In the fight against minefields
Swiss know-how for greater security in war-torn countries
Anti-personnel and anti-tank mines continue to kill and mutilate. Clearing these mines is time consuming, expensive and dangerous, and requires well-trained personnel with stable equipment. For more than 10 years, the non-profit organization Digger Foundation from Switzerland has been using its technical know-how and mine clearance solutions to eliminate these dangerous remnants of past conflicts worldwide and thus to increase the risk of more safety and hope where they are most needed.
To make the world safer.
Engineer and entrepreneur Frédéric Guerne founded the Digger Foundation in the 1990s with the aim of breaking new ground in humanitarian mine clearance projects through increased use of technical know-how. In the meantime, the activities of the Digger Foundation include fundraising for mine clearance operations, the development of high-quality mine-clearing equipment and intensive training of equipment users.
The development and marketing of multifunctional mine clearance tools is handled by DIGGER DTR (Demining Technologies Research). Thanks to the combination of Swiss know-how in the machine sector and the principles of a non-profit organisation, DIGGER DTR’s mining assistance tools are cost-effective and of high quality. They are used in many mine clearance projects worldwide, from France to Croatia to Mozambique.
What makes the equipment of DIGGER DTR so unusual is the “multi-tool concept”, as founder and head Guerne calls it. “We start with a basic model. Then we add some options and extra services such as mobile workshops or consumables. Many variables come into play here: customer type (NGoOs, military, authorities), mine type and soil type. We have therefore designed our concept flexibly enough to adapt it to any application situation.”
Hard to take, powerful and precise.
DIGGER DTR’s latest multi-tool for mine clearance — the D-250 — is also the most robust machine of the Digger Foundation. This highly resistant bulldozer corresponds to industrial weight and
Size requirements (the unit fits in a 6-meter container and weighs less than 12 tons) and can cover any terrain thanks to its oscillating caterpillar chain. This machine offers more performance than other models on the market and features centimeter-accurate GPS, a user interface to support and document humanitarian operations, and more powerful cameras. “The D-250 is state-of-the-art — the most advanced machine available today — and will meet future requirements,” says F. Guerne.
Like all DIGGER DTR multi-tools for demining, the D-250 is powered by a John Deere engine: in Africa, a Tier 2/Stage II compliant 6.8-litre power-to-use engine is used in the PowerTech series, while the mesh
have an interim Tier 4/Stage III B engine in Europe. Both engines fit perfectly conceptually with this machine: “We have already anticipated the new design of the Interim Tier 4/Stage III B engines during the development.”
Guerne emphasizes that the Swiss John Deere engine distributor Hamilton AG has proven to be a valuable partner over the years – both in the design phase and in practice. “Customer aftercare is second to none; the employees of Hamilton AG have worked very closely with our engineers and helped us with the engine warranty certification. Spare parts are quickly available via the comprehensive sales network, which is of course extremely important for our work. And Hamilton’s technical expertise has proven to be extremely useful for complex design and repair problems.”
Exhaust gas stage: iT4 / Stage III B
Engine Models: PowerTech PSX 6068HFC95
Displacement: 6.8 liters
Rated power: 187 kW at 2200rpm
Air system: air/air-charge air cooling Air/Air-charge air cooling
Distributor: Hamilton AG, 8302 Kloten, Switzerland