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The axiom “spit and polish” is more than a beloved phrase of senior NCOs in the military: increasingly it is a mantra to which those responsible for procurement, maintenance and sustainability of military equipment adhere. Preservation of equipment and leveraging maximum utility from invested resources means more attention is being paid to cleaning and conserving the effectiveness of equipment of every description. Military vehicles, which are often the most publicly visible component of the armed forces, require regular detailed cleaning, quite apart from the complexity of maintenance and upgrading.

The Frutiger Company, based in Winterthur, Switzerland, offers a well-developed solution for cleaning military vehicles. MobyDick has, according to Frutiger, become, “the brand for demucking, tyre-washing and dust-binding systems.”

Current cleaning solutions focus on the use of high-pressure jets, partially employing chemicals; Frutiger’s Demucking Technology (DT), however – derived from the MobyDick tyre-washing system – uses an additional low-pressure technology to set a new standard for the cleaning of heavily soiled vehicles. Cleaning stubborn dirt from chassis, wheel guards, tyres and underbodies in a very short timeframe, first class results are achieved without chemicals and without heating water – both resource-efficient operations. The low pressure component of the system initially removes 80% of the dirt without chemical detergents: the resulting sludge – which is not contaminated with oil and grease, due to the low pressure – is discharged via an integrated chain conveyor and water is reprocessed and recycled within the system. High pressure systems then become the last resort, used only to combat specific dirt. Their use is necessary for a shorter period, since the remaining dirt has been pre-soaked during the low pressure process. Frutiger claims this process can be reduced to minutes rather than the hours often necessary when using a high-pressure solution exclusively. Savings in operator time, water usage and reduced chemicals contribute to operational efficiency and effective environmental practice in equal measure.

DT derives from Frutiger’s established MobyDick solution, used in high volume construction sites, mines and recycling plants for over 30 years. The technology can now be applied to military vehicles with great efficiency gains, and also to other sectors in which stubborn dirt can quickly be accumulated, such as fire, emergency services and law enforcement agencies. Countless light armoured vehicles, trucks, off-road and tactical vehicles have been cleaned using Frutiger’s DT systems by NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan.

Demucking system in the French army’s military camp in Mourmelon. (Photo: Frutiger)

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