By Rick Sosebee
While on a road trip through the mid-eastern hills of Indiana, we decided to stop in to see the company called SuperATV. Known to many for their Rhino 2.0 axles, Gear Drive Portals lift kits among other items, SuperATV has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. Just off Clifty drive at 2753 Michigan Road in the northern side of a quiet little town called Maddison Indiana , this company employs some 235 residents. Started from a need to have a little extra lift for those deep bogs, Harold Hunt not only built the first few parts in his own garage but unknowingly started a company around that first love of the of the off-road. Mr. Hunt now runs the fastest growing privately held and family owned aftermarket ATV/SXS parts company in the Northeast. Some might say, in the US.
The very first thing you might think when you turn into the parking lot at SuperATV is just about how big the facility is. This is no fly by night internet site. The size and scope of the manufacturing facility is incredible and when we were allowed to peek inside the walls it was clear that SuperATV is on the gas. They are serious about producing not only reliable products but new and innovative items to advance the sport of off-roading. According to our tour guide Tyler, this company has a team of dedicated engineers working every single day to build and test new gear. To say this place is impressive might not do it justice. You almost need to see it in person.
Perched on a wall, just inside the front door at the SuperATV.com HQ is the first set of forward arms for a machine produced by Harold Hunt. This sign below the plaque, reading “Humble Beginnings” gives insight to where this company was headed. You will also see a “see through” version of the original Super ATV GDP or Gear Driven Portal.
As we stepped into the “Lab” it was clear that every brand of SXS was being represented in some form or fashion here. From testing fit to design and thought processes by engineering make this little beehive extremely active in an attempt to be the first with the next big thing.
Speaking of testing, just a few steps out of the hive and into the extreme durability test room we found several minds inspecting gear clearances as well as testing what appeared to be a driveshaft bearing. Using a frame from the machine the product will be used in gives these designers real world fitment and simulated testing.
When it comes to billet parts, Super ATV mills so much aluminum it’s hard to keep up with the sheer poundage used each day according to our tour guide Tyler. These differential cases, Gear Drive Portal boxes and even the drive line bearing housings were among the many being cut during our tour. The level of equipment here is like something you might find at a ATV or SXS manufacturing plant.
Speaking of heavy machinery, the size of the building just seemed to keep growing during our walk as the machines were lining the walls. If you have not seen the doors that Super ATV makes for many models of UTV you should know that all of these are produced in house! From cutting the Lexan to heat forming the product to fit in the desired position, it’s all done here. It also looks like these products are very much in stock!
Some might say that companies do not test their products well. We found out that Super ATV does test and test even more. They have an in-house and in-floor mounted dyno to test virtually anything you can think of that would require it. During our visit that had a Ranger on the dyno testing their own clutch system, the REV1.
How about A-Arms! SuperATV.com builds hundreds of suspension arms and we just happened to get a look at a few racks of these before they placed them into their own Powder coat oven!
I think the customer service area is covered so if you have any questions on install or fitment and even warranty, these guys and gals are ready.
The future? The future of SuperATV.com is looking great. The last room we strolled through was the most fascinating for me. There were several 3D scanning devices, Faro Arms for detailed measurements of any products and even though I might have not been permitted I snuck a photo of a 3D printer making what I think was a new CV joint for an axle. This stuff is so incredible, and it will only make this company even greater down the road.
So, what do the peeps at SuperATV.com do when the timeslip punches out? They play on some of the most amazing toys in the off-road. From this stout looking Can-Am X3 to the insane Polaris RZR mounted on some monster tractor tires. Looking back at my time with these folks the one thing I realized is that they still live the dream and that is to have fun off-road!