November 24 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, August 24, 2014
For frustrated drivers stuck behind them on the A140 yesterday, there may have seemed little to admire.
But two tractors which trundled southwards through Norfolk and Suffolk yesterday had embarked upon a remarkable – if plodding – journey.
The pair – with a top speed of just 23mph – are being driven almost 300 miles from Norwich, where they were purchased, to their new home in the Netherlands.
The odyssey is being undertaken by Wilfred Segers, who owns a construction company in Arnhem, his son Tjerk, and Marco Teunissen, after they bought the vehicles from Ben Burgess, on the outskirts of Norwich.
After leaving the city yesterday morning, the team were scheduled to reach Harwich to catch the 11.15pm ferry to the Hook of Holland.
From there to Arnhem their journey is less certain as – unlike in the UK – tractors are not permitted on main roads in the Netherlands.
All being well, they are expecting to reach Arnhem – remembered by Norwich City fans for a 3-0 aggregate victory in 1993 over local side Vitesse in the Uefa Cup, and history and film enthusiasts for a fierce Second World War battle, dramatised in the movie A Bridge Too Far – some time today.
“We’re very much looking forward to the journey, we’ve never done anything like this before and this is the furthest we’ve driven a tractor,” said Mr Tuenissen, the brother-in-law of Mr Segers.
“We’re excited about the journey home but we don’t know what the journey will hold because in Holland we have to look for country roads. Near Rotterdam there is no farming, so we’re not sure if there are roads for tractors.”
Mr Segers has a long-standing relationship with Ben Burgess in Norwich, with this being his company’s 18th visit, having previously bought diggers, tractors and construction equipment.
“We come here because the price at Ben Burgess is a lot cheaper than back home and they are very nice,” added Mr Teunissen.
Robert Turner, who works in construction sales for Ben Burgess, said: “They’ve been over 18 times in five years and I think it’s fascinating that they’re driving them back especially as tractors aren’t allowed on duel carriageways there.”
The tractors cost £70,000 each and weigh about seven to eight tonnes.
“Our families think we’re mad, it’ll be different when we get to Holland, if we can’t use some of the roads we’ll turn around and pick another route,” Mr Teunissen added.
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