How Much Does a Snowcat Snow Groomer Cost?

Living in an area that gets a lot of snow, such as Reno in Washoe County, Nevada, means that, at times, you’ll get snowed in. For 2023, the New Year brought in a massive snowstorm, dumping up to 18 inches in the high country of Western Nevada and stranding up to 20 vehicles on Mount Rose Highway near actor Jeremy Renner’s home. 

While attempting to clear snow from a private neighborhood road for his family and neighbors, Renner sustained injuries trying to re-enter his PistenBully snow groomer

A woman unloads a snow-covered snowcat
A woman unloading a Snowcat | Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Jeremy Renner’s PistenBully snow groomer accident

According to CNN, Washoe County 911 operators received a call at 8:55 am PT Sunday, January 1, 2023, about an accident involving a snowcat and a pedestrian on Mount Rose Highway. 

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue arrived shortly after and found good samaritans assisting actor Jeremy Renner, the only person involved in the accident, who sustained “blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries” according to a spokesperson for the actor. 

Among the most serious injury was a severe leg laceration requiring immediate action to reduce blood loss. 

According to Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam, the first sheriff’s department unit arrived at 9:30 am and found 51-year-old Renner awake and talking to EMS personnel with no signs of intoxication or wrongdoing. 

Balaam noted that Renner was “being a great neighbor” and “plowing those roads for his neighbors.” The accident occurred on a private road not maintained by the county when Renner’s “snowcat” began to move without him inside. Renner attempted to re-enter the moving machine but fell under it, and it ran over him. 

A medical helicopter arrived at 9:37 am and departed with Renner in critical condition at 9:56 am en route to a Reno-area hospital. After two surgeries, Renner is in stable condition and on the road to recovery. 

However, he’ll have to wait until the police release his snowcat, which Balaam says they impounded to “rule out any potential mechanical failure,” before he can plow any more snow. 

Can anyone own a snowcat?

Anyone can buy and own a snowcat. There are no special licenses required to drive one, though you may have to register it.

Jeremy Renner’s PistenBully snow groomer, made by the German manufacturer Kassbohrer, is an older “vintage” model. While PistenBully maintains a section for used snow groomers on their website, no used machines are available at this time. 

Machinery Trader shows a listing for a PistenBully PB130D in Wisconsin, priced at $29,995. This PB130D has 6,844.7 hours and 167 horsepower with a six-way blade, rear hydraulics, and steel-cleated tracks. 

In addition, Bloomberg reports a new entry-level Tucker Sno-Cat, the 2000Xtra Lite, is a personal-sized rig with 130 horsepower that starts at around $125,000. 

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Are Sno-Cats the superwealthy’s newest toys?

The Bloomberg article notes that Tucker Sno-Cat’s “best customers include the U.S. Military, oil drilling crews in Alaska and North Dakota, and utilities that need to service snow-blitzed power lines.” 

Still, private landowners, like Renner, represent a growing market. While affluent land owners make up a significant portion of the newly emerging private sector market, others, like professional backcountry skier Mark Abma, use Sno-Cats as mobile base camps to explore the freshest skiing conditions. 

The smart money is on buying a used Tucker, but you better hurry, as a group of collectors has already gathered up over 200 vintage units.