With the advent of TM46 anti tank mines being deployed by ZANLA and ZIPRA to disrupt transport, the Rhodesian Army after an initial loss of personnel in a mining incident immediately looked into mine protection for vehicles. A decision was made not to use land rovers and light utility vehicles as they were difficult to protect.
Thus the Bedford RL and MK the mainstay of the Rhodesian Army at this early stage in the war were fitted with Barber plates in the wheel wells, sand bagging in the rear cargo tray with conveyor belting put over them to protect the sand bags,. later only conveyor belting was only applied. Also water was placed in the wheels and this helped greatly to dissipate blast from mine detonations.
Later following British designs from the Aden period, metal buckets replaced the RL cabs to afford ambush protection to the driver. Ambush protection for the troops in the rear was still an issue and thus the development of the Puma, Crocodile, MAP 4.5 and MAP 7.5 solved this problem in later years. The old RLs soldiered on in a secondary role in the later years of the war.