AT44 6x6–F350
For the challenging route from Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay TGCE will be using three 6×6 vehicles developed by Arctic Trucks for this 2100 km return journey in February 2024.
Designed for crossing Antarctica this is a new generation of Polar vehicles from Arctic Trucks. Having over 30 years of experience in dealing with extreme conditions in Polar regions including over 370.000km on the high plateau of Antarctica, Arctic Trucks chose to use the Ford Super Duty to build it’s AT44 6×6 solution. This vehicle offers more space, load and towing capacity over the current AT44 6×6 Hilux but adds over 1.5 tons in vehicle weight. Tires, co-developed with Nokian Tyres Finland, give the added snow flotation needed for this vehicle carrying up to 3 tons and pulling a 5000 liter fuel sledge to efficiently cross the extreme with expected self-sufficient expedition range in Antarctica of 6500 km.

With increased suspension travel and increased harmonization of parts this vehicle is also expected to increase average travel speed and spare parts efficiency. This vehicle supported the "Pole to Pole EV" expedition in March/April 2023 for the magnetic North Pole. In Feb 2024, 3 of these vehicles will take the TGCE team from Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay and then return to Arctic Trucks in Cheyenne for number of changes before being sent to Antarctica in the fall 2024. Starting from the Lazarev Iceshelf, these 3 vehicles will have 12 people and a departure load of 7.000kg/15400lb each including extra fuel towed on a sledge. TGCE team will double cross the Antarctica continent via South Pole before heading to Cape Jeremy, attempting a new exit via Marguerite Bay.

With the Central tire inflation system, the drivers will be adjusting tire pressure to optimize fuel efficiency and comfort, ranging from 2 to 9psi during the 9000 km expedition. After Cape Jeremy these vehicles will drive to Union Glacier and take on future projects in Antarctica for the coming 10−20 years.

There are some key differences between the step of this vehicle for the Arctic and then the Antarctic, in the Arctic it is set up with standard emission systems and powerful breaks on all wheels for complying with road regulations. Before Antarctica, the vehicle will go on a "diet", i.e. the brake system is going to be removed from rear axles, DPF removed, most aux light removed, the front bumpers changed to accommodate a crane plus ground penetrating radar.
Fast facts:
  • Introduced: 2023
  • Engine: Powerstoke 6.7L turbodiesel
  • Fuel system: adapted to run Jet A1
  • Tire: AT/Nokian 475/70R17 (44” tall on 17”/15,7 rim)
  • Drive: On all 6 tires with 100% diff lock option
  • Lowest Gearing: 1/91
  • Suspension: adjustable air bags on leading and trailing arms in rear. Conventional front
  • Internal fuel capacity: 535liters/141gallon
  • Lenth/width/height: 7.58/2.50/2.25 meters (inch 298/98/89)
  • at speeds up to 120 km/h
    • 6x6
    Multipupose platform
    • 3x
    Rear tow hitch receivers
    • 535 l
    Split in 3 rear tanks
    • 100%
    Locking on all wheels
    • 1/2.0
    Crawler gear
    • 44
    Inch tires
    • 6
    High performance shocks
    • High amp 12V
    Power outakes front and rear
These same vehicles will again be used for the double crossing of Antarctica and the out onto the Antarctica Peninsula for the team’s extraction, this will be an over 9000 km journey. Vehicles are especially designed for long range expeditions in Antarctica and TGCE will again use the same vehicles for crossing Antarctica during Dec 2024 through Jan 2025.
The 6×6 platform is developed in Iceland based on the experience Arctic Trucks has attained on AT44 both 4×4 and 6×6 built on the Toyota Hilux platform.
The vehicles used by TGCE will be based on Ford Super Duty, the bigger cabin and overall bigger vehicle with more powerful drive line the team will benefit from more capacity, more people, and equipment per vehicle.
Based on the AT44 Hilux 6×6 and the 4×4, Arctic Trucks vehicles have now covered over 370 thousand km on the extreme conditions of the Antarctica plateau, 41 larger expeditions, with 83 arrivals at South Pole, 40 Antarctica crossings taking on a wide range of challenges.

Had belt vehicles being used, Arctic Trucks estimates time to complete these expeditions having taken 3−5 times more time and 5−10 times more fuel, a true game changer for light duty expeditions. Using the Hilux platform Arctic Trucks has also had large expeditions in both Greenland and on the Arctic sea ice in Canada.
The TGCE expedition will be the first expedition to use AT44 6×6 F350 in Antarctica. Arctic Trucks has completed the development for the Arctic part of the expedition but the development of some of the Antarctica functionalities is in process to be carried over and or upgraded from the Hilux Antarctica platform, i.e. the crane, the GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar), the sledge and more.

Then there is new equipment which Arctic Trucks have not used in Antarctica before like the Cabin but AT hopes this will reduce the time for setting up and taking down camp by 50%, 1.5 to 2 hours per day but time can be very valuable on the Antarctica plateau.
Base vehicle
The key reasons Arctic Trucks selected the Ford F350 super duty platform is a huge popularity of this vehicle, giving a wide variety of options and wide availability of parts and service, light cabin from alloy, excellent diesel engine and very good 10 speed transmission.
Arctic Trucks selects the Lariat model in chassis cab version with a front console for increased seat comfort and space for extra equipment and controls in the center. The vehicles are selected without a sunroof as inside the top is used over the center to store hats, gloves, computers, and more.
The 6.7 liter diesel is very strong, powerful plus fuel efficient, paired with the 10 speed automatic transmission this is a highly optimized setup.
The engine only needs minor changes to the fuel line to accept Jet 1A fuel, same as the aircrafts in Antarctica use which greatly saves on fuel logistics and options.
AT44–F350 Polar setup
Some of the key "extra" requirements for the polar setup are:
  • Flotation on snow — the vehicles need to be able to travel with net ground pressure down to 3 psi or even lower is one of the fundamental requirements.
  • Balanced weight distribution, front to rear, and center of gravity are important.
  • Highly durable driveline, extra low gearing, and diff locks.
  • Low-temperature setup, rubber, lubricants, cables, and equipment.
  • Well-defined spare parts and tool lists together with preventive maintenance.
  • Special user experience is needed for more challenging conditions.
Dimensions (vehicle with Cabin)
One of the cornerstones for effective use in Polar regions is the tires, in cooperation with Nokian Tyres in Finland, Arctic Trucks developed a tire highly efficient for driving with very low tire pressures, giving excellent flotation on snow, still silent, and good performance on the highways.
Arctic vs. Antarctic:
TGCE will use the same vehicles in Antarctica as used 10 months earlier in the Arctic. After completing the expedition in the Arctic the vehicles will drive back to Cheyenne where the Arctic Trucks team will do a number of conversions to make the vehicles lighter and even more efficient by removing equipment needed for street use but not needed in Antarctica
Building the AT44 F350 6x6 in Cheyenne
AT-Polar Cabin
A simple, multipurpose cabin was first tested by Arctic Trucks in March 2023 in the high Arctic and it proved very well.
The second cabin/camper is currently being built based on the experience from using the first one plus input from the TGCE team members having, above is the plan.

Besides convenience and safety from animals like Polar Bears in the Arctic, the cabin/camper offers significant time savings on the expedition, saving time used to set up the bigger kitchen tent and the next morning to take it down and pack securely all the equipment on a deck. sea ice in Canada.
The cabins are built from composite, sandwich materials which are very light and strong giving good insulation. The second cabin will have floor heating and be considerably better equipped than the first one. The conditions are often very rough but the 6×6 suspension, soft tires, and extra ridged frame are expected to ensure long life, even in these extreme conditions

The second cabin will have floor heating and be considerably better equipped than the first one. The conditions are often very rough but the 6×6 suspension, soft tires, and extra ridged frame are expected to ensure long life, even in these extreme conditions be very valuable on the Antarctica plateau.
AT-Polar Expedition deck
Expeditions require lots of space for spare parts, tools, service fluids, recovery gear, snow melting machine, extra fuel, space to store urine, and number two when traveling in Antarctica. Additional depending on the expedition, Ground Penetrating radar, science equipment, film gear, and more.
The expedition needs to be extra secure so that equipment does not get loose and fall off so securing all items and getting them free again takes lots of time.
Taken from the experience with the AT44 6x6 Hilux deck, the AT44 6x6 F350 is getting upgrades, meant to improve workflow for loading and offloading, faster access to frequently used items, and overall lower risk of injury to the personnel.
AT – Crane
Still in design but the AT crane which we have used in Antarctica since 2008. It has proven extremely useful for a variety of tasks, including life saving operation from a crevasse.
The crane has been a vital part of logistics operations, with fuel drops high up on the plateau, to enable ski aircraft to reach the South Pole from Queen Maud land.
The new car will also get an upgraded crane mainly to make it lighter and easier to store.
AT GPR setup
Crevasse poses a big risk to expeditions going off proven routes. The TGCE expedition will need to do exactly this when it approached Cape Jeremy on the Peninsula.
The redesign of the crane will also affect the setup of the GPR for the AT44 6x6 F350, this will be ready in time for the Antarctica crossing at the end of 2024.
AT–Fuel sledge
One of the more interesting advancements for long-range travels on the Antarctica plateau is to carry extra fuel in fuel bladders placed on low-friction plastic sledges.
Arctic Trucks has been testing a variety of setups with this since 2018, the most successful was during a test drive with us at TGCE in December 2021.
At this time heavy loaded AT44 6×6 Hilux pulled 600 gallons (2.270 liters) over a long distance, partly over some rough sastrugies with good results. Leading the way TGCE supports testing of pulling double this amount behind the bigger AT44 6×6 F350
See also