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Antarctica2 Tractor Expedition Now Halfway to South Pole!

(2 December 2014, Antarctica. Latitude: 80 degrees South) Day 11: The Antarctica2 expedition to take an MF 5610 tractor 5000 km from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back has reached the first major milestone and is now halfway to the Pole.

The Antarctica2 team arrived at the halfway point to the South Pole on 2nd December 2014

The Antarctica2 team arrived at the halfway point to the South Pole on 2nd December 2014

It has been an exceptionally tough trip. In the 11 days it took to reach this 1250 km milestone, the Massey Ferguson tractor and team have had to tackle dangerous crevasse fields, steep climbs, sastrugi (solid ice-waves as much as metre high), soft snow and temperatures as low as minus 56 degrees C with wind chill. The tractor and crew have taken a real pounding in the hostile conditions. However, both are proving highly resilient and rising to the extreme challenges of life on the ice.

On reaching the 1250 km mark, Lead Driver, ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort,  said: “The journey to the halfway point has been hard, much harder than I expected so I am very relieved to reach this stage. Driving conditions have been really difficult but the MF 5610 tractor and the whole team have coped magnificently. The tractor has been strong, steady and sure, and it’s incredible to know that every hour we drive,  we are closer to the Geographical South Pole.”

To mark the halfway milestone, team members rewarded themselves with a chicken curry dinner and a celebratory drink! They are now heading towards the Pole at full speed.

Antarctica2 seeks to emulate the achievement of Sir Edmund Hillary who led the first mechanised expedition to the South Pole in 1958 using Ferguson TE20 tractors.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development commented: “As tractor supplier to the expedition, we have been enthralled by the daily updates from the ice. We always knew it was going to be a big challenge for both the MF 5610 tractor and the team. Hearing the reports coming back, we now fully understand why this is ‘the toughest journey on Earth’. We applaud their strength and determination. At the same time, we can imagine the brave souls of Sir Edmund Hillary and his party battling the elements in their trusty Ferguson TE20 tractors all those years ago. The hearts of the whole Massey Ferguson team back at base are with the intrepid 2014 Antarctica2 travellers as they make their way steadily towards their goal.”

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

#BELIEVEINIT

Antarctica2 Lead Tractor Driver shares her dream on brink of expedition departure

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.

Antarctica2 Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort is about to fulfil her dream of taking a tractor to the South Pole.

Antarctica2 Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort is about to fulfil her dream of taking a tractor to the South Pole.

“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).

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

#BELIEVEINIT

Antarctica2 Echoes Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1958 Expedition

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.

mf_antarctica1_1958_09_83406

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.

For the full article, please click here

www.AntarcticaTwo.com

#BelieveInIt

Antarctica2 – For Those Who Dare to Dream

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), has celebrated the launch of an ambitious mission to drive a tractor to the Geographical South Pole, the fulfillment of a dream for a Dutch theatre maker that also aims to inspire others to dare to dream.

Antarctica2 follows in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, who drove a specially adapted Ferguson TE20 to the South Pole in 1958.

Richard Markwell - Vice President & Managing Director Massey Ferguson EAME handover the key to Manon, Tractor Girl

Richard Markwell – Vice President & Managing Director Massey Ferguson EAME handover the key to Manon, Tractor Girl

But the 2014 mission, which departs Cape Town on 15th September for the 2350km journey, has enlisted the help of leading industry partners to take a wheeled tractor to Antarctica for the first time.

The MF 5610, modified by the engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais tractor plant, will be driven by Manon Ossevoort, better known as Tractor Girl, who has already driven a tractor from her childhood home in the Netherlands to South Africa.

“It was my dream to drive a tractor to the end of the world, and I was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary’s mission,” Manon explains, “I found that along the way my journey inspired other people to talk about their own dreams, so I set about collecting these dreams with the goal of taking them to the South Pole with me.”

When her original mission – which was undertaken largely with only local support –ended with Manon unable to make the final leg to Antarctica, she remained convinced that she had to finish it. She approached Massey Ferguson via its distributor in Holland, Mechatrac, and was assured of the company’s commitment to help her follow her dreams.

Support for Antarctica2 will be provided by partners including Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts and Fuse Technologies. There are still opportunities for additional partners to join this exciting project, which will reach a global audience.

Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director of Massey Ferguson EAME,who handed over the keys to the MF 5600 to Manon in a special ceremony at Beauvais, said: “I congratulate our Engineering Project Manager Olivier Hembert and his team, who worked in their spare time, along with AGCO Power in Finland, to adapt the tractor for conditions that are probably the toughest in the world.”

“As John F Kennedy said about the mission to the moon in 1962 – ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’ This is Massey Ferguson, wanting to take on a challenge and work in the spirit to achieve not only easy things, but challenging things. On behalf of AGCO and the full team of sponsors, I wish Manon and her straightforward, dependable MF 5610 a safe and exciting journey to the South Pole.”

Expedition specialists Arctic Trucks will provide guidance and safety support with the help of two Toyota four- and six-wheel drive pick-up trucks, and has worked closely with Trelleborg and Massey Ferguson to develop tyre technology for the mission.

Gudmundur Gudjonsson, Arctic Trucks Project Manager for Antarctica explains: “Tyres are more efficient than tracks in this kind of expedition, being capable of higher forward speeds and using less fuel. They also provide suspension, which is beneficial to the environment as well as the vehicle and the driver.”

Under Arctic Trucks guidance, MF 5600 tractors have undergone extensive cold weather testing, while the expedition team has received polar training, including guidance from seasoned polar explorers Matty McNair and her daughter Sarah McNair-Landry who will be key team members for Antarctica2.

A technical support specialist and former Massey Ferguson photographic specialist Simon Foster complete the team.

The expedition will call on not only the straightforward and dependable engineering of the MF 5610 to endure temperatures down to minus 40deg centigrade, altitude of 3400m and deep, soft snow, but also AGCO’s impressive parts and technical capability.

Up to 1000kg of parts will be carried on the mission, a twice daily maintenance regime adhered to, and the Agcommand™ telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24 hour support team in Beauvais.

The latest broadcast and social media technology will also be employed in stark contrast to when Sir Edmund Hillary’s arrival at the South Pole was marked by at telegram of thanks to Harry Ferguson. Live streaming and regular updates via a dedicated website will keep the rest of the world in touch with the mission’s progress.When the MF 5610, with its Tractor Girl and her cargo of dreams on board, arrives at the South Pole around 7th December, it will be a testimony to the work of all the partners in the Antarctica2 project and their tireless commitment to its message – #BelieveInIt

Massey Ferguson Children’s Character “Little Grey Fergie” Opens a Dedicated Attraction at Norway Theme Park

The Land of the Little Grey Fergie  – Gråtassland – opened in grand style in Stavanger Norway on 4 June.

This fantastic brand-new attraction area at the Kongeparken in Stavanger is a celebration of the children’s character ‘Little Grey Fergie’ (Gråtass) which is based on an original Ferguson TE 20 tractor. Over the last 20 years the original story of his adventures, written by Morten Myklebust, has grown into two feature film hits, a TV series, several stage shows and DVDs, plus a brand-new production filmed in England which is available on the itnernet and features a full-size live-action tractor.

Photo Kjersti R. DolvikUltra-modern technology has been employed at Kongeparken, one of Scandinavia’s foremost theme parks, to ensure Little Grey Fergie comes to life for visitors. “It’s like walking into the movie!” says Håkon Lund, CEO of Kongeparken.

Visitors will be welcomed by the character himself and will also be able to meet the animals on the farm at the petting zoo. An exciting tractor ride takes visitors through the captivating story of Little Grey Fergie and his friends. There are also play tractors and an old country store. Bringing things right up to date, there is the chance to experience one of the very latest Massey Ferguson tractors especially adjusted for kids.

Massey Ferguson Norwegian dealer – Eiksenteret – and the dealership chain are key partners in this exciting new project along with Fantasifabrikken A/S, the production company behind Gråtass.

With the opening of Gråtassland in Stavanger, the Ferguson TE 20 is effectively returning to its origins in Norway. More than 60 years ago not far from the town, Christian Eik started to import the tractor into the country from England. His pioneering work played an important part in laying the foundations for mechanised agriculture in Norway.

“As importers of Massey Ferguson today, we want to make sure that the history of the Little Grey Fergie is embraced, along with the Massey Ferguson brand name,” says Trond Kjempekjenn, General Sales Manager, AGCO Norway/ Eikmaskin a/s. “We have a very good partnership with Kongeparken – Fergie is in the best hands. Gråtassland will be a great place for the whole family to enjoy. Fergie has many fans both in Norway and abroad. Children and grown-ups alike can now share their fun with him as he returns ‘home’ to Stavanger.”

Find out more on Gråtassland at www.kongeparken.no
You can watch the live-action series at www.littlegreyfergie.com

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