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Old 19th April 2011, 07:52   #61
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i have a heavy license for the past 9 years. So yeah have driven a many of them. Most of them are documented here. Strangest of the drive is a vintage Road Roller.
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Old 19th April 2011, 12:53   #62
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This happened like 21 years back when I was learning how to drive in my Dad's unit in Kargil. Driving lessons were organised for us kids and we were learning the basics of clutch, acceleration and gear change on an old class 4 Jonga. The lessons were organised in the unit ground and it did not take long for us to get use to the basics of starting a small vehicle and then taking it round in circles in the ground. Pretty simple I thought!!

Few days later a big Shaktiman truck was parked by my dad's mud hut in the unit. My dad's hut was placed in such a place that immediately behind it were barbed wires and then started a steep fall of about 100 feet and below the Suru river used to flow.

So confident of being able to start a small little Jonga and take it round in circles on a plain ground silly me thought that this monster of a truck would be an easy drive as well. After all the basics are the same, there is a clutch, which you release slowly while you accelerate and the vehicle is on its way.

What I did not realize was that these monsters dont start in the 1st gear, you need to engage in the 2nd gear to set them crawling. Plus the clutch and the acceleration pedal are not as responsive in these big and old vehicles like they are in smaller vehicles. Also the less said for the steering wheel the better, you keep on turning the wheel for eternity and the vehicle maybe turns a few inches

Well, I somehow managed to convince the driver to give me the keys so that I could just start the vehicles, change the gears etc etc without actually moving the vehicle ( seriously till then I had no plans to move the vehicle).

The truck started and I engaged the 2nd gear. Now I thought better move it a few inches too. And thats when whole hell broke loose. Nothing that I learnt on the Jonga was working here. This thing was totally going out of control and was inching towards the cliff.

I have no idea how the driver stopped it but when I came out of the shock I saw that another few meters and we would have gone down the cliff.

Well thats the first and the last time I have ever sat on the driver seat of a vehicle bigger than a car.

Seriously, I still get nightmares of me falling of that cliff with the truck!!!
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:47   #63
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Have driven the Tata products (HGV and HPV) while on heave license training. The best experience was to drive the Volvo FH with 13 ltr engine and 12 speed I-shift in Dubai. The drive was limited to our office premises, but that it self was good. The vehicle started of from 2nd gear as it was unladen and shifted up to 8th gear in a short distance. A very good experience with a truck.
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Old 19th April 2011, 14:13   #64
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Wow, now thats a nice thread to rekindle old memories. My uncle retired from the Army (Tank Regiment) a few years back. Back in 1994 (was 14 then), we were visiting him in Ahmednagar cantonment. He is one of the instrumental few who has set up the Tank museum in A'Nagar. The cantonment area hosts a tank training track. We kids were out with with him on the training track.

First came the tank simulator; excellent stuff back in those days. It was like playing a video game, just that you were sitting in an actual tank like sturcture navigating the terrain on the LCD.

Then came the real fun. We were taken out on the main track to feel the actual tanks. Back then the Indian Army drove the T72 and T75 German tanks and the Indian Vijayanta (bulk carrier). The German tanks were fun to drive with two levers to steer the mammoth and a third lever to shift gears. It could easily race with a Maruti 800 (as told by one of the Jawans). Fun part was the Vijayanta. It had Yahama RX 100 like foot gears, just that there were 7 gears in all+ the reverse. Oh boy I had pure fun driving those huge things.

The Army also owned this HUGE Russian truck (can't recollect its name). It was a LHD, huge is not the word, had a nice little set of stairs to get in from both the sides and top notch equipment I had ever seen back in those days. Say if the tire punctured, this truck had an in-built compressor which could keep supporting the tire till the destination for the day. Never got a chance to drive it as it was way too huge and difficult to navigate. Yes, the tanks were much easier. Will always cherish these memories. Feel bad we never got a picture taken.
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Old 19th April 2011, 16:20   #65
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@VikrantD: You are a lucky guy!

AFAIK T72 is Russian, not German and there are no T75 tanks. There are T55 tanks which is again Russian.
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Old 19th April 2011, 16:38   #66
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Drove a tractor about 15 years ago.
Steering was not as big a problem as braking was!
Great turning radius and my first experience with a hand accelerator
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Old 19th April 2011, 17:03   #67
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yup, driven a swaraj mazda in 2002, that was our college bus and I took it for a ride along with the bus driver on an open stretch near jaipur airport.
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Old 19th April 2011, 18:14   #68
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Driven a Tata 407 with a light load of sand. The truck although very difficult to drive amazed me with its excellant torque. You can develop good biceps and triceps if you drive daily. LOL.

I have reversed and parked Tata 1210 SE which is named Little Flower. All my family trucks/buses are named the same. Surprisingly it was easier than I thought. I didnt have the balls to take it for a spin. Little Flower is a brute.
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