An ASV RT25 compact track loader is driven up on trailer. ASV, of Grand Rapids, Minn., makes models one of the industry’s smallest and biggest loaders.
The ASV factory is in Grand Rapids, Minn. on the edge of what’s known as the Iron Range. Mining, forestry and agriculture are the major industries.
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The ASV plant covers about 228,000 square feet — about five acres or the size of four football fields. The company was started in 1983 by founders of Polaris Industries, makers of the Arctic Cat snowmobiles and ATVs.
Melinda Wourms-Jensen, an ASV employee, takes of selfie with co-workers Wes Boatman, Sierra Storlie, Connie Mudge, Lance LaBois, Shelli Edwards, Gary LaBarge and Jonathan Reed to celebrate 300,000 injury free work hours. About 150 people work in the factory. ASV employs approximately 185 people.
Parts fill 16-foot tall racks in the factory. Approximately 500 different parts go into a loader.
Loader arms await washing and painting.
Track system rails are stacked on a parts trolley. ASV loaders have a unique suspension and track systems that allows the track to flow over obstacles and remain in contact with the ground.
ASV’s all-rubber tracks are ready to be taken to the assembly line where they will be mounted on the loaders’ undercarriages.
Brandon Rajala mans the first station on the assembly line. ASV assembles all of its compact track and wheeled skid steer loader models on a single assembly line.
A Sequence Board shows which loader models are coming down the assembly line and what parts are needed for each station.
Sierra Storlie gathers parts needed for the next model to arrive at her station on the assembly line.
Chris Best leans over a track to tighten a bolt.
Greg Erickson assembles an engine for a compact track loader. ASV uses Cummins, Duetz and Kubota engines. Each engine assembly employee knows how to put together all three of them.
An employee guides a cab onto a loader’s body. Overhead cranes lift heavy pieces into place on the assembly line.
Three ASV compact track loaders await decals.
While still on the assembly line, loaders are started and run long enough to get up to operating temperatures and pressures. After leaving the assembly line, they are given a final check.
Like a dairy barn, there’s a hospital pen in the ASV factory. It’s for loaders that don’t pass assembly line tests. Problems are diagnosed and corrected in the hospital area.
READY TO SHIP
Paul Christensen, ASV health safety and environmental manager, gestures toward a row of compact track loaders ready to be shipped to dealers.