GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Over two years removed from producing its first vertical lift compact track loader, ASV has done it again with its VT-70 High Output machine.
The CTL was debuted at the company’s first ever press event Wednesday. Production Line Manager Buck Storlie said ASV had plenty of radial-track models – seven to be exact – but wanted to expand its vertical track offerings to help people with high-lift applications. He also said this project took roughly 12 months to complete, though ASV did already have its VT-70, which it launched in 2017, as the starting point for designing the new High Output machine.
“That middle segment of vertical lift track loaders, we see the numbers out there,” Storlie says. “It’s a high-volume class of machines. There’s a lot of guys in that.”
ASV will start production on the VT-70 High Output in July and a retail price is not yet publicly available. The model is powered by a 74.3 horsepower, turbocharged Deutz engine and has a more comfortable cab than its predecessor. The VT-70 High Output vehicle’s rated operating capacity at 50 percent is 3,325 pounds and offers a tipping load of 6,650 pounds.
The 15-foot track is entirely composed of rubber compound and co-polymer cords, plus it’s shaped with all-purpose treads to withstand work in any condition. Staying true to its "All Seasons Vehicles" brand name, the machine is built to withstand a range in temperature from -30 degrees Fahrenheit to 118 degrees. Storlie says the company has plenty of clients in Texas and a surprising amount in places like Australia, but they also designed the vehicle to withstand cold conditions like those often found at their 65-acre test facility in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The machine offers a side-by-side cooling system with its radiator and oil cooler.
Storlie says they also have designed their machines to limit damage to the ground, as the VT-70 High Output machine produces 4.6 psi in ground pressure. At one point during the press presentation, Storlie showed a video of one of their older machines doing a 360 spin on his own backyard turf to prove he’s not worried about turf damage.
“Following (the original VT-70), we started looking at, ‘How can we continue to improve this?’” Storlie says. “We’re looking at a new engine configuration, more cooling to cool the increased horsepower, and more reliability testing to make sure the machine is capable of taking the things you throw at it.”
NICE TO MEET YOU. On one of its slides during the company’s first ever press event, ASV displayed its full business timeline, detailing each step of a winding journey.
“One of the biggest questions that we get when we go into a show or another event is, ‘Who are you people?’” said Justin Rupar, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Are you CAT? Are you Manitex, or what about Terex?”
Forgive them for being confused. In a way, Wednesday’s press event also marked an informal reintroduction to the ASV brand. It’s been a winding path for the company, which first launched 35 years ago but was purchased by Terex in 2008. ASV absolved its branding to become a part of Terex’s company. In 2014, that acquisition became a joint venture with Manitex, and a year later, ASV was able to bring back its original brand name.
“So at this point, we’re kind of responsible for our own destiny,” said Regan Meyer, ASV’s dealer development and marketing manager. “That can be a really scary thing, but it can be a really empowering thing, too. There’s a lot of pride, there’s a lot of fun in having that ASV brand name back again.”
Meyer said the company has always had loyalists dedicated to ASV through all the name changes and rebrands, plus she says ASV is particularly appealing to the small business market. She says the company had no dealers in 2015 when they reintroduced the brand, but now they’re up to roughly 280 and counting.
“There’s a lot of white space left in the country we have yet to cover,” Meyer says. “If a dealer isn’t within an hour radius of you, it’s hard to get the product, so we want to eliminate those hurdles, get it where people can buy it, as fast as we can.”