Vehicle mobility solutions and more – RVM Factory visit – by Derk Wisman
Today I visited Robusta Vehicle Mobility (RVM). A very surprising visit to a very innovative truly Dutch company. Who could expect that this company was “boosted” in the 70’s by Off-Shore projects? Anyhow, it was a very productive visit that resulted in a “first step” partnership. RVM has many products in its portfolio but MSS Defence, as a defence company, immediately applies focus to only 3 (three):
1. RVM Bog strips.
2. RVM Light and Heavy Trackway.
3. RVM HeliPad.
RVM Bog Strips
RVM Bog strips are light and small textile strips, reinforced with rods. The RVM Bog Strips may be used to facilitate the passage of wheeled vehicles across ground that would otherwise be impassable to them. They may also be used to assist in the recovery of a bogged vehicle, including in conjunction with a self-recovery winch or towing vehicle in the case of badly bogged vehicles. RVM Bog Strips may be used in a variety of terrain including loose sand and soft mud, and after use are easily cleaned and stored, rolled up for future use. Individual strips are light enough to be handled by one person and using four strips allows ‘leap-frogging’, enabling a vehicle, for example, to make a climb up through sand dunes or across a wide expanse of soft mud. A simple steel anchor or peg can be used to fix RVM Bog Strips to the ground in particularly slippery surface conditions.
RVM Bog Strips are manufactured from a woven synthetic fabric composed of deltaflex yarns, which are specially made to reduce the risk of overheating the fabric under spinning wheel conditions. For reinforcement Bog Strips include transversely located flexible glassfibre rods.
Two types are presently vailable, the “Classic” version 5,50 x 0,50m and the “Commercial” version 2,75 x 0,50m.
RVM Light Trackway
RVM Vehicle Mobility has developed a RVM Light Trackway for the Amphibious Support Battalion of the Royal Dutch Marine Corps. This division of the Dutch Marine Corps was searching for a light version of the already successful Mammoth mat. The main question was that the Marines would be able to deploy the mat manually so it was not allowed to exceed the total weight of 150 kg. Furthermore it had to be able to carry a wide diversity of equipment like trucks, land rovers, wheel loaders and some tracked vehicles. As shown on the pictures the Light Trackway had to be able to withstand very severe conditions like in the artic area.
RVM Heavy Trackway
The RVM Heavy Trackway is a portable road. Together with the Fast Deployment Tool within a few minutes a 4 x 25 meter road can be engineered. The mat is reinforced by galvanised steel wires and in transverse direction by steel rods. The spring steel rods provide the mat with so called membrane action, enabling it to transfer high wheel loads to the sub-soil without significant rutting or permanent deformation. The mat was especially developed by RVM to allow heavy vehicles to operate in soft terrain without the risk of bogging. The RVM Heavy Trackway requires no maintenance, can be used many times without noticeable wear and tear. Its flexibility and light weight( 15 kg/m2 ) makes it easy to roll, drag, retrieve and store. The mat consists of woven polypropylene fabric with high strength, durability and resistance against chemicals and UV light. The mat can be used on all types of soft soil, i.e. fine non cohesive sand, clay loam or peat in marshland or in swampy areas.
The RVM HeliPad is a safe and stable landing area for helicopters. The need for a clearly marked, safe landing area is evident knowing the effects of a brownout or a whiteout, also called DVE (Degraded Visual Environment). The helicopter rotor downwash creates a dust cloud that minimizes the visual orientation of the pilot. The ground crew gets sandblasted when working in the rotor downwash area if not working with a RVM HeliPad. The brownout also increases wear and tear of engine and rotor due to FOD (foreignobject debris). In order to prevent dust, sand or objects to get airborne due to the rotor downwash, RVM engineers have designed a super lightweight, reinforced RVM HeliPad. Woven fabric panels, put together in length direction or sideways will form the RVM HeliPad. The fabric is woven from specially treated PP yarns together with carbon rod reinforcement in cross direction. With the RVM HeliPad, a smooth surface can be created, covering the dust particles and improving the ground characteristics. This portable helicopter platform is light weight, easy to install, easy to carry and easy to store due to the roll able panels. The size of the platform is flexible by connecting as many panels as needed. Due to the modular character of the RVM HeliPad it is available in sizes that match the rotor diameter.