Starting Date: Jan 27, 2000
Arctic Trucks participated in the Millennium Desert Drive in Dubai to further test the AT solutions. The aim was to confirm that a specially modified 4×4 vehicle that had proven its worth in the Arctic and Antarctica could also perform in the hot desert. One of the vehicles used in Antarctica and that had crossed Greenland was sent to the UAE in co-operation with Al Futtaim Motors.
On the glaciers we use tyre pressures from 1.5 – 4.0 psi (0.1-0.34 bars) but what type of floatation was needed on the warm desert sand? Using air pressure of 5psi the black sand we have in Iceland never really challenges our vehicles but there was concern that in the UAE desert this low pressure would build up too much heat in the tires and damage them. Having only one spare tyre, Freyr decided to play it safe and use 9-10psi during the Millennium Desert Drive. This was a very easy cruise for AT44 Land Cruiser, at one point it was called back to help several vehicles stuck in a sand pit. Freyr reduced the air pressure down to 7 psi to back down into the pit and pulled the cars out of the sandpit one by one with ease, 17 vehicles in total.
With limited use for Air-conditioning on the ice we had repurposed the air-conditioninig pump into a tyre pump. Without a functioning air-conditioning system we could really feel the desert heat. It surprised us how cold it got in the desert during the night. Freyr had decided to sleep outside in a thin sleeping bag while Emil slept in a tent and Eiríkur in the car. It became that cold that Freyr had make use of everything he could find to keep himself warm.
Time: January 27th-28th 2000
Route: 300 km drive in the desert near Dubai.
Participants: Freyr Jónsson, Emil Grímsson and Eiríkur T. Magnússon from Arctic Trucks.
Cars: Land Cruiser 80 AT44
If you can read Icelandic, here you will find an article about the Millennium Desert Drive.