Category Archives: Rigs




Check out our “Drillers Bike”.  Its a Trek Antelope 820 single speed and front brake only.  Pretty sweet ride.


This is a Caterpillar Challenger specially prepared for Antarctic Operations.  These are the machines that are used to traverse to deep field camps.  When the drill is traversed to Lake Willans these will be used to tow all of the equipment.  They traverse at about 4-5 mph.

My nephew Parker loves planes and so do I:


DC3 aka The Gooney Bird


C 130 aka the Herc


This is the reel unit container.  We spent the summer in Lincoln, NE building this part of the drill.  Inside are two large hose reels, and a massive traction drive as well as enough control panels and wires to outfit a small submarine.  There is some really cool stuff in here that we designed this summer.  More on that some other time.



Fueling the day tank


Tucker Sno Cat

This weeks featured mechanical equipment is the vintage Tucker Snow Cat.  Pretty rugged rigs, eh?  Made in Medford, Oregon.




Mattracks and the Delta

Getting around town in Antarctica just doesn’t work with a Honda Civic or anything else you can buy off a car lot.  Thats why these neat little devices are used.  They’re called Mattracks and turned your regular old F 350 into a tracked all terrain machine. Its wonderful to be in a place where these are necessary.  They also make wonderful Christmas gifts.

Heres another rig you may see bopping around Mactown.  Its called a Delta, a Canadian made goofy looking military personnel transport from the 70’s.  This ones name is Dawn.  I think it looks like some kind of goofball dinosaur.  Technologically speaking it is a dinosaur.


The Device of the Day-Mico Brake

If you want to get around Mactown, you’re going to end up riding in some pretty awesome rigs.  Check out the NSF Ford 350 Vans in town sporting monster tires for buoyancy on the roads to keep them from tearing up the sea ice roads.  Not a bad way to get to work.  They also use a pretty neat little device called a Mico brake.  Since factory parking brakes can freeze up and fail, the Antarctic folks use these hydraulic parking brakes.  Its just a simple check valve that prevents brake fluid from de-pressurizing once the brake has been been engaged sort of like a line lock on a race car without a solenoid.  And look at those cute little trailers.

Mazda Turbo Bongo

I first saw these rigs in Japan and as it turns out they are available in NZ as well.  Another small turbo diesel 4×4 with a bed, seating up to 8, portable gas stove, fridge, outdoor table and chairs.



Toyota Hilux

New Zealanders have got it figured out as far as trucks are concerned.  Check out the Toyota Hilux, a 4WD 2.8 L diesel with a crew cab.  Nice rig, real nice rig.  Dependable, rugged, old and awesome.  This beauty here is a 1990.

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