Living and working in a polar region like Antarctic isn’t just walking around in layers upon layers of protective clothing. Sometimes you need to cover long distances and that’s where all the exciting polar vehicles come in handy.
After some research, I found out that the people in Antarctic have lots of vehicles to play with. All of them are far more exciting that the car in my garage, so I couldn’t resist making this top 13 of the most exciting polar vehicles in Antarctic.
13. Science Support Vehicle
A heavily modified Ford truck for the Moon Regan expedition. It comes with six-wheel drive, a 7.3 liter V8 engine and a total length of 6.5 meters. Total weight is close to 5 ton.
12. Piston Bully
A common general utility vehicle in Antarctic. The Piston Bully can also be found in less exotic locations working on ski slopes and mountain trails.
11. Double Hagglund
Swedish all terrain vehicle. It is available as both a single section and double section vehicle. The one pictured here is the double section version – apparently there is an engine in both sections of this vehicle!
10. Delta Truck
Big-wheeled truck that is being used to transport up to 20 passengers around in Antarctic. It doesn’t have any belts, so it cannot be used in deep snow.
A belted vehicle for transporting passengers around. A nice alternative to the Delta if the conditions require it (deep snow, creavasses and so on).
The Terrabus is one of the rarest vehicles in the world. Apparently there exist less than ten of these vehicles in the world.
The Terrabus was originally designed for tourists, but now they are almost exclusively used on polar bases in Antarctic.
7. Tucker Sno Cat
A bit like the Mattrack Truck below, but with bigger belts which makes it perform better in deep snow and more able to cross creavasses. The Tucker Sno Cat is born with belts on – it’s not a modified vehicle where belts have replaced the normal wheels.
6. Foremost Nodwell
The Foremost Nodwell is a belted vehicle that is mass produced like the Piston Bully and the Tucker Sno Cat. The Foremost Nodwell pictured here is a fire truck (who would have guessed they had fire trucks in Antarctic).
5. Foremost Cheiftain
Another polar fire truck from Antarctic. This one is a slightly bigger Foremost fire truck that is used on airfields.
4. Mattrack Truck
A standard truck where the wheels have been replaced by mattrack belts. The company Mattrack can apparently do this to any kind of 4×4 vehicle – from ATVs to 20 ton trucks.
The short belts allow the Mattrack Truck to drive almost anywhere unless the snow gets to deep. If the snow gets to deep, longer belts are required (like on the Piston Bully). The short belts also make Mattrack Truck able to cross small creavasses, while larger creavasses require longer belts.
3. Mars-1 Humvee
Experimental exploration vehicle based on the Humvee ambulance design. Modifications include mattrack belts and a big rear cab with work and living space for up to four researchers.
2. Snow Cruiser
A classic vehicle that was constructed in 1939. It had a length of more than 18 meters and was more than 6 meters wide. It was powered by two 6 cylinder engines with a total output of 300 hp.
Unfortunately the Snow Cruiser failed to live up to the expectations. Once it arrived in Antarctica, the tires sank deeply into the snow and ruined any performance this vehicle might have had in areas without ice and snow.
And yes, it is a small plane that is being carried by Snow Cruiser!
1. Concept Ice Vehicle (CIV)
An ultra-light concept vehicle that runs on bio-fuel. It weights only 360 kg, so it can be dragged across the ice if necessary. Top speed is an impressive 85 mph (most other polar vehicles cannot go faster than around 30 mph).
The CIV is being used as part of the Moon Regan expedition (like the Science Support Vehicle at the top of this page).