Bosch Rexroth is providing vital back-up generator drive equipment to Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ latest polar expedition, The Coldest Journey.
The Coldest Journey is the first ever attempt to cross the Antarctic continent during the polar winter, using two Caterpillar bulldozers in conditions which could reach -90oC.
In addition to the equipment supplied to Caterpillar for the standard D6N, namely the implement pump for the dozer blade, Bosch Rexroth were asked by Finning, Caterpillar’s distributor in the UK, to supply two bespoke valves for additional hydraulically driven back-up generators.
The Finning customisation team contacted Bosch Rexroth due to the need to provide a robust back-up heat generating system for the specially engineered caboose living quarters. Due to the immovable departure deadline for the project, the production of the valves needed to be turned around within days of the Finning order. Bosch Rexroth met the tight deadline and provided detailed component drawings which allowed the customisation team to accurately assess the optimum position to mount the valves and hose routings, before the parts arrived, saving Finning valuable time. Due to the quick response, Finning then asked for drive motor and flow control valves to drive the generators at a constant 1500 rpm at any engine speed.
Sean Kilgallen, Caterpillar’s key account manager at Bosch Rexroth, commented: “We have a strong working relationship with Caterpillar and Finning and our company is delighted to be able to support Sir Ranulph’s team on their 2,000 mile trek. The equipment and components that will be used on the journey need to be the best available on the market and will ensure that the team are able to heat their shelters even in the most extreme conditions.”
The Coldest Journey’s ultimate objective is to raise £6 million for Seeing is Believing, a charity which works to tackle avoidable blindness. In addition, the team will also undertake a number of scientific tasks to provide unique data on marine life, oceanography, meteorology and the effect of climate change upon the Polar icecap.