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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Ariens winter testing could be returning next year

Ariens is already looking to expand local testing of their snow removal equipment beyond this winter. The familiar orange paint bedecking what the manufacturer calls its Mammoth model has been seen on the streets of Hancock for the past month. Testing Program Senior Manager Doug Kortbein says the Copper Country provides a unique environment to try out its newest commercial model.

The idea is that we’re clearing what is the normal amount of snow as often as possible. Hancock, Houghton, this area…gets snow continuously. Every day we have a new coating of snow that would be in most areas once a month, once every couple of weeks, something like that.

Ariens is one of the most recognizable names in the consumer market, and it wants to diversify by adding municipal customers. Interestingly enough, the equipment has uses in several American cities where snow never flies.

We tested these machines down in Sebring [FL]. We put about 700 hours on them down there to make sure they weren’t going to have an issue with high temperatures. It was in the 90’s when we were running these things, so pretty hot. Running the brooms, sweeping the sidewalks. A lot of sand. There’s bike trails and they get a lot of those little burs.

Don’t be surprised if the Mammoth model becomes a fixture on Copper Country roads, and makes an appearance near Miami’s South Beach.

Ariens has been manufacturing snowblowers for nearly a century. It is headquartered in Brillion, Wisconsin, near Green Bay. Kortbein says the relative proximity of Hancock to the labs where research and development takes place is a major factor in the company’s eagerness to test its products here. It had previously put models through their paces in facilities in Europe.

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