'Tank-like ATV' pitched for Canada's North can crawl through sand, snow, water and ice

Some Winnipeg entrepreneurs say a Russian and Ukranian design has a lot to offer companies in Canada's North. Demonstrations of the big-wheeled Sherp are coming to Whitehorse and Yellowknife.

Demonstrations of the big-wheeled Sherp are coming to Whitehorse and Yellowknife

Sherp ATVs are made in Ukraine with parts from Russia and Germany. A new Canadian company is betting the design will catch on here. They cost about $140,000 apiece. (Sherp Canada)

A Winnipeg company is betting a rugged off-road vehicle of Russian and Ukranian design will prove useful in Canada's remote northern back-country.

Sherp Canada will be demonstrating the vehicles — Sherps — in Whitehorse and Yellowknife soon.

"It's pretty-much a tank-like ATV," said Les Fernandez, a Sherp Canada sales manager.

Sherp Canada worked with Sherp Ukraine to refine the machine and bring the product line to Canada.

Fernandez said about 50 units have already been sold. Clients are mainly mining and oil and gas companies that work on remote sites.

The vehicles have huge soft tires and a closed cab. The have a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour, but they can float and tread through water, drive through deep snow and climb over obstacles like fallen trees or boulders.

The vehicle chassis are shipped from Ukraine and the wheels and other elements installed on an assembly line in Winnipeg.

They cost about $140,000 apiece.

Demonstrations set for Yukon and N.W.T.

A demonstration is scheduled for Yukon on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Marsh Lake near Whitehorse.

The company will hold a second demonstration in Yellowknife at the sand pits near the Yellowknife Shooting Club shooting range on July 15.

He said he would like to bring units to Nunavut as well.

Another idea is for the Canadian Forces to consider the design, though he says "as of right now we haven't had any contact."

Design already driven across north pole

The design of a large-tired amphibious truck has already been proven in Canada's North.

In 2013 some Russian adventurers drove home-built trucks across the North pole.  The trucks drove to Tuktoyaktuk NWT and then spent the winter in Resolute, Nunavut.