Posts Tagged ‘expedition’
With the arrival of Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, the whole Antarctica2 team is now at Novo Runway, making final preparations before embarking on their ambitious quest to drive a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 on a 5,000km journey to the South Pole and back.
Despite temperatures falling to minus 40°C during a recent storm, in which 50mph winds produced a wind chill down to minus 50°C, the team is confident the expedition will set out for the Pole this weekend as planned. Currently, they are acclimatising to the harsh conditions, packing their supplies and making the final equipment checks.
Along with Manon, the team includes 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.
The Massey Ferguson tractor set to spearhead an expedition to the South Pole has touched down in the Antarctic.
The ambitious Antarctica2 mission to reach the Pole by tractor is scheduled to depart on its 5000 km journey across the ice this weekend (22/23 November) depending on weather conditions.
Transported in a IL76 heavy-cargo aircraft, the tractor landed at Novo Runway from Cape Town where it has been undergoing some final preparations for its polar adventure.
“It’s wonderful to see the first pictures of our MF 5610 tractor in Antarctica which will be its place of work for the next few weeks,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson, Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “The arrival of the MF 5610 at this time is highly appropriate as it coincides with the official birth of the Massey Ferguson brand name on 19th November 1957.
“We are really looking forward to the start of the mission and following the progress of the Antarctica2 expedition team as it makes its way to the Geographical South Pole. “
Together with Massey Ferguson which is supplying the tractor, Antarctica2 has enlisted the help of leading industry partners including Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts, Fuse Technologies and Mechatrac.
You can follow the team’s challenge every day at www.AntarcticaTwo.com and #BelieveInIt
The multi-national team set to journey to the South Pole by tractor in the Antarctica2 expedition brings a vast range of experience and expertise to this exciting polar challenge.
The expedition was three years in the planning during which time, team members undertook training in Northern Canada and Iceland to prepare them for the practical, physical and mental challenges of the journey.
Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver of the specially-prepared MF 5610 tractor is Manon Ossevoort, aka ‘Tractor Girl’. Manon is joined by polar explorers Matty McNair (Expedition Lead Guide ) and Sarah McNair-Landry (Expedition Guide and Audio-Visual Support), Nicolas Bachelet (Lead Mechanic) and Simon Foster (Creative Director and Audio-Visual Lead). Expedition specialists, Arnór Ingólfsson (Expedition Leader and Arctic Truck Driver 1) and Jóhannes Guðmundsson (Arctic Truck Driver 2) will provide guidance and safety support.
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The MF 5610 tractor set to journey to the South Pole in five weeks’ time has successfully completed stringent tests in Iceland.
Known as Antarctica2, the adventurous mission to drive a tractor to the Geographical South Pole is the dream of Manon Ossevoort, aka ‘Tractor Girl’, who will pilot the specially-prepared MF 5610 on the 2350km expedition across treacherous snow and ice. In doing so, she and her expert back-up team will echo the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary who trekked to the South Pole using three Ferguson tractors in 1958.
The Antarctica2 expedition is being organised to highlight the need for sustainable food security through the provision of accessible technologies and innovative services to allow future farmers to meet the world’s growing requirement for food.
Modified by the engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais tractor plant, the MF 5610 completed its final testing over a two-week period in Iceland. “The tractor performed extremely well in our trials,” says Massey Ferguson Engineering Project Manager, Olivier Hembert. “It will have to endure temperatures down to minus 40 degrees centigrade, altitude of 3400 metres and tackle deep, soft snow. This kind of environment calls for straightforward, dependable engineering for which Massey Ferguson is renowned. Previous tests in Iceland and France were made to check its performance in polar ground conditions and at very low temperatures.”
Throughout the journey, the tractor’s AgCommandTM telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24-hour support team in Beauvais. “The clock is now ticking for this long-planned project to become reality,” adds Olivier. “We are very excited about monitoring our tractor’s progress across the challenging icescape and ensuring its technical and mechanical stamina to accomplish the mission.”
Livestreaming and regular updates via a dedicated website will keep the rest of the world in touch with the adventure’s progress. The tractor and team depart Novo Base in East Antarctica around 24 November and are scheduled to arrive at the South Pole around 15 December.
Support for Antarctica2 is being provided by partners including Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, AGCO Finance, Castrol, AGCO Parts, Fuse Technologies and Mechatrac.
In 2005, at an international theater festival in the Netherlands, Dutch storyteller and actor Manon Ossevoort performed her live narrative, “DO.” It’s a story about a girl on a tractor taking the dreams of many to the end of the world. So, when the story ended, Ossevoort drove out of the theater on a tractor and began a journey.
Ossevoort’s odyssey led her through Europe, the Balkans and down through the continent of Africa. Along the way, she performed her story and collected, on little slips of paper, the dreams and hopes of the people she met.
After four years and more than 23,000 miles, Ossevoort reached the Cape of Good Hope. “I literally missed my boat,” she says. The ship she had planned to take to Antarctica—the symbolic end of the world—had canceled its trip. “I had no sponsors, nothing,” says Ossevoort. “But I had thousands of dreams in the back of my tractor that I had promised to bring to the South Pole, a continent where there’s never been war.”
Cue Massey Ferguson. The company has a unique connection to Antarctica. Sir Edmund Hillary and his team drove three Ferguson TE20 tractors to the pole in 1958. That same year also marked the introduction of the Massey Ferguson brand. Sponsoring another trek to the South Pole on Massey Ferguson tractors seemed like a perfect way to celebrate both milestones.
Ossevoort and a Massey Ferguson assembled team of specialists have begun polar training in Iceland and northern Canada with a new Massey Ferguson 5600 Series tractor that has been modified to create “the ultimate polar-expedition tractor,” she says. The expedition plans to sail to Antarctica in December 2014, where it will follow the same path as Hillary’s expedition.
Ossevoort explains what she’ll do with the stories she’s collected on her journey: “I’ll symbolically finish my epic story at the geographical South Pole by building a snowman with the ‘dreams of the world’ in its belly.”