For the Record: Obsolete T-55′s Finished as Bulldozers
Source: ČT News (via P.Linhart, thank you) Hello everyone, do you know what happens to the T-55 tanks, when they are phased out? Sure, they can be scrapped, but they can be also used in heavy industry. Steelworks in Ostrava, Czech Republic (belonging to the Arcelor Mittal company), used obsolete T-55 tanks as bulldozers to remove the slag from under the steel furnaces. Basically, the company bought the obsolete training T-55 tanks from the army and the Czech workers then heavily modified them by adding the “home-made” bulldozer blade, the blade mount (the large thing on the front of the tank), modifying the cabin to withstand the heat (installing heat protection, thicker glass) and adding new filters to the engine, because the environment is very dusty. Even so, the conditions in the Steel Works are brutal (the tanks have to drive over searing slag, several hundred degrees Celsius hot) and the lifespan of a single bulldozer tank was only three years. The shift foreman, responsible for these machines explains that using these tanks was the only way, because other machines were either too big, or didn’t fit under the furnaces. This is what the slag does to the roadwheels, you can see that the rubber banding burned off completely. Unfortunately, the army kinda ran out of old T-55′s to sell and they are being replaced by more modern remote-controlled bulldozers. These old T-55 tanks will be kept in reserve and in the end, they will be cut and melted for steel in the very same steel works they used to serve in. You can see the video these pictures are from on the linked page above (wasn’t possible to embed it).