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Progress unhindered as tractor stands up to harsh Antarctic conditions

Antarctica2 – Tuesday 25th November 2014

The Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor being piloted towards the South Pole by ‘Tractor Girl’ Manon Ossevoort and her team is coping well with the challenges posed by the Antarctic climate and terrain, as the Antarctica2 expedition enters a crucial phase.

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The MF 5610 is reported to have held up impressively to the arduous conditions, at times reaching speeds of almost 22km/h. The additional investment put into heating systems has paid off, with the tractor running well and the drivers kept insulated from the worst of the cold. Although it is summertime in Antarctica, temperatures have dropped to as low as minus 20 degrees C once the sun dips below the horizon, reaching a bitter minus 38 degrees C at night with wind chill. Despite this, there have been no reported problems with the MF 5610’s fuel, oil or engine cooling systems, which have undergone very little modification, indicating the standard tractor’s capabilities in cold conditions.

In addition, the polycarbonate glazing which replaces the cab glass to insure against the risk of shattering in the extreme temperatures has performed well, giving the drivers a clear view of the impressive landscape. This will become more important than ever in the coming days as the number of crevasses in the ice begins to increase with altitude.

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Massey Ferguson Tractor is Fully-Equipped for Antarctica2 Challenge

The Massey Ferguson MF 5610 Dyna-4 tractor which is to provide the power for the Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole is all set for its extraordinary journey.

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To be driven primarily by ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort, backed by a team of engineers and other support staff, the MF 5610 has been chosen from the Massey Ferguson range for a number of key reasons, says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development.

“We wanted to provide the Antarctica2 organisers with a current production tractor, and a machine from the Massey Ferguson 5600 series made sense as it is light, manoeuvrable and compact, yet has the same size of cab as that used on larger MF 6600 and MF 7600 tractors,” he explains.

“At 110hp, the MF 5610 is the most powerful three-cylinder tractor ever offered by Massey Ferguson, and one of the reasons we selected this particular model is to illustrate our confidence in higher-horsepower tractors with such engines. The tractor  being used is a standard machine available to farmers around the world, but some  special preparations have been necessary for its trip.

“Three key issues created by the harsh climate and conditions of Antarctica have driven our tractor preparation programme – the low temperatures, the terrain and the altitude,” explains Campbell.

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Antarctica2 expedition sets off for South Pole challenge

(19.55 CET, 22 November 2014, Novo Runway, Antarctica): After three years’ meticulous planning and preparation, the exciting Antarctica2 tractor expedition departed into the vast icescape today for its 5000 km journey to the South Pole and back.

In buoyant mood and excited about the challenges ahead, the multi-national team left for this modern-day polar adventure with their red Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor forging a path across the snow. Following a period of storms and a wind chill factor down to minus 50 degrees C, the weather conditions for departure were good, and clear skies made for the perfect start to the expedition.

The exciting tractor expedition departed into the vast icescape for its 5000 km journey.

The exciting tractor expedition departed into the vast icescape for its 5000 km journey.

For ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort, it is the beginning of a dream come true as she realises her long-held ambition to take a tractor to ‘the end of the world.’

“It seemed like such an impossibly big dream but it’s all falling into place – now it’s mission possible!” said 38-year-old  Manon, Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver. “I’m like a child on Christmas morning – full of excitement and anticipation.”

“As tractor supplier to the expedition, we are thrilled to see the team finally depart on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge,” remarks Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “It’s a bold mission and promises to be a fascinating story of strength, endurance and team work. Our MF 5610 is ready to face the extreme elements and repeat the achievement of our TE20 tractors which took explorer Sir Edmund Hillary to the South Pole in 1958.”

In a message to the Antarctica2 team congratulating them on  their departure, Campbell  said: “The hopes and aspirations of the entire worldwide family of our famous red brand, together with the pride, skill, legacy and vision inherited from our founders ride with you as you travel. We wish you a safe  journey.”

The expedition team will be up against temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees C, altitude up to 3400m, with both soft snow and hard-packed ice underfoot. Along the way, they can expect to face strong winds, raging blizzards and whiteouts. Depending on conditions, the expedition is scheduled to reach the Geographical South Pole sometime in early December.

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Antarctica 2014 – Massey Ferguson Set to Return to South Pole

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.

Award Success for Massey Ferguson MF 5600 at LAMMA 2013

The Massey Ferguson MF 5600 Series was honored with an Award of Merit for the Best New Product or Innovation at the LAMMA, UK show 2013. The tractors, which made their UK debut at the event, attracted many positive comments from throngs of visitors to the busy stand.


“The MF 5600 Series brings together straight-forward operation with some sophisticated features that provide great comfort and control,” says Andy Prosser, Manager Sales Support, who accepted the Award at the event.
“We are proud to win this award because it supports our conviction that these tractors, which introduce a unique brake-pedal activated neutral, not only set the benchmark for loader operations but also in terms of engine power, torque and maneuverability.”All models are powered by a ground-breaking three cylinder AGCO POWER engine, which is a compact design that uses just diesel, while still meeting the stringent emissions regulations with a maintenance-free DOC. The Dyna-4 ECO 16/16 transmission offers superb control, effortless clutch less shifting between speeds and direction and now the option of AutoDrive automatic changing.

Operators will also appreciate the new, spacious cab that is the based on that used on the larger MF 7600 range. This boasts a new right-hand console and controls that provide simple operation and can be specified with a Slimline, Visio or Standard roof as well as being fitted in two positions to exactly suit all customers’ requirements.
The MF 5600 Series sets the new standard for loader operations. The three cylinder engine’s compact dimension ensures excellent maneuverability and combines with the transmission’s ease of operation, with a new joystick not only operating the loader, but also changes direction with the same lever. A new automatic high-flow 100 liter/min hydraulic option also speeds up cycle times.

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