Initial P(LA): China’s Army Makes Its Truck Drivers Learn Drifting and J-Turns

♬ 4-3-2-1 ♬ No one sleep in Guangzhou ♬ All night crossing the line ♬ No one quit the radio ♬ Guangzhou is on fire ♬

byJames Gilboy|
Trucks photo

The differences between the militaries of China and the United States are vast. How an actual war between said militaries would unfold is anyone's guess. But if it came down to a competition between whose soldiers can pull off Hollywood-quality stunts in military trucks, then China unquestionably would have the edge on us Americans, because that's what it trains its military truck drivers to do.

According to a propaganda film released by the People's Liberation Army, PLA truckers are expected to learn not only the basics of forward, reverse, and don't hit the General's car, but also advanced driving techniques that would cost thousands of dollars to learn at high-performance driving schools like Dirtfish or Skip Barber. These include flamboyant moves such as J-turns, and drifting at speeds of up to 37 mph, all in multi-ton Dongfeng military trucks and full-on battle tanks.

Drivers are also expected to learn less showy skills, such as reversing through complex, twisty courses some 330 feet in length, or driving on narrow tracks. The PLA claims that its rather HPDE-like trucking regimen preps its drivers to handle any road or trail conditions imaginable, though our cheeky guess is that this was less a top-down initiative than a way to propagandize what its truckers probably were already doing: Hooning military equipment. This hypothesis would explain the exercise where truckers are supposed to pop balloons by reversing their trucks into them, though rather than Dongfeng trucks, they may want to use BMW M2 Competitions for future balloon-slaying practice.

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