Man drives from Italy to Finland…in telehandler

Britain’s farmers aren’t afraid to drive their tractors a long way for a good cause. Usually it’s John o’Groats to Lands End, but sometimes they’ll make it deliberately harder by doing the journey in a 50-year-old Fergie 20 with one arm tied behind their back and four sheepdogs clinging on for dear life.

But all those admirable feats pale into insignificance when compared with the frankly wacky journey of Leo Turqujeff. He has just arrived in Helsinki, Finland, after driving a Merlo P25.6 telehandler across Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

The journey covered 2,671 miles, took 33 days and gained him the Guinness World Record for the longest trip on a telescopic handler. Whether there was a previous holder of the Longest Journey in a Telehandler record isn’t recorded. Average daily travel rate was a steady 80 miles.

See also: Merlo to show two new handlers

An after-sales service manager at the Merlo distributor in Finland, Mr Turqujeff is plainly very fond of Merlo telehandlers and sports the company’s logo tattooed on his left shoulder with pride.

The P25.6 was fitted with Formula One-style telematics, allowing the company’s engineers to keep a remote eye on his speed, engine performance and the temperatures of the engine and hydraulics. We’re told that nothing went wrong and the machine performed faultlessly.

Any fearless Brit out there want to break the record?