In the Spotlight

The Burlak … set to take the North Pole


Russia is renown for building some awesome off road vehicles, and the Burlak is one of many. But this monster is set to complete a trip never completed before unsupported, the North Pole. Here is a report from the team with updates of all the recent trials prior to the attempted trip;


Integrated testing of the completely modified arctic AT vehicle “Burlak” finished on March 10. And we already have the answer to the main question — whether a new design of the vehicle met the expectations or not. Yes, that very vehicle will go to conquer the North Pole. 

The first “Burlak”, assembled and tested in 2016, became the ancestor of a new class of multipurpose Russian arctic all-terrain vehicles. Heavy load capacity without loss of buoyancy, mechanical integrity, comfortable living conditions for a crew, long self-sustaining period. It easily gets on the mountains through the loose snow and floats in the open water, but it turned out to be too heavy for moving on thin soft sea ice, it is also hard for the vehicle to come out into the shore.

Compared to the prototype, “Burlak 2.0” became lighter by a ton and a half and more powerful. Newly north-pole-burlak2designed vehicle is equipped with 170 hp engine which is front-mounted for better weight distribution, that’s why the transmission was completely modified. The only typical units and assemblies left are the engine and automatic gearbox. All other parts were custom-made in the workshop of the Ural designer Alexey Makarov and at Russian and Chinese factories. Actually, it appeared to be a new vehicle, that again needed to undergo tests.

On February 21 the participants of the Transarctic automobile expedition set off from Ekaterinburg to the Kara Sea to check the AT vehicle of improved design in polar conditions. They covered the same route: via Inta and Vorkuta to Baydaratskaya Bay and back via Labytnangi and Ivdel. They covered more than 3 thousand kilometers along winter roads, through taiga, roadless terrain, mountains, tundra and sea within 2,5 weeks. Lubricant materials Ravenol suitable for operation in polar conditions were used in the vehicle. It was possible to see the vehicle travel online on the site of the expedition via Iridium track.

burlak-6x6The new AT vehicle showed itself better than its prototype practically in all parameters. We have already made a decision that our expedition will drive to the North Pole in the vehicles of this very design. For weight reduction we lightened steel parts of the body and the suspension system to the maximum, alongside with that, mechanical strength reduced: some parts bent and some were torn off because of stone and ice impacts when riding. We’ll do some modifications. Particularly, we need to strengthen the frame in the spots of front levers mounting, the levers  and some other elements of front wheels. Bearings of trailers will be changed to the ones (foreign-made or locally produced) having a greater load rating, for them not to fall in pieces when riding, like they did this time, – tells a co-organizer of the Transarctic automobile expedition Maxim Belonogov.

In 2017 it is planned to build the second just the same AT vehicle. Moreover, one vehicle will have necessary conveniences for the crew to have rest and dine, and the second will be deprived of such comfort. It will have to go light and make headway. In case of a breakdown the components of two identical vehicles will be interchangeable.burlak-4

The Transarctic automobile expedition will take place in 2019. A plan remains the same: in 2018 the AT vehicles will reach the starting point — a polar station on the archipelago Severnaya Zemlya, and in the next season there will be an attempt to conquer the North Pole.

The aim of the expedition is to set a new world record: to reach the North Pole independently, without having to deliver fuel and food by air, and then return to Eurasia under its own power.

burlak-5During the tests the scientific community and enterprises working in polar regions shown a keen interest in the vehicle. It turned out that a major Russian university needs precisely this vehicle to use it as a mobile laboratory facility for studying feral herd infections. It might be useful in the Russian North and in North America. Mass production of “Burlak” in various modifications is possible for national economy needs, research activities, state-run program of the Arctic Regions exploration, but in the nearest two years the main thing for the participants of the expedition is to achieve a dream of reaching the top of the planet.

Visit the Team here

Check out the videos below of the trials;





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