Meyer plows open door to new customers
UTV and first-of-its-kind ATV plow designed for commercial use
The winter of 2011-12 was not the best season to come to market with a snowplow. Unfortunately, Meyer Products didn’t know that before it entered the powersports segment with Parts Unlimited that year. With a horrible 2011-12 in terms of snow, and only a somewhat decent 2012-13 season, Meyer is still looking to gain traction in the industry.
The 87-year-old company has come into powersports with two plows — one for ATVs and the other for UTVs. Both are designed for heavy-duty consumer or commercial use, opening dealers to customers they may not have dealt with in the past.
“One of the things that our products bring is the fact that it allows [dealers] to penetrate markets that they previously couldn’t. They were selling a product that was designed for consumer use, people were using it for commercial, and they were breaking it,” Drew Aloisi, Meyer Products national accounts manager, told Powersports Business at the Parts Unlimited National Vendor Presentation in August.
Meyer plows aren’t designed to compete with consumer plows already on the market. Instead, they’re higher-priced, heavy-duty rigs made for those who use plows on a more frequent basis in a larger area. Because of that, dealers who carry them can pursue clients who don’t already buy from their stores.
“The dollars you can make with this are pretty astronomical,” Aloisi said. “You’re going to make more selling a plow than you are the unit in most cases, so profit opportunity, opportunity to increase the business, versus waiting for the consumer to walk through their doors. Here’s an opportunity to call on local municipalities, colleges, [or] any place that’s using a plow to make profit.”
What makes Meyer plows unique is the company can lean on decades of experience that began with its first plow in 1926. The company makes consumer and commercial plows for trucks, skid steers, tractors and commercial mowers, and Meyer did its research when entering the powersports arena.
“We’ve worked very closely with the commercial customers. We’ve listened very closely to what they’ve told us. For example, on the ATV product, there was no commercial ATV product out there until we brought this product to the market through Parts Unlimited,” Aloisi explained.
Meyer also looked at the advancement that has occurred in the ATV and UTV segments and made considerations for the newer machines.
“As these ATVs and UTVs are getting bigger, stronger, faster, more torque, the products that were designed 10 or 15 years ago just aren’t designed to handle the additional impact that these things can put out,” Aloisi reported.
Meyer’s ATV and UTV plows are commercial-grade, full-trip units that feature a Scoop & Funnel design, a 65-degree attack angle and Meyer’s patented Self-Angling or 5-Position Lock Angle. Each plow can be removed from the unit in 30 seconds, to allow owners to use the machines year-round.
“That’s a 286-pound plow on the front and, especially with fuel being $4 a gallon, if you can avoid carrying another 300 pounds on your vehicle, and it’s easy and convenient to take that product off, the more likely people are to do that,” Aloisi said. “It’s going to cause less wear and tear on your vehicle; you’re not going to burn as much fuel, and it’s going to save the lifespan of the plow.”
The ATV plow comes with a universal mounting system, while the UTV mount is model-specific, using the unit’s two-inch receiver hitch. The UTV mount goes on and off quickly, allowing dealers to easily include a display model on the floor.
“If a customer comes in and wants to buy that UTV, [the dealer] drops eight bolts out, sends the unit out the door; they can mount it up within a couple of minutes to another unit without tying up a bunch of time and labor,” Aloisi said.
Each plow comes with a five-year warranty on commercial or residential use.
“Everyone else is going to give you either six months or one year, so from a cost of ownership standpoint, we’re going to give you more value than anybody else out there. We’re going to be more expensive, but we’re firm believers in you get what you pay for,” Aloisi said.
The UTV plow has been more popular than the ATV version, but opportunity is built into the ATV plow, as it is the first commercial blade available.
Because of the uniqueness of its product, Meyer expects to be able to earn its way into more dealerships this coming winter, though with more snow, there would be a better chance to reach the market than there has been since 2011.
“With the two soft winters, it’s been a little slower acceptance than we would’ve liked to have seen,” Aloisi said. “But I think dealers, once they get the product on the floor, they realize the value.”