Hello, I’m Brad Darling, president of ARGO. I’m very proud to say that for over 50 years we have continued to make the world’s best extreme terrain vehicles, engineered to take on anything. Simply put, an ARGO can go where others can’t.
It’s time we explore the unknown and do things differently to ignite the soul of this growing brand. This is with a purpose. A purpose to expand on what we’ve built for the last 50 years and to show the world what ARGO can do. To continue our success, we need to push the boundaries within our company, within our dealers and within our partners. In every direction, with innovation, with guts and with vigor. To conquer the unknown, we must move forward together and know no boundaries.
When you push yourself to know no boundaries, you have the power to design unforgettable experiences and innovations, like our all-new 2020 Frontier Series XTV.
At ARGO, we believe we can blaze our own trail. We’re all committed every day to be bold, driven and to deliver a memorable experience for our customers. We have committed dealers and distributors across the world, and I want to thank all of you who believe in what we create.
On behalf of everyone at ARGO, thank you for your interest in our brand. I’m thrilled to share our story and welcome you to the ARGO family.
Who We Are
ARGO is more than the name of a company and the machines we ride: It’s also the culmination of what’s possible when talented, inspired people are set free in a professional workplace with the goal to produce the ultimate extreme terrain vehicles.
From the company’s humble beginnings at its original location in Kitchener, Ontario, to its current three-facility campus in New Hamburg, Ontario, ARGO has always been a place where passion and ingenuity drive new innovations that deliver the next generation of machines.
Many people have made important contributions to the company and it’s machines, and each person can take pride in the impact they made over the past 50 years. ARGO would not be here today without the personnel who dedicated themselves to designing, testing, building and selling the world’s finest off-road vehicles. These are some of those people.
They – and we – are ARGO.
Honesty, mutual respect and commitment are the pillars upon which our business is based. Our pursuit of excellence is to be evident in our actions, our products and our services.
Customer satisfaction is the common goal of all our employees.
We are committed to the continuous improvement of our products and our services.
We believe in the dignity, worth and fair treatment of our employees. We respect our employees as the most important contributors to our success and we foster their personal development through education and promotions from within.
We are committed to our environmental and social responsibilities.
Ontario Drive & Gear Limited (ODG) was founded in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1962. As the subsidiary of a German company, its objective was to design and manufacture power transmission and gears for the North American market. ODG developed and manufactured a special transmission for a 6-wheel-drive, skid steer ATV - the Amphicat. In 1967 the Argo was born! Realising the potential of the ATV market, ODG decided to introduce its own 6-wheel amphibious vehicle - the Argo. It was named for its stamina on land and water after the Argonaut of Greek mythology. In 1969 the Kitchener facility could no longer handle the volume required so ODG purchased a 10 acre site in New Hamburg and began construction.
In 1971 ODG introduced a stretched version of the Argo - the 8-wheeler.With this introduction, ODG was able to offer a vehicle with the largest cargo capacity on the market. The first 8-wheeler was powered by a 440 cc Kohler 2-cylce engine. Also in 1971, ODG installed a state-of-the-art vacuum-forming machine, which made it possible for us to produce large quantities of vehicle bodies from coloured ABS sheet material. Constantly looking for ways to upgrade the Argo, ODG decided to switch to the very durable, high density polyethylene material for the vehicle bodies and introduced vehicles powered by a Tecumseh 4-cycle engine in 1975. With the introduction of the 4-cycle Argo, ODG's market gradually expanded from the recreational sector into the utility and industrial/commercial sector.
1981 saw the introduction of the first Argo 8 I/C (Industrial/Commercial)with hydraulic steering brakes. This model rapidly captured 60% of the market share. The Argo 6 Twin was introduced in 1985. Powered by the Briggs & Stratton, 656 cc twin cylinder I/C engine, the 6 Twin replaced the Argo 6 Heavy Duty. Following the success of this model, ODG introduced the Argo 8 Twin as a smooth running successor to the Argo 8 Heavy Duty. The extensive redesign of the Argo 8 I/C in 1987 made this vehicle the most popular model in the Argo line-up.1989 saw the end of a fifteen-year run as the last Tecumseh powered vehicle came off the assembly line. But with the end of that era, a new one began. In 1989 ODG introduced the Argo 8x8 Magnum and the Argo 6x6Magnum. The Argo 8x8 Magnum name was adopted to identify the top-of-the-line model that now featured new clutch components and a transmission ratio to respond to customer requests for higher land speed. The Argo 6x6 Magnum followed with similar upgrades.
In 1992, ODG celebrated 25 years of Argo production. To commemorate Argo's silver anniversary, 25 silver-bodied Vanguards were built. ODG introduced the first liquid-cooled engine in the new Argo Conquest in 1993. The Kawasaki FD620D 20 hp V-twin engine captured the attention of the marketplace like nothing before and immediately propelled this model to prominence. Long lead times developed as demand far exceeded production rates that were pushed up weekly. The Argo 8x8 Response was introduced to the market in 1995 - the answer for the individual who needed eight-wheel capacity at an attractive price. Once again, ODG demonstrated its commitment to the customer by providing quality-built, innovative products. The Bigfoot invaded the market in1997, with an extended wheelbase to accommodate the 25" tires,increasing ride comfort over rough terrain. In 1998 the late stand most expensive in a series of high-tech CNC machines, a LIEBHERR gear hobber, was installed at ODG's premises to produce the precision cut gears and other quality components demanded by ARGO and industrial products customers. In a bold move, ODG decided to add 40,000 square feet of new manufacturing and office space to its plant in New Hamburg. The continued expansion of the Argo market and the imminent introduction of a new model of industrial all-terrain vehicles made this decision necessary. At year-end, the site work was done and construction was set to commence in the spring of 2000.
Although the Frontier name is just a decade old, it’s already legendary among owners who have experienced any one of the models in its relatively short lifespan. Debuting in 2007, the 6x6 Frontier 650 brought a new body style to the air-cooled Frontier line, as well as 23-hp Briggs & Stratton power to the Gen-II planetary differential transmission. Just as important, it featured the classic ARGO/Carlisle 4-ply mud-and-swim tires with the larger chevron-pattern tread, which increased water speed by over 50 percent (with improved traction and suspension while on land) compared to the previous generation tires. Additional Frontier models soon followed, with the marquee earning its place as the most accessible and capable amphibious vehicles in company history.
As a motivated team, ODG continues to strive for an innovative marketing approach to better penetrate the Northern Market. Our focus is also on International Development, in launching the newest model – 700 HD, which is approved for road usage in Europe . The Gear Division is continuing to strive and improve on technological advancements, to remain the most competitive in gears and transmissions. Commercial markets are the focus of our development.Expanding into insect abatement, search and rescue, lifting and drilling will lead to success in the market place.
Customers in both our commercial and industrial market segments will delight in the new Argo XTI, a tougher and more heavy duty version of the Argo HDi. Professional hunters and camp operators will also recognize the benefits and value that this new vehicle brings to their operations, and the industrial capabilities have been engineered using field-proven technology, allowing for increased payloads and greater durability.
The J5 Rover vehicle was ARGO's first attempt at an industrial robotic vehicle. Based on the successful 4-wheel lunar rover architecture, the J5 Rover was designed to be affordable and rugged. In keeping with the tradition of so many ARGO machines, it was also entirely amphibious. The J5 can be fitted with tracks or wheels, depending on the operating environment.
Hunters and outdoors-men have been some of the most passionate ARGO owners since the first machine debuted in 1967. In 2016 ARGO went all in with a quartet of machines that comprised the Wilderness Series: the Outfitter 8x8 XTi, Scout 6c6 and 8x8 and the Hunt Master 8x8 Evolution and model differentiation had been hallmarks of ARGO machine for decades when the company unleashed a remarkable example of both in the form of the Avenger LX. With bold colors and luxury component selections the Avenger LX became an instant favorite for customers who wanted optimal smooth ride and premium comfortAvenger 8x8 LX Also in 2016 the fully amphibious robotic platform of the J6/J8 was born.
ARGO Xplorer ATV The next 50 years in ARGO history will be highlighted by the company's bold decision to expand its expertise and ingenuity by entering the 4-wheel ATV market with the all-new ARGO Xplorer 4x4 machines. The Xplorer ATVs are a premium quality machine that set a new standard in performance and rideability.
The goal at ARGO was not just to create another new 2019 model, it was to create the next generation of ARGOs. With new thinking, new technology and new partners, the possibilities were endless. This collective effort and determination allowed ARGO to push harder than ever to build an Xtreme Terrain Vehicle like never before. And after countless designs, rugged testing and ever-so-slight tweaks, the all-new 2019 Aurora was born. From the front grille to the back hitch you’ll experience innovation at its best, including the new seating, Start ‘N Gear and ARGO Progressive Steering (APS). This UTV-inspired steering development combined with the Admiral transmission is a technological milestone giving the ultimate driver experience.
ARGO didn’t stop there. For outdoor enthusiasts who love rippin’ it up in deep, wet mud the all-new 2019 Bigfoot 800 MX6 and MX8 were introduced. Both are equipped with ARGO’s new 25" Mud Tires with aluminum bead lock rims to give you maximum power and control to cruise through the thickest muddin’ holes. The Bigfoot XTVs include a premium Jensen radio to enhance the riders’ experience. Turn up the tunes!
In 2019 the Frontier, ARGO’s value leader amphibious six- and eight-wheelers, were redesigned to reflect its Aurora lineage, resulting in a perfect blend of style and function. All Frontier models now come standard with left-side AGRO Progressive Steering (APS), producing smooth confidence-inspiring handling. The new bold look and quality features round out the all-new 2020 Frontier – and it is a testament to the team at ARGO at improving our vehicles every year. The new Frontier models are ready for any extreme adventure. Are you?
We also took the Aurora to new level in 2020. Introducing the Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) for the Aurora. Complete with seat belts and certified to ISO 5700 and SAE J2194.