The King of Snow is Testing New Products in Hancock

Ariens snow blowers can be found in garages and sheds throughout the Upper Peninsula. The company has built a reputation for clearing snow off driveways quickly. The company hopes to provide cities and towns in snowy areas across the country with a new efficient way to clear sidewalks.  And what better place to test the product than the Copper Country.  Ariens will test sidewalk plows  in the city of Hancock,  at no cost to the city.

“It was a great meeting. I met with Mary, last year. I was looking for something, knowing that these machines were coming, that really put them to the test. But we’re in an area where they would typically be used. We want to make sure we test them the way people would be running them. These things are small, but highly maneuverable. And they’re little bulldogs, I mean they really push above their weight class. So they’re able to clear a sidewalk, snow blow and then maneuver around in small places.” – Doug Kortbein, Testing Program Senior Manager

Residents may notice that it’s easier to walk down sidewalks after snowstorms this year. Ariens is based in Wisconsin. That makes it very easy for them to test products in one of the snowiest regions in the country. The company had to think a little differently when designing equipment for cities compared to the consumer.

“It’s the Mammoth 850, and that’s the tractor units. So that’s kind of the base of that system. And then we have several implements. Right now it’s set up for snow, but it’s a whole system. And it’s a four season type of product. And a lot of the commercial guys, they appreciate a machine they can use for multiple jobs.” – Doug Kortbein, Testing Program Senior Manager

The largest market for snow blowers in the country is in the Midwest. With Minnesota purchasing the most snow equipment, followed by Wisconsin and Michigan respectively. Ariens has tested products in northern Europe, Norway, and now the Keweenaw. The company, which was started by Henry Ariens and his three sons in 1933,  now employees over fifteen-hundred people.