A Staffordshire-made excavator is proving its abilities at one of the world’s most remote building sites.
The 20-tonne JCB JS 200LC tracked excavator, manufactured at the company’s plant at Rocester, has been sent to work at a polar and marine research station deep in the Antarctic where it has to operate in temperatures of minus 25ºC.
The facility was established in 1981 by the German-based Alfred-Wegener Institute (AWI) to monitor the area’s meteorology, geophysics and atmospheric chemistry. The station needs replacing as it has sunk 12 metres below the ice.
It will be superseded by the new Nuemayer-Station III, which is mounted on a platform, enabling the station to be raised by up to 100 cm a year to compensate for annual snowfall and subsidence. The JS200LC, supplied by German JCB dealer Kähler and made by JCB Heavy Products, is used to lift and empty containers, carry steel packages and transport heavy material.
Malte Müller, who is in charge of site logistics, said: “The tracks allow optimum traction over the snow and ice and the rugged and easy-to-maintain design of the JS200LC has proved very effective for this application.”
The JCB JS200LC has features which combat the Antarctic environment. As well as an external engine pre-heating facility, the machine is equipped with 1,000 mm track pads and a large load hook. Its electrically-controlled fan maintains an optimum operating temperature, regardless of external temperatures.