Test Report of Improved Backhoe
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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During many humanitarian demining operations, especially those in which extensive use is made of mechanical mine-clearing equipment, the mine-removal process frequently results in moving large amounts of surface soil and dirt from its original location to piles or berms located to the side of the clearing machine and running in a line parallel to the direction of the machines movement. Clearing machines most apt to form berms are tillers, graders, and bulldozers. Experience has shown that the anti-personnel AP mines these machines are intended to destroy, uncover, or remove are frequently physically moved with the dirt and end up buried in the berms. Therefore, a machine that can be used to remove the AP mines and other unexploded ordnance UXO buried in the untreated berms is needed. The objective of this test program was to evaluate the operational effectiveness of an improved commercial off-the-shelf COTS JCB 215S, Series 3, four-wheel steer 4WS backhoe equipped with a Rotar International b.v. ROTAR , model HPL 800 S soil sifter mounted on the front of the backhoe see Figure 1. The Improved Backhoe was tested under conditions approximating those found by humanitarian demining organizations in easy to moderately difficult soil and terrain conditions. The ROTAR copyright subsystem was tested for its ability to remove mines from berms that were created by plowing or tilling operations and to continue to operate after sustaining an AP-mine-equivalent explosive charge. Vehicle on-and off-road handling was evaluated, and logistic considerations e.g., spares and fueloil consumption of importance to a user were measured andor noted. Human factors issues e.g., operator visibility and comfort under various moving situations and maintenance issues were also addressed.
- Construction Equipment, Materials and Supplies