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
87 Kassbohrer Way
PO Box 1085
Auburn, ME 04210
United States

Dennis McGiboney

VP Sales & Marketing
Telephone: +1 775 857 5011 X 202
Cellular phone: +1 775 772 4973
Fax: +1 775 857 5010
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
8850 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, Nevada 89521
United States

Jeb Ellermeyer

Sierra Regional Manager
Telephone: +1 775 857 5011 X 301
Cellular phone: +1 775 636 4290
Fax: +1 775 857 5010
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
8850 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, Nevada 89521
United States

Kevin Moudy

Rocky Mountain Regional Manager
Telephone: +1 970 245 9331
Cellular phone: +1 970 640 6574
Fax: +1 970 245 3362
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
783 Valley Court
Grand Junction, CO 81505
United States

Colin Hales

Northwest Regional Manager
Telephone: +1 503 783 1935
Cellular phone: +1 503 550 5941
Fax: +1 503 783 1936
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles
18460 SW 126th Place
Tualatin, Oregon 97062
United States

Paul Scanlon

Midwest Sales
Telephone: +1 952 345 3330
Cellular phone: +1 612 670 3625
Fax: +1 952 345 3331
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles, Inc.
18190 Dairy Lane, Suite 103
Jordan, MN 55352
United States

Bill Brandt

Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Foundland, PEI
Telephone: +1 518 480 3095
Cellular phone: +1 518 369 5621
Fax: +1 518 480 3086
Mohawk Industrial Werks
140 Carey Rd.
Queensbury, NY 12804
United States

Jim Grewe

Intermountain Sales
Telephone: +1 435 752-5110
Cellular phone: +1 435 881 3052
Fax: +1 435 752-8696
Peterson Equipment Co.
80 East 4000 North
P.O. Box 720
Hyde Park, UT 84318
United States

Andrew M. Lindsey

Sales Rep. & PRO ACADEMY Trainer
Sierra, West Coast, USA
Telephone: +1 775 857-5000-216
Cellular phone: +1 775 233 2267
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
8850 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, Nevada 89521
United States

Josh Lempert

Sales Rep & PRO ACADEMY Trainer
East Coast, USA
Telephone: +1 207 777 7300
Cellular phone: +1 207 376 7615
Fax: +1 207 784 5840
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
87 Kassbohrer Way
PO Box 1085
Auburn, ME 04210
United States

Emil Madden

SNOWsat & PRO ACADEMY Manager and Trainer
Telephone: +1 775 857 5011 X 247
Cellular phone: +1 775 636 5049
Fax: +1 775 857 5010
Kässbohrer All Terrain Vehicles Inc.
8850 Double Diamond Parkway
Reno, Nevada 89521
United States