Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), has celebrated the launch of an ambitious mission to drive a tractor to the Geographical South Pole, the fulfillment of a dream for a Dutch theatre maker that also aims to inspire others to dare to dream.
Antarctica2 follows in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, who drove a specially adapted Ferguson TE20 to the South Pole in 1958.
But the 2014 mission, which departs Cape Town on 15th September for the 2350km journey, has enlisted the help of leading industry partners to take a wheeled tractor to Antarctica for the first time.
The MF 5610, modified by the engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais tractor plant, will be driven by Manon Ossevoort, better known as Tractor Girl, who has already driven a tractor from her childhood home in the Netherlands to South Africa.
“It was my dream to drive a tractor to the end of the world, and I was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary’s mission,” Manon explains, “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.”
When her original mission – which was undertaken largely with only local support –ended with Manon unable to make the final leg to Antarctica, she remained convinced that she had to finish it. She approached Massey Ferguson via its distributor in Holland, Mechatrac, and was assured of the company’s commitment to help her follow her dreams.
Support for Antarctica2 will be provided by partners including Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts and Fuse Technologies. There are still opportunities for additional partners to join this exciting project, which will reach a global audience.
Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director of Massey Ferguson EAME,who handed over the keys to the MF 5600 to Manon in a special ceremony at Beauvais, said: “I congratulate our Engineering Project Manager Olivier Hembert and his team, who worked in their spare time, along with AGCO Power in Finland, to adapt the tractor for conditions that are probably the toughest in the world.”
“As John F Kennedy said about the mission to the moon in 1962 – ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’ This is Massey Ferguson, wanting to take on a challenge and work in the spirit to achieve not only easy things, but challenging things. On behalf of AGCO and the full team of sponsors, I wish Manon and her straightforward, dependable MF 5610 a safe and exciting journey to the South Pole.”
Expedition specialists Arctic Trucks will provide guidance and safety support with the help of two Toyota four- and six-wheel drive pick-up trucks, and has worked closely with Trelleborg and Massey Ferguson to develop tyre technology for the mission.
Gudmundur Gudjonsson, Arctic Trucks Project Manager for Antarctica explains: “Tyres are more efficient than tracks in this kind of expedition, being capable of higher forward speeds and using less fuel. They also provide suspension, which is beneficial to the environment as well as the vehicle and the driver.”
Under Arctic Trucks guidance, MF 5600 tractors have undergone extensive cold weather testing, while the expedition team has received polar training, including guidance from seasoned polar explorers Matty McNair and her daughter Sarah McNair-Landry who will be key team members for Antarctica2.
A technical support specialist and former Massey Ferguson photographic specialist Simon Foster complete the team.
The expedition will call on not only the straightforward and dependable engineering of the MF 5610 to endure temperatures down to minus 40deg centigrade, altitude of 3400m and deep, soft snow, but also AGCO’s impressive parts and technical capability.
Up to 1000kg of parts will be carried on the mission, a twice daily maintenance regime adhered to, and the Agcommand™ telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24 hour support team in Beauvais.
The latest broadcast and social media technology will also be employed in stark contrast to when Sir Edmund Hillary’s arrival at the South Pole was marked by at telegram of thanks to Harry Ferguson. Live streaming and regular updates via a dedicated website will keep the rest of the world in touch with the mission’s progress.When the MF 5610, with its Tractor Girl and her cargo of dreams on board, arrives at the South Pole around 7th December, it will be a testimony to the work of all the partners in the Antarctica2 project and their tireless commitment to its message – #BelieveInIt
Following the very successful Discover AGCO event held at the NEC in Birmingham, UK last month, AGCO’s Aftersales group made a presentation of £2,135.38 to the Air Ambulance Service based at Coventry Airport on Monday (24th March 2014). This magnificent sum was collected during a busy event with generous donations from the UK and Eire AGCO dealer network, AGCO staff, suppliers and the farmers who attended the show, with an equal amount raised for the British Heart Foundation.
The Air Ambulance is deemed very close to the hearts of most agricultural businesses, as many farmers and their families rely on the service to reach rural areas of the country. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) provide treatment on the scene of an incident, and a rapid means of transport to the hospital most suited to treat the casualty’s specific injuries and illnesses. They attend a variety of emergency rescues, including road traffic collisions, serious sporting injuries, severe burns, industrial accidents and any other medical incidents that require rapid response.
On average, the service attends six rescue missions every day, costing approximately £1,700 per mission. The state of the art Agusta helicopters can reach speeds of up to 200mph which means they can be at the emergency scene in less than ten minutes.
Mike Gryba is a certified mechanic and works with his brother Daniel on their 4,400-acre Saskatchewan farm, where they grow wheat, barley and canola. Mike’s main job is to keep the equipment up and running. Some days that means making the repair himself; other days it requires old-fashioned resourcefulness and help from his AGCO dealer, Full Line Ag in nearby Saskatoon.
Last spring when the Grybas’ RoGator® sprayer malfunctioned in the field, Mike quickly determined it needed a new wheel motor. He knew he couldn’t repair this complex part himself and called Full Line. While they talked, Full Line Parts Manager Dean Grindheim found a remanufactured wheel motor in stock. Within five hours, the motor, which was from the AGCO Reman remanufactured parts program, was in place and the sprayer was back online and ready to finish the job.
“It would have taken days just to get a [RoGator] mechanic out here, and then he’d have to rebuild the unit—providing he brought along all the right parts,” Gryba says. “We were looking at losing several working days by the time he could have gotten that unit up, so the Reman part worked out very well.”
The Reman Resource
AGCO Reman helps farmers like the Grybas get up and running faster and with less expense by using existing core parts that have been completely remanufactured. “We’re giving the customer a low-cost alternative,” says AGCO Senior Marketing Specialist Kevin Bolander. “Environmentally, we’re friendly too, because Reman takes less resources than it does to manufacture a new part; we’re recycling those parts that have failed and are turning them into good parts that are reusable.”
According to Bolander, Reman parts save equipment owners 30% or more over the cost of a new part, but they still come with the same one-year warranty. (If installed by an AGCO dealer, there’s also a six-month labor warranty.) The customer pays a core deposit, which is refunded when the old part is returned to the dealer. Reman parts include numerous product categories that are commonly in stock.
Unlike reconditioned or rebuilt components, AGCO Reman parts undergo a consistent process to restore the product to the original manufacturer’s specifications. Every component is fully tested and found to be up to standards before being sold to the customer. “If there’s a design change that’s been made that improves the product, the Reman product is brought up to the new design specifications. It’s actually upgraded,” says Bolander.
Although cost savings, quality and warranty are all reasons customers choose AGCO Reman parts, at the end of the day, getting back to work is what matters. “We love Reman parts for a simple reason,” says Gryba. “We can go there and pick up a box that’s a complete assembly, and we can bolt it in and can go back to do what we do.”
Currently, AGCO Reman offers a wide-ranging assortment of some 5,300 parts. Get more information at AGCOreman.com.
Want to stock up on parts or other equipment? Or pay for repairs or preventative maintenance to maximize uptime during planting, harvest or other critical times of the year? The new AGCO Plus+ financing solution allows customers to proactively manage their cash flow, providing convenient billing and a flexible payment plan that meets the needs of farmers.
Available through AGCO dealers, the new program features a speedy application process for customers, with approval often available in as little as five minutes. In addition to competitive rates on financing, special programs and offers may also be available to customers who purchase with their AGCO Plus+ account.
The new program continues its roll out through North America, so check with your local dealer for details. AGCO Plus+ is designed to help you access the genuine AGCO Parts, service and expertise you’ve come to expect from your dealer. It’s all about helping you work smarter.