The Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC), a subsidiary of
Hodges Transportation, has utilized the West Yellowstone Airport Facility,
located in Southern Montana as its primary winter test site since 1957. With
optimal winter test conditions, approximately two million square feet of groomed
test surfaces, and expanded facilities, NATC's Winter Test Facility is one of
the world's premier locations for cold climate vehicle and tire testing, and
As the West Yellowstone Airport operates only six
months out of the year, June 1st through September 30th, NATC has
arranged, with the state of Montana, to lease the facility for
exclusive testing and training purposes between, October 1st
and May 1st, each year. NATC offers comprehensive winter
testing solutions, along with complete facility and security
support to meet individual customer needs, including:
Vehicle preparation and maintenance
Tire mounting and changing area
On-site instrumentation technicians and equipment for test support
On-site vehicles to support dynamic logitudinal and lateral traction testing
Complete on-board data acquisition equipment
ASTM, SAE, ISO, GM, Ford and RMA "snowflake" testing standards
Shops (2,000 sq.ft.)
Office (300 sq. ft.)
Storage (Van Trailers as Required)
An 8' security fence protects NATC's Exclusive use of the
facility and any customers desiring absolute security and privacy. NATC
will not compromise individual security or privacy when the facility is shared.
NATC extends access to the Airport for both commercial and
military entities seeking testing or support in a winter environment. In
addition, NATC is capable of customization for both customers and test
Dynamic Driving and Lateral Traction
Dynamic Peak and Slide Braking
Subjective and Objective Handling and Stability
Traction Control Systems (TCS)
Snow Removal Equipment Testing
Testing of Snow Removal Apparatuses, Snowmobiles and other snow-related equipment
NATC offers driver education training that can be structured to suit a
wide variety of vehicle operating scenarios. NATC's training services are appropriate for
drivers of passenger cars, military vehicles, tractor-trailer combinations, commercial
and school busses. law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, and public utility
service vehicles, as well as for heavy equipment operators. Courses can be structured
for varying skill levels and for specific driving situations such as snow plow operations
and most other winter driving conditions. NATC also offers an advanced threat avoidance
driving course intended primarily for corporate, government, or diplomatic chauffeurs.
NATC has the ability to prepare tire test surfaces ranging from virgin
snow over a packed snow base, to a hard packed snow base that may be encountered on
traffic-packed highway surfaces. Courses are wheel packed as fresh snow accumulates
providing a base of snow, packed to a depth of three to six inches. All vehicle handling
areas are consistently maintained. In addition to maintaining the snow base, a road grader
cuts the surface after the base is packed to a uniform compaction. This method is also
used several times during the testing period, providing customers with uniformity. Prior
to the courses being re-packed and re-groomed all loose snow and debris are removed.
Soft Pack (CTI 50-70)
Moderate Pack (CTI 70-80)
Hard Pack (CTI 80-90)
Ice; Frozen or Melting, Indoor and Outdoor
The moderately packed snow dynamic driving and lateral and braking traction tests
are conducted on prepared courses. This moderately packed snow is representative of freshly fallen
snow on a highway that has been tire packed, having a compaction reading of 70 to 80 on the
standard CTI penetrometer. The SAE average coefficient of the Standard Reference Test Tire
(SRTT;ASTM E-1136) falls between .25 and .38 while the surface temperature ranges between
+10 to +25 degrees F during tests.
Instrumented Vehicles for Traction Testing
Dynamic Force Measurement Vehicles (DFMVs) are specially built
by NATC to calculate forces acting on tires during operation, allowing
quantification of longitudinal and lateral traction. Each DFMV is equipped
with on-board instrumentation, for data acquisition, and a fully selectable drive
system to allow µ-slip measurements, on a single test tire. NATC's five DFMVs
provide a range of capabilities from 13 to 24.5-inch rim sizes and 470 to
10,000-pounds of tri-axial load and slip measurements.
On-Site Test Support
NATC maintains a variety of on-site equipment and vehicles that are available to
support testing efforts and insure consistency. In addition, NATC offers a diverse group of experienced
personnel to assist in all capacity testing and/or customer need requirements.
Tire Maintenance Equipment
Vehicle Maintenance Equipment
Vehicle Payload Materials
OshKosh Sno-Go Highway Rotary Blower
GMC two and a half ton snow plow
A one-ton and three-quarter ton GMC pick-up equipped with snow plows
John Deere 570A Motor Grader
12 Foot Wide Wheel Packer
Special Snow Grooming Devices
P.R. Event Hosting
In addition to its testing capabilities, the West Yellowstone Test Facility is an
excellent choice for marketing and P.R. events. For these events NATC provides experienced, onsite, personnel
who are available to assist with event facilitation and function. Recent marketing events have included;
Continental Tire Arctic Blast and Nitto Tire Demonstration Events.
The West Yellowstone facility is conveniently accessible from nearby Bozeman, located
approximately 90 minutes north of the testing facility, with flight service provided by Delta, United,
and Northwest Airlines. As West Yellowstone is a popular recreation destination year-round, early
reservations are advised. This area is replete with a variety of recreational winter activities
including; ready access to Big Sky Resort, snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and any number of additional
recreational areas. As NATC begins another great year in West Yellowstone, we look forward to serving
all of your winter test and recreation needs. For additional information and to reserve your space
please contact Mark Holt at NATC today. Mark Holt, Senior Test Technician, 775-629-2000 x130 or
For your convenience NATC has negotiated a special rate with the Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone, Montana.
The Holiday Inn is located at 315 Yellowstone Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 just 3 miles from the NATC testing facility.
Please follow the link below to have the NATC rate applied.
Should you need to contact the hotel directly you can reach the Holiday Inn at 1-406-646-7365.
We look forward to seeing you and hope you enjoy your stay.