Working the Utility Side-by-Side you own can be a profitable venture if you choose the right machine for the job. Moving people equals saving time along with getting heavy loads to certain spots on the jobsite, which is key for that profitability to shine through. Ariens Company, located in Brillion, Wis., has come up with a plan and machine it believes will get the most out of everyday on the job. You might even enjoy a trip down the trail after the work is finished.
We haven't talked much about Ariens Company on this site, but it is primarily a land maintenance business with a host of brands that service needs like snow removal and commercial mowing. One of those brands is Gravely, which produces a variety commercial outdoor power equipment.
For model year 2015, Ariens has launched a brand new Side-by-Side in partnership withPolaris – the Gravely Atlas JSV. This UTV is designed to give farmers, construction companies and the labor-minded home or small rural farm owner a really solid platform for the job. We had a chance to spend some time with Dan Ariens this past week, along with his team of scientists and designers. This is a very deep corporation with many new markets being covered, but at least for this trip our focus was on the UTV and its thrust into our industry.
The 2015 Gravely Atlas JSV comes in several different forms. We spent most of our time with the gas burning JSV3000. This machine will be very familiar to many, as it is powered by the Polaris ProStar 570 engine. This mill has the same 40 hp, fuel injection and CVT transmission driveline that come in Polaris' 570 mid- and full-size vehicles. This was done in part because it is obvious that Polaris has this engine system figured out very well and it saved the Ariens company much time as well as engineering in bringing the product to market.
Also familiar is the chassis. Ariens tells us it had laid out its goals for the machine and Polaris helped with the construction, but also noted that the framework on this JSV is indeed that of Polaris. With a suspension that includes Independent front A-arms and the De-Deion rear suspension, the Atlas JSV has a great base for the product. The front suspension gives its owners 10 inches of ground clearance to assist in avoiding jobsite debris as well as getting through other obstacles around the property line.
The Atlas JSV is also available as a crew-sized vehicle, using the same 570 Pro-Star engine. We're sure the crew dress code gets some form of transmission recalibration for the extra payload, although it was not discussed.
If you work on a farm or around equipment that is primarily diesel fueled, you will be happy to know the JSV does come with the Kohler three-cylinder diesel engine as an option that is rated at 24 hp and indirect injected. This 1028cc mill puts the torque to the ground via the same CVT/Belt driven transmission system as the gas burner. Both versions of this JSV will have Trans setups that feature the Polaris engineered On-Demand True AWD/2WD/VersaTrac turf mode gearboxes.
With a rugged exterior look, the Atlas JSV body style reflects tough and hard working yet professional as well. This was a goal of the Ariens Company and it proved to be a great direction. The front of our test vehicle had a full-faced push bumper bearing the Gravely name and dual headlights on each side that work independently for low beam and together for high. We noticed the protective roll structure was that of the Ranger line from Polaris and even accepted many accessories (non-Polaris branded, of course) that would be available from the original designers.
Under the hood of our Atlas JSV we found general access to service related items, as well as preformed mounts for things such as winch relays and associated windshield wiper function parts. Not much storage here, but easy accessibility for the jobsite mechanic should anything need attention.
Inside the cab we found the seating to be contoured for each individual left or right side rider. The middle (or third wheel rider) has to ride the inevitable hump. In our view, this is a machine that can keep you comfortable throughout the work day. Seatbelts are three-point harness style. The digital over analog gauge is taken right from the dash of the aforementioned Polaris Ranger line and provides enough information to keep your mind working. Slipping the Atlas JSV into H/L/N/R or park is simple with the dash-mounted shift lever and has a definite position for each that can be felt when moving the lever. The passenger side glove box is sufficient for any smaller items and under seat storage will hold the rest.
We did not have a chance to load the JSV3000, but Ariens assures us the bed capacity is 1250 pounds with an overall payload rating of 1900 pounds. The bed dumps via an electric motor actuated by a dash-mounted rocker switch. This will be a blessing to anyone carrying rock, sand or any other non-packaged dumpable material.
After a brief tour of the manufacturing facility, one of several owned by Ariens, we headed out to a local private hunting club to give the Gravely Atlas JSV a quick rundown. Triple J farm is a place for those who love the outdoors and shooting sports. With clay shooting sports and Pheasant or dove hunting available, it was my kind of location.
We made our way around the semi rolling hills of this property and over one section of buried rocks. The rock garden showed us that the Atlas JSV is indeed an off-road capable machine and has a suspension that is flexible for traversing off-camber terrain. It also proved the unit does handle well without any cautionable characteristics.
Our trips through the fields gave us a chance to try out the 4WD as some sections had very muddy bottoms and the JSV powered through, pitching mud biscuts into the air behind us. The turf tamer-style tires did seem a bit wide to us on the front and possibly could use a pound more of air to help the steering under slow conditions. The very wide flat surface of the front tire was noticeable in the steering wheel.
We had just enough time to sit down in the JSV Diesel Crew and get a couple of photos before jaunting off to the airport for our next adventure. This Kohler three-cylinder feels like it could pull a house off its foundation even though it only officially denotes 24 horsepower. The familiar rumble of the indirect injected engine just screams “work the hell out of me, please!” We hope for more time in this new line of off-road-capable jobsite machines very soon and maybe we can then test all of the claims just to be sure the brochure is correct. Wink wink.
Overall, the Gravely Atlas JSV has what it takes to be a great jobsite machine. It will carry a huge payload and even six people in the Crew model, but to say it is not a UTV could be off base just a tad. I think a weekend trip through the mountains of North Georgia or over some part of the Hatfield-McCoy trail system would be a good time in this brute and I might even pull a tent trailer along to stay in overnight.
You would be wise to get to your local Gravely dealer and ask about this new machine.