Sledding the County: Chapman Ridge Runner’s New Drag Built by NMCC Students

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 12:22 PM EST
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While many clubs rely on the help of countless volunteers to keep their trails groomed, one central Aroostook club coordinated with Northern Maine Community College to do something a bit unique. Brian Bouchard has this week’s Sledding the County.

When the Chapman Ridge Runners ATV and Snowmobile Club learned they would be getting a new groomer in December of 2022, they turned their attention to a new drag to smooth and pack the trails. When they couldn’t find one that matched what they needed, they turned to the Structural Welding and Auto Collision repair shops at Northern Maine Community College.

“We’ve had a relationship with them for quite a few years. They used to have a bulldozer that they worked on and we used that in the summer. And we’ve had poker runs in the past with those kids from that school. And it just came up that we either had to build or buy a new drag for the new groomer. And we couldn’t find one that we wanted that would match the specs that we wanted so we decided to design it and have someone build it and they jumped at the chance to do the welding.” says Mickey Maynard – President, Chapman Ridge Runners.

This drag is different than the drags that most other clubs use, Maynard says, as this drag has 2 pans, one in the front and one in the back to help evenly distribute the weight while grooming the trails. Maynard says while it was a hands on process for the students at NMCC, the club oversaw the construction to ensure it would meet their needs.

“Day to day we were in there and the vice president Mark Brown was in watching them, he’s a guy that works with metal and we was overseeing or watching them, making sure everything went right. It Came together pretty good, they did a good job.”

The club invited the students to come to their clubhouse ahead of the public unveiling. Maynard says he hopes the students get the chance to see their hard work pay off.

“It’s going to be an opportunity for them to see something in action that they built because usually their just welding on scrap metal to perfect their profession but they’ll be able to see this go and see what it does out there. We also had the paint shop over there paint it so they’ll be here, it was a win-win for everybody.”

Maynard says they’ll be unveiling the drag and new groomer to the public during a breakfast on Saturday morning at the Chapman ridge runners clubhouse from 7 to noon.

Brian Bouchard NewsSource8