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.

Our Values

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.

Why Argo

Why ARGO?
Whether it is for a commercial, governmental/public sector or personal utility application, ARGOs fill the gap between recreational quads and heavy off road equipment. ARGO will climb, crawl or swim anywhere you have to go, with the equipment and tools you need, at a cost you can afford.

Terrain Capabilities
ARGO goes where others can’t follow
- 8x8 mobility and strong-but-light construction give ARGOs the low ground pressure and traction to traverse all types of soft and difficult soils including muck, swamp, muskeg and snow
- With their add-on rubber tracks, ARGOs tread as lightly as your own footprint
- ARGOs swim or ford water obstacles with no preparation required to enter or exit
- The integral skid plate and high ground clearance of the ARGO body prevents bottoming out or hanging up on terrain obstacles

Passenger Safety
Today’s best Static Stability Factor (SSF) means ARGOs are up to four times less likely to roll-over  than traditional UTVs
- With the industry’s lowest center of gravity (CG), ARGO vehicles traverse side slopes, grades and obstacles that are inaccessible to other vehicles 
- Attachments are designed, tested and engineered to minimize the impact of the Static Stability Factor
- Payloads are low  to the ground to maintain stability in motion, even when fully loaded
- The exclusive Admiral triple-differential transmission provides exceptionally smooth steering in constricted areas while maintaining traction on all wheels

“Green” mobility
In environmentally sensitive areas, ARGOs tread lightly and leave no toxic traces behind
- With ground pressure as low as 1.06 psi, ARGO will cross fragile terrain features with no lasting impact on vegetation and substrates
- ARGO's fully-sealed body ensures that all engine and mechanical fluids are well contained to avert all soil and water contamination
- The design and placement of the exhaust and electrical systems of ARGO minimize any risk of a fire hazard in dry vegetation

High Utilization
You get more value from an ARGO because you can do more with it
- Optional cargo decks and interchangeable attachments turn the ARGO into a versatile mobile platform for completing heavy duty tasks on the jobsite, farm, fishing camp or hunting lodge
- ARGO’s exceptional terrain capabilities and high altitude performance extends the range of sites and seasons where vehicles can operate productively
- ARGO’s add-on trailer vastly improves “payload per sortie” to carry 6 personnel plus up to 2000 lb 907 kg) of equipment, instruments and supplies
- Choice of diesel or gasoline power fits the available fuel type to suit remote jobsites

Cost/Value
ARGO keeps crews and equipment productive in work areas where the only alternative is heavy machinery or air lifts
- ARGOs cost far less than the heavier equipment required for equal off-road mobility; multiple ARGO units less cost than a single off-road hauler
- An ARGO vehicle allows access to the worksite regardless of the remoteness of the location for more work days so high-value crews and equipment earn more every year
- The complete family of ARGO 8x8 extreme terrain and amphibious models provides the right selection to match the needs of local customers and provide operators and rental companies with the right mix of products and accessories for maximized utilization of the fleet.

Chairman's Message

I feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be at the helm of this unique company for over 25 years. From small beginnings the company has steadily grown, providing an increasing number of jobs and making its contribution to a vibrant economy in the region, the province and the nation.

The most significant contributors to our success have been and continue to be our people. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with such a talented and highly motivated team. I am proud that we are able to provide stable, long-term employment – a rare quality these days. Many of our employees have been part of the family for over 20 years, and some even for over 35 years.

The ARGO, our mainstay product, was introduced in 1967. Even after such a long involvement with this extraordinary machine, the ARGO still holds its magic for me. Over the years I have met many customers who are equally extraordinary. One of them traveled in his ARGO for 1000 miles north on the frozen Hudson Bay. Others, who have lost their mobility due to illness or accident, can still enjoy their outdoors pursuits thanks to the ARGO’s go anywhere capability. In terms of units produced, the ARGO is the world’s most successful amphibious vehicle. After 45 years of continuous improvement and refinement, today’s ARGO and its big brother, the CENTAUR, are better than ever.

Our expertise in building vehicles for extreme conditions has led to an invitation by the Canadian Space Agency and NASA to participate in the development of lunar rovers for future missions to explore the moon and the planets.

Over the past 12 years, by investing in the latest gear manufacturing technologies combined with in-depth training, we have developed ODG’s Gear Division into a world class gear and transmission facility. We offer our customers the benefits of an efficient production and rapid product development combined with a rigorous focus on quality.

We have always taken care to minimize our environmental footprint. This is reflected in our operations that are certified under the environmental ISO 14001 standard and in our products.
After 26 exciting years of running this company, I feel confident to hand over the reins to the next generation of managers to lead Ontario Drive & Gear into a bright future with renewed energy.

Joerg Stieber, Chairman

History

Cool Timeline

1962

The 60’s

The 60’s

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.

1971

The 70’s

The 70’s

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

The 80’s

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.

1992

The 90’s

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.

2007

The 2000’s

The continued expansion of the gear market made it necessary to add a dedicated manufacturing and office space. In 2000 ODG build 32,000 sq. ft. facility next to the ARGO plant. In seven short years the ODG gear division had outgrown is plant again. In the fall of 2007, ODG plans were drawn up for a 17,000 sq. ft. expansion which was completed in April 2008. The Argo is world renowned for its versatility and capability of traversing difficult terrain but in 2008, the challenge of our lives arrived, to help the Canadian Space Agency design a vehicle capable of withstanding the conditions on the moon, the Lunar Rover! The ending of this decade saw the launch of the best model ARGO had ever produced, the ARGO 8x8 750 HDi. The 750 HDi features a technologically advance, triple differential ADMIRAL steering transmission feeding even torque to all 8 wheels.

2010

2010

2010

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.

2012

2012

2012

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.