GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – From the heart of Minnesota’s forest country comes an exciting line of ASV compact track loaders and wheeled skid steers ready to work on farms and ranches.
An offshoot of the snowmobile industry, ASV (formerly All Season Vehicles) equipment can take loaders into tight corners, as well as drive through wetlands, mud holes, snow and more.
The history of ASV began with a Northern Minnesota tinkerer with an eye for innovation. ASV’s inventor was Edgar Hetteen, of Roseau, who started Polaris Industries with two of his brothers back in the 1950s.
Hetteen branched out and started the ASV business in 1983 with Gary Lemke in Grand Rapids. They had a multi-purpose track product to sell seven years later.
“The original machine was a track truck for grooming snowmobile trails,” explained Regan Meyer, ASV marketing manager, at a recent media day. “That technology transitioned into what we did then with our first Posi-Track loader.”
They were going to call the compact track loader the “Agri-Track” because it seemed like a great fit for farms. Then Hetteen and Lemke figured out they had invented a machine that worked great for forestry, construction and landscaping projects too – so they called it the ASV Posi-Track.
“A lot of the same concepts (we promote in our product today) go all the way back to the first introduction in 1990,” Meyer said.
ASV compact loaders sold well, and an initial public offering occurred in 1994 as production reached full capacity.
In 2008, Terex Corp. purchased ASV and everything transitioned to the Terex brand name.
Then in 2014, Terex sold 51 percent of its ASV products to Manitex International and subsequently ASV completed an IPO in May 2017.
“That allowed us to reintroduce the ASV brand name to the market,” said Meyer. “Now, we are responsible for our own destiny, and that can be a scary thing, but it can be a really empowering thing and that’s how people have taken it with ASV. There is a lot of pride.”
Over 180 people are employed at ASV in Grand Rapids, and the company has about 200 dealers in the U.S., Canada and beyond.
“Everything is on-site in Grand Rapids,” she said. “It makes us very nimble for making decisions and working well as a team together.
“We’re kind of a new company, almost like a start up with a few years into it. But we have all this experience. We have 35 years of pushing limits, designing new products and that background in manufacturing.”
Engineers at ASV design Posi-Track and skid steer loader frames separately to provide the highest performance for each machine.
- ASV’s newest product is the VT-70 High Output Posi-Track loader, with a 13-inch ground clearance. The Posi-Track loader features high torque and an efficient hydraulic system for maximum performance with heavy and demanding attachments.
With 207 foot pounds of torque, farmers can get projects done quickly. High torque also allows for high speeds plus minimal engine bog. ASV engineers went with a turbocharged 74.3 horsepower Deutz 2.2-liter diesel engine. The engine uses a DOC-only exhaust after-treatment without a DPF or SCR. Internal rollers reduce friction loss in the open undercarriage, resulting in maximum power being transferred to the track regardless of drive speed.
- Another recently-introduced product is the RT-25 Posi-Track compact track loader. The 25-horsepower model is just 48 inches wide and weights 3,755 pounds, making it the industry’s smallest sit-in compact track loader. It is a safe alternative to walk-behind or stand-on mini loaders sometimes used for landscaping and other tasks.
The RT-25 features a 25-horsepower Perkins diesel engine and a 5.1 mph top speed. It is rated with an operating capacity of 665 pounds, a tipping load of 1,900 pounds, and an 8.4 foot lift height.
- RT-40 Posi-Track Loader offers a small-frame compact track loader with maximum power, reliability, serviceability and comfort. Assembled with a 37.5 horsepower Kubota diesel engine, the 1.8-liter displacement engine produces 84.5 foot-pounds of torque. There’s plenty of pushing and digging power with the ASV Posi-Power system.
The 4,175 pound RT-40 features a rated operating capacity of 931 pounds and a tipping load of 2,660 pounds.
- The new radial-lift RT-65 Posi-Track compact track loader offers 67 horsepower for serious jobs around the farm or ranch. The turbocharged Deutz 2.2 liter diesel engine produces 184 foot-pounds of torque that the drive motors transfer to ASV’s patented internal-drive sprockets.
The RT-65’s auxiliary hydraulic system has 3,300 psi of auxiliary pressure and 22.2-gpm standard flow, with a 27.4-gpm high-flow system available for demanding attachments. At 66 inches wide and a 116.5-inch lift height, the RT-65 features a rated operating capacity of 1,925 pounds, and a tipping load of 5,500 pounds.
ASV’s Posi-Track compact track loaders feature an open-rail and drive-sprocket design, rather than an enclosed tub system. This results in increased sprocket and bogie life along with easier and faster undercarriage cleaning.
All of the wheels are exposed in the undercarriage, allowing material to spill out, and reducing the risk of abrasive material getting trapped and wearing away at components.
ASV loaders’ tracks feature as many as four times more ground contact points than competitive steel-embedded tracks. This spreads out the unit’s weight evenly for lower ground pressure, extra flotation and less risk of tearing up cover crops or pastures.
“We want ASV products to empower people to be more productive, to do things they thought they couldn’t do otherwise,” said Justin Rupar, ASV Holdings Inc. vice president of sales and marketing.
“ASV can increase productivity, increase efficiency, reduce time for jobs that need to get done. These products allow customers to be more profitable, leave the ground in good conditions, be good stewards and enjoy a better standard of living.”