#9 – Drive a tank

Tank Driving.  Why is this on The List?  I think simply because it’s possible.  It’s not like I’ve had a thing about tanks all my life, I definitely don’t have a thing about soldiers and I don’t even really like driving, especially not driving big vehicles (and in my world, anything bigger than my Renault Clio counts as a big vehicle).  But for some reason, driving a tank appealed to me – after all it’s something a little off the wall that I haven’t already done.

So, on Saturday I spent a fantastic afternoon getting down and dirty just outside Alresford with Juniper Leisure, driving not only a Chieftan tank but also playing on a quad bike and taking both an armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and a prop gun for a spin around the track.  Oddly, I was most scared of the quad bike – mainly because that felt like the only thing I could fall off of and damage myself (and frankly I haven’t done all this marathon walking training to injure myself now and not be able to walk it on the day!).  Plus the quad bikes actually had gears and I actually had to think about which one I was in – slightly challenging to my non-engineering brain.  Frankly, I wasn’t doing well even before we’d got on the bikes since I couldn’t manage to put the gloves on the right way round.  The chap patiently explained that if I put the rubber bit over my palm (rather than over the back of my hand) I would be able to grip the handlebars and brakes much better.  I do wonder how he kept a straight face…

However amusing the quad bikes were though, the day was really all about the big stuff.  Fantastic fun, and a lot easier to steer and manoeuvre than I expected.  The prop gun was the heaviest – two hands definitely required to manipulate its levers!   Generally, I was able to handle them quite well (I thought) and it felt like I got a bit of speed up; although the spectators may have a different view of course!  The only slight hiccup was in the APC when the instructor said “go straight on instead of turning left” and I tried to turn left anyway because I thought he meant ‘turn left then go straight on’ (subtle difference).  As a result I then had to do an extreme right turn to get back on the correct section of the track, at which point I’m wondering if it’s possible to flip a tank.  I still don’t know.  Thankfully I didn’t flip it and I also wasn’t required to reverse park any of them.  I’d probably still be there now otherwise.

In the APC

In the APC

Not really racing...

Not really racing…

The Chieftan Tank

The Chieftan Tank

A great afternoon out but I wonder if this activity might be even more fun in the rain, with a muddy track.


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One response to “#9 – Drive a tank”

  1. Val Langthorne says :

    Looks fun, don’t think I could climb up there 🙂

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