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South Pole ‘Tractor Girl’ calls in to thank Massey Ferguson team in UK

Staff at Massey Ferguson in the UK gave a warm welcome to Manon Ossevoort who drove an MF 5610 tractor on the adventurous Antarctica2 mission to the South Pole.

Manon Ossevoort 'Tractor Girl' and Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver of the Antarctica2 Expedition visits Abbey Park

Manon Ossevoort ‘Tractor Girl’ and Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver of the Antarctica2 Expedition visits Abbey Park

The 38-year-old Dutch-born Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, better known as ‘Tractor Girl’, visited Massey Ferguson’s offices at Abbey Park Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on 23 January. Manon captured the imagination of millions worldwide as she and her team battled across the vast icescape with the MF tractor on a gruelling 28-day, 5000 km round-trip from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. On reaching its destination, the MF 5610 made history to become the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.

Throughout the expedition, a Massey Ferguson team at Abbey Park was responsible for coordinating the expedition communications and relaying news and pictures of the epic journey to a global audience.

“It was a great pleasure to welcome Manon to the UK and hear yet more details of this extraordinary story,” said Declan Hayden, Vice President, Global Sales & Operations Planning. “It is truly an awe-inspiring feat, highlighting the strength and endurance of the MF tractor, as well demonstrating the fortitude and resilience of the crew.”

Manon commented: “By supplying the MF 5610 to Antarctica2, Massey Ferguson showed its belief in this incredibly ambitious mission and took up my challenge to take a tractor to the South Pole. I am thrilled to be here and back with the MF team who worked with me on planning the expedition over a period of three years. They never stopped believing that we could achieve our goal. I know the team at Abbey Park was eager to hear more of my story but I was equally fascinated to find out how they supported the expedition communications day-to-day.”

The Abbey Park Team welcome Manon Ossevoort and Simon Foster back to Abbey Park

The Abbey Park Team welcome Manon Ossevoort and Simon Foster back to Abbey Park

Manon was joined at Abbey Park by fellow team member, Antarctica2 cameraman Simon Foster. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said. “Taking pictures and video in the extreme cold was exceptionally challenging. We were able to take some great shots of the tractor on its voyage which were used widely by the world’s press and across social media.”

Paul Lay, Massey Ferguson Manager, Public Relations and Communications who led the Abbey Park-based communications team adds: “Antarctica2 was an amazing project for the team to manage. The technical challenges of conveying communications and developing news from Antarctica quickly to a global audience were immense. There are no geosynchronous communications satellites at the Earth’s Poles so digital communications are very slow and unreliable.   We overcame those and were delighted when, together with other world media, the BBC ran a four minute live news broadcast with Manon when her MF 5610 tractor reached the South Pole – a first.”

The Antarctica2 MF 5610 expedition tractor will be a highlight of Massey Ferguson’s stand at the upcoming SIMA Show in Paris 22-26 February 2015.

Combine History Brought Back to Life in Stoneleigh, UK

Proud, symbolic and with great dignity, a Massey Harris 780 Combine Harvester is recovered from the town Museum of Horn in Austria back to AGCO’s UK facility at Abbey Park, Stoneleigh to be completely renovated back to its original standard by a volunteer group of Abbey Park employees.

20130423_120048The Combine Harvester restoration project is part of the commemoration of 75 years of the world’s first commercial production of the self-propelled Combine Harvester in 1938. The first self-propelled Combine harvester in Europe was first assembled in Manchester, UK in 1947 before full design and production began at M-H’s Combine factory in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1948. The M-H 780 was one of the most successful produced there and went on to become one of the first to be fully branded Massey Ferguson.

The actual machine being renovated dates from the year of Massey Ferguson’s founding in 1958 and had a productive working life in Austria before ending up as an “unfinished project” within the Horn Town Museum, 30 years ago. Once completed, the M-H 780 will feature at various events around Europe, commemorating the 75 years.

With major investments and developments in the current  Massey Ferguson Harvesting range that are being recognized for their high quality and reliability, it is timely to record that Massey Ferguson holds a unique position in the Harvesting world that provides a strong mandate for future success as AGCO continues to invest heavily in this critical sector within farm mechanization.

Massey Ferguson Fuels Charity Tractor Run

In a fund-raising trip to support the Young Oncology Unit (YOU) at Manchester’s Christie Hospital, a group of ten enthusiasts is driving a 1955 Ferguson TE20 tractor from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Massey Ferguson is donating the fuel for this ‘Top to Bottom Tractor Run’ which will see the team call in at the company’s UK offices at Abbey Park Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. Travelling at an average speed of 10-12 mph, the journey is expected to take two weeks to complete.

The event is being co-ordinated by Martin Sullivan who sadly lost his son, Aaron to cancer. “We are a small group of people who have been brought together by unfortunate circumstances,” explains Martin. “We have all been affected, in some way, by cancer and have decided to try and do something positive to help others fight this frightening illness.”

“We are inviting people to join us en route either with their own tractors or by driving our 1954 guest tractor for a stage of the journey,” he says.

Adds Ben Agar, Massey Ferguson Manager Market Services UK and Ireland:  “We wish the team all the best in support of this worthy cause and we look forward to seeing them here at our UK offices on 19 September.”

Top to Toe Tractor Run –  10-23 September 2012.
For more info and to donate, log on to:
www.top-to-bottom-tractor-run.co.uk

 

 

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