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Our History

Finding a single source for towing and recovery equipment was nearly impossible back in 1979. That's why brothers Pat and Rick Thibadeau opened the doors to Accessory Wholesalers in Wolcott, CT. Although the name of the business was eventually changed to AW Direct, the company's founding values have never changed.

Our Family

AW Direct's parent – Ariens Company in Brillion, WI – shares the same value of always answering the call. Henry Ariens, in search of a better and faster way to prepare soil for planting, founded Ariens Company in 1933. The result was the first Ariens rototiller. The company continued to grow and expand, introducing its first lawnmower in 1958 followed by its first Sno-Thro snowthrower in 1960.

Family-owned and operated, Ariens Company is led by Dan Ariens (fourth generation), with fifth-generation Ariens family members also working in the business. Over the course of its 80-plus year history, Ariens Company has built a portfolio of brands that offer equipment, supplies and gear to outdoor markets.

AW Direct, along with sister companies Ben Meadows and GEMPLER'S, were officially welcomed into the Ariens Company family in 2014. Ben Meadows has been providing innovative tools, equipment and services to outdoor professionals since 1956. GEMPLER'S has been making hard work easy for outdoor professionals since 1939.

Ariens Company is a privately owned and operated corporation focused on outdoor products that serve the needs of both consumer and professional customers. The company manufactures original outdoor power equipment under the Ariens®, Gravely®, Sno-Tek®, Countax® and Westwood® brands.