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Antarctica2 South Pole MF Tractor-trek leader awarded a World Record

Massey Ferguson reports that the Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole by MF 5610 tractor spearheaded by Manon Ossevoort has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

Manon Ossevoort, AKA Tractor Girl, is proud to receive her Guinness Book of World Records Certificate confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheeled tractor

Manon Ossevoort, AKA Tractor Girl, is proud to receive her Guinness Book of World Records Certificate confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheeled tractor

A certificate has been awarded to Lead Driver, Manon (aka ‘Tractor Girl’), confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheel tractor.  The certificate officially details that she “left Novo Runway in Antarctica on 22 November 2014 driving a Massey Ferguson 5610 farm tractor to complete a 4,638 km round trip to the South Pole that lasted 27 days, 19 hr 25 min.”

“We are thrilled that the amazing Antarctica2 adventure has been recognised as a world-first,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services. “We are all so proud that our MF 5610 tractor was chosen to make the trip and that it excelled in every way to ensure that Manon and her team safely reached their destination. It was an awe-inspiring mission that is now firmly part of Massey Ferguson’s story of achievement.”

The expedition was a tough ride for the MF 5610 tractor and Antarctica2 team who faced bitter cold, high altitude, solid ice, snowdrifts and the most extreme, remote terrain. Their daily adventures and emotional arrival at the Pole were followed by millions worldwide on social and broadcast media.

For customers keen to share in the adventure, Massey Ferguson has recently launched an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor to celebrate the South Pole trek. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control, the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.

Massey Ferguson announces winner in South Pole Expedition competition

Massey Ferguson reports that Nancie Clanachan from Maryholm Farm near Dumfries, Scotland has clinched the prize in its Antarctica2 Expedition competition to win the use of an MF 5610 tractor for a season.

Attracting entries from 33 countries, the competition was run on the Antarctica2 Expedition web site which chronicled the thrilling adventure to drive an MF 5610 tractor to the South Pole and back in December 2014.  In accomplishing the mission, the MF 5610 staked its place in history and became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.

MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor

MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor

“It was an amazing feat for the Massey Ferguson tractor to get to the South Pole,” says Nancie Clanachan whose family operates a 340-acre beef and sheep enterprise. “We’re absolutely delighted to win the prize – it was a lovely surprise. My sons, who now run the farm, and my grandsons are all very excited about the arrival of the new tractor!”

The Clanachans will be receiving a season’s use of an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor which Massey Ferguson has recently launched to celebrate the South Pole achievement. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control. the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the 5000 km battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.

The Antarctica2 expedition was a huge challenge of strength and endurance for man and machine, and captured the imagination of a worldwide audience. The 28-day trek across the ice with the Antarctica2 team spearheaded by Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, was followed on social media alone by more than 27 million people.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services presented the Clanachan family with the keys to the prize MF 5610 at the Royal Highland Show on 19 June. “Congratulations to the Clanachans, we hope they enjoy using the MF 5610,” he said. “Even in the depths of a Scottish winter, we know that the tractor will rise to the challenges on their farm just as it did in the extreme and hostile conditions of the Antarctic.”

Polar stars steal the limelight at SIMA

The MF 5610 tractor which captured the imagination of millions worldwide on its epic journey to the South Pole is  one of the star exhibits on the Massey Ferguson stand at this week’s SIMA Show in Paris. Joining the famous tractor on day one of the exhibition was Antarctica2 expedition Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, who spearheaded the 5000 km return trip to the Pole in December 2014.

In completing the mission, the MF 5610 claimed its place in history and became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.  For 38-year-old Manon, the ice challenge proved that, with belief and determination, dreams really do come true.

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“I was impressed with the MF tractor’s performance,” she says. “It just kept going and going and going – like a tenacious little animal ploughing through the icy conditions. And it turned out to be the best place to be on the expedition – spacious, warm and comfortable. A safe haven. We had 24-hour daylight but I loved doing what we called the ‘night’ drive when the rest of the team was sleeping back at camp. It was just me and the tractor, breaking trail in this beautiful landscape. Driving across the solid ‘sastrugi’ ice waves was like climbing over rocks. It became an extreme sport for us, navigating them fast and safely!  I am really proud of the tractor. It became the most solid and dependable friend to me.”

Visitors are able to see the MF 5610 as it returned battle-scarred from the ice complete with especially-developed Trelleborg tyres, crevasse bar, electric winch, polycarbonate windscreen, rear-mounted generator and extra 410 litre fuel tank.

Commenting, Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development said: “We are thrilled to feature the tractor on our stand at SIMA and delighted to welcome Manon as our guest. Her experiences on the ice with the team filled us with awe. We were overwhelmed by the response from the global audience who followed the Antarctica2 adventure. It was an inspiring feat, and so many people have taken the tractor to their hearts. The MF 5610 received a hero’s welcome when it returned to its birthplace at our manufacturing plant in Beauvais, France. We are all so proud of its achievement.”

Also making an appearance at the MF SIMA stand are the expedition’s Lead Mechanic, Nicolas Bachelet and Cameraman, Simon Foster.

Welcome home! Police escort through city streets for returning South Pole tractor hero

The MF 5610 tractor which spearheaded the gruelling Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole in December received a rapturous hero’s welcome on its return home to the French City of Beauvais on 13 February.

Crowds turned out to honour the tractor at special homecoming ceremonies held at the AGCO manufacturing plant, where it was designed and built, and at the Town Hall where Madame Caroline Cayeux, Mayor of Beauvais welcomed it back on behalf of the City.

Left to right: Antarctica2 MF 5610 at the Beauvais 2 Training Centre. Simon Foster - Expedition Creative Director, Manon Ossevoort - Expedition Ambassador, Nicolas Bachelet - Expedition Mechanic

Left to right: Antarctica2 MF 5610 at the Beauvais 2 Training Centre. Simon Foster – Expedition Creative Director, Manon Ossevoort – Expedition Ambassador, Nicolas Bachelet – Expedition Mechanic.

Special guests at the ceremonies were the Antarctica2 Expedition’s Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, Lead Mechanic, Nicolas Bachelet and Cameraman, Simon Foster. In taking Manon safely to the South Pole, the MF 5610 not only helped her realise her 12-year dream to drive a tractor ‘to the end of the world.’ but also became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.

At the Beauvais plant, Manon officially handed back the tractor’s keys to Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director Massey Ferguson Europe, Africa and Middle-East, who had previously presented them to her on 29 July, 2014. “We are all so proud of our tractor and the incredible achievement of Manon and her Antarctica2 team,” said Richard. “Our warmest congratulations on their courage and their determination as well as, of course, their belief in the Massey Ferguson brand. Employees here at Massey Ferguson along with a global audience of millions followed the team’s battle across the ice as news of their exploits unfolded like an adventure story each day. It was exciting and inspiring to see one of the tractors designed and built in this factory making both history and headlines around the world.”

Thanking Massey Ferguson for believing in her dream and supporting the expedition with the supply of the MF 5610, Manon said: “It’s feels good to deliver the tractor safely back to its home. We drove it hard for 28 days across 5000 km and, overall, clocked up 760 hours engine running time – that’s more than many farms would do in two years of normal work. Throughout, it was strong, steady and sure – a tribute to the MF staff who design and build the machines here at Beauvais. Thank you for letting me borrow your brilliant tractor!”

After the factory ceremony, the tractor made its way under police escort to the Beauvais Town Hall plaza to be greeted by Caroline Cayeux, Mayor of Beauvais

“I know I speak for all our citizens in Beauvais when I say that we are brimming with pride to see a tractor produced here reach the South Pole. What an accomplishment!” the Mayor remarked. “Massey Ferguson is an industrial icon in our City and the Antarctica2 achievement is a true testimony to the skills and knowhow of the employees at AGCO Massey Ferguson in Beauvais. Bravo and congratulations from us all.”

The MF 5610 will be one of the star exhibits on the Massey Ferguson stand at the SIMA Show in Paris 22-26 February.

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.

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