Tips & tricks
for the bully

Here you will find some service tips and tricks for PistenBully. From now on, KÄSSBOHRER's technical experts will be writing regularly about maintenance 
and service topics that can be used to operate the snow groomers more efficiently, trouble-free and gently.

#1: Shortage the winch rope

To do this, clamp the winch cable in a vice, grasp the loose end with a suitable turning tool, and heat the winch cable in the range ≈ 100 mm / ≈ 3.94 in with a welding torch. When the winch cable begins to glow, you slowly turn it counterclockwise three to four turns using the tool. You are virtually twisting the winch cable shut! The winch cable finally breaks in the glowing area. It is important that you increase the force slowly and evenly when turning the winch cable in order to achieve as smooth a break as possible. Finally, allow the winch cable to cool completely and then remove the burr with a suitable grinder.

#2: Battery check

To ensure proper functioning of the battery (whether maintenance-free or not), the battery switch should be disconnected to avoid creep and discharge currents. The open-circuit voltage should be checked after a standstill period of no more than six months. This must not fall below 12.4 volts on the single battery, otherwise it must be recharged. Use a regulated charger (10% battery power), but do not use fast charging functions. Rather, the charging time should be several hours to avoid sulfate formation with damage, heat and outgassing. After charging and cooling the battery, the resting voltage should be about 12.7 volts.

For batteries that are not marked as maintenance-free by the type plate and have screwed/plugged caps or maintenance openings on the top, the following applies: Additionally check the liquid level and supplement it with distilled water to MAX.

In general, make sure that the battery is stored in a dry and cool place at 0°C to +25°C. Always follow the maintenance instructions. There is a risk of burns due to liquid, short circuit due to chemical reaction or explosion due to gas!

#3: Cummins engine

As you know, the new PistenBully 600 EU 5 has a Cummins X12 engine, which has the following advantages over its predecessor: 

  • Additional torque
  • The best power-to-weight ratio
  • Lower fuel consumption

We recommend to hold the engine speed at 1,300 revolutions per minute. At this engine speed, the highest torque with the lowest fuel consumption and optimum hydraulic performance can be achieved.


The PistenBully iTerminal with its 10.4" color touch display allows the operator a quick overview of all the information and parameters needed for his work.

On the home screen, all important engine data is displayed in the digital cockpit. Menu buttons take the operator to the relevant submenus, vehicle information and vehicle settings. The cameras are also displayed via the iTerminal.

To make the operation as intuitive and simple as possible for the driver, the iTerminal offers the option of gesture control, as usual on a smartphone. For example, displays can be easily switched by swiping across the display.

To quickly get back to the home screen, you only have to perform a roof shape gesture ^ on the screen. If you want to go back to the previous page, you can simply use the gesture of an L shape. If you do not want to use the gesture control, you can of course also navigate via the conventional buttons.

#5: Winch

Namely, it's about calibrating the remaining rope length. After a rope change of the 4.5 and 4.6 ton drive drum winch, you should carry out various calibrations via the iTerminal. This includes the calibration of the layers and windings on the reel. You need the exact number of layers and windings to correctly calculate the available remaining rope length. The information also allows you to correctly detect rope winding errors.

To avoid having to count the layers and windings on the reel all the time during rope spooling, we recommend the following tip: Spool up the new winch rope about five windings so that the rope is firmly seated on the reel. Now briefly interrupt the spooling process. Enter the current number of layers and windings on the calibration page in the iTerminal (e.g.: zero layers, five windings) and confirm your entry.

Now the winding can be continued. This allows you to concentrate fully on winding without being distracted by counting. For control purposes we recommend - after the end of the process - to recount and compare the number of windings again.

#6: Drive wheels

To set the PistenBully in motion with its tracks, large sprocket wheels are required that are bolted onto the planetary gearbox at the rear of the vehicle. These drive wheels are also called turas.

To ensure that the PistenBully gets all its power, the turas are subjected to greater stress, especially when pushing and driving uphill. In addition, the vehicle travels forward most of the time, which often results in one-sided wear on the drive wheels.

To counteract this and extend the service life, we recommend changing the drive wheels from right to left at the appropriate time. This means that the less worn side is available for the more demanding work. By changing the turas, they can be better utilized and must be replaced later. This conserves resources and reduces maintenance costs.

#7: Digital maintain

Today we show you how easy it is to get started with the digital maintenance of your PistenBully. SNOWsat Maintain Basic is the name of the free maintenance software.

In SNOWsat Maintain Basic you can add your PistenBully including additional equipment and thus keep an eye on your fleet - with newer vehicles, you can even see the current operating hours. We keep all technical documents up to date for you on an equipment-specific basis. You can also plan, perform and document maintenance at an early stage. So the first steps in digitalized maintenance are quickly taken!

To register, please contact your service partner. They will create an account for you and support you in setting up your account. And when you have become really digital, you can easily upgrade the software to SNOWsat Maintain Professional, where all assets (equipment and facilities) can be managed!

#8: Windshield wiper

The clear view on the mountain: You can control the windshield wipers on the PistenBully 600 (Generation 826) either via the control panel or via the steering column lever on the left side of the steering wheel.

To avoid damage to the functional mechanism of the windshield wipers, we advise you not to use the control on the steering wheel, but the buttons on the panel. You wonder why? If the wiper control is not set to 0 at the end of the shift, the wipers will automatically restart at the next engine start. If there is heavy, wet snow or even ice on the windshield at this time, it can cause the wipers to wear out faster.

#9: Refuel correctly

Refueling vehicles is not difficult. Nevertheless, there is an important tip for the PistenBully: Always top up your vehicle's fuel tanks after you have finished driving. This prevents condensation from accumulating in the fuel tanks!

To explain: The fuel and the tanks heat up due to warm returning fuel and the waste heat of the components. If the vehicle is parked with empty tanks, the heated air in the tanks cools down and the moisture bound in the air condenses on the tank walls. This moisture accumulates at the bottom of the tanks and, in the worst case, is sucked in and freezes in the lines during a cold start. It is then no longer possible to start the vehicle. If the tanks are full, there is no room for air and the condensation effect is prevented.

#10: Tips for oversummering

A checklist to help a PistenBully get through the summer well:

  • Wash vehicle, tracks and attachments
  • Perform pending maintenance / summer overhaul
  • Dismantle chains, cover spike tips and wind up, store upright
  • Jack up vehicle in order to relieve the suspension of the chassis
  • If necessary, cover the intake and exhaust openings
  • Protect vehicle, tracks and attachments from sunlight
  • Fill fuel tank completely to avoid condensation water
  • Drain water from water separator
  • Fill DEF tank
  • Check hydraulic oil and fill up
  • Lubricate
  • Let oil out of high-pressure hoses of the dismantled auxiliary equipment in order to relax them
  • Disconnect the battery and connect it to the trickle charger

#11: Dream job Pistenbully operator

The shortage of skilled workers is currently hitting hard, and ski resorts are urgently looking for PistenBully operators. But how do you actually become a professional operator?

The PRO ACADEMY of the PistenBully manufacturer KÄSSBOHRER offers beginner training courses for slope grooming: Important, manufacturer-independent basic knowledge for everyone – from the technical functioning of a snow groomer to its correct operation and basic knowledge of slope preparation. But also information on safety and necessary daily maintenance work are part of these courses. After passing the exam, the graduate receives a recognized PRO ACADEMY certificate at the end of the theoretical operating training, in which the training contents are documented.

No less important, of course, is the practical operater training. Here, the newcomer learns the basic functions of a snow groomer and how to use it in practice. German-language beginner training courses in presence take place in October in southern Germany, Austria or South Tyrol.

If there is no service contract with a ski resort yet, interested parties can find some job offers on the job portal of KÄSSBOHRER.

#12: AdBlue and DEF fluid

AdBlue is a well-known brand name, as used by Mercedes, for example. The manufacturer of the PistenBully engines, Cummins, calls the liquid Diesel Exhaust Fluid – DEF for short.

Whether you call it DEF or AdBlue, both fluids reduce exhaust emissions in diesel engines. They are a mixture of 32.5 percent urea and 67.5 percent water.

DEF freezes at minus 11 °C / 12 °F – but can be thawed without loss of quality. However, the storage temperature should not exceed 30 °C / 86 °F. DEF has a shelf life of one year, provided the containers are tightly sealed. Be careful, because evaporation of the water content leads to a change in the mixing ratio of urea and water and can cause errors in use. In addition, DEF must not be exposed to direct sunlight.

#13: SNOWsat Training

Efficient slope and snow management is becoming increasingly crucial to the success of a ski resort. Especially in the current times, resources are also more valuable than ever for ski resorts. Through the SNOWsat trainings, PistenBully operators and slope managers can get the maximum out of the individual SNOWsat solutions.

The SNOWsat trainings are now offered under the PRO ACADEMY umbrella. The aim is to prepare employees in the best possible way for efficient and resource-saving work in the ski area.

In the 2022/23 season, basic courses on SNOWsat in the vehicle and in the office can be booked in the PRO ACADEMY portal. In addition, PRO ACADEMY provides advice and training on efficient snow management with SNOWsat, on maintenance with SNOWsat Maintain – and how to optimize and expand maintenance.

SNOWsat Training

Are there other challenges we can help you with? Then send an email to