AriensCo purchases compact equipment manufacturer

Acquisition of Thomas Equipment to provide four-season product line

AriensCo has purchased Thomas Equipment from A-L Parts Inc. The move is expected to give AriensCo a new four-season product line under its Gravely brand of outdoor power equipment that will reach into the rental and construction markets. Terms were not disclosed.

Ariens AriensCo has purchased compact equipment specialist Thomas Equipment. (Photo: Thomas Equipment)

The company said it will partner with Al Downy and Leon Butterfield, owners of A-L Parts Inc., to launch the production of the Gravely branded mini skid steer line in their Beechwood, New Brunswick, Canada facility.

“We think this is a perfect extension of our Gravely product line,” said Dan Ariens, chairman and CEO of AriensCo, Brillion, Wis. “This multi-tool piece of equipment is great for hardscape work with accessories like a tree auger, stump grinder, pallet forks, etc. It’s a big tool but is small and compact so it can fit through a gate and can be hauled on a trailer with other mowers. We think it will be a great offering for commercial landscapers.”

AriensCo is providing management support for the production ramp-up.

“The AriensCo team is professional, pleasant, easy and comfortable,” said Butterfield. “We met with many other companies, but it just never felt right. When we spoke with Larry [Weyers, AriensCo president and COO] that first time, we hit it off immediately. There was just something about them, something driving the conversation that was far more genuine than we had experienced.”

Downy said, “We knew right then, this company’s core values are what they embody and live by, not just words … and it’s been like that with everyone we have met and worked with throughout this entire process. Words cannot express how excited I am to get this going.”

Five Gravely-branded mini-skid loaders, three diesel and two gas powered models, are planned for this fall.

Thomas Equipment has been a manufacturer of outdoor equipment for 79 years and is based in New Brunswick. Started in 1943 by the Thomas Brothers as an agricultural repair business, it eventually expanded into manufacturing equipment for agricultural purposes, especially potato harvesting and handling. In 1969, the company introduced what is often considered the world’s first hydrostatic drive skid-loader. The business was purchased by A-L Parts Inc. in 2013.

AriensCo is a privately-owned manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for the consumer and commercial markets established in 1933.


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