Posted by Diana
Date: 8 September 2010
Wind Speed: 20 knots
Temp with wind chill: -60 degrees
Track vehicles are generally used when we travel on snow and ice. We have 13 Bombardier super wide single track machines in our fleet of snow mobiles. Bombardier is the Canadian company who also make Ski-doo. The snow mobile is the replacement for dogs in days gone by. They are use to carry people and pull sleds full of gear.
Some of the snow mobiles © Antarctica New Zealand/Lex
We also use a Piston Bully to move snow and pack roads. You may be familiar with this machine as they are use on ski resorts around the world to groom the slopes.
Cricket and I getting ready to leave in the Hagglund on our camping trip © AHT/Diana
The work horses on base are the Hagglunds. They are a track vehicle developed in Sweden in 1974, currently being use throughout the world in the harshest environments, deserts of sand or snow and swamps and muskeg (Arctic bogland). It is an amphibious vehicle with the propulsion being provided by the tracks. The front cab and trailer can be heated so you can carry a lot of equipment and not worry about it getting cold.
Cricket and Diana in front of the modified track vehicle McMurdo © Antarctica New Zealand/Doug
Over at the United States Antarctic Research Base at McMurdo they have a number of modified North American vehicles. We saw two Ford trucks with these track systems installed, replacing the wheels. These systems are an expensive conversion but are working well for the McMurdo personnel.