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At Icemakers, we have produced test tracks on lake ice for decades now. During nearly fifty winters we have accumulated all the necessary experience, expertise and technical know-how, allowing us to create first-class lake test tracks, tailored to the very specific demands of our customers.
Icemakers offer lake test tracks on Lake Kakel, 8 kilometers east of central Arjeplog. The testing grounds are easily reached by car within 10 minutes from central Arjeplog and Icemakers HQ at Maskinvägen.
Lake Kakel itself is part of the 70 kilometer long Lake Hornavan, Sweden’s deepest lake with a maximum depth of 221 meters.
Every winter test season, Icemakers prepare roughly 1.3 million m2 of tracks, of which over 900 000 m2 are lake test tracks and 400 000 m2 are land test tracks.
The majority of these lake track areas are exclusive and tailor-made for our customers. However, we also have our own standard track layout consisting of:
Creating test tracks from frozen water is a delicate craft that takes a lot of time, effort and precision to get right.
The first phase starts in mid to late November. When the ice is thick enough for snowmobiles we initiate the marking process. We mark the tracks with the help of GPS and plow sticks. We mainly use sticks made from willow in order to avoid plastic pollution of our lakes and shores.
Once the first snowfall occurs, phase two begins. The fresh and featherlike snow is a very good insulator against freezing temperatures. Therefore, this snow needs to be packed together in order 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.
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.
In order for us 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 our customers and staff is always our primary focus, throughout the whole process.
The ice surface itself can be manipulated in numerous ways, using different equipment and techniques, achieving a wide range properties and characteristics. The difference between a polished section of ice and one that has been roughened up and covered with snow is very big even though the ice itself is the same.
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.