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Article: The Story Of The Bombardier Muskeg

The Story Of The Bombardier Muskeg

The Story Of The Bombardier Muskeg

The Story Of The Bombardier Muskeg

A Look At The First Rubber Tracked Forestry Carriers

When it comes to what are the best rubber tracked carriers for forestry and oil & gas, only two names comes to mind, Gyro-Trac and of course the grandfather of all tracked carriers, the Bombardier Muskeg.  Today we though it would be interesting to look back at the origins of what was r the early snow cats and how these vehicles inspired us to bring to market the modern day Muskeg in our own tracked forestry vehicle, the Messek Utility Carrier.

Bombardier today might best be known for its aerospace manufacturing and development, but decades ago – during and following the second World War – it was known for a variety of other first-of-its-kind vehicles. One of these was the all-season, all-purpose and all-terrain Muskeg tractor.

Bombardier Muskeg

A 1958 Bombardier Muskeg made for the Trans Antarctic Expedition

Oil & Gas Industries Rely Upon Tracked Carriers and Swamp Buggies

Drawing inspiration from the original snowmobile (which Bombardier also developed) this tractor was designed to traverse any type of terrain, which was especially helpful during the winter months in Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s hometown of Quebec, Canada. And while the Muskeg has been officially out of development for decades, you’d be surprised by how much it’s still beloved in the many markets that formerly deployed it in the field.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the development and history of the Bombardier Muskeg and also share insight and information on how this classic vehicle development lives on today in the form of other all-terrain vehicles.

Perhaps the most notable example is the Gyro-Trac Messek, which is essentially a modern-day Muskeg. Read on for more information on the Muskeg and how it has paved the way to help usher in a new level of efficiency and productivity in many markets, including forestry, and oil and gas, among others. 

An Ideal All-Season Vehicle

Skis in the front. Tracks in the back. That was the concept behind the original Bombardier Muskeg, the all-season vehicle that could be used for just about anything. It was rugged, unique and oddly stylish.

Originally rolled out to endure the winter-time conditions in the Canadian countryside, the vehicles were originally produced for the Canadian Army during World War II.

Then a new version was rolled out for logging and mining purposes. It’s this latter development that adopted the “Muskeg” name – and it’s been a classic model since these early days.

Muskegs were available in all different types of models. Some featured wider tracks to maneuver through deep snow. Others deployed additional belts so they could “float” over the snow. 

The Muskeg Has A Cult-like Following All These years Later

Muskegs haven’t been manufactured in many years, however they’re still sought out due to their unique styling and their ability to do just about anything.

Whether it’s the snow, swamp, forest or marsh, these all-season, all-purpose vehicles were designed to handle anything that they came into contact with.

From freighting to hauling, the Muskeg was an original workhorse vehicle – and it lives on today in some key modern-day developments that draw inspiration from it.

Picking the right all terrain vehicle

Image From The Forrest History Society

The Bombardier Muskeg: A Brief History

Like we noted earlier, the Muskeg was the ideal all-purpose vehicle that was designed to traverse swamps, sand, snow or any other type of terrain that stood in its way. And while the Muskeg tractor was officially adopted and introduced by Bombardier in 1953, early versions of the all-purpose vehicle were developed much earlier.

In fact, it was the first snowmobile developed by Bombardier in 1935 that eventually evolved into the Muskeg. Designed to run on caterpillar tracks, like a tank, this snowmobile had skis in the front to make navigation through the snow a breeze. This especially came in handy in Quebec, Canada, where Bombardier was founded.

The Original Snowmobile

The Ski-Doo Bombardier Snowmobile

You Can Still Find Used Muskeg Vehicles For Sale Today!

After the snowmobile was rolled out to the market, it became a popular vehicle for professionals living in remote areas throughout Canada for getting back and forth to town safely and effectively.

Eventually, snowmobiles became attractive throughout a variety of other markets, as retailers, transportation companies, electrical utility companies, phone companies, mail carriers and forestry operations began to see the value for their specific purposes. 

Based on the success of the snowmobile, Bombardier introduced the Muskeg, which was somewhat of a snowmobile on steroids. A large, tractor-like vehicle, this too became a success – not so much for personal use like the snowmobile had initially become known for, but for professional purposes.

The Muskeg was introduced to the world with much success. Following its successful introduction, Bombardier actually later returned to develop a better, smaller and lighter version of the snowmobile: the Ski-Doo. 

Unlike the bulky versions of the past, this snowmobile was designed to mimic a motorcycle with skis and a single track. Between the Muskeg and this new version of the snowmobile, Bombardier became a huge success as a company. Today, though it doesn’t produce the Muskeg vehicle, you can see inspiration that’s drawn from the original all-purpose, all-terrain vehicle everywhere. 

From snowmobiles to tractors, the Muskeg lives on in different, innovative ways. And while Bombardier today is perhaps best known for its aerospace development and manufacturing, its production of the Muskeg and recreational snowmobile is an important chapter in the company’s history that should be celebrated.

Does Any One Manufacture An Alternative To The Bombardier Muskeg?

The Messek: A New Generation of Muskeg

The Best Rubber Tracked Crawlers On The Market Today

Drawing on the inspiration of the iconic Bombardier Muskeg now comes the Gyro-Trac Messek utility carrier. Unlike the conventional Muskeg, the Messek has ditched the front skis for tracks everywhere. And while the Messek certainly has universal potential, there’s no question that it shows major potential in both the forestry, and oil and gas industries.

Small Tracked Carriers and Crawlers

In situations where you’re working out in rough terrain, you need equipment that you can rely on to get the job done – and get it done time and time again. That’s where the Messek can truly shine.

Equipped with a 160-horsepower Cummins Tier-III turbo diesel under the hood and clocking in at a 5 ton weight, the Messek can haul just about anything while offering the flexible maneuverability of a smaller vehicle.

Ultimately, the Messek is a tracked buggy – and tracked buggies are especially essential for forestry, and oil and gas applications, as they maintain a low profile and are able to move with ease across varying terrain. If you like the Muskeg, you’ll love the more modern-day Messek from Gyro-Trac.

Ideal for land clearing across any type of terrain, the Messek is today’s version of the Muskeg. And based on its design and makeup, you can certainly see the potential for this vehicle to become as popular as what the Muskeg once was and, arguably, still is.

See Our Messek Utility Carrier Here

The Gryo-Trac Messek Tracked Forestry Crawler Can be Used In A Number Of Applications:


  • Logging and Forestry
  • Oil and Gas
  • Land-clearing and Site-prep
  • Mulching and land Management
  • Government and Military
  • Heavy Machinery Maintenance
  • Right-of-way Clearing
  • Fence and Power Line Clearing
  • and more…

Read more

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