The PB 100’s can’t be operated in low snow conditions due to the depth of the cleats on the tracks and the aggressiveness of the cutters on the tiller. This prevents it from being used in early season as the tracks and tiller will bring debris to the surface and spread it through the snow pack. Ideally, there needs to be a minimum of 60cm of moderately compacted snow before the larger machine is utilized.
Each time the snow is tilled, the snow crystals are altered and become finer. This improves the skiing surface in the short term however when the snow is tilled too much the crystals become small and rounded, creating a less than ideal surface and reducing the durability of the snow surface. The snow pack can be renewed with the introduction of fresh snow but the cycle starts again until another snow renewal. The idea is to find a balance to prolong the life of the ski surface. Snowmobile groomers (G2, Ginzu) have a less aggressive action and do not alter the snow crystals as much. The snow surface remains more easily skiable for a longer duration. The G2 or Ginzu are also narrow enough that the skating lanes can be groomed without affecting the classic tracks. In addition, the snowmobile groomer can travel faster than the PB 100, so more km of trail can be covered in a similar time period.
In the spring, when there is frequent freeze/thaw cycles, the PB 100 tiller does a great job of chewing up the ice. Unfortunately, each time this is done, the snowpack is reduced and the ability of the snow crystals to adhere to each other is further diminished. Snow crystals have a finite capacity to be worked.