The majority of machines deployed worldwide on mechanical mine clearance tasks are not vehicles specifically designed for the job. Currently, commercially available standard tractors and front loaders specially armoured1 and adapted for mine clearance or bush cutting are tackling a major proportion in some areas of mechanical mine clearance.
Unlike most purpose-built mine action machinery, commercial vehicles are versatile and can perform tasks beyond mine action alone. After the close of a working day in the minefield, a front loader for example can be set to work for the local community building or improving roads, digging water ditches for agriculture and drinking, or digging sanitation trenches. These are tasks that cannot be performed by a 50 tonne tiller or heavy flail unit.
Cheaper, less complicated, easier to maintain and more cost effective, such machines represent a serious alternative to the growing number of specialist vehicles being introduced in the market. The techniques described here were developed in the field, and are explained in outline.
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