What do snowmobiles, mild Minnesota winters, Arctic Cat, a tracked truck and Polaris all have in common? They are all things that had a hand in the making of All Seasons Vehicles, Inc., now known as simply ASV.
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In 1983 Edgar Hetteen and Gary Lemke joined forces to build an all season vehicle in response to sluggish snowmobile sales. Both men had a history in the snowmobile world. Mr. Lemke owned the largest Artic Cat Dealership in North America and Mr. Hetteen, sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of Snowmobiles”, founded Arctic Cat in 1961 and Polaris in 1945. In 1968, the early days of snowmobiling, Gary Lemke opened a small snowmobile shop in Grand Rapids Minnesota which grew into the USA’s largest Arctic Cat dealership. Meanwhile, Hetteen’s Arctic Cat Company also prospered. By the end of the 1970’s things began to slow.
The first few years of the 1980’s were not friendly to business in general. Add in low snowfall amounts and the snowmobile industry took a beating. The need for something less seasonal was obvious to both Hetteen and Lemke. The two partnered in 1983 and development of the “Track Truck” began. About the size of a pick-up truck, the vehicle featured rubber tracks, conventional front wheels for stability on steep terrain and a standard steering wheel. All features which soon created a niche market for the design. Unfortunately, consumers only saw the validity of the tracks for use in the snow. In fact, they provided excellent traction, maneuverability and were low-impact environmentally on all terrains year-round.
An effort to enlarge their consumer base brought about the Posi-Track vehicle in 1990. This new design incorporated a quick attach system, to allow for the use of various attachments such as blades and buckets, and added a 3 point hitch to the new machine. This expanded ASV’s consumer interest immensely by giving the new machine more obvious year-round capabilities. Plus it put them directly into the battle of the skid steer market. Sales grew and in 1995 the company had to move to a larger production facility. With the introduction of its “Maximum Traction and Support System” undercarriage Caterpillar became interested in the company. In 1998 Cat purchased almost 9% of ASV’s stock, increasing that in 2000 to 15%. The same year ASV introduced the R Series All-Surface Loader. The venture went well and together they developed ASV’s and Caterpillar’s line of Multi Terrain Loaders. MTL’s, still technically compact track loaders, offer many advantages in certain situations. From sales of $43.8 million in 1998, to a company that was purchased by Terex Corporation in January of 2008 for $488 million. No one can legitimately say ASV suffered financially from the partnership with Caterpillar.
Terex, a global company formed in 1933 under the name of the Euclid Company, was purchased by General Motors in 1953. The “Euclid Division” became GM’s large equipment developer. In 1970 GM renamed the division Terex, a combination of Terra and Rex, both Latin words meaning Earth and King. No longer owned by GM, Terex has become a global company of global proportions worth billions.
The acquisition of ASV by Terex was a smart move. This immediately put them into the skid steer loader and compact track loader market. And, it allows them to own both company’s share of that market. Whether a new RS-60 radial lift or a RCV vertical lift from ASV, or a Gen2 R185S from Terex, they’ve had an important part in bringing this unique track system to the international marketplace.
Loader Parts Source is your open door to ASV/Terex parts, information and accessories. A PT100 tandem pump input shaft, a 2810 drive pump control sleeve, an RC30 drive motor. These are just 3 examples of the Terex/ASV Skid Steer parts that we offer. Engine parts like rods and bearings, rubber tracks and hydraulic fluid filters are a few more. Our mission is to provide you with the track loader parts that you need. And, we do it fast, make sure it’s easy and we keep it fair. Try us.