Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Big vehicles at Halley - part 1

In the previous post I showed the mobile elevated work platform, or cherry picker as its usually known. Halley always has lots of big vehicles, they are needed for lots of tasks like moving cargo from the coast to the station and pushing snow around the station. At the moment we have some extra vehicles to help build the new station and to demolish the old. So here is rundown of what we have. We have two Cat Challengers, they are our most powerful machines with 325HP 9L turbo diesel engines. They can tow 40 tonne loads and are fast, without a load they can reach 40km/hr. Unfortunately they are thirsty and can burn a 1L of fuel per minute! Like all our diesel engines here we run them on aviation diesel (called Avtur) which does not freeze or wax.

Cat Challenger
 The problem with the Challenges is that they can only really do one thing, that is tow heavy loads long distances in summer. The vehicle of choice in winter is a D5 dozer, metal tracks, engine heaters and simple engine management means it will work no matter how cold. It's very heavy at about 14 tonnes so it can pull heavy loads, but its very slow with a maximum speed of about 8km/hr. We have two dozers.

A D5 Dozer
The dozer can only really seat one person and it is too heavy for towing loads on seaice. Snowcats are lighter (our lightest being just 5 tonnes) and can carry people - our biggest seating 9 in comfort. Some snowcats have their engines at the back, like this one which is used to groom snow to make it smooth.

While some snowcats have the engines in the front. This one is towing a load on the seaice, the driver leaves the door open in case it breaks through the seaice (which doesn't happen very often!). In total we have eight snowcats.

Did you see Penny?


  1. Hi Mike and Penny sorry for long silence. I love all the machines and espceially liked the lesson on contrast. Can you bring a Pixie home for me?
    love Rachel

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