Shipping Argo to Australia

This September and October our team will be heading to Australia for the World Solar Challenge. This is our first time participating in a race and we are very excited to meet other teams and drive through the Australian outback!

Thanks to the help of Renee from the UMNSVP team, we managed to sort out the logistics of getting the car to Australia even though we didn't have much time left.



This was two nights before Argo was brought onto campus from our workspace. We were doing a pre-flight test, which involved testing the functionality of the lights.


In the afternoon before the car was shipped out, we loaded the car onto a trailer to bring it from our workspace to campus, as the ECE Department had very generously agreed to let us use their loading dock.
Thank you Bruce for helping us to move the car!


Unloading the car from the trailer at ECEB involved a spare tire and some muscles. The ramp was too steep and the ground clearance of the car was too small so we couldn't just roll the car down.


While figuring out how to make the tight turn into the loading dock, it started to rain. We were being paranoid about water leaking into the car, although the mechanical team leader repeatedly assured us that the car would be fine. (We checked the car afterwards and it was indeed fine!)



We (and the car) were taking a shelter in a narrow walkway outside ECEB while part of the team figured out how to move the car to the loading dock. We had thought of putting the car on dollies but it just slid off the dollies. We ended up having to remove a post and sacrifice some bushes in order to bring the car in.


Roughly an hour later, the car was finally sitting at the loading dock.

Thank you to Scott and crew from machine shop for helping us to move the car and staff from the business office for your support. We couldn't have done this without you!


Before packing Argo into the crate, we drove it around campus.


Here's a video of Argo on the Bardeen Quad!


Argo looked so beautiful under the evening sun!


Crossing Springfield Ave.


After taking loads of pictures, we brought the car back to the loading dock once again, although it was much easier with new dollies that we'd just bought.


We spent all night on the loading dock to pack numerous supplies and the car into a pallet and a crate. That included cleaning every bit of sand/soil/dirt from the car so that it won't get steam cleaned while passing through the Australian customs - we heard that they are very strict about this!


Putting the car onto the crate


This was almost everything we packed to Australia!


We then wrapped the car...


...and built the first wall of the crate...


...and the second wall...


...then the third wall...


...and the last wall.


Last glimpse of the car before seeing it again in over a month!


The huge crate sitting in the loading dock.


This was how the pallet looked after it was wrapped.


Scott from the machine shop helped us again to forklift everything into a 53' dry van. Thank you Scott!


Argo finally departed! Thank you Clint and everyone in the receiving office for helping us!
Special thanks also to one of our newest sponsors - Ameren Illinois - for helping to fund shipping and other race costs!


Ending this post with a picture of our team and Argo on the North Quad.

Thank you again for everyone who has helped out, we can't wait for the #BWSC!