Heavy Equipment in Antarctica

Did you know our machines were some of the first heavy equipment to explore the Antarctic frontier? It’s true!

Operation Deep Freeze was the code name for a series of Antarctic exploration missions conducted by the United States in the 1950s, and these missions required special machines from Caterpillar. Explorers needed the power of a D8, but they needed it in a machine that wouldn’t sink through the often-fragile layer of surface ice. To solve this problem, we developed a machine with much wider tracks – an idea that helped spread the weight of the tractor over a larger area. We called these innovative machines “Low Ground Pressure” tractors, or LGPs for short, and they are still a member of our product family today.