Be an all action military hero for a day on a superb tank driving experience. It's going to be a proper, full-tracked experience when you get kitted up in all the kevlar Army gear and get behind the controls of a multi-ton military vehicle tackling rough terrain at centres throughout the UK.
We've got a whole range of ex-war zone machines and beefed up tanks and genuine ex-military vehicles for you to drive. Some experiences will see you attacking a purpose-built army standard track that takes you over steep bumps and drops, or you could be battling to control a heavy armoured personnel vehicle through muddy ravines. Some of our tank driving days even culminate in you crushing a car under the mighty caterpillar tracks of the tank. Basically when it comes to these beasts we've got it all! Read more...
It has to be said there's something about being in a tank that brings the big kid out in all of us. But what is it like inside one of these things? Well despite being big and robust on the outside, conditions inside for the driver are often cramped and pretty dark - especially when the hatch is closed!
Take the FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier for example. There's the driver's hatch right at the front of the war monster. Climb in and you'll find your knees are pretty much up against the two main control levers (yep, it's levers rather than a steering wheel!) and the speedo is mounted next to you at thigh height. As for the seat, well there's no back rest on it and it's more like a little leather stool you perch on. Still, comfort probably wasn't high on the list of priorities when these battle zone machines were designed by Leyland.
For first time tank experience participants, we’ve put together a handy little video so you can suss out just how to drive a tank before you arrive for your military mission.
Of course, trundling along when you can see where you're going is one thing, but if you go into full assault mode and the hatch is closed, you'll suddenly find yourself closed in this full metal jacket of military sturdiness. You’ll be bounced around as you try courageously to keep the APC in a vague straight line. And did we mention the noise? It's a full martial orchestra of whirring, clunking and screeching combined with the bursts of fumes from the exhaust.
The Chieftain - the ultimate tank drive
The one tank we've all heard of is the Chieftain. This was an essential piece of kit for many of the British Army bases around the country for three decades before being replaced by the Challenger I. After being retired in 1995, many of them were demobbed and sold off by the Ministry of Defence, which is why we can offer these as tank experiences. And more importantly, you will get the opportunity to have a go at the controls!
Being a main battle tank it not only does it look the part, it is the part. Going into battle these boys were equipped with the full monty of weaponry. There’s the main armament in the form of the highly accurate firing power of the L11A5 120mm rifle gun mounted on the 360 degree rotating turret and two L7 machine guns. As for the onboard crew of four, the driver is pretty much lying down to operate the machine when it's hatch closed, whilst the commander, loader and gunner hold positions in the turret ring.
A tank car crush the perfect finale to your experience
Of course, you won't be firing off any ammunition on these experiences, but some of our operators do offer you the chance to actually demolish a car which is pretty satisfying. The FV4201 (the official name for the Chieftain) will make mince meat of the vehicle. As you slowly but very surely roll up to the car you'll suddenly hear the crack of glass and the bending of metal as you just bust your way through, leaving a rather flat looking mass of scrap in your wake. Now that's what we call road rage revenge!
With all this thrilling full-tracked action in the mud and dirt, it's no wonder our drive a tank experiences are best sellers. With our operators the length and breadth of the UK offering everything from 55-ton monsters, to nippy Self Propelled Guns for your to drive, we think you will love getting stuck in. Enjoy your time in with the ex-Army boys (many of the instructors are retired soldiers) and kick up a storm in your military monster!