One day, a Gravely sales manager serving a region of the country with lots of snow contractors handed the Ariens’ product development team a huge challenge.
That team was going over an early prototype of the company’s new two-wheel Pro-QXT tractor. The sales manager challenged the team to design an attachment system that could be easily changed by a single person in a dimly lit area, wearing heavy winter gloves and after working an 18-hour shift. The team initially laughed. But the criteria made sense and, months later, during a review of the final design with the regional sales team, Trae Humphreys, OEM account manager at Ariens (parent company of Gravely), complimented the team on its ability to meet the criteria.
Landscape contractors currently purchase multiple single-use machines that are utilized for a limited amount of time each year as a result of being designed for only one task. With the Pro-QXT Tractor’s easy attachment changeover system and multi-season attachments, our customers can accomplish a variety of jobs with one machine.
Please briefly share a timeline of the development of the tractor, from initial conception until now?
This project originated from discussions at the GIE+EXPO two years ago. These conversations sparked the design of the initial prototype to be reviewed by this same group. A few months later we reassembled in Brillion, Wisconsin, to review the initial prototype and provide our input for its refinement. The months to follow were spent refining the design and testing the product in multiple environments. This is to ensure both the Pro-QXT and its attachments meet the rigors of commercial use.
What features of this tractor would be of particular interest to landscape and snow contractors?
Many features of the Pro-QXT make it unique. These key features allow for easy operation and the ability to take on multiple tasks throughout all seasons with only one machine. Key features include:
- The combination of the Rapid Control System and intuitive power steering provides effortless operation and delivers a short learning curve for new operators.
- The attachment system is designed for single-person change over with minimal effort allowing an operator to transition between attachments seamlessly.
- All Season Subaru 12v electric start engine with recoil assist provides optimal performance in any weather condition.
What tasks would this tractor be particularly useful in accomplishing?
The current attachments, Gravely’s 44-inch Power Brush and 48-inch Blade, can be utilized in many applications including snow removal, debris cleanup, dethatching and blading multiple aggregates. Gravely will continue to release attachments designed for all seasons, allowing customers to capitalize on their investment.