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In the driving seat at the reins of a tank

Could you drive a tank? It’s not like being sat behind the wheel of a Mondeo or an Astra. This is a heavy tonnage military vehicle capable of going through a wall unscathed or over pretty much any type of terrain that you care to consider be that mud, sand or bushes. You might even be asking “could I drive one on the UKs roads?” and the answer to that is surprisingly yes. How is that possible? It is if you have a HGV licence, but when you consider that just be holding a full UK driving licence you can have a provisional HGV one as standard anyway all you need is some L plates and a registered HGV licence holder to sit next to you and you’re fine! They are readily able to be bought but you can’t get one with a working gun, mortar or grenade launcher. Before you set off to inquire at the local barracks if they’ve got any going sparethere are a few things to consider.

Perhaps a practical go first might be an idea and Tank Driving Days at https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience.html are a cracking way to get used to the tank and how it works. How does it work? Unfortunately, there isn’t a Haynes manual for a Russian T-34 or BritishChieftainbut when you sit in one you get the idea pretty quickly on how it goes. You won’t have a steering wheel. You are controlling two semi automatically geared caterpillar tracks and considering you might want the tank to turnpretty quick if you have a gun on the top then this thing needs to have moved into action well before you go “left hand down a bit”. You will be faced with 2 sticks. The left stick controls the left track. The right stick controls the right track. If you pull both sticks back, then the tank goes backwards. It does not emit a loud beeping sound or “warning vehicle reserving” as the general view was that a tank goes where it wants and its up to you to get out of its way. If you are driving it with the hatch down, as you would in war time, you won’t be able to see a dicky bird anyway. Should you ram one stick forward and the other one in reverse the tank will spin around on its axis like some huge demented Dalek. No prizes for saying “exterminate”, you’ll probably be to busy feeling sick any way. Do this manoeuvre on the M25 and the Police will take a very dim view.

The admin ofgetting a tank on the road is also anissue. Insurance for example might be difficult to come by although you’ll always come of best in a collision and there is the finance and environmental cost. Most tanks run on diesel and the emissions test will be a challenge plus the fact  it does 1.6 gallons to every mile!


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