Cole gets a Zamboni

(Video link)

Here’s a little guy secret from the Northland:

There isn’t a guy alive around here who doesn’t want to drive a Zamboni.

That’s why Cole Schusted is a lucky guy.

KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert has the story of the 15-year-old whose parents say his obsession with the machines date back to shortly after he was diagnosed with autism.

People around the world, apparently, send him pictures of Zambonis.

“If you ask Cole what he wants to do when he’s older he says he’s going to retire being a Zamboni driver,” his mom tells Huppert. “In his heart of hearts that’s what he’s going to do.”

So some friends of his father built the young man a Zamboni.

And then, on New Year’s Day, a crowd at the Andover Community Center ice rink showed up to watch him drive the real thing.

  • Al

    * or girl alive. We all love Zambonis.

  • MrE85
    • For your clean air stuff? That’s ironic.

      • MrE85

        We do irony well. The machine runs on propane, which is cleaner burning than liquid fuels, but can contribute to high CO levels in arenas
        I was on a committee that helped develop the new indoor air quality standards for ice arenas, and I also worked with Brooklyn Park to make their ice sheet as clean and healthy as possible. They use electric Zambonis.

        • jon

          I guess i just kind of assumed most new zamboni’s were electric.

          Seems like something that only needs to run for a few minutes at a time, doesn’t travel far from it’s storage location, and doesn’t need to be particularly high powered would be the perfect situation for an electric drive train.

          • Ice rinks are notoriously unhealthy places.

          • >>Ice rinks are notoriously unhealthy places.<<

            Just when I am on there playing hockey…


          • MrE85

            Because they don’t run that often (and are very expensive), many rinks still are using old machines. There is a “Mighty Ducks” grant program to help offset the cost of a new electric machine.

          • Did you see today in the West Central Tribune that Willmar had to turn down a Mighty Ducks grant (which is now called the James Metzen Mighty Duck Grant)?

          • MrE85

            Being funded by grants (as our program is) can be a 2-edged sword. We usually have to match the amount being offered in either cash or gifts in-kind from private donors/partners, and we have to submit proposals in a very short timeframe. I feel Wilmar’s pain. It’s a shame they had to leave $100,000 on the table.

            That said, winning a new grant is great. We are announcing a new program tomorrow at 2:30 at the Chicago Auto Show. It involves MN and 6 other Midwestern states.

  • Jay Sieling

    This post needs a soundtrack: