Finally, my favorite snow and all-season vehicle: The BV-206. This vehicle is originally a product of Swedish Hägglunds. BV is a short for the Swedish “Band Vagn”, meaning “belt wagon”.
It comes in different shapes and have many uses, and with diesel or gas engines. You can buy these guys a few places in the US and Canada, as well as in Europe.
The versions you can buy are the “demilitarized” versions. Being in the army in Norway, I have driven it’s predecessor, BV-202, a few times.
What is a BV-206?
The BV-206 is a tracked all-terrain carrier developed in Sweden. It consists of two units, with all four tracks powered. It can carry up to 17 people (6 in the front compartment, 11 in the rear). In addition to being used by the army as personnel carriers in many countries, you can find them used as ambulances, belt driven fire vehicle, fuel carrier, etc. The BV-206s are also used by power companies, since they can easily be customized.
One very good thing about the BV-206, is that it has a very low foot-print. This tracked vehicle can be used in marshy areas, where it is important to preserve the nature. And, it can drive floating in the water!
Here is a video you can watch, if you have not seen a vehicle like this before:
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Note: BackToNatureLiving.com is NOT affiliated with the company mentioned in the video. It is just a very informative video, that shows many characteristics about the BV-206.[/box]
As mentioned earlier, there are many customizations that can be done with the BV-206.
One example (interesting for my use if I could ever afford one..) is that you can exchange the “trailer” with a flatbed version, so that you can carry i.e. lumber, and other building materials.
I have also seen flatbed versions with a small crane, like shown on the picture to the left.
Things to consider before purchasing a BV-206
The BV-206 is definitely a all-season vehicle, and the below points will cover things valuable for all four seasons.
- Price: You can get one of these babies for about $50,000 and up, where it will be in decent shape. If you have around $60,000 you can get a pretty good one. These prices are all based on what I have seen on the Internet, since I am interested in this kind of vehicle. The price will also, obviously, be based on what kind of equipment that comes with the vehicle. If you are looking for a fully equipped ambulance version of the BV-206, well…then I think you have to pay $100,00+ for it.
- Where to buy? I have seen a few places on the Internet that sell these, in addition to private people that own one and want to sell his/hers. But, it is not like buying a snowmobile, or an ATV. These vehicles have to be imported by someone to the US (if you live here) that are authorized to purchase these kind of vehicles. The reason for this is that they are military vehicles that are made “civilian”. Here are a couple of places I have known about for a while:
- SafetyOne International: My wife and I went to a demonstration held by SafetyOne, but unfortunately..after driving a couple of hours…we found out that the BV-206 was not able to come to the demo site. SafetyOne International is based in Littleton, Colorado. Here is a link to SafetyOne’s website.
- Arctic Tracks: This is a company based out of Yellowknife, Canada. The picture you see at the top of this post is a picture of one of Artic Tracks’ BV-206s. Here is a link to Arctic Tracks.
- Speed: In the embedded Youtube video above, the guy states that the top speed is 45 mph, but most places I have looked, the max speed is set to be 31-34 mph. It depends a bit on what type of engine the BV-206 has, i.e. gas or diesel. Max speed in water(!) is 2-2.5 mph.
- Reverse: Definitely.
- Fuel / Fuel Consumption This is of course based on if you are pulling something, have a lot of load on, etc. After what I have seen on the Internet, the fuel consumption for a 6 cylinder diesel engine version is around 70 liters / 100 km. After my calculations, that would make it 18.5 gal / 62 miles, which is about 3.5 mpg. You might want to look this up yourself to make sure.
- Towing /pulling / loading: This is definitely a strong side for a BV-206. This vehicle’s total payload is 4,500-5,000 lbs, whereof about 1,280 lbs on the front car, and about 3,680 lbs on the rear car. But, you can add an extra trailer behind the rear car.
- Accessories: You can get snow plows for these, as well as cranes, etc. They can be equipped after your own needs, wheter you are going to use it as an ambulance, or a fire vehicle.
- Tracks: The BV-206 comes with standard nylon-cord reinforced rubber tracks. The average life span is about 10,000+ km, or 6,200+ miles. Front and rear tracks are identical. Camoplast offers NATO approved replacement tracks.
- Turning Radius: The turning radius on a BV-206 is about 26-27ft, which is actually pretty good. Since this vehicle is driven by all four tracks at the same time, the way the power distribution to the tracks is set up, it makes turning easy.
- Season Usage: Definitely all-season. They run everywhere. It drives off the snowy mountain, through the lake, over the marshes to the main asphalt road. It pushes itself through deep mud.
- Maintenance / Repairs: The BV-206 is built to be easily maintained in war / combat situations – out in the field. It has a low operating cost, and little maintenance. It cold starts down to -52°C, or about -61°F. Do you see why it is a vehicle often used in Antarctica?
- Seating: The standard personnel carrier version seats 16/17 people. 5/6 in the front car, and 11 in the rear car. Have big family? No problem!
- Weather Protection: The BV-206 comes both in a hard and soft top version. It has excellent heating and ventilation. You can even get air condition in it.
Well, I am done dreaming about the BV-206… Our last post in this series is about the snow cat.
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