Shock & Awesome

Bulking up for winter draws magazine’s attention

It’s called “severe duty” for a reason. Class 8 vehicles are as big as you can go, and Xtreme Snow Pros is building fleet of these monsters to tangle the beastly job of winter.

Weighing more than 33,000 pounds, Snow Pros’ severe-duty trucks are military-grade stuff. For the past three years, owner Chris Marino has slowly acquired military equipment, making his New Jersey company one of the few commercial snow removal services in the Metropolitan Area that is thinking big.The Xtreme Snow Pros team converted these behemoth’s into powerful additions to the Ringwood, NJ fleet.

In September, it caught the attention of Snow Magazine, a publication dedicated to the snow removal industry and its innovations. Marino discussed with Snow’s MIke Zawacki the purpose of going big against winter storms.

“The cost savings is incredible,” Marino told Zawacki. “They’re severe-duty grade, so you don’t get the luxuries people are used to in equipment. However, for what we’re doing with them, that does not come into play.”

The vehicles are used, but Marino said the military meticulously services the vehicles to keep them in fighting shape.

“We’ve bought trucks which the military paid over $300,000 for, and we acquired it for $14,000,” Marino told Zawacki. “The truck had only 14,000 miles on it.”


Acquiring vehicles built to do all the heavy winter lifting

In three years of collecting military-grade equipment for the war on winter weather, Xtreme Snow Pros has purchased 6 trucks, including the Oshkosh M1070, which was designed to haul around military bulldozers, armoured personnel carriers and the United States’ main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, which weighs anywhere between 54 and 62 tons. The truck allows Xtreme Snow Pros to transport its own critical assets during storms.

Also added to the inventory are 11 trailers and bladders for storage of liquid deicers.

Attaching Snow Pros to the military’s mighty machines goes back to Chris Marino’s childhood interest in the armed forces’ equipment.

“I like what it stands for and how unique each piece of equipment is,” Marino said in his interview with Zawacki. “Likewise, I’m always looking for ways to save money on equipment that we can purchase for our business, being that this is our single-largest expense.”

The process of finding the right vehicle for the fleet takes some research, but Marino told Zawacki plenty existed for the online auctions used to purchase the equipment. “When we buy, we try to keep it within a certain distance so we can pick up these purchased items with our own trucks, but we have also used online sources that specialize in trucking,” Marino said.

If you’re considering raising your own fleet of military marvels for snow removal through auction, Marino offered one caveat to Snow Magazine.

“Read the overview of the trucks and don’t get caught up in the bidding process. … I learned a lesson by buying a truck with tons of parts missing. I was caught up with the idea of winning and did not see this.”

Read the rest of the interview on Snow Magazine’s site here.