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In the world’s largest sandpit

Australian ranger Peter Meyer uses a converted MAN truck with a bus body structure to drive visitors around Fraser Island, the world’s largest island made up entirely of sand.

Peter Meyer works on Fraser Island in Australia. The 44-year-old Australian with German roots is a ranger for Fraser Explorer Tours and drives visitors around the island on Australia’s northeast coast. Fraser Island has no tarmac roads, only tracks in the sand. Most of them pass through forest, which also grows on sand here. Any conventional car would not get very far in these conditions – and conventional buses wouldn’t stand a chance. Meyer’s uses a converted MAN truck with all-wheel drive and an air-conditioned bus body. The 13-metric-ton vehicle can accommodate up to 28 passengers.

Beach motorway

The beach is 120 kilometres long and actually serves as the island’s motorway. A traffic policeman ensures that people stick to the speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour. Yet even the sand can be treacherous. “Even though it looks smooth and even, some of the small watercourses that come down to the sea can form deep channels,” explains Meyer. “As compared with the rest of Australia,” he continues, “the roads here worsen when it’s dry.” Subsequently, sand tracks become soft and the tyres sink in. Meyer has often had to rescue private sightseers who got stuck in the sand despite an all-wheel drive. With his MAN vehicle, he is immune to such incidents.

In a video interview, Peter Meyer talks about his daily routine with the MAN truck.

Images © Martin Kaluza

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