Snow Master

The Swedish designed Bandvagn (Bv) tracked carrier is the most ubiquitous and commonly used over-snow vehicle currently in use

ABOVE LEFT: A classic shot of the BV202 in a snow-covered landscape ABOVE RIGHT: A Swedish Army BV206

Try searching for images of troops conducting Arctic training and you can be sure a Bandvagn will appear. They have been a worldwide success and are used by the militaries of some 37 countries including Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands Germany, Canada, UK and the US. They are commonly employed as transport by Arctic research stations and surplus examples are used by civilian utility companies requiring an all-terrain vehicle.

Having spent six winters on Arctic training in Norway in the 1980s and 90s, I have a personal history with these machines. I still come across them in Scotland where they are popular with sporting estates and other users in need of access to remote Highlands areas. Some years ago, during a blizzard, a Scottish farmer famously used one to retrieve stranded passengers from a snowbound train – proving just what a lifesaver they can be in extreme conditions. The story begins with the Bv202 developed for the Swedish Army by a subsidiary of Volvo in the 1960s. Production began in 1964 and lasted until 1981, with many remaining in service to this day.

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