The Halley Vehicle Fleet

A variety of different machines are in use at Halley, to complete jobs such as heavy lifting, cargo transport, personnel transport, building relocation and snow management.

These smaller vehicles are used for personal transport and for towing Nansen sledges. BAS operates Bombardier Ski-doos which are simple to ride with just a thumb throttle and a brake. They have a fully automatic transmission and a track underneath with skis at the front to steer. Ski-doos can attain speeds of up to 50 mph on smooth snow.
Tucker Sno-Cats
Sno-cats are a multi-purpose vehicle that can be used to transport both personnel and cargo. They are currently used for relief operations at Halley but have the disadvantage of being relatively slow.
Caterpillar D4H and D5 Bulldozers
Bulldozers are used for towing heavier loads, relocating the ski-based buildings, as well as for snow management around base. They are fitted with Webasto pre-heating equipment that heats the engine to its operating temperature before starting; even at -30°C the engines start easily.
Nodwell Cranes
Nodwells consist of Canadian Foremost 110c tracked carriers fitted with Palfinger hydraulic cranes. They are used primarily during the summer to unload cargo from sledges and assist with any construction work around the station.

Prime Movers

The purchase of Prime Movers was necessary to meet the requirements of the Halley VI Project. The existing fleet of Sno-cats could not transport the cargo fast enough to complete the construction in time. The Prime Movers provided improvements in power, speed and reliability that reduced maintenance and allowed work to begin on the construction sooner. Developing the Prime Mover concept took nearly 2 years and on-site testing was carried out in the 2006/07 season to ensure the desired targets could be met.

The role of the prime mover was to initially deploy cargo from ship to station. This involved 15,000m3 of building materials being moved about 45km in 20 days. Once the cargo operations had been achieved the Prime Movers were used to assist around the station during construction by grading routes (smoothing the snow to make compacted roadways) and relocating cargo.

Two different types of Prime Mover were sourced. Two Agco Challengers, now the most powerful machines in the BAS fleet, are the main heavy haulers. A pair of John Deere 7820s were also purchased and fitted with tracks, loader systems and winches, which enable the vehicle to be used in different applications. This provides flexibility and make vehicles better value for money.

Agco Challenger 765B
Power 325 hp
Max speed 40km
Max lift capacity 11000kg
Desired towing capacity 30000kg
John Deere 7820
(Soucy track converted)

Power 185 hp
Max speed 40 km
Max front lift 2000kg
Max rear lift 7500kg
Desired towing capacity 30000kg