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SORVA and a Crazy Few Months

Alger SORVA has been quiet on the media and social media outlets but it has been for very busy and good reasons. There are finally a few moments to squeeze in bringing you all up to speed with the latest happenings so here goes:


Our Alger SORVA Trail Headquarters has moved to the old Iverson’s Snowshoe Factory in Shingleton. Our 3 year lease of the property in Wetmore ended June 1 and it was jut not working out. We ended up selling the “tent” to the property owner which saved us the time of taking it down – thankfully. Definitely this years biggest hurdle behind us now that everything is at the new location and we are now starting to get things organized. Though on the east end of our trails this works much better with a very large building, cement floors and plenty of outdoor cover storage areas. We now have enough inside floor space for all our tractors, summer/winter grooming equipment, maintenance trailer and then some. Right now we are still looking at staging areas in Christmas/Wetmore/AuTrain for the winter grooming months and more efficient covering of the West end. Time will tell but so far the move has been working out great.


Adding to our equipment fleet we now own our old John Deere 7130 for summer ORV grading use. Alger SORVA opted to purchase it instead of trade-in with our new 6175 groomer award this past season. It has needed some attention but is now out grading trails as we speak.
Our best “tool” investment to date, a completely reconditioned Toyota 7FGU30 Fork Lift has been added to the fleet. This 6,000lb lift capacity, outdoor rated machine has been working hard. We also invested in fork extensions, a lifting hook and man-lift basket. This is saving us hours of volunteer time by eliminating the struggle of moving large items. Swapping the tracks for tires on the JD7130 was way easier with the fork lift. We would like to give a special thank you to Bell Fork Lift down in Clinton Township, MI for working out a great deal and meeting us with it at their new facility in Gaylord to split the delivery travel time. The trip worked out good with also helping Trenary Northern Trails by delivering their groomer to Dubie Groomers in Gaylord, our trailer had a load both ways.


This year we took part in the Munising 4th of July Parade. President – Keith took the new John Deere 6175 and Dubie Groomer, while Tyler pulled our Maintenance Trailer with friends in his truck and Amara took a RZR with a bunch of her friends. Celebratory decorations looked great with the shined up machines. Kids were in aw of the huge tractor on tracks. We had a great time and even won a 1st place float award with “Most Unique”.


The new machine needs some warranty work and track system upgrades incorporated by Bader & Sons. One option not working is the air conditioning which had the tractor hotter than hell in the 4th of July Parade. Wont affect our grooming but its a brand new machine. All work is scheduled to be done in early September.
The Alger SORVA Pisten Bully is currently in Minnesota getting a go-through. So far one drive motor is shot, a blade wing needs new hinges and the leaking drive wheel that took us down near end-off season has already been repaired. We are waiting for an estimate to get our grant amended and the remaining repairs completed. Hopefully back in the next month or so.
The DNR Pisten Bully is also currently in Minnesota getting a complete overhaul. This machine had both drive pumps replaced along with wheel bearings, torsion springs and a few other components along with a full service. Should be a reliable reconditioned machine and we are figuring it will be delivered together with our Pisten Bully when finished. We just need to work on the DNR and SAW Committee to get a dedicated groomer drag for it too. For those who are unaware – this “program machine” is a back-up for clubs in the central upper peninsula when a primary machine goes down. Alger SORVA has volunteered to take it under our grant system, maintain and store it for the DNR. It was originally a trade-in from Grand Marais that Alger SORVA brought over to Wetmore and then died in Seeney covering for another downed machine.
JOHN DEERE 7130 Premium
Our owned tractor has been getting a going through and is now finally out grading trails. Track were swapped for tires and a stubborn, leaking 3 point lift cylinder replaced. We also retro-fitted the three point system with a cylinder to allow “tipping” of our box grader. Being able to do this from the cab during the grading process really makes proper shaping of the trails easier. Hours of time saved too with no more stopping to manually adjust the angle. A special thanks to the Tanglewood in Shingleton for sponsoring this addition.


Currently in progress with the JD7130 and entire trail system expected to be completed within the next two to three weeks.
Expected to start as soon as grading is completed. The current plan is to be meeting Trenary Northern Trails on the West end to do a trade-off, our box grader for their mechanized brush cutter. We have been very fortunate to have such a great working relationship with our neighbors to the West.

Bad news is our move has delayed getting these two going. If we are lucky they will still get done this season but worst case they will be done in the spring.
TRAIL 419 – Frog Hollow
Installation of remaining 5 culverts and capping of entire 1 mile segment
TRAIL 419 – M28 Connector
Fill and grade segment between Alger Heights Road and the Alger County Road Commission. Build-up approaches at Alger Heights Road for safer snowmobile and groomer crossings.

Spring ORV trail maintenance was completed on the Marquette to Manistique Trail along with the Pine Ridge and Two-Hearted Trails in Luce County.
Summer maintenance on them is to be scheduled in the next few days.
We are still trying to get back on track with scheduling so stay tuned for notice of brushing and signing dates, we are always open to additional volunteer help that we feed well.

We would like to congratulate our hard working member Tyler Graves for his completion and certification as an official ORV Safety Instructor. We now have three certified ORV instructors and are working on adding Snowmobile Instructor Certs to that. Our plan is to start scheduling some much needed classes for both closer to the Munising area.

That pretty much covers the highlights of the last 4 months, stay tuned as we try and be much more expedient on sharing what is happening with Alger SORVA in the North Central U.P.