Industry partners join forces to support South Pole tractor expedition

Key companies and organisations from the agricultural machinery industry have come together to help turn the Antarctica2 tractor-trek dream into reality.

The expedition will attempt a 5000 km round trip to the South Pole by tractor November 2014-January 2015.

Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Parts, Fuse Technologies, AGCO Finance and MechaTrac are each providing specific expertise, equipment and support to the project.

Massey Ferguson
Massey Ferguson is the official tractor supplier to Antarctica2 and is providing a 110hp MF 5610 specially-prepared by its engineering team in Beauvais, France.

Massey Ferguson is a brand of AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. Ready to meet the ever-increasing challenges of farming everywhere, MF’s familiar red-liveried equipment with its famous Triple Triangle logo is recognised and deployed throughout the world. Massey Ferguson’s taskforce of equipment includes tractors, harvesting machinery, materials handling tools, generator sets and groundscare products. Inspired design, high-quality manufacture, practical technology, low costs of ownership and full back-up through a worldwide dealer network make for a strong bond with customers.

The company is no stranger to the polar environment. 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. 56 years since Hillary’s journey and 56 years since the birth of the Massey Ferguson brand, the MF 5600 tractor will make a similar trek across the ice.

“This is an epic journey which is all about having a vision, believing in it and making it happen,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson, Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “Antarctica2 will demonstrate the straightforward dependability of our 21st century engineering and technology in one of the toughest environments on earth. Furthermore, it will show the world how accessible technologies and innovative services can help the new generation of farmers create sustainable businesses to meet the world's growing need for food.”

Headquartered in Tivoli, Rome, Trelleborg Wheel Systems is a leading global supplier of tyres and complete wheels for agricultural and forestry machines, forklift trucks and other materials handling vehicles. The company has developed a special multi-purpose set of tyres and rims based on its ProgressiveTraction™ technology for the MF 5610 tractor which will enable the machine to tackle the extreme conditions it will encounter in the Antarctic.

Trelleborg has worked closely with Massey Ferguson in the past and were partners in the 17,000 km MF Golden Tractor drive from Italy to the Arctic Circle in 2012. “Now, on the other side of the world, we are looking forward to taking part in yet another challenging adventure that will push our tyres to the limits,” comments Piero Mancinelli, R&D Director Agricultural and Forestry Tyres.

Castrol is an internationally-recognised lubricants brand and is supplying lubricants and oils for the expedition. Represented across the world, its core business involves developing and producing tailored lubrication solutions for cars, trucks, tractors, bikes, and for shipping and industrial businesses.

Using its experience, in particular with construction equipment in Arctic conditions, Castrol is providing appropriate oils to cope with the freezing temperatures and meet the functional demands of the tractor as it makes its way along the route.

“Castrol has always been synonymous with pioneering achievements, passion and performance. We are looking forward to supporting the Antarctica2 expedition as this partnership gives us the chance to showcase how our high-performance products run under extreme conditions. It’s completely aligned with our history of pioneering in the Industry,” says Pascal Le Du, Castrol Programme Manager European Lubricants.

AGCO Finance
With a global reach, AGCO Finance provides comprehensive financing solutions targeted to the particular needs of agriculture. Blending financial and agricultural expertise, it offers flexible, tailor-made finance programmes to agribusinesses purchasing AGCO equipment. The company fully understands the risks and seasonality associated with farming and specialises in adapting to changing market conditions. “The spirit and enterprise of Antarctica2 perfectly matches our ‘can-do’ outlook and our emphasis on team working,” says Oliver Vockerodt, AGCO Finance European Managing Director. “We were among the first to take on the challenge of farm machinery finance and continue to offer innovative solutions to enable farmers to purchase their ideal equipment and grow their businesses. In the same way we are delighted to be supporting the ambitious endeavours of the Antarctica2 team.”

AGCO Parts
AGCO Parts supports the maintenance, repair and accessories needed for all AGCO brands including Massey Ferguson. This customer support traces a route through the lifetime of an MF machine delivering genuine parts and technical service through a global network of dealers. Backed by world-class logistics, strategically-sited and computer linked parts warehouses allow any dealer in any country to locate and order parts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A stock of spare parts for essential maintenance will be carried on the Antarctica2 mission and a twice-daily service regime undertaken on the MF tractor.

“This is an extraordinary journey but one which highlights the importance of proactive maintenance tasks and quick access to parts,” says Peter Winterbottom, Manager, Aftersales Marketing, Europe/Africa/Middle East. “Only genuine AGCO Parts fully-approved by Massey Ferguson engineering will ensure the tractor is kept in top condition for this epic journey.”

Fuse™ Technologies
Fuse is AGCO’s next-generation approach to precision agriculture which connects the entire crop cycle from enterprise planning to planting, crop care, harvesting and grain storage. Among Fuse’s portfolio of products is the telematics-based AgCommand®, a special version of which is being used on the Antarctica2 expedition to track the tractor and monitor its performance. AgCommand offers complete fleet and asset management, providing machine performance reports, wireless communication (GPRS), a web-based application for easy access to data, mobile apps, and theft recovery. It gives a higher level of understanding about the efficiency, performance and logistics of an entire operation from a computer or mobile device.

“It’s great to be part of the Antarctica2 project - we couldn’t ask for a more isolated location to illustrate the effectiveness of AGCO’s remote tracking and performance monitoring technology,” says Bernhard Schmitz, Commercial Manager AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) Products.

One of Massey Ferguson’s key distributors, MechaTrac holds the MF franchise for The Netherlands. MechaTrac is part of Mechan Groep, a leading Dutch company which operates with renowned brands in the agricultural sector, garden, park and earthmoving industries and enterprises.

It was MechaTrac that Antarctica2 Lead Driver, Dutch-born Manon Ossevoort first approached with her dream to drive a tractor to the South Pole. The distributor took the idea to Massey Ferguson and has fully supported the project as it has moved through its various stages of development.

“The MF 5600 Series are reliable machines and important tractor models for us,” says Wim Hengeveld, Managing Director MechaTrac. “This project will certainly prove the tractor’s many qualities.” /

“This is an epic journey which is all about having a vision, believing in it and making it happen”