• Gravely Display Added to Ariens Company Museum in Honor of Brand’s 100th Anniversary

    ​Ariens Company has renovated its museum in Brillion, Wis. to include a new display dedicated to the Gravely®​ brand of professional outdoor power equipment, in honor of the 100th anniversary​ of the original “Gravely Motor Plow​” patent awarded in 1916. The newly renovated space includes a 3,000 sq. ft. of display area filled with refurbished vintage equipment, historical wall murals and memorabilia that provide a glimpse into the company’s 100-year history.​

    “It’s important for us to tell the story of this iconic brand and the man who had a vision for improving upon​ the laborious “horse and plow” method of tackling work on the farm at that time,” says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company, producer of the Gravely brand of equipment. “Ben Gravely received more than 60 patents in his lifetime and we continue to honor his legacy of innovation today in the products we design for professional landscape contractors.”

    The central feature of the new display is a replica of the red-brick façade and entryway to the original Gravely factory built in 1922 in Dunbar, W.Va. (photos of both attached). ​Visitors pass through the “plant” door to view several unique items and historical wall murals of the inside of the factory in the early 1900s.​


    On display are several milestone products from the c​​​​​ompany’s history including a working replica of Ben Gravely’s original “Motor Plow” built by local metal artist, Paul Kaufmann of Manitowoc, Wis. (photo attached)

    “We searched but we could not locate an original motor plow,” says Mel Edinger, Museum Curator Extraordinaire, who works with other members of the museum team to track down and purchase vintage equipment. “We were able to get the blueprint from the U.S. Patent Office, and Paul used the print to create a working model.”

    The Gravely Motor Plow quickly gave way to what would become the brand’s signature product for many years, the Gravely Two-Wheel Tractor. Commercial farmers and home gardeners could purchase a number of attachments for the tractor to meet their specific needs, making two-wheel tractor one of the most versatile and compact machines in the history of outdoor power equipment. Over the course of many years, more than 40 attachments were offered for the tractor, including tillers, cultivators, sickle mowers, reel mowers, snowthrowers, chainsaws, brushes, roofing scrapers, post hole diggers, and dozer blades.

    Other Gravely products on display in the museum include:

    • Several models of the Gravely two-wheel tractor (1937-2004) and the many attachments that fit the machine.
    • Gravely Clean Cut mower (1960); the first attempt at a Gravely riding mower.
    • Gravely Westchester mower (1964); an out-front mower produced as part of Studebaker Packard Corp.
    • GMT 9000 tractor (1977); the first Gravely commercial four-wheel tractor for grounds maintenance.


    Ariens Company acquired the company in 1982. Prior to the acquisition, the ownership of the Gravely brand changed hands several times over its history. Studebaker Packard Corp., McGraw Edison, and Cooper Industries, all managed the Gravely brand at one time.

    The Ariens Company Museum opened in 2003 and is staffed by Ariens Company retirees who organize displays, refurbish vintage equipment and serve as tour guides. The Museum, including the new Gravely display, is open to the public upon request. Visit www.ariensco.com for more information, or to schedule a visit.


    Ariens Company Introduces New Logo for Ariens® Brand

    Ariens Company launched a new logo for the Ariens® brand of outdoor power equipment this week. The Ariens brand, which has existed for more than 80 years, represents premiu​​m, durable, snow and lawn and garden equipment.

    The new brand mark blends the company's history with a new, modern look. The Ariens gear has been used by the company for decades, on both equipment and in corporate marks, and has now been incorporated into the brand once again. The gear was included as part the brand mark to put history and legacy at the forefront of the brand conversation.

    While the gear stands for where the company has been, the redesigned Ariens font is bold, crisp and prominent. The new look can be described as modern, yet timeless, and represents the company's future of innovation and advancement.

    "The logo marks the beginning of new chapter of innovation that will carry our iconic brand into the future," said Ariens Company Chairman/CEO Dan Ariens. "We have an exciting few years ahead of us as we rebrand and introduce some new and innovative equipment to the marketplace."   

    ​​As part of the launch, Ariens introduced two variations of the logo – a primary, vertically-stacked version and a secondary, horizontally-aligned version. The placement of the gear and the text is reminiscent of the Gravely® logo format, which was introduced in 2014.

    "By aligning the overall look of the two logos, the brands are now more closely related from a visual standpoint and can be easily recognized as being a part of the same parent company," Ariens said.

    The new logo will be introduced initially on Ariens snow product, the first of which will be seen in Ariens dealerships, The Home Depot® and True Value® stores starting this summer. Lawn and garden equipment will have the new logo beginning in Fall 2016. The first look at the new lawn and garden lineup will take place at GIE + Expo 2016 in Louisville, Ky. ​

    To learn more about the new Ariens logo, please visit ariens.com/logo.   

    Ariens Company Employee Jason Wright Recognized at Wisconsin Job Honor Awards

    The Wisconsin Job Honor Awards, a new initiative aimed at recognizing Wisconsinites who have overcome significant barriers to employment, announced Ariens Company employee Jason Wright as one of its top honorees for 2016.

    Growing up in inner-city Chicago, Wright's dreams of a football career ended when a bullet shattered his leg in a drive-by shooting. Wright plunged into depression and drug abuse and was later sentenced to prison for selling drugs. Several years later his life abruptly changed when he got the opportunity to work for Ariens Company in Brillion under a prison work release program. Released from prison and now working at Ariens full-time, Wright was recently promoted to production trainer and his future is bright.

    "I was a very bitter, depressed individual before I got the job," Wright said. "Now, I'm probably the happiest man living. I immediately had a new addiction (when I started at Ariens), and it was to provide for my family. Ariens truly saved my life, because I don't know where I would have been if they hadn't given me a second chance."​​​​

    In attendance at the awards ceremony, which took place in Madison, Wis., at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, were Jason's wife Antionette, his brother and his aunt. From Ariens Company, Recruiter Marsha Majors, who submitted Jason for the honor, and Manufacturing Leaders Pat Weller and Leo ​Sambs were also in attendance. 

    "We look at people's backgrounds -- that's very important, but you can't assume as an employer that someone's background is going to make them not successful and not able to do the job, and Jason has shown us that, Ariens Company Recruiter Marsha Majors said. "He has overcome his past and has really become a very successful contributing member to society."

    Nominations were submitted via the organization's website and judged by a statewide panel. The awards were presented by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch during the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) Talent Conference on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, in Madison. Nearly 200 Wisconsin business leaders assembled to witness the ceremony, in which biographical videos described honoree efforts to win life-changing jobs.

    "Jason's attitude is inspiring. He has used his past experiences to shape his character today, and he is a great example for his co-workers and his family," says Ariens Company Chairman/CEO Dan Ariens, "It's important for employers to look at applicants and employees on an individual basis and keep an open mind."​

     

    Sharing employee honors is Mitchell Matthiesen of Suamico.

    "I applaud these honorees and all our citizens who are working hard to overcome barriers to achieve the dignity of work," said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, "Rather than letting the past dictate their future, these individuals are proving that prosperity is possible when you work hard, stay focused, and keep hoping."

    Wright received $500 cash and an engraved crystal award at the ceremony.​

    Ariens Featured in December Issue of Wisconsin Snowmobile News


     
    In a throwback to the 1970s, the Ariens Arrow snowmobile was featured in the December 2015 issue of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs' (AWSC) Wisconsin Snowmobile News magazine. 

    In the article, author Pat Bo​urgeois summarizes how Ariens entered the snowmobile business with the Arrow in 1969 before removing the snowmobile f​rom its product​​ lineup in 1973. 

    During that time period, there were two models of the Arrow. The advertisements below from 1970 show the 400SS, which was built for competition, and the 400L, which was marketed toward families.

    You can read about the on ​ page 30 of the magazine online.

    ​​​

    Ariens Demonstrates Superior Customer Service with Cartoons


    ​On a typical ​day, Ariens Company's technical service department fields telephone calls, emails, social media comments and chat messages from customers. Customer requests range from locating parts to finding the year of a vintage machine, and hundreds of topics in between. Rarely, though, does the tec​hnical service department receive something that astoinshes them.

    When Ariens Company Warranty Manager Dave Miller saw the cartoon, he knew he had to respond in an equally impressive way.

    "We thought it was really neat that he took the time to send this drawing in," said Miller. "We've never seen something this elaborate. Once I started sharing his drawing around the office, it took on a life of its own. Everyone had ideas about what we could do in response."

    Brian Masters and Adam Stanton, two Ariens Company employees, drew the response cartoons. Along with the two response cartoons, Miller also included a collectable diecast model of a vintage Sno-Thro. Tim Schuh, a district sales manager in the customer's area, delivered the package to him.

    The following cartoon was sent to the Ariens Company technical service deparment asking about a recently-purchased Sno-Thro:
     

    Ariens Company employees Brian Masters and Adam Stanton answered the questions with two drawings:
     
     

    After sending the answers to the customer's questions, ​Ariens Company received this response:



    ​​
    This customer interaction is an example of how Ariens Company's vision "passionate people, astounded customers" guides the way Ariens Company employees do business each and every day.​

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