Let’s Look At the PistenBully Snowplow That Ran Over Jeremy Renner

Last Sunday actor Jeremy Renner was seriously injured by a snowplow he uses on his property in Washoe County, Nevada. The snow vehicle isn’t some truck conversion or glorified lawn mower, but instead, is a heavy-duty snowcat, in this case, a PistenBully plow. According to police reports, he was helping a family member free his vehicle stuck in the snow. So, what happened and why does Renner need a PistenBully snow plow?

What does a PistenBully snowplow do?

PistenBully
PistenBully snow-grooming machine | Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty

The PistenBully, built in Germany, is a treaded vehicle for clearing and grooming snow for skiing. If you’ve ever been on a ski or snowboard slope, you’ve seen these big monsters sitting around or even grooming trails. This particular snowplow is a mid-1980s model and was probably a cast off from a ski resort or government agency. Though Renner’s was an older PistenBully, the new versions can have over 600 hp, with a nine-liter Isuzu diesel-electric engine, with direct-injection. 

In the U.S., Tucker makes its Sno Cat, while Prinoth in Italy makes tracked snow groomers as well. LiteTrax in Utah also makes personal tracked vehicles, but not for plowing snow

Why was Jeremy Renner run over by the snowplow?

PistenBully
A PistenBully prepares a route with artificial snow | Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty

According to CNN, 51-year-old Renner was in the plow when he hopped out. He was successful in freeing the vehicle, but the snowplow began to roll down the slope. Renner ran back to the snowplow to try to get back into it. Instead, the PistenBully rolled over him. He received “blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries.” And that’s the least you would expect from a vehicle that weighs 13,250 lbs, without any attachments. 

“In an effort to stop the rolling PistenBully, Mr. Renner attempted to get back into the driver’s seat of the PistenBully,” according to a sheriff spokesperson. “Based on our investigation, it’s at this point that Mr. Renner was run over.” He was airlifted to a local hospital where surgery was performed. 

Renner has been tweeting and posting from his hospital bed, so the good news is that he seems to be getting better. “Thank you all for your kind words. ?,” he wrote. “I’m too messed up now to type. But I send love to you all.”

Why did Renner have a PistenBully snowplow?

PistenBully
PistenBully 600 snow groomers flatten the snow on a ski run | Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty
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So, why did Renner need this snowcat in the first place? Isn’t it a bit overkill? Supposedly, he felt he needed it to create a sled course for his children. So Renner’s efforts were just. But for whatever reason, he didn’t park the snowcat or turn it off. 

When you look at the PistenBully, those blades on the tracks look lethal. But the reason for the wide tracks is to spread out the weight, so that may have worked in Renner’s favor. Had the tracks not been so wide, they might have completely crushed the actor. 

We wish the “Hawkeye” actor a speedy recovery.