Posts Tagged ‘1958’
As the world waits in anticipation for the imminent departure of the Antarctica2 expedition to drive a Massey Ferguson tractor to the South Pole, Lead Driver Manon Ossevoort is looking forward to the trip.
“Driving the tractor through the endless white vastness of Antarctica is going to be so surreal,” she says.
“When I first learnt to drive a tractor, I was immediately taken with the symbols of the tortoise and the hare which are used as icons on the dashboard to denote low and high gear ranges. That fitted perfectly with my story concept of fulfilling a dream slowly but surely.”
“The MF 5610 is a great machine – small, compact, manoeuvrable and lightweight. It’s been really well prepared by the Massey Ferguson engineers and the other partners supporting Antarctica2. I hope it’s going to keep me nice and warm!”
“We’ve done lots of tests both in the lab and in the field– all with the very best people. It’s been amazing to see the tractor perform, especially during our expedition trial in Iceland.”
“When I found out about the first mechanised trek to the South Pole achieved by Sir Edmund Hillary and his Ferguson TE20 in 1958, the story really inspired me to keep believing in the possibilities of my endeavour. So with all that heritage, I always knew it would be really appropriate for me to be driving a modern-day Massey Ferguson tractor. I feel privileged to be doing so.”
“The whole project is about trust and is a big leap of faith for all parties. But we all took that leap, and now we are about to set off. I will give my all to continue this celebration and share our tales of adventure as we cross the ice.”
Depending on weather conditions, Antarctica2 is scheduled to leave some time this weekend (22/23 November).
The 2014 Antarctica2 mission to take a tractor to the South Pole emulates the achievement of explorer Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using a fleet of Ferguson TE20 tractors.
In 2014, 56 years since Hillary’s journey and 56 years since the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand, an MF 5600 tractor will make a similar trek across the ice.
On January 4 1958, driving 28hp TE20 tractors, Hillary’s team became the first overland explorers to reach the South Pole since Captain Scott’s expedition in 1912.
In his now famous telegram he told the ‘Massey-Harris-Ferguson Farming Company’:
“Despite quite unsuitable conditions of soft snow and high altitudes our Fergusons performed magnificently and it was their extreme reliability that made our trip to the Pole possible. Stop. Thank you for your good wishes = Hillary”
At the time, the press described this as the ‘The Last Great Journey in the World’, although the expedition’s official title was The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58. Led by Englishman, Sir Vivian Fuchs, its aim was to be the first to cross the continent overland – 50 years after Shackleton’s ill-fated attempt – while gathering scientific data.
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Massey Ferguson is one of the main sponsors of an expedition to reach the South Pole in 2014, using modern day tractors. This will emulate the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary, who completed the first journey and reached the South Pole using three Ferguson tractors in 1958. It is planned that three MF 5600 tractors will reach the South Pole 56 years after Sir Edmund Hillary’s achievement. This will also be the 56th Anniversary year of the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand name.
Speaking at Massey Ferguson’s SIMA Show press conference in Paris, Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson EAME, introduced the lead driver, Manon Ossevoort, and explained her longstanding mission to take a tractor to the South Pole.
Renowned international experts have already been engaged to assist with the expedition, said Mr Markwell who confirmed initial planning and trials for the event are now well underway. Full details will be made available over the coming months as the plans turned into reality.