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Caterpillar Challenger

Our Caterpillar Challenger is used to launch our Arctic 24 lifeboat, after being marinised by Habbeke Shipyard in the Netherlands.  In order to operate the Challenger, our drivers are required to complete their Category H driving license.


The launch vehicle needs to withstand partial submersion in seawater during the launch and recovery of the Arctic 24.  The engine, transmission and other essential components are contained within a watertight sealing that allows the Challenger to be submerged up the the driver’s cab.  Also, during marinisation, the cab was raised 6 inches so that the underside can be thoroughly cleaned after service.  


The Challenger’s air intakes can also be sealed so that she can deal with large swells and breaking waves during launch and recovery.  The 25-inch tracks means the weight is spread over a larger area, reducing ground pressure and allowing her to easily travel over the soft sand and mud found on Southport beach.


About the Challenger

Name: Caterpillar Challenger 

Call Sign: Southport Lifeboat Tractor

Manufacturer/Model: Caterpillar, marinised by Hebekke Shipyard 


Weight: 18 tonnes 

Top Speed: 18mph

Engine: 11.9l 6-cylinder, 410hp

Transmission: 10-speed full power shift

Electronics: Garmin GPS and ICOM VHF.

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