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How to Drive a Zamboni

Skaters left your rink with uneven, dirty ice? Check out these steps on how to drive a Zamboni and lay down a fresh surface.


  • TIP: Depress the Zamboni's plunger after every revolution to keep the machine from clogging with snow.
  • Step 1: Covered the surface completely? Raise the blade and drive off the ice. Once you're on dry land, empty the dump tank. Then, park the Zamboni until your ice is ready for another fresh coating.
  • FACT: The Zamboni ice resurfacer's shape is a federally registered trademark in the United States.
  • Step 2: Drag the Zamboni's rear towel across the ice to spread warm water, which melts and bonds with the existing surface to leave behind a smooth sheet. Steer carefully and forcefully -- the Zamboni does not include power steering, which can make for tricky driving on the slick surface.
  • Step 3: Lower the Zamboni's blade -- housed in the conditioner. Its height off the surface determines how much ice you remove. As ice collects, activate the augers, 2 large screw conveyors that collect the shavings and shoot them into the dump tank.
  • TIP: Zambonis feature either hydraulic or computerized controls, depending on the model.
  • Step 4: Put the Zamboni in drive, step on the gas, and steer onto the ice.
  • Step 5: Climb into the Zamboni's seat and examine the gas and brake pedals and hand-operated controls, which manipulate the conditioner, a series of mechanisms used to resurface ice, and the dump or snow tank, a container which stores rough ice after shaving.

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