Hooniverse Asks: What's the largest vehicle you've driven?


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New personal record. Largest vehicle I’ve ever driven… The 80′ Mauretania motor yacht, built in 1947 (We did maybe five knots through the harbor but they did let me knock out a u turn too)

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An 80-footer. That’s the largest vehicle I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving. It was a brief moment behind the wheel of a wooden motor yacht built in 1947. Puttering along at five knots isn’t much, but knocking out a u-turn in the middle of the marina was pretty awesome.
Now, adding vessels, boats, and ships into the mix might be cheating but I’m going to allow it today. And I guarantee someone out there has me beat… probably a number of you. Be it a naval ship or an Antonov airplane or Bagger 288.
So sound off below with the largest vehicle you’ve ever driven/piloted/controlled, etc.

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42 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's the largest vehicle you've driven?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    One of these baby’s with a car trailer carrying my 1977 Corvette.
    It was not fun.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    My good friend worked in the John Deere skunkworks for a few years. I went to visit and he let me blast around a field in a prototype 9420 a couple years before they came out. Not quite a yacht, but still intimidatingly large. And quite fun when you don’t actually have to accomplish any farm work.

    1. Scoutdude Avatar

      One of my former students got an internship at JD one summer during College and she got to drive a similar beast which she posted pictures of.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    late ’70s Steiger Cougar
    (I only drove it about 100 yards, just moving it out of the way)

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      My uncle had one just like that, got a new one a few years ago. It came in handy as a home renovation tool once, they were extending the house and had a 50k gallon concrete water tank at the end. Get a Steiger and a big chain and drag it 10 metres…
      I’m at the small end here, a 14 ton GVM Acco truck or 100ish hp John Deere tractor.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        If we are adding stuff ‘steered’ as a kid then I think I had a go at the wheel of a paddlesteamer riverboat. Maybe 80-100′ long and the same tonnage. Because the river is narrow in our part (hence side-wheeler configuration), the easiest way to turn around was to nose into the bank and allow the current to turn the boat. Family friends part-owned a smaller one, 60’/40t and I may have had a go at that one too.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    Case IH 535 Quadtrac with a tracked 1300-bushel grain cart. 50,000 lbs of tractor, 22,000 lbs of grain cart, able to hold about 78,000 lbs of soybeans or 72,000 of corn. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f553283f7fb773f860ffb56b9ae98bb860e1eda3cbf0796ed5ce965ee17fa460.jpg

    1. ptschett Avatar

      (Heaviest single vehicle: Case 1121 wheel loader, ~60,000 lbs operating weight all by itself)

    2. outback_ute Avatar

      That is a lot of weight, but obviously the shape of the cart is designed to reduce the pressure on the product at the bottom

  5. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I piloted a 64 foot narrow boat through the canals of England and Wales back in 2004. (probably not this exact boat).

  6. Alff Avatar

    Yachts – Biggest sailing 50′, biggest motor 75′.

  7. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    My dad’s record was fairly impressive — 2750 tons displacement and 95 meters (311.7 ft)

    1. Victor Avatar

      The old USS KIlty ?

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    Just saw these for sale, if anybody wants to step up their game in this area…

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Saw the one that the Lane museum has. Those things are MASSIVE. $50,000 sounds really cheap. $50,000 barely buys a nice brand new bass boat. Looks like it could make a great foundation for a house boat.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        I’m guessing a LARC-LX would make a terrible (albeit awesome) bass boat, though. I’d probably go with a LARC-V instead.
        Disclaimer: I have never fished for bass, so for all I know a LARC-LX would be ideal. I’m just extrapolating from salmon and steelhead.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          More like a slightly mobile fishing pier. LARC-LX could make a great houseboat though. Or just drive a RV onto it. Instant houseboat!

      2. Tank Avatar

        Well, that is an F250 behind it

  9. tonyola Avatar

    Can’t compete with an 80′ yacht, but I have driven some very large excavators – not enough to be really good at it, but boy, you can do some serious damage with these things.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Excavators are great fun. The biggest one I got to play with was a mini-8 ton model.

  10. Victor Avatar

    There was a ” GO- Kart track in our town . Nice track and good carts. 14 years old going round and around. ” The Smallest vehicle I have ever driven ” .

  11. Tiller188 Avatar

    My record isn’t very impressive in this company: a 26′ Penske box truck, the largest rental they offer and basically the Penske equivalent to P161911’s U-Haul, except I wasn’t towing anything behind it. It wasn’t as intimidating as I was initially afraid of; basically drove like a ginormous SUV. I also rather enjoyed the fact that the transmission would rev-match downshifts for me (and I was very thankful that it was smart enough to downshift and make some use of engine braking, since I drove the thing over the Grapevine). The FSAE car we were hauling in the back, though, didn’t much enjoy the trip, unfortunately.

    1. salguod Avatar

      I drove a 24′ U-Haul with a car hauler behind when I moved to Ohio. On another move, I rented a locally owned 24 footer and it had a 4 speed stick with a granny first gear. That was fun.

  12. mdharrell Avatar

    I’ve never driven any truly large vehicles so I’ll fall back on my fondness for trikes by saying that the largest three-wheeled vehicle I’ve ever driven is my brother’s (formerly my father’s) Scoopmobile:

    1. ptschett Avatar

      For as unusual that machine seems today, Scoopmobile was actually perhaps the first company to make a machine most like the modern idea of a wheel loader i.e. having articulated steering, 4 wheel drive, operator station and engine on the rear frame, and lift arm on the front frame:

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        True, but my brother’s is the three-wheeled, 2WD non-articulated version with rear steering, designed to be easily towed backwards. His used to belong to the Oregon Department of Transportation, Highway Division.

        1. ptschett Avatar

          That’s why I’m amazed at it. People had a lot of different ideas of how to make a wheel loader before the industry settled into variations on a single theme, and they had the basic idea of the modern wheel loader in roughly the same era as the 3-wheeler.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      You must have a really big dog.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Have you seen his cars? How do you think he gets to work University when none of them starts?

  13. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    Absolute biggest thing was 4 NY Central EMU cars for about 30 feet in Croton Harmon station as a kid. As an adult, moving a Ford LS9000 rollback truck in the yard and an F350 dually with a 20′ equipment trailer on the road. When I was in practice I could come down the hill to the shop make an s turn and have the trailer backed into the gate ready to refuel the machine and unload in one shot.

  14. Troggy Avatar

    Sailboat: 43ft Beneteau
    Cruiser: 34ft ‘clipper’
    Vehicle: Subaru Outback towing 1.2t camper. I’ve driven some light trucks, but the Sooby/camper combo is probably the biggest in overall mass.
    Aircraft: Cessna 172
    Bike: My VFR800x Crossrunner
    Oh, and when I was small I made a diesel locomotive move about 10 metres in a shunting yard thanks to a friendly loco driver!

  15. crank_case Avatar

    Really haven’t driven much that was big, but it’s all relative to what you’re used to I guess. Biggest thing I’ve driven on the road is 69 Dodge Charger, but given that the biggest car I’d owned up to that point was an E34 BMW 5 series, with most things being much smaller, it felt almost maritime rather than automotive.

  16. Scoutdude Avatar

    Depends on what you mean by drive. I’ve yard driven Semis with 45-53ft trailers, but never left the company grounds, just moved them over for service or put them away after fixing what ever it was that needed fixing. Otherwise it is the 26′ Ryder rental truck of which I’ve driven many. Once as far as Seattle to Portland and back but mainly just around the greater Seattle Tacoma Everett area. In fact I’ve got a date with one of those Oct 26th and 27th.

  17. neight428 Avatar

    I took a semi tractor/trailer rig around a parking lot once, didn’t back it up or anything. As for an actual on road experience, I probably haven’t gone beyond an F250 pulling a loaded tandem axle trailer helping someone move.
    My non-highway vehicle experience tops out at a 60’s vintage Ford tractor, something close to this, though I don’t recall the specifics…

  18. Tank Avatar

    I used to haul motorcycles for a living, We only used F250’s and Chevy 2500 Diesels, but the trailers we hauled were massive. I guess for stand alone driving I used to own and daily drive a lifted 1985 Chevy K10 with 33in Super Swampers with barely working power steering, so I guess that’s the vehicle that felt the biggest that I’ve driven

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