ASV’s 35-year history includes about 6 years (2008-2014) when the brand name disappeared from its compact track loaders and skid steer loaders, and its network was rebuilt with the Terex brand name. The company is re-introducing the ASV brand and its network now includes about 290 locations. The company also recently unveiled its newest model, its VT-70 High Output Posi-Track loader.
“The No. 1 challenge with selling ASV is brand recognition. When Terex bought ASV in 2008, they essentially killed the ASV brand for a period of time. ASV relaunched its dealer network in 2015 and it's our job to help build brand awareness through the dealer channels, so people start thinking about ASV when they start thinking about compact track loaders and skid steers,” says Justin Rupar, ASV’s vice president of sales and marketing.
“The other thing is to educate the industry on, and particularly customers, are the benefits of our undercarriage. Our differentiating piece is our fully suspended undercarriage and we're the only company right now that has a dual level suspended undercarriage. Brand awareness and the benefits of the undercarriage are the biggest obstacles we have to overcome. It’s a simple, but daunting task of education,” Rupar says. (See the chart “ASV Timeline” for a history of the company.)
Introducing the VT-70 Compact Track Loader
Rural Lifestyle Dealer was on hand for the unveiling of its newest model, the mid- frame, vertical lift VT-70 High Output Posi-Track loader. The loader, which is positioned in the middle of ASV’s CTL lineup, features high torque and an efficient hydraulic system for maximum performance.
The new VT-70 High Output features 207 foot pounds of torque, allowing for maximum performance, high speeds and minimal engine bog down in all applications. ASV built the machine with a turbocharged 74.3- horsepower Deutz 2.2-liter diesel engine. Drive motors transfer the torque to ASV’s patented internal-drive sprockets. Internal rollers reduce friction loss in the undercarriage, resulting in maximum power being transferred to the track regardless of drive speed, according to the company.
“The VT-70 really plays in the heart of that vertical lift market for the construction application, such as loading trucks and lift-and-carry situations for pallet forks and bales. It's large enough so that our dealers can play in a lot of different markets and in very competitive markets. The VT-70 has best-in-class features against all competitors out there,” says Buck Storlie, product line manager.
Image Courtesy of ASV
Expanding the Dealer Network
Rupar says the dealer network includes some legacy dealers who have been carrying the line since its beginnings. Expansion plans include adding dealers in the Southeast, South Central, Midwest and portions of the Northeast.
Rupar explains the kind of dealers they are looking for: “Our typical dealer now is multi-lined and in some cases, it does have a competitive track loader or skid steer product. We're looking for dealers who share our same commitment to quality and a premium experience for our customers. So, the competing lines in any prospective dealer are not as important as the dealer's commitment to the ASV brand,” Rupar says.
Rental is a particular focus for expansion. “The rental market is an important part of our business and an incredible amount of our equipment is sold into the rental channel. We offer a different product than our competitors. Rental customers see the low cost of running a machine with our undercarriage that offers them cost savings — and that makes it an attractive piece for rental companies,” Rupar says.
Where Research & Development is Headed
Rupar says its competitors are expanding into UTVs and excavators and says nothing is off limits for ASV. However, the company is focusing on the needs of its core customers. “You’ll see a very aggressive and positive evolution of our current product line over the next few years, which will include new models,” he says.
Telematics is another key area for development and the company also is field testing remote and autonomous operations. “I think remote operation is going to come more quickly than autonomy for ASV. I think you’ll see telematics with remote operation first and the autonomy down the road,” Rupar says.