Arguably the crown jewel of the Mawson Mechanical Fleet is the vehicle called The Pioneer. Many who have passed through the Mawson Mechanical workshop may have various opinions on this engineering mismatch. The service history starts back in 1990 and reads like a novel. Diesos have spent many hours welding, modifying, improving, repairing but best of all driving this unique piece of history.
The Pioneer drives like a truck, with the speed of a tractor and the ride of a boat. It is powered by a 3306 Cat, has an automatic Alison transmission through a transfer case via a number of drive shafts to front and rear diffs. Steering is via an articulated platform combination with the rear trailer and the front cabin/engine configuration. Sprockets transfer power via rubber tracks strengthened by steel grouser plates and rubber road wheels.
The Pioneer would not be out of place in an episode of the Thunderbirds or maybe it was built for exploration of distance planets. As the days of The Pioneer are numbered it seems a shame that future Mawson Diesos may not get a chance to experience this unique piece of history.
Ian Petty, Plant Inspector