PN 011-12 2012-12-18

From one end of the Antarctic to the other

Even some 100 years after Roald Amundsen and his comrades first reached the South Pole, the Antarctic remains as fascinating as ever: and for the first time, the Antarctic will be crossed during the polar winter. For his extreme tour, which launched as the "Coldest Journey" on December 6, British researcher Sir Ranulph Fiennes uses two bulldozers as a means of transport. Rexroth technology played a part in the expedition, too: the drive and control specialist provided drive components for the vital Caterpillar bulldozers' back-up generators. Its operating conditions are extreme, as temperatures at the South Pole in polar winter can reach -90 degrees Celsius.

The generators allow the team to heat its specially engineered caboose living quarters even in the most brutal weather conditions. Bosch Rexroth provided a fast, custom-tailored delivery and was then asked to provide a custom design of two bespoke valves for the hydraulically-driven back-up generators. Drive motor and flow control valves ensure constant generator operations with 1,500 revolutions per minute. In addition, the implement pump for the dozer blade on the two Caterpillar bulldozers is also from Rexroth.

The Coldest Journey Team will complete various scientific tasks, including gathering new information about marine fauna and flora. The impact of climate change on the polar cap will also be investigated.

Image 1

Finning engineers Spencer Smirl, Canada (photographed), and Richmond Dykes, Northern Ireland, were selected following a rigorous physical and psychological selection process, to drive and maintain the two highly modified CAT D6N dozers during the expedition.

Image 2

A Rexroth A2FM45 motor drives the fully sealed backup generator mounted behind the cab of the dozer.


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