Event Day Prep
Thanks for your interest in Drive A Tank! We are so excited to have you view our page! We’d like to take a moment and let you know a bit about us, and our tanks.
Let’s start with where the name “tank” comes from. You might be surprised to learn that the original name was used as a code word to “fool” the enemy. You see, back in WWI the British Army was looking for a way to cross machine gun guarded trenches without losing so many ground troops. Motorized vehicles weren’t very common in 1915 and so they had to get creative and find or make something that could traverse uneven ground and keep troops safe.
They came up with a tracked vehicle- basically an armored box, with tapered tracks that could be used to cross and climb out of trenches. This design strongly resembles the armored personal carries of today. The designers of old did not want anyone to know that what they were building was a top secret weapon, so they told the machinists, builders, and even the drivers that they were making a self-propelled water tank. It was to be able to take water to the troops on the front lines. No one wants to fight a war thirsty, right? The name “tank” was then associated and has stuck with these incredible machines ever since.
The definition has evolved tremendously over time, and varies from country to country. By today’s US military standards, not all of our tanks are considered true tanks. They are self-propelled guns and armored personal carries. We DO have a few true tanks by today’s standards, and those are our Chieftain Main Battle Tanks. These 60 ton beasts are used primarily in our car crushes- a job they are fully prepared to accomplish successfully. We also recently added a Russian T-55 Main Battle Tank, and this is included in our 5 Star General Package; you can drive this beast on the trail!
But hey, let’s be honest, when most people see Armor/Tracks/Gun they think tank- and we do too. Yeah, we know that maybe according to you, and your definition, technically, it’s not. So what? If you get a chance to purchase one of our packages, you’ll get a full briefing on the difference between a self-propelled gun and a tank, as well a historical synopsis of the "tank". So whether you use the original British definition, or todays U.S. definition, we are pretty sure that when you come, you aren’t going to care what that 15 ton beast under your command is “technically” called, you are just going to call it one hell of a good time!
Tank Day Prep
Your Tank Day event will start promptly at the time given to you when you call to book your date. Please be here before then (we open doors one hour before the start time) so we can verify registration, check everyone in, assign wrist bands, and sign waivers.
Please allow at least 1 1/2 hours travel time from the airport in Minneapolis, and 15-20 minutes travel time from Mankato. If you need to reschedule please give as much notice as possible. Reservations that are rescheduled within 48 hours of the event date are subject to a $40.00 rescheduling fee. Reservations that are cancelled are subject to a 10% cancellation fee.
The day will last 3-5 hours or longer, no matter which package you are participating in. Factors that will influence your time spent here: the number of people signed up, scheduled events of the day, and the groups themselves. Please plan for at least 5 hours as we are not always able to accommodate people who need to leave early.
Once our safety presentation begins we do not allow late comers. If you are late, you will need to reschedule, and you will be assessed a $40.00 rescheduling fee. Please bring with you verification of your reservation and package. Your voucher, confirmation code, or ticket as appropriate will suffice.
YOU MUST have a voucher/wristband to be on the premises. Each driver may have only up to (2) friends accommodate them throughout their day. Friends may choose not to ride along; however, you are still limited to 2 additional people total. It is very important that the driver and their friends leave the wristband issued to them during registration on at all times while here at Drive A Tank. Without a voucher/wristband- YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED AT OUR FACILITY!
Spectators and children under age 11 are not allowed. To be a driver/shooter, you must be at least 14 AND 5' tall. To ride in the tank you must be at least 4'6". This is a safety issue- there will be no exceptions to this rule. All children ages 11-17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Each child/Adult must each have own voucher.
It is a good idea for you to bring your own snacks or water bottle. Also, remember your camera and/or GoPro's (we have mounts on many of our vehicles), extra batteries and memory cards, a sweater or light jacket, poncho/rain jacket (we have yet to cancel an event day due to weather, so be prepared and dress appropriately) hat, sunglasses, bug spray, sun lotion, and maybe a small bag to carry it all in, and anything else you might think of to promote your own comfort throughout the day. We do not have lockers or storage, so remember to keep valuables at home, on you, or locked in your car.
NO flip flops or high heels! These are real military vehicles built to fight a war; wear closed toe shoes that are comfortable and well-fitting clothes (no skirts or dresses). Drivers may get wet (we go through a watering hole) so bring a spare change of clothes/shoes.
Everyone here for the day can shoot a fully automatic machine gun- yes, even your friends! However, we will have everyone here as participants shoot their "package guns" first. You are not allowed to substitute your "package guns" for any others and any additional gun shooting, either by you or your friends will be done at the end of the day.
We do try to make accommodations for everyone so long as we have ample notice. Participants will appreciate that the activities here may involve physical and or mentally strenuous activity on their part. They will also recognize that they should not agree to participate in the activity unless they are medically and emotionally able and properly trained. As well as that they not in any way prohibited by local, state or federal law or order from participating in any activity that they have requested to participate in at Drive A Tank. We want your day here with us to be both enjoyable and memorable, and we will do that with your safety in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Can I shoot the big gun from the tank/armored vehicle?
A. No, all of our armored vehicles equipped with a barrel have been “de-milled” according to U.S. government requirements. De-milling removes basic parts required for firing rounds from the vehicle. Also, Minnesota law prohibits the firing or discharge of a weapon from a vehicle.
Q. Do you have any American armor?
A. The American Military does not release their armor to the public like England and other countries. Wars and skirmishes took place in Europe, and out of need for farm equipment and transport vehicles, old and outdated European military vehicles were/are put to good use in the civilian market. Sadly, much of the U.S.'s historical WWII armor is at the bottom of the ocean or inoperable. The Department of Defense's Ken MacNevin (spokesmen for the Defense Logistics Agency's Disposition services.) has this to say, "In the case of combat vehicles the U.S. Army no longer needs or uses, the Department of Defense's demilitarization policy requires them to be destroyed. You might see a tank outside a V.F.W. or in a park, but it isn't a working one, and the government considers it to be a long-term loan. No one else really owns it." Due to availability, the fact that England has been an ally through the years, and price of their vehicles; most all of our armor is British.
Q. Who would want to drive a tank?
A. Many people who call would like to celebrate a holiday, a milestone birthday, or wedding with their loved ones. We have also had veterans bring family members because they wanted to share their past military experience with loved ones.
We host many corporate events as well as smaller private parties for bachelors and bachelorettes. EVERYONE who calls, and even you, if you are reading this, probably wants to drive a tank! After all who wouldn't?
Tanks are made for adults and we do have restrictions. Children under 11 are not allowed.
Q. Where else can I do this?
A. As of right now, the only place where you can do what we do is right here in Kasota, MN,USA. We are the only known company offering this activity to the public in our country, and the only place in the world where you can do this and shoot a fully automatic machine gun under one roof, and that is NOT owned by a government entity.
Q. What are your size/height requirements?
A. We are lucky enough to say that we have had a few Linebackers from the NFL, and a few NBA basketball players here to experience our services. SO- as long as you think your possible recipient is smaller than that, we are probably ok. We have never had to tell someone they are too big to date- though there have been a few maybes. It seems the human body will do amazing things when the brain wants it to- and who wouldn't want to Drive A Tank!
Have a question you don't see here? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a personalized reply!