Tips voor tractorreizigers (e.a.)….

Dag allemaal,

Voor iedereen die naar Oerol gaat, ik rij er morgen t/m zaterdag ochtend rond op de fiets! Ik geef geen voorstellingen maar overleg grote inhoudelijke beslissingen achter de schermen op de plek waar het ooit allemaal begon…

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Binnenkort meer info. Maar nu even tractornieuws!
Dankzij een vraag op mijn gastenboek van een Zuid Koreaanse tractoravonturier. In ‘t Engels dus:

Here an info message for all tractor-travellers:

How did you repair your tractor when you stayed in Africa?
-In Africa (even in dessert of Sudan or Namibia) there are people everywhere. (if you stay on some road or track you’ll have at least 1 car/truck passing you per day. Mostly more because you are slow!). And they can help. In poor countries more people know about machine-problems. And if they don’t, they can always guide you to somebody who knows. In small villages or cities there are workshops.
-The keyword is: showing friendliness and respect.

how obtain to oil when you stay the Africa?
-In every city there is a workshop where you can find oil. My tractor didn’t consume oil even though it was old. But if yours does maybe you take some with you, just like taking extra diesel.

Who is taking pictures of you?
-I do it myself, just of tractor in landscape or with people. I put it on a stone or so and press the 10sec option. Or you can ask somebody to take your picture. It is better to take a digital camera foor many reasons. One is: in rural area’s people don’t always know how to hold the camera. So with digital you can check if you are really on the photo;), and not just the sky… :)

Is it possible to drive the Europe with tractor?(Italy, turkey, France….and so on.)
-It is very possible to drive Europe on a tractor. Don’t go on the highways, but the main national roads are fine. Check the signs. And they are wide so it’s almost no problem for people to overtake you. (If you drive on the smaller roads you need to often go to the side to let cars pass, no problem, you have time;)
-Netherlands was my most difficult country for tractor driving. It is a small country with much more narrow roads and many rules that say: no tractor. But, there are farmers anywhere so you can find your way around. It’s fine!

As for crossing the border, what is necessary?
– Crossing borders you need your passport.
– Sometimes you need to buy a visa. (at the border post or in advance, check with your countries embassy)
– The tractor needs an international insurance.
– And a ‘Carnet de Passage’. A form that shows the border people you are travelling and not selling your tractor in that country.
– you need the papers of the tractor, showing that this tractor is yours (or your sponsor’s with letter from them saying they lend it to you) (I think that is all)

How many did you change your tires?
-Maybe I was very lucky with tires, but i think all careful tractor drivers don’t need to expect big problems. You drive slowly, the tires don’t wear. You are made to go off road or on dirt tracks. I had one new tire after 3 years. This was my fault. I had too much are in the tire and then it’s easier to get a puncture.

What is necessary before i travel a world tour on a tractor?
– You need to look al all the possible routes, and check the political conditions in every country. Is it safe? If maybe not safe, make an alternative plan.
– You only really need the biggest maps possible. (This means I had only 3 maps. 1 of Europe, 1 of Northern Africa, 1 of Southern Africa. This way the roads on the map are the biggest and are more likely to excist after rains or years)
– Take essential spare parts with you: dynamo, starter engine, V-belt, tire repair kit, foot pump pump, tire levers, metal and rubber rings, gaffer tape,… are the most essentials. (You could go without dynamo or starterengine, but then you need, to check if your spare part is for sale in the countries you travel through, and the money and time to take a bus and buy one in a big or capital city when necessary. Leaving your tractor behind.)
– You can store many spare part in a box you can weld under your hood, nobody expects that there;)
– I say it’s best (easier on roads and tracks, handy for helping others, looking like you have little) if you build a big box on the back of your tractor. (see photo’s on my site), behind your seat and between the big tires, on top of the iron system where you can hook a plough on (don’t know the English word for ‘Hefinrichting’). I divided the box in TOP and BOTTOM, the bottom fitted 2 jerry cans with fuel, a jerry can with water and some technical stuff and stove, fuel for stove and pans. In the TOP I had: some essential medicine antibiotics, malaria cure (Africa not Europe), painkillers in case of accidents, bandage + tape. Food in cans for dessert or emergency/breakdown stay in deserted place, food, mattress, clothes and sleeping bag. I had a secret box for ‘luxury items’ as camera and other technical things. Nobody ever saw it. I made a system so I could sleep on top of the box and sewed my own tent: from roller bar over box to the floor (see photo on site). This way you sleep on tractor (safe for tractor), you have all your things inside the tent (good when it rains or when many people are watching, they don’t see what you have. Although all I had was very simple just like locals, is best!)
– Biggest luxury for me were ?wet wipes? you can throw away. This way you can safe your water for cooking etc. and you are also keeping yourself clean which means healthy!
– a friendly dog is not necessary but really nice company. And it will watch out for people when you are cooking so you don?t have to be alert all the time. It needs to be very friendly, you don?t want problems, you are a guest. But even a friendly dog means there is something, you are not alone, people come a bit more lowly and this is good for respectful contact. Being friendly and respectful (and also asking/claiming it from others) is the most essential tools, you will be helped even if you don?t speak the same language.
– Other tip for contact with people: always learn 3 things in their language (ask translation at the border)
Learn to say ?hello, how are you?, ?thank you? and ?is this a problem? in the local language. It opens doors when they see you make an effort, and it?s always good to know someone understands it when you say thank you!

Oh, and I put an extra (secret) key in, close to the hood, so I could block the electricity from the battery. (ask a tractorcompany or mechanical workshop).

This means nobody can start your tractor when they put a piece of metal on your dynamo-input. Very essential because otherwise tractors are too easy to steal!

Answers thanks to the questions of tractor driver Ki -Tae Kang (South Korea): www.cyworld.com/dreamtractor

Veel kleine dingen kunnen iets groots mogelijk maken!
‘Soms moet je het gewoon doen!’

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