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Ariens unveils Gravely Atlas Job Site Vehicle

Powersports dealers have opportunity to carry Polaris-partnered vehicle

By Liz Keener
Managing Editor

Ariens Company’s Atlas is so unique to the market that company employees rarely refer to it as a UTV or side-by-side; instead they call it a JSV, meaning Job Site Vehicle.

The Gravely Atlas JSV-3000 and JSV-6000 crew cab are based off Polaris’ Ranger platform, but they’re built specifically for contractors and other professionals who need a heavy-duty work vehicle. They’re positioned between the consumer-facing Ranger 900 and the commercial-focused Brutus.

“What we identified is we saw an empty space. There was nobody claiming a space for a job site vehicle that was developed strictly for the commercial contractor or for that job site. So we saw an opportunity there, and we saw there was empty space in here that nobody was claiming,” Bill Engler, Ariens’ director of sales for Commercial Products, told Powersports Business during a media unveil at the company’s Brillion, Wis., headquarters.

Gravely Factory

Polaris partnership

The partnership between Polaris and Ariens was announced in December 2013. The goal was for the two companies to share information, technology and R&D investments to produce a work vehicle and to strengthen both companies’ dealer networks.

Ariens is an 81-year-old family-owned manufacturing and distributing company that produces consumer and commercial lawn and garden equipment. Its Gravely brand, under which the Atlas is being brought to market, is a commercial lawn and garden brand.

With the partnership, both companies leveraged their experience, and the knowledge of their potential customers to create the Atlas JSV.

“We didn’t just sit in a room and figure this out. We went out and spent time in the marketplace and did focus groups all around the country,” Engler explained. “We got together contractors, homeowners, hobby farmers, large estate owners. We sat down in rooms all over the country with the different groups and asked them questions. We showed them the competition, and we showed them images of what we were thinking of.”

The themes the focus groups came up with were: reliability, quality, durability, powerful, productive and investment. The Polaris and Ariens teams added these concepts to a design storyboard and went to work.


Gravely Pallet


What both teams developed was the Atlas JSV, a vehicle designed first and foremost for work.

The most notable difference between the Atlas and other vehicles on the market is the MX-18 JobBox. At 57-by-48.2 inches, the JobBox accommodates a standard 48-by-40-inch wooden pallet with the tailgate closed. The all-steel box also has a 1,250-pound capacity, four integrated tie-down points and an electric cargo bed lift standard.

The Atlas JSV also has a 1,900-pound payload and a 2,000-pound towing capacity. It features on-demand, true all-wheel drive along with De Dion rear suspension, allowing the vehicle to provide heavy-duty traction and suspension and maintain full ground clearance and a smooth ride even when carrying a full load.

Four models are available at the outset, with gas and diesel versions of both the JSV-3000, which seats three across one bench seat, and the JSV-6000, which seats six across two benches. The gas models are powered by Polaris’ 570cc DOHC engine, while the diesel versions feature a 1,028cc Kohler Diesel engine. All four models include have 10 gallons of fuel capacity, and each tops off at 35 mph. The JSV-3000 starts at $12,999, while the JSV-6000 starts at $14,799.

The Atlas has a variety of accessories available, including cab enclosures, winches, plows, a front receiver hitch, a tool rack and a cargo box. The vehicle also accommodates Polaris’ LOCK & RIDE accessories.

Every feature of the vehicle was designed to be “right sized,” a phrase Ariens uses throughout its company, from manufacturing to product development.

“The right size vehicle means this isn’t an engine that’s too big or too small; we feel it’s the right size for the application of a job site,” Engler said. “We feel that the box is the right size for the most efficient use at a job site. We feel that the interior and the storage that we’ve given it, the dash that we designed, is the right quantity and the right size for that professional contractor, so again, we tried to create a product where we don’t have too much of one thing or too less; it’s just the right size to get the most productive, profitable job done for that contactor.”

The primary audience the vehicle was developed for includes landscape contractors, governments/municipalities, educational institutions, farm management and entertainment complexes. The secondary audience Ariens is targeting includes homeowners, large estate owners, famers, ranchers, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, hobby famers and prosumers.

“We’re making a really good quality job site-type vehicle, the JSV, and we know if we can get those in the professionals’ hands — those professional contractors — that a large segment of the homeowners or hobby farmers or hunters or recreational people will see that and will want to buy it,” Engler said.

Dealers wanted

Ariens first unveiled the Atlas to 250 North American dealers in late September. Of those, more than half booked the JSV for their stores.

“Some of those are existing traditional lawn and garden dealers, all they’ve ever carried is zero-turn [lawn mowers], snow throw,” said JW Washington, regional manager for the Western Region. “Some of those are powersports dealers as well, so as we look at who would complement our Gravely dealer, obviously powersports dealers move very nicely because they’re already familiar with the industry, and ag implement dealers because we’ve oriented this unit toward production agriculture, the rural lifestyle owner.”

Ariens is giving first right of refusal of the Atlas to its current Gravely lawn and garden dealers, but it’s looking to fill any holes with powersports dealers. Those holes could come in areas where the current Gravely dealer has chosen not to carry the Atlas, or they could be in locations where a Gravely dealer does not already exist. In that case, the Atlas dealer could also pick up the lawn and garden lines, if he or she chooses. Ariens’ lawn and garden dealer contracts are separate from the Atlas contracts.

Powersports dealers were identified as ideal partners because they’re familiar with selling and servicing side-by-sides, as well as selling accessories. Though Ariens has been looking to some Polaris dealers with the initial launch, the company has also heard from dealers of other brands of side-by-sides, who are seeking a work-oriented vehicle.

“There has been a tremendous amount of interest,” Washington said. “When the press releases went out last year about the partnership with us and Polaris working together on this unit, we had a lot of inbound calls to us with that.”

Though Ariens is looking at bringing on some powersports dealers who are already familiar with selling vehicles to the commercial demographic, the company will also consider partnering with dealers who are looking to broaden their customer base by entering the commercial market.

“We want to make sure it’s the right dealer, a dealer committed to customer service, a dealer committed to this channel in terms of that work segment. We know homeowners will use it as well, but it’s a work unit first,” Washington said.

So far, dealer reaction has been positive, as many reported being excited to carry this unit.

“I support the Western Region, Texas, and we have a ton of powersports dealers, and they were excited to see the space that it fills. They feel that we provided a unit that will meet the needs of production agriculture, farm plots, … as well as the landscaper and governmental entities,” Washington said. “So it was very well received, especially once I think the differentiation of how it’s different than a Ranger, how it’s different than a Brutus, and its own unique platform [is explained]. If you answer some of those questions, overall the excitement’s been really good.”

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One Comment

  1. Gentlemen: I have just learned of your Atlas Job Site Vehicle. I find it very impressive! I am considering a purchase for the purpose of converting it into an off-the-road mini-pumper Fire Engine for use at Street festivals where a full size Fire Engine could not enter as well as use in city parks and other off road wild land type locations. One item that I do not see is turn signals and four way flashers and back up lights in your accessories section. Turn signals would be a must as this machine will be driven down streets and in school stadium areas and in parks and other areas that have people on foot and people in motor vehicles that the crew would need to communicate to by the use of turn signals and four way flashers. Do you have a turn signal/4-way flasher system available for this Atlas JSV? Thank you for your time and reply

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