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Tank Driving Experience Days

Tank Driving: Everything you need to know

Ladies and gentlemen: are you ready to get heavy? There’s nothing like a few tons of Armoured Personnel Carrier to show everyone who’s boss.

After a training session, you’ll join your team to manoeuvre your tank into battle: you can even upgrade your experience to carry passengers. Try an obstacle course with the hatch open, then try it again with the hatch closed and just a periscope for guidance!

If looking down the barrel of a cannon isn’t enough, take your tank driving experience one stage further by engaging in the most brutal of all battles: try paintball combat too! Your team will have to drive, move, aim and fire, working in tandem to win the game.

You can also choose to drive four big boys in one day with our Hampshire experience: test your nerve in a Chieftain 700hp, an Abbot field gun, a quad bike and the all-important APC tank. Or visit Northamptonshire to pick up some SAS skills with our Full Monty experience: you’ll fire various types of weaponry and drive at least four different vehicles.

Most sessions are lead by soldiers with battlefield experience, so you can be confident that you’re always in safe hands.

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FAQs

Q: So this is like that time I hid inside the water tank in the loft for tax purposes?
A: No! This is tank as in the big military vehicle that shoots things.
Q: Come off it, you must be off your chump.
A: I’m really not! We have a wide variety of ex-military vehicles for you to knock about in. Many of them have seen actual service and have got bullet holes in them and everything. You can drive them on a course specially designed for these metallic beasts. An expert tank-driving person will show you what to do and how to ‘spin the turret’, if that’s an option, which it almost certainly won’t be.
Q: So what tank will I be tanking in?
A: Completely depends on where you are. We literally have all sorts. From American Lance nuclear missile launchers, the Russian fully amphibious Turbo powered Grozdilka, the 432 Armoured Personnel Carrier, the 6x6 skid steer Supacat to 56 ton Chieftain Main Battle Tanks, and everything in between. Peruse our selection of experiences to see the wide range of tanks on offer. Tanks!
Q: And what will I do once inside the tank?
A: Again it depends on the kind of experience you’ve decided on, but probably driving some military vehicles across seriously prepared tank courses featuring massive holes, banks and water splashes. And in one of our experiences there is even the chance to drive a great big tank over a car! Imagine!
Q: But I won’t be firing the big gun with an armed missile in it?
A: No, that would be quite dangerous, but you can engage in some tank paintballing.
Q: Holy Ashley Coley, what’s that?
A: Basically your tank battles another tank using paintball loaded, turret mounted weapons. It’s as much fun you can have with your cagoule on.
Q: So I don’t need to be airlifted into a war zone to enjoy all this?
A: Not in the slightest, we have tank experience days cropping up all up and down the UK.
Q: And I can wear my fabulous camouflage gear?
A: We ask you to please dress comfortably and warmly. Sturdy boots are a good idea, as are waterproofs during wet weather. Where the activity demands it, you will be provided with a safety helmet and suitable coveralls (if necessary goggles and gloves).
Q: What if I am very young or very small?
A: It all varies from place to place, but we have experiences for participants as young as 12. The minimum height requirement is around 5 foot and if you have a chest size above 50 inches you might find it tricky to slide into the tank. But if you have any doubts, fears, questions, queries or problems, just get in touch.

Fun Facts

  • 1. In the late 15th century Leonardo Da Vinci drew a device that some have described as a ‘tank’ which was a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it. I could make that joke about Italian tanks right about now, but I don’t want to offend anyone and besides it’s at least 60 years old, so I don’t think anyone would get it anymore and it was never really that funny and I regret mentioning it now.
  • 2.In his 1903 short story The Land Ironclads, HG Wells described an armour-plated machine, having an internal power plant, and being able to cross trenches. Whereas The Ironclad Lads sounds like a hot Hoxton based rock combo. See them tonight at The Blue Posts.
  • 3. The first vehicles that we would describe as a ‘tank’ appeared as designs just before the First World War. The first tank to engage in battle was a British Mark I D1 in1916. Though at the time, no one knew what was rolling towards them, so the enemy would have run away shouting something like ‘Look out! Big metal thing... with guns!’
  • 4. Some believe that use of the word ‘tank’ stems from the secrecy of its development, with non-military types being told a mobile water tank was being designed, not a weapon. Sadly, thanks to Wikileaks, this kind of brilliant subterfuge is no longer possible.
  • 5. The largest tank never built was a German Monster, designed in 1942 with an 800mm Krupp cannon that could fire up to 23 miles away. The project was cancelled, possibly because the Germans realised their enemies were never that far away.
  • 6. Due to the British Navy’s involvement in the development of the tank, several naval terms are used in its terminology such as deck, hatch, hull, bilge pump and bulkhead. These are also words that cropped up in my last, worrying, medical.
  • 7. Early First World War tank commanders communicated with the driver by kicking his shoulders. I have tried this technique when riding in taxis, but it is never appreciated for some reason.
  • 8. Every British tank since the Centurion was constructed has tea making facilities inside as standard. I’d like to think all the Swiss ones have a raclette station.
  • 9. Toilet paper was used to camouflage tanks during the Desert Storm War. Possibly during that famous attack on the toilet paper factory.