The biggest issues for Freeland are parking and running costs. It takes £800 in petrol to fill the 400-litre tank, and parking can be nerve-wracking if there are cars parked alongside the spacious armoured beast.
The active service member’s minor complaints are having to drive using sticks, and needing a navigator to function as a review mirror.
This is where Samson shines as the ultimate dad mobile: driving the tank is a team effort. The eldest rides on top, helping guide dad on the family’s shopping runs, or when out for a “Sunday drive.”
Freeland is quoted by multiple news outlets as saying,
“The tank is the best way to get the kids to go somewhere. They can’t wait to help me with the shopping when they know I am going in the tank. [My son] helps me navigate my way out. He is a great tank commander! He is always showing pictures and videos of it to his friends.”
GGR is a group of Iraq/Afghanistan vets, active in preserving military vehicles, especially those used in the War on Terror theatres. The group’s main business is restoring retired vehicles guarding the entrance of military bases.
Ribbing Freeland about The Sun’s page 27 story, Gate Guard shared a screenshot on their public Facebook page, quipping, “When one of the volunteers is in the Samson and The Sun newspaper ensure he’s crated for his efforts.”
While supportive, Freeland recalled that his wife “thinks he’s a little crazy but,” he said, “she also finds it funny. She’s not been in that tank yet, but I am hoping that one day she will jump in and come for a ride in it.”
Owning a tank isn’t a whimsical fad for the family.
Freeland’s love of tanks is generational. According to The Mirror, the 35-year-old’s interest was sparked by growing up around ex-military vehicles owned and maintained by his grandfather.
For Aussie dads who love the idea of driving their kids to the shops in a tank, tanks are strictly limited to private property.
Third-party compulsory insurance would be astronomical, and as the requirements laid out by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator show, registering a tank would be costly, and near impossible.
Additionally, all military — including ex-military — tracked vehicles apparently have to be shipped via truck or train. The only time the military can drives tanks on Australia’s main roads is during a time of war.
Freeland following in his grandfather’s footsteps enhances this story. It’s about a dad showing his kids how to dad, even if the method, and mode of transportation involved, is as quirky as it gets.
No doubt one day they’ll “tank” him for the experience.
Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.
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