ASV celebrates its 40th anniversary

New and old ASV machines
ASV’s 40th anniversary celebration included a full lineup of legacy and new ASV models.

ASV is celebrating 40 years since its founders set out to develop the company’s first machine.

The pioneer in the compact track loader market celebrated the milestone with an open house at its Grand Rapids, Minnesota facility in June. The event featured a full lineup of both vintage and new ASV machines, tours of the factory and various family activities and giveaways.

“Talk to any of our longtime staff — and there are many — and you’ll find that the same passion for the products exists now as it did on day one,” said Tate Johnson, president of the Yanmar Compact Equipment North America, which includes the ASV brand.

“This anniversary and today’s continually innovative ASV products are proof that the brand’s entrepreneurial spirit lives on.”

ASV (All Season Vehicles) was founded in 1983 by Edgar Hetteen and Gary Lemke when they set out to develop a pick-up-sized rubber-tracked vehicle called the Track Truck. Both Hetteen and Lemke were forerunners of the early snowmobile industry.

Hetteen founded Polaris Industries followed by Arctic Cat. Lemke was owner of the largest Arctic Cat dealerships in North America.

ASV Posi-Track

The equipment was built for snowmobile trail grooming and was meant for travelling over adverse ground conditions. However, it didn’t take long for the manufacturer to begin using its experience to develop the first Posi-Track rubber tracked compact track loader in 1990.

RELATED: ASV restores North America’s first compact track loader prototype

The Posi-Track loaders’ undercarriages improved quickly, with innovations like a single-rail design, metal-face sealed wheels and internal drive-sprockets.

The brand grew in size and reputation over the years, becoming known for one-of-a-kind compact machines that are built to handle various conditions and locations — from residential backyards to forestry work.

In 2019, ASV was acquired by Yanmar. The two brands have operated as Yanmar Compact Equipment North America (YCENA) since July 2020. The acquisition of ASV provided Yanmar with its first production capabilities in North America.