Landmines and flying bullets are certainly not a concern when driving a tractor in many parts of the world, but there are places where this is a real risk.
With a matte military brown colour, bulletproof glass and armored steel, the ReboRack tractor stands in stark contrast to the rest of the shiny metal and plastic on display at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany this week.
German farm machinery company Rebo, together with defense manufacturer Rheinmetall, have designed protective armour for John Deere R series tractors to keep operators safe around military training centres and other high risk areas.
“We always say we have done our job right when a father comes home and the kids don’t have to worry,” says Jan-Martin Oest of Rheinmetall, in the video below.
The shielding is designed to meet level 2 of NATO’s STANAG standards, protecting the occupant from bullets and explosive fragments.
“The main accent (or emphasis) has been done on the cab. The cab has special glass and metal sheets to defend the driver from direct shooting of a 45mm bullet,” explains Rebo’s Hinrich Possenriede.
The steel plates underneath the tractor are bolted on for easy removal. The machine could potentially be equipped with hard foam tires that will not deflate.
In addition to mowing or farming near military training facilities, Oest says they’ve seen interest in packaging the tractor with a potato harvester for clearing anti-personnel landmines. Clearing beaches in the Netherlands of unexploded World War II ordnances is another possible application, he says.
“We have also had requests for information from people that feel uncomfortable working on their huge farms in eastern Europe. They would like to have some kind of protection, and if you put yourself in their situation, it may be uncomfortable being unprotected,” says Oest, referencing the conflict along the Russia-Ukraine border.
The ReboRack Deere 6R model displayed at Agritechnica is priced in the range of 300 to 350 thousand euros.
Watch more from Agritechnica ’17 here.