Thanks to Terry Harper, who informs that "one of the earliest such vehicles was patented by Ira Peavey of Maine
At least two were built and tested succesfully. One was stream
poweredm the other used a gasoline engine.
Peavey's machine was designed to haul trains of sleds loaded with logs. However, he had to compete with Alvin Lombards steam Log hauler which had appeared earlier in 1902. While Peavey's machine worked great on hard packed snow it was near useless in soft powder. In addition its relatively rigid construction meant that it tended to rear and plunge over the hills and humocks associated with a rough winter haul road and was quite hard on the drawbars of the sleds. In this respect the Lombard proved to be a much better machine and dominated the market here in the north east."