Antarctica2 tractor expedition sets off for South Pole challenge 19:55 CET,22 November 2014, Novo Runway, Antarctica: Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE:AGCO), reports that after three years’ meticulous planning and preparation, the exciting Antarctica2 tractor expedition departed into the vast icescape today for its 5000 km journey to the South Pole and back.
In buoyant mood and excited about the challenges ahead, the multi-national team left for this modern-day polar adventure with their red Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor forging a path across the snow. Following a period of storms and a wind chill factor down to minus 50 degrees C, the weather conditions for departure were good, and clear skies made for the perfect start to the expedition.
For ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort, it is the beginning of a dream come true as she realises her long-held ambition to take a tractor to ‘the end of the world.’
“It seemed like such an impossibly big dream but it’s all falling into place – now it’s mission possible!” said 38-year-old Manon, Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver. “I’m like a child on Christmas morning – full of excitement and anticipation.”
“As tractor supplier to the expedition, we are thrilled to see the team finally depart on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge,” remarks Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “It’s a bold mission and promises to be a fascinating story of strength, endurance and team work. Our MF 5610 is ready to face the extreme elements and repeat the achievement of our TE20 tractors which took explorer Sir Edmund Hillary to the South Pole in 1958.”
The expedition team will be up against temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees C, altitude up to 3400m, with both soft snow and hard-packed ice underfoot. Along the way, they can expect to face strong winds, raging blizzards and whiteouts. Depending on conditions, the expedition is scheduled to reach the Geographical South Pole sometime in early December.
Manon Ossevoort has already driven a tractor 38,000 km from her home in the Netherlands across Europe and Africa. “I found that along the way my journey inspired other people to talk about their own dreams, so I set about collecting these dreams with the goal of taking them to the South Pole with me. It’s wonderful that the partners involved in Antarctica2 committed to support my idea. It wouldn’t have been possible without them. This collaborative effort to take on a challenge of this magnitude really encapsulates the spirit of the expedition. “
Together with Massey Ferguson, Antarctica2 has enlisted the help of leading industry partners including Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts, Fuse Technologies and Mechatrac.
The 110hp MF 5610 is a standard production model specially-prepared by the Massey Ferguson engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais Tractor Plant in France. A number of adaptations have been made to enable it to cope with the extremes of temperature, terrain and altitude. The machine’s three-cylinder engine remains unaltered but specific adaptations have been made to the cab, electrics, air intake and filtration to withstand the freezing conditions. Key partner, Trelleborg worked closely with the Massey Ferguson engineering team to develop a multi-purpose set of tyres for maximum traction and safety in the severe environment. The tractor will run on Jet A1 fuel that has a much lower freezing point than regular tractor diesel. A stock of parts from AGCO Parts will be carried on the mission and the tractor’s AgCommandTM telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24-hour support team at the tractor factory in Beauvais.
Manon and her Massey Ferguson tractor are joined by an expert team on the expedition including seasoned polar explorers Matty McNair (Expedition Lead Guide ) and her daughter Sarah McNair-Landry (Expedition Guide and Audio-Visual Support), Nicolas Bachelet (Lead Mechanic) and Simon Foster (Creative Director and Audio-Visual Lead). Expedition specialists, Arctic Trucks will provide guidance and safety support.
Note for editors: For more information and images on Antarctica2, please visit the dedicated press area on the web site: http://www.antarcticatwo.com/press
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery. AGCO supports more productive farming through a full line of tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, grain storage and protein production systems, tillage implements and replacement parts. AGCO products are sold through five core machinery brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra® and are distributed globally through approximately 3,100 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries worldwide. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2013, AGCO had net sales of $10.8 billion. www.AGCOcorp.com
Massey Ferguson is a worldwide brand of AGCO Corporation