The coldest journey: latest update
More from the 2000-mile crossing of Antarctica in CAT bulldozers...
Posted: 23 Apr 2013
After gaining the necessary permissions to attempt the trip, Sir Ran and his team started to search for a suitable vehicle to pull a mobile landtrain across Antarctica. This would need to carry all the food, medical supplies, science equipment and fuel required to sustain the expedition during a harsh Antarctic winter, when temperatures can drop to as low as -90°C. Which is as difficult as it sounds.
The team looked long and hard at various types of machinery from around the globe, and eventually settled on the idea of Caterpillar bulldozers. An approach was made to Finning, the world's largest Caterpillar dealership, and handily, sole Cat dealers in the UK and Ireland. After lengthy discussions about which type of machine would be most suitable for the job, the expedition team and Finning agreed that a pair of Caterpillar D6Ns (complete with a couple of drivers/engineers in the shape of resolutely Canadian Spencer Smirl and myself) would be just the thing. The bulldozers themselves were the Goldilocks option: not too big, not too small... just about perfect.