(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.
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.