(Antarctica2 – 04.30 hrs CET, 09 December 2014: Geographical South Pole) After a gruelling 2500 km ice-journey, the Antarctica2 expedition team arrived with its MF 5610 tractor at the South Pole today. All are safe, well and in high spirits.
Immediately relaying the exciting news from the ice, the crew announced: “04.30 hours CET. This is December 9th, Camp 17. After 17 days and 2500 kilometres, we are at a red and white striped pole with a reflective ball on top, surrounded by flags. This is South 90 – as far South as anybody can go. It’s unbelievable – at the South Pole there is a red Massey Ferguson tractor! We’re all ecstatic to be here and so proud to be taking our hero shots with the tractor that never gave us cause to doubt that it would be up for the challenge. Thank you all for your support.”
The adventurous 2014 Antarctica2 mission aims to drive a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 agricultural tractor on a 5000 km round trip from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. The quest echoes the achievement of explorer Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using Ferguson TE20 tractors.
In taking Antarctica2’s Expedition Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort safely to her destination, the MF 5610 has helped her fulfil a lifelong dream to drive a tractor to the ‘end of the world’. Celebrating this amazing feat with her fellow team members on arrival at the South Pole, Manon hugged the tractor and exclaimed: ”Wow! I’ve made it! It’s such a beautiful feeling and I’m so grateful to Massey Ferguson to have made this possible. It’s such a huge dream come true. To have dreams is beautiful but to see them realised is the most extraordinary feeling. I’m inspired.”
As one of her first jobs on reaching the Pole, ‘Tractor Girl’ Manon will build a snowman and symbolically entrust it with the dreams of all the people who have been caught up in her story. “I want people to believe in the power of their dreams – to know that with grit and determination, you can achieve your aspirations. I had the seemingly impossible dream to drive a tractor to the South Pole. You just have to believe in it.”
It was an incredibly challenging trip across the ice, taking 17 days of tough driving. With the Antarctic’s constant daylight at this time of year, the team created their own 30-hour days, driving the MF 5610 hard for 23 hours or more at a stretch, pausing only briefly for routine maintenance and driver changeover before pushing on. The tractor engine has been running virtually non-stop since the expedition departed on 22 November.
Commenting, Richard Markwell Vice-President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe/Africa/Middle East said: ”We were gripped by Antarctica2’s adventure across the ice and over some of the roughest terrain on the planet. Congratulations to the whole team! It’s an immensely proud moment for Massey Ferguson and everyone associated with our farm machinery.”
After a day’s rest at the South Pole, the Antarctica2 team will pack up, turn round and embark on the same route back to Novo Runway on the Antarctic coast. They will follow in the exact tracks of their outbound trip which, now having iced over, should speed up their return journey. With luck, they could be back before Christmas.
(07 December 2014, Antarctica) Day 16: The most difficult terrain yet encountered on the Antarctica2 expedition has made the final stages of the mission to reach the South Pole using a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor some of the most challenging yet.
With 300km left to the Pole, seasoned members of Tractor Girl Manon Ossevoort’s support team say they have never experienced such bad travelling conditions. Although the weather has been good, with hazy yet sunny blue skies, the snow underfoot has been extremely soft, resulting in speeds as little as 4km/hr (2.5mph).
In one recent eight-hour shift the tractor faced soft, sinking conditions every few hundred metres, but the MF 5610 and its drivers proved their ability to cope with the tough going.
“By downshifting into the lowest gear, A1, and engaging the diff lock, the tractor would climb out slowly and we could make progress again,” explains Expedition Lead Guide, Matty McNair.
The fact the MF 5610’s transmission can stand up to such extreme duress is testament to its design and construction, believes Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development.
“These are conditions few farmers are ever likely to face, but the resilience of the tractor transmission shows just how well it is made, just as the resilience of the team shows what they are made of too.”
By: Nicole Schrock, Miss Rodeo Oregon
For me, rodeo and agriculture go hand in hand. Both represent our western heritage, a way of life, and most importantly, family. Family is what got me involved in the sport of rodeo in the first place and it’s what kept me coming back year after year. My love of the sport began at a young age. As a young girl in 4-H, I remember sneaking over to the rodeo arena to watch the cowboys rope, the powerful bulls and majestic horses buck with all their might, and the cowgirls chase their dreams three barrels at a time. Rodeo was an amazing adventure in my eyes, and it was an adventure that I had the honor of taking with my community and my family.
Now, I didn’t come from a rodeo family, but we all found a way to get involved and give back to our community. Neighbors were sponsors, friends volunteers, and when it all came together, I had found myself a large extended family; one that became an invaluable support system for years to come. As I grew older, my fascination with the sport became a desire to do more, and to find a way to be a part of it. In 2007 I ran for local fair and rodeo queen, and won the title. To this day, I still remember how nervous I was competing for my first queen title. Thankfully, my cousin Dayle Ann, who was the very first Benton County Fair and Rodeo Queen, and who mentored me for the role, was there to offer her support and encouragement. To this day, I still count her as a role model for all the help she gave me in getting ready; I never could have done it without her. It was an amazing year of self-growth for me, and I got to be a part of a sport that I loved. Read the rest of this entry »
With the addition of three new, large-frame models, the Massey Ferguson 5600 Series tractors now tackle an even wider array of jobs for a variety of operations. Ranging from 80 to 100 PTO HP, these new models, which include the 5611, 5612 and 5613, round out the MF5600 Series with features and capabilities never before found in the mid-range tractor market.
“Among the industry firsts in this power range is a new front axle suspension. Available as an option on 4-wheel-drive versions of the large-frame models, the new suspension maximizes traction and ride comfort,” says Taylor Grout, AGCO product marketing specialist for mid-range tractors.
The new models also come in a choice of Classic and Deluxe configurations, packaged with the needs of the customer in mind. The Classic models combine the power, performance and versatility customers expect of Massey Ferguson machines, and include ergonomic features such as a mechanical multi-function loader joystick. The Deluxe package offers premium features that enable the operator to work faster and to a higher standard with more accuracy, including an electronic multi-function loader joystick—another first for this size tractor.
With options that meet the needs of a wide range of operations, Massey Ferguson also offers choices in hydraulic systems: two open-center options, a standard (15 gpm) or Twin-Flow (26 gpm) configuration, or a closed-center hydraulic system, which delivers 29 gpm. The class-leading closed-center system offers improved efficiency by only pumping the amount of oil required when it is needed to meet the strenuous demands of larger implements and attachments.
Al Kuehnert’s initial reasons for purchasing the Massey Ferguson® 4609 were pretty practical. “I’m really good friends with the dealer,” he says, recounting his longtime relationship with Harmony Outdoors owner Don Harter. But despite that friendship, Al had never purchased a Massey Ferguson tractor before the MF4609. “The price was right and the size of the tractor was right, so we bought it,” Al says simply.
However, after using the tractor for the better part of a year now, the co-owner of Kuehnert Dairy Farm near Fort Wayne, Ind., has a long list of reasons the tractor was a terrific purchase for the farm.
For starters, Al says he appreciates the fact that the MF4609 has both power and maneuverability. In fact, its 3-cylinder diesel AGCO POWER™ engine has more power than many equivalent 4-cylinder engines, allowing it to pull heavy equipment like a 12-ton sand wagon. Yet, even with all that muscle, it’s still small enough to maneuver easily inside the close quarters of the barn.
“The turning radius for a 90-HP tractor is great,” Al adds. “It turns really sharp, and I like the new-style clutch.” The MF4609 has 12 forward and 12 reverse speeds that don’t require use of the foot clutch for shifting from forward to reverse and back again.
His son Nathan agrees. “We appreciate the flexibility of it and the diversity of different things we can do with it,” he remarks. “It’s compact but can handle some of the bigger jobs we do. We use it to bed the stalls. We use it a lot on our manure pumps. We use it to haul silage wagons. Plus, it’s easy to get on and off of. We’d be inclined to buy a larger one down the road.”