Case tractors made in Fargo on the way to Antarctica
Those shiny red Case IH tractors that roll off the assembly line in Fargo often head to farmers here in the Upper Midwest. But Case tractors built right here are also shipped all over the world, including the coldest place on earth.
FARGO — Workers at Fargo's Case IH plant spend hours before a bright, red tractor leaves town, headed to farm fields around the world. But in a few weeks, three of the tractors built here will begin running and working in temperatures most can't even imagine. Antarctica.
Case IH Global Product Manager Tom Curley said the Australia-Antarctic Division, which has used quadtracs in the past, reached out when they were looking to add tractors to their fleet. "They're pretty familiar with our tractors," he said.
Case IH has been told the three tractors will begin work in January 2023. Each tractor, once modified, costs just over $1 million.
For 20 years, Case has won contracts to build and modify its quadtracs for the scientists and teams that need them to conduct research and more.
"They (the tractors) are definitely critical," Curley said. "The tractors will be used for a number of different operations. The primary usage will be runway maintenance. They will also be used for transporting these large sleds, pulling things such as fuel bladders, supplies, general equipment from site to site."
And it's not just tracks that need to get modified for Antarctica, but things like hydraulics and hoses.
"It (the tractors) underwent all these changes here in the Fargo area, there's actually some additional retrofitting that's being done at a dealership in Tasmania, south of Australia, prior to them being sent to port," Curley said.
While the tractors are usually shipped by sea, a Boeing C-17 military transport has previously been used to transport a Case Tractor, all 65,000 pounds of it. For the plant here in Fargo, there is a lot of pride in what has rolled of the line, tractors headed to a deep freeze, ready to be a workhorse in Antarctica.
"There was a lot of hard work and dedication put in by numerous groups within the Case IH organization across the globe," Curley said. "To see everyone come together as one team, to meet the needs for this specialty customer, was really rewarding."