• Ariens Company Hosts 170 High School Students on National Manufacturing Day

    Ariens Company welcomed 170 students from six area high schools to its Brillion, Wis. plants to celebrate National Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 2.

    The students, who attended Brillion, Chilton, Hilbert, Kiel, New Holstein and Valders high schools, toured both Brillion plants to learn about Ariens Company’s manufacturing practices, manufacturing careers and manufacturing history.

    Ariens Company is just one of the more than 2,300 companies in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico that are hosting events for National Manufacturing Day.

    The purpo​​se of National Manufacturing Day is to give manufacturers the opportunity to show students what manufacturing is like, dispelling misconceptions and creating excitement along the way. The day also fits with one of Ariens Company’s core values to encourage intellectual curiosity.  

    According to the Manufacturing Day event website, the day is meant to shed a positive light on manufacturing and get youth excited about the possibility of manufacturing as a career. “By working together during and after Manufacturing Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.”

    During the plant tours, Ariens Company took the opportunity to share with the students the reasons why they should consider a career in manufacturing at Ariens Company.

    “To Ariens, this day means we have the opportunity to inform and educate the students about manufacturing in 2016," said Chris Stanton, a training and development leader at Ariens Company. "It’s not necessary to have a four-year degree to become successful and have a great career anymore. There are so many opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships that can lead to a great future in manufacturing."

    At Ariens Company, a career in manufacturing is only the beginning. While some employees grow to love the hands-on work that manufacturing entails and continue to work on assembly lines, others, like Thomas Schloemner, a team leader at Ariens Company, advance to leadership positions, using the knowledge and skills that manufacturing jobs build.

    Manufacturing at Ariens Company means more that piecing a Sno-Thro ​​​​​​together. Manufacturing starts as an idea, becomes a mock-up on a computer, gets printed out as a prototype on a 3D printer, goes through countless rounds of testing and finally becomes a tangible steel machine, created in Brillion, Wis., assembled by passionate Ariens Company employees and used by astounded customers.

    Ariens Company Announces $9 Million Expansion for Research and Development

    Brillion, Wis. (Aug. 11, 2015) Ariens Company will invest more than $9 million to upgrade and expand the current product development facility at its Brillion, Wis. headquarters. The new Ariens Company Design and Development Center will be constructed in three phases over the next three years. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility is expected to be complete by fall 2018.

    "New products have been the lifeblood of our growth strategy, especially in the last several years," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO. "Customers have embraced our recent product introductions and we are responding with an expansion that will allow us to bring new products and new technologies to market even faster."

    When complete, the center will consist of a new engineering and technical center; industrial design studio; model shop and prototyping lab; and a complete state-of-the-art validation and testing center. It will become the company's hub for research and product development, testing and product validation of outdoor power equipment including Sno-Thro® machines, mowing equipment and outdoor chore products for both consumer and professional use under the Ariens® and Gravely® brands. 

    "The new Center will allow for 24/7 test capabilities, as well as off-season product testing, a significant enhancement for the testing of seasonal equipment," says Ariens. "The ability to perform more frequent system and sub-system testing, and new product validation, along with improved work flow, will also contribute to improved products and faster speed to market."


    Ariens Company will also enhance its in-field product testing programs with the addition of a dedicated test and development site located in Sebring, Fla. This new facility, along with current field testing capabilities in Wisconsin, allows technicians to validate new ideas and concepts in an outdoor setting prior to launch.

    Although no additional jobs will be added as a direct result of this expansion, the need for the new Center is due, in part, to consistent growth in the area of product development, engineering, testing and industrial design, according to Ariens.

    "We have been increasing employment in the product development area for the last three years," says Ariens. "We made sure this new addition will not only accommodate further expansion, but will also serve as a state-of-the-art work enviro​nment that will attract additional technical and engineering talent to Northeast Wisconsin."

    Commitment to the Design and Development Center ensures that Ariens Company will continue to offer the right products at the right time to existing and prospective customers, according to Ariens. Recently introduced products have included Sno-Thro® machines with auto-turn technology; the Ariens® IKON-X and Gravely® XL zero-turn mowers; the Atlas JSV utility vehicle designed in conjunction with Polaris® Industries; and new chore products such as power brushes for homeowner and commercial use.

    Media contact: Ann Stilp, Ariens Company, (920) 475-1880, astilp@ariens.com 

    Countax becomes Ariens Company Limited

    Effective from the 1st July 2015, Countax Limited​ has changed its name to Ariens Company Limited, to become the UK arm of the Wisconsin, USA-based Ariens Company. The company acquired Countax in 2010 and Ariens Company Limited will continue to manufacture under the Countax and Westwood brands of garden tractors and accessories for the UK market. Together with Ariens Scandinavia the company will make up Ariens EU for the manufacturing and distribution of products throughout Europe, where Countax tractors will be branded Ariens. Ariens Company Limited will also continue to act as the UK distributor for ECHO power tools, ECHO Bear Cat forestry machinery and Shindaiwa handheld power tools.

    The family-owned Ariens Company began manufacturing tillers in 1933 and entered the lawn and garden market in 1950, quickly establishing a reputation for tough, durable and dependable machinery. Dan Ariens, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ariens, joined the business in 1983 and is the current Chairman and CEO.

    "The name change signifies our commitment to the UK," says Dan "while continuing to build on the strength and quality of the Countax and Westwood brands. We have a long-term vision for Ariens Company Limited, with our traditional values employed in continuous improvement to provide customers and our business partners with exceptional products."

    Manufacturing of the Countax, Westwood and Ariens products continues at the Great Haseley, Oxfordshire factory, which is currently undergoing improvement and receiving the new livery and signage.

    Ariens Company Nature Explore Classroom Opens in Auburn, Nebraska

    Pre-school and elementary school children in Auburn, Neb., now have access to a 7,000-sq.ft. interactive learning garden that offers opportunity for both play and education. The new Ariens Company Nature Explore Classroom opened to the public on April 28, 2015, following a grand opening ceremony hosted by Ariens Company and CEO Dan Ariens. The garden is divided into designated learning centers that include a rain garden, nature art area, building area, and climbing & crawling area.

    Although Ariens Company is the main sponsor for the outdoor classroom, the project also received grants from the Nemaha Natural Resources District and the City of Auburn.


    "We're happy that we could help this community bring its vision to life," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO.  "This project has grown from the true grassroots effort of a few dedicated residents to a community-wide effort.

    "This is the right project for us. It's in nature, it's outdoors, and we're in the outdoor power equipment space, so we thought providing financial support for this was a great fit."

    Auburn residents Deb Reiman and Kim Beger were the driving force behind the effort which began in 2010.

    "It's something different that we don't have in the community," said Little Learners Teacher Deb Reiman. "I know as a preschool teacher that kids don't spend a lot of time outside, especially in nature. This gives them a great outlet to be able to do that."


    More than 60 organizations and individuals have contributed funds or donated in-kind services to complete the project, including Ariens Company employees who helped prepare the site and build and install many of the features.

    The garden will be submitted for certification as a Nature Explore classroom by the Arbor Day Foundation based in Nebraska City, Neb. The design of the garden is based ​on guidelines from the program.

    The garden is located near Calvert Elementary School for teachers to easily incorporate related curriculum. Auburn employees will also assist with on-going projects and activities related to the garden. Ariens Company employs 230 people at a plant located in Auburn. ​​​​


    Gravely® Atlas JSV Wins Landscape and Irrigation’s Twenty for 2015 New Product Award

    Landscape and Irrigation announced its selections for the "Twenty for 2015" new product awards this week, and the Gravely Atlas JSV took home the prize in the UTV category.

    The Twenty for 2015 new product awards recognize products in the commercial landscape and irrigation markets. Products were judged by the Green Media editorial staff based on innovation, marketability and application within the market.

    "Development plans began on the JSV with our past experience and involvement in the UTV category," said Director of the Gravely Brand Bill Engler. "We understood that a market exists for a jobsite-specific vehicle that fits the needs of the contractor, so we ceased the production of our UTV, the Trekker, and decided to partner with an OEM to bring together their expertise of the UTV industry and our knowledge of the needs of the landscaping industry. The partnership allowed us to develop the ultimate work vehicle."​

    The Atlas JSV was launched on Sept. 22, 2014, with contractors getting their first look at the vehicle during the 2014 GIE + Expo in Louisville, K.Y. that October.

    "Through our experience with our previous UTV, our customers were telling us they needed a vehicle to hold up the rigors of a landscape contractor," Engler added. "That led us to perform market study groups all over the country. We learned that there are many vehicles that can do work, but they are also trying to be everything to everyone. No one had a vehicle specifically designed and targeted to the jobsite."


    Throughout development with the Polaris team, Gravely was able to do just that, and has successfully designed a vehicle that can support landscape contractors who work all day, every day. The Atlas MX-18 JobBox sets it apart. The 48.2-inch by 57-inch by 11.4-inch box can accommodate a standard pallet with the tailgate closed and has a capacity of 1,250 pounds. The machine also has a 1,900-pound payload and a 2,000-pound towing capacity. In addition, it's rugged exterior with dual headlights and ample interior, with seating room for three or six adults, makes it the perfect complement to any jobsite.

    Interested in learning more? Visit www.gravelyatlas.com to see our vehicle's specs and request a demo.

    Landscape and Irrigation remains the independent voice of the industries for which it is named, and reaches decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets - including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water management companies. Landscape and Irrigation is published by Green Media, a division of EPG Media and Specialty Information, Plymouth, Minn. For more information, visit www.landscapeirrigation.com.