Runner 40.13 in Antarctica. Exceptional machines for extreme climates

King George Island (Isla 25 de Mayo for Argentines) is the most important island of the South Shetland Archipelago, in the Antarctic continent, because of the presence of the only airport in the region and for the numerous Scientific Bases of various countries, including the “Carlini Base” also called “Jubany”, one of the 6 permanent bases implanted by Argentina in Antarctica.

Founded in 1953 and situated at the foot of the “Très Hermanos,” a summit of volcanic origin, Carlini Base is the most important of the Antarctic scientific stations, where many scholars from around the world, including Italy, perform important oceanographic, glaciological, biological and climate change research. The climate is obviously extreme: even during the short Antarctic summer, 90% of the island is covered by ice, and temperatures range from -30° to + 1° peaks in the short summer season.

During the spring season, when the sea warms up faster than the mainland, large cold air masses move up from the interior of the continent, causing storms (called Katabatics) in which the wind speed may exceed 300 km/h, with lethal effects for those caught outdoors. To face these climate extremes, which can also isolate the base for months, personnel and materials must have exceptional features, and maintenance must be meticulous and ongoing. It is for this reason that the vehicles used at the base for material handling and facilities maintenance include a Runner 40.13. The outstanding design of the Runner (and all DIECI vehicles) is underlined by the fact that the vehicle in use at the base is not a special vehicle, an expensive disposable prototype specifically designed for the job, but an excellent standard-production vehicle, whose basic characteristics allow it to tackle extremely demanding tasks. The handful of extra features provided (and already listed as optional equipment) include a preheater for the engine air intake duct, a heater for the cooling water and underbody protection, to prevent damage that may occur due to the extremely rugged terrain of the island.

For the multitude of tasks carried out on the island (material loading and unloading, maintenance, towing, excavation, construction, etc.) the vehicle is also fitted with a set of equipment (also optional), including a quick attachment for accessories (with hydraulic control from the cab), a fork and a toothed bucket for excavation.

Exceptional vehicles for extreme situations!