|DATE 12/23/2005 1:54 PM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
‘Hood’ Business Taking Snowmobilers to New Heights
|This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council about the people and places in Sanpete County and along U.S. Highway 89, the Heritage Highway.
Scott Stevens is an avid snowmobiler who never liked the look, fit or weight of retail snowmobile hoods. He also didn’t like the high price tag. So a few years ago, he decided to take matters into his own hands and design his own.
At the time, Stevens was working with his father, Grant, erecting steel buildings. He also previously owned a sporting good and snowmobile store. Every night after work, he and his family would spend time in the garage and basement designing and working on lightweight snowmobile hoods.
Stevens’ always felt that if snowmobiles weighed less, they would get more speed, allowing them to go faster and climb higher. He decided the fastest, cheapest and easiest way for a sled to “lose weight” was in the hood.
Stevens’ wife, Stephanie, calls his theory “Go Where No Other Snowmobile Has Gone Before.” Indeed, the lightweight hoods Stevens designed allowed him to reach previously unreachable heights and speeds.
He never intended for his hood-building hobby to become a business. But people who saw the lightweight hoods would ask Stevens about them, and soon they were requesting that he build one for them. So in 2001, Stevens decided to make it his full-time passion and opened up Diamond S Manufacturing at 450 South 50 East in Ephraim.
The company produces snowmobile hoods that weigh about six pounds, significantly lighter than retail hoods that weigh between 18 to 25 pounds. Aluminum tubing is used for the frame, along with a special ballistics material, and fabric called mesh for the covering.
The fabrics are heat tolerant, breathable and good-looking, Stevens says, adding they are tested for durability by being baked in an oven, pulled on, run over by a car and washed about 100 times. “The mesh was extremely important because is has to shed the powdery snow and water and allow air flow to keep the clutches and belts cool, which increases machine performance,” he says. Stevens also designs the frames, welds them and creates and sews the fabric patterns.
In addition, he designs and manufactures a Titanium Tube Chassis. The weight of an average chassis is about 80 to 100 pounds, but a Titanium Chassis is only about 35 to 40 pounds.
This November, the company also started building many other lightweight parts as well as ready- to- ride snowmobiles, some producing up to 300 horsepower. The company also teamed up with Boondocker Inc. of Idaho to build the first-ever side mount turbo kit for the new Yamaha Apex and RX1.
Diamond S now has two full-time employees and three part-time employees as well as a lot of family cooperation and help.
Stevens says as recently as 10 years ago, the average sled couldn’t make it up a canyon road, depending upon snow conditions. “However, just like most everything else, snowmobiles have become so sophisticated and improved that you can climb some hills you don’t dare come back down,” he says. “There was a time when the Bluebell Ski Run hill up Ephraim Canyon was a BIG hill. Now some sleds go up and over the top without even going full throttle.”
Stephanie Stevens jokes these are the riders who are “not very smart.” In fact, she is known to tell out-of-town riders that if want to follow her husband on a snowmobile, it might be hazardous to their health. The Stevens live in Ephraim with their four children: Skyler, 15; Sydney, 14; Shalynn, 10; and Shantel, 9.
Snowmobiling is a huge attraction in Sanpete County, and one of the most popular events is the Fairview Shoot Out, which takes place up Fairview Canyon every March or April. Snowmobilers come from all over the United States and Canada to race and hill climb. Stevens and his hand-built custom sled can be found there. For the past two years, he has been the undefeated winner of the longest wheelie ever ridden on a snowmobile.
For more information on Diamond S. Manufacturing, contact Stevens at (435) 283-4709.
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