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BAT-M: Soviet “terminator” for laying roads

BAT-M: Soviet “terminator” for laying roads
And indeed: if you look at the machine in operation, you get the impression that there are no obstacles for it. Initially, BAT special equipment (modifications BAT-M and BAT-2 were developed later) was intended for the military. With its help, they lay out off-road routes, make passages in obstacles, prepare descents to crossings, and fill ditches with soil. That is, they are doing everything to ensure unhindered passage of equipment. Serial production of the tracklayer was launched in 1966.

Externally, it is a tractor equipped with a bulldozer blade, crane, and ripper. However, it is possible to install other, additional equipment. The machine is used for land planning, and it can also dismantle stones. Her abilities are evidenced by the nickname given to BAT in narrow circles - “engineer tank”.

БАТ-М: советский «терминатор» для прокладки дорогBAT-M shovels snow, paving the way. Photo: YouTube.com

However, there is some truth here - the track-laying chassis was taken from the T-54. In civilian life, this technique is used by the Ministry of Emergency Situations and in road construction for laying highways in difficult terrain.

BAT-M design

It is based on the AT-T tractor. Among the main systems are a bulldozer blade with its controls, a PTO for connecting to various equipment, hydraulic and pneumatic drives, as well as electrics. Using a knife, the machine cuts the soil and moves it. The blade is located in the front part of the BAT-M (when transporting a distance of up to 5 km, it is suspended on a chain; if you need to go further, it is lowered onto the platform).

With the bucket raised, the BAT-M resembles some kind of monster. Photo: YouTube.com

In addition to the knife itself, the bulldozer system includes an L-shaped welded frame with a pusher, a pair of wings, and skis with connectors. To expand the capabilities of the BAT-M, a winch crane is installed, capable of handling loads weighing up to 2 tons. It is controlled via a remote control, which allows one person to handle lifting and lowering heavy objects.

Power unit

This role can be played by one of three diesel engines: A-401, its modification with the index “A” or A-401G. All engines are twelve-cylinder, have a volume of 38,8 liters and develop up to 415 “horses”. The tracklayer is equipped with three fuel tanks, designed for 1200 liters (main - 577, additional 210 and 315 liters).

The engine is located in front and partially at the bottom. Photo: YouTube.com

Fuel consumption is not that high for such equipment - a fully fueled car will work for up to 15 hours or travel half a thousand kilometers. The achievable speed is 35 km/h. BAT-M weighs 27,5 tons. Other technical parameters of BAT-M:

✅ length, width, height – 7 (possibly 5 and 4) and 4,5 m
✅ clearance - 42,5 cm
✅ caterpillar width – 59 cm
✅ gradeability - up to 40°
✅ ford – up to 1,1 m

In addition, the tracklayer can overcome a ditch 1,8 m wide. The cabin is designed for three people. The engine can be started in three ways: through an electric starter, through compressed air or from an external voltage source.


Any of the engines described above is combined with a three-speed five-speed manual transmission (plus one reverse gear). The giant turns thanks to a two-stage planetary system.

Wide tracks guarantee minimal ground pressure. Photo: YouTube.com

The propulsion system is caterpillars (93 tracks each, the minimum number is 86) from the same T-54, on five road wheels. The rear wheel is equipped with a tensioner, the front wheel has removable rims. The suspension is on torsion bars, the forks of which are placed above the bottom of the car in a transverse position. If necessary, removable lugs are installed on the tracks - 18 pieces for each.

Electrics and pneumatics

The on-board voltage is 24 V, which is provided by a G-53 type generator that produces one and a half kilowatts of power. To start the engine, four batteries with a capacity of 140 Ah are used. Each battery weighs 62 kg! The electrical circuit is single-wire.

There are quite a lot of instruments on the panel. Photo: YouTube.com

There is also a two-cylinder compressor and receivers with a volume of 90 liters on board. The maximum discharge pressure in the pneumatic system is 7,35 kg per square meter. cm.

Technical features of BAT-M

When developing the machine, a number of interesting (and, as practice has shown, correct) engineering solutions were used. For example, with the appropriate installation of the knife, the “tank” can work like a regular bulldozer, grader or double-blade unit. This versatility made the machine indispensable when laying highways in areas with difficult terrain. The second interesting point is the presence of a ski mounted in front of the knife. Thanks to it, BAT-M can cut soil of the required thickness. This additional element operates hydraulically. And one more thing: a special platform at the “stern”.

An additional element of the working body is a ski. Photo: YouTube.com

Working units (for example, a blade) are fixed on the site, which minimizes the load on the front end, and this, in turn, leads to increased maneuverability. Even compared to a conventional tank, the BAT-M moves faster through sand, loose soil or marshy soil, and snow. The winch crane on board the tracklayer allows it to pull itself out of any mud: the cable length is 100 m, the diameter is 28 mm, and the boom radius is 5,4 m.

The dozer blade operates via hydraulics. Photo: YouTube.com

Among the relative disadvantages, it is worth noting that the machine is not suitable for constant and long-term excavation work (in fact, it was not designed for this). This is due to the oversized working body, when compared in weight with the weight of the tracklayer itself.


A modernized version began to be developed in the 70s. This is a more powerful and larger machine when compared with the previous model. BAT-2 was developed on the basis of the MT-T army tractor, the chassis was borrowed from the T-64 tank. The vehicle is equipped with a different, more powerful V-46-4 diesel engine. It also has 12 cylinders and is additionally turbocharged. As a result, the engine produces 710 “horses”. The BAT-2 tracklayer is designed for “maintenance personnel” of two people plus six “passengers” - paratroopers, if the equipment is used in the army. The cabin is sealed and equipped with a ventilation system with filters.

BAT-2 is large in size and powerful. Photo: YouTube.com

If we compare the BAT-2 with the previous model, the latter is inferior in functionality to its “descendant”. However, there is also a fly in the ointment. The follower has large dimensions (length 12,65, width 4, height 3,34 m) and weight (39,7 tons). Such characteristics “provided” greater pressure on the ground, which reduced cross-country ability compared to the BAT-M. Maneuverability has deteriorated.

Transportation of BAT-2 – entry onto the loading platform. Photo: YouTube.com

Also, the modernized version has increased fuel consumption and maintenance has become more expensive. For 100 km, the “monster” consumes up to 300 liters of fuel, and per hour of operation – at least 80. And the “engineering tank” BAT-2 itself has a higher cost. That is why the previous version of the tracklayer is still found in road construction, at the Ministry of Emergency Situations and other specialized structures.

BAT-M today

The tracklayer, produced more than half a century ago, has still not lost its relevance. In addition to the above advantages, the car has a relatively comfortable cabin. In addition to ventilation in hot weather, a heating system is provided for winter time; fortunately, the engine is partially located below, under the driver’s feet. The equipment has good maintainability: there are no problems with spare parts.

BAT-M in service in the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Photo: YouTube.com

On the secondary market, BAT-M is sold for an average price of 1 million 200 thousand rubles. If you manage to get the equipment “from storage”, the cost will at least double. There are quite a few advertisements for the sale of spare parts for this machine.


Photos used: https://youtube.com

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