Icemakers have been a pioneer company in the winter test region in Sweden for over 50 years. Today, we are a globally leading winter land and lake track constructor and -operator for automotive testing. Our experience, expertise, and state-of-the-art infrastructure allow us to consistently deliver the optimal track layouts and surfaces on both land and lake ice, always tailored to our clients’ specific requests.
We thought we’d shed some light on our test track construction process – how our winter test tracks are constructed.
The winter test track construction process
Winter test tracks are constructed to provide a location where vehicles can be tested in cold weather conditions. There are several steps involved in constructing a winter test track:
- Identify a suitable location: The first step in test track construction is always to identify a suitable location that meets the necessary requirements of the track and the wishes of our clients.
- Clear the land: Once a location has been identified, the next step is to clear the land and prepare it for construction. This may involve removing any vegetation or debris, grading the land, and compacting the soil.
- Install infrastructure: The next step is to install the necessary infrastructure for the test track. This may include building roads, installing lighting, and setting up any necessary utilities. Depending on the track, it may not always be necessary or possible, such as for lake tracks.
- Create test track surfaces: The final step in constructing a winter test track is to create the various surfaces used for testing. This may involve paving roads, creating off-road surfaces, and installing snow-making equipment.
Overall, the test track construction process is a fairly straightforward process that requires careful planning and attention to detail in order to ensure that the track meets the necessary requirements and can provide reliable test tracks for our clients.
How are test tracks constructed on lakes?
Our test track construction process on lakes is a delicate craft that takes a lot of time, effort, and precision to get right:
- Phase one: The first phase starts mid to late November once the ice is thick enough for snowmobiles, we initiate the marking process. We mark the tracks with the help of GPS and plow sticks made from willow rather than plastic to avoid polluting our lakes and shores.
- Phase two: Once the first snowfall occurs, we enter the second phase. The fresh and featherlike snow is a good insulator against freezing temperatures. Therefore, it needs to be packed together for the ice to grow. To reduce the insulation layer and speed up the freezing process snowmobiles and snow rollers are used to pack the snow.
- Phase three: The third phase starts once the ice is thick enough to withstand our smallest machines with snow blowers. This usually occurs somewhere between late December and early January. As the thickness of the ice grows, we can start bringing heavier machines and equipment onto the lake ice.
Icemakers’ priority #1 – Safety
To ensure the thickness of the ice we use a sonar radar for measurement. This is done regularly to eliminate the risks of going out on thin ice, ensuring a safe environment for you and our staff. The ice surface itself can be prepared in numerous ways, using different equipment and techniques. In addition, the large toolkit at our disposal, including a versatile collection of machinery, equipment, and know-how, allows us to create tailor-made testing surfaces suited to the specific needs of our clients.
If you have any additional questions regarding how our test tracks are constructed, feel free to contact us directly!