All the (off)road going amphibious vehicles of the world. (work in progress) All the (off)road going amphibious vehicles of the world. (work in progress)

Last modified 28 Apr 2010


THROUGH HELL AND HIGH WATER -- (The beginning)

My Amphib index


Import of a 2003 Dutton Commander S2
from England to Holland in 2006.

1- Buy one
This one needs two things. ;-)

a- one being for sale
b- have more than enough money.
d- no logic or sense of mathematics
e- more than one backup plan

2- Transport October 2006

Nice if one could drive it home under its own power.
But the law forbids driving a foreign vehicle in the home country.

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Later on I learned that a 14 day number plate is possible
so you can drive a foreign vehicle home.
But getting insurance on this is very very difficult.
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Second as a foreigner NO insurance in England,
that is, on this car insurance, sadly.

That means renting a car transporter.
that cost 100 EURO/day. 300 km free 0.20 cent/km
3 days are needed. Pick it up on Friday, drive it on Saturday, bring it back on Sunday.

A day not working, spend on the Internet and the telephone, that cost money.
But the renting costs went way, way down.

A 7 m long vehicle is freight.
Two trips at 50 EURO/m plus tax. is Euro 850.

Again a day on the Internet and the telephone.

Total price went down to 300 EURO inc. tax.
But now I have to drive 475 km more.

It is good to have no sense at all. ;-)

2a- Transport September 2006

Picked the transporter a Mitsubishi on Friday evening and parked it illegal near my home for the night. It is small truck size so it sticks out a bit from a parking space.

Started to drive to Calais at 5 in the morning and with 45 minutes to spare and drove onto the Ferry at 11 o'clock.
Arrived in Dover at 11 o'clock UK time.

I have been driving on the left side of the road before, only this truck is a bit bigger.
in a nut shell; on the motor way no problem.
But on the narrow country lanes, it is truck size. :-)

At the pick up address, we had tea and very nice conversation with the previous owners.

After loading the Commander on the truck and more tea and conversation we drove back to Dover for the 18:00 hour ferry and arrived in Calais at 20:00 (Amsterdam time).

There was no fun in the driving after 22:00
we stopped every hour or so for coffee and to walk around a bit.

Made the home town around 1:00 o'clock.
I was to far gone to unload, so I parked the combo near my home and went to bed.

Next day (a very sunny Sunday) I drove to my garage box in a different part of town and tried to unload.

Only to find Lavish battery dead.

With the help of gravity I rolled it of the truck.
I pushed and winched; "Commander Lavish" into the garage box.

Then put the battery under load.

The same evening I brought the transporter back to the rental company.

3- Modify to local law
and check vehicle.
a- head lights
    light beam must be deflected to the right side of the road so I fitted new set Kit Car headlamps.

b- rear lights
    fog and back up light have to change place.

c- diesel fuel on the bottom of the rear section.
    can't find the leak, it must been a lose clamp.

d- drivers chair welded to a peace of metal that
    was bolted on the floor (!@## bolt)
    used a grinder. :-(
    hi/low box leaking oil,
    much water in the bilge
   
e- some extra weight added by sound proofing
    material. The road tax is by weight.
    removed most of but had lo leave about 5 kg

f- rear springs after 1700 km on the road are at the end of there life span.
   to be replaced by ??

g- front springs have 2,5 cm travel left
    to be replaced by ??

For the modifications on "Commander Lavish"
I will make a special page with photos.

Find out what paper work is needed.

In July 2006 in Holland
the information was that "they" needed
max axle load
max design weight
That is usual impossible to get on paper.

Anyway the LAW NOW (September 2006) is:
Import within EU is an administrative process!
So will I get buried under a pile of paper?

4- Get Dutch number plates November 2006

The local SVA - TUV is called RDW

a- give the information "they" need.
    most is on the English registration papers
    but not the model of the vehicle ;-)
    no max axle loads
    I got no homogenization papers
    The inspector accepted an EMAIL from Tim Dutton
    that showed the design weights:
    front axle 715 kg
    rear axle 744 kg
    gross weight 1459 kg

b- chassis number not up to Dutch specifications
    numbers to small and are removable from the vehicle.

    It was possible with the same machine they
    use for a metal chassis to vibrate a number
    in the body. That cost 68 EUR.

c- weight test.  That cost 17 EUR

    It brought 1230 kg on the scale - Tims specs say 1150 kg
    NO hard top
    NO spare wheel
    NO dust and not a drip of water in the bilge
    Half a tank fuel (40 litre) (minimum by law)
    minimal window washer water.

That means with a full tank and a spare wheel
a load capacity of 175 kg

That is TWO small persons and a box of chocolate!

Registration cost 97 EURO
Cost for future removal (scrap yard) 45 EURO. They do think ahead ;-)

Later when I have the license plate (Euro 15)
I will go for the technical test at the local garage (Euro 60)
This test is the same as the annual test.
I can not drive it legally without passing that test.

The advantage of local test is that I can drive almost legally to my garage box to fix things.

5- Pay local tax One pays tax at the Customs office.

a-  I mention the new value in 2003
b- They make the calculation
c- one pays Dutch car tax (BPM)
    In this case  6000 EURO

Do NOT ask me how this tax system works
It is a Dutch thing. :-(
You have to accept paying this tax and many other if your Dutch. ;-)

6- license plates Now I have to wait a few days for the papers
to arrive, then I can order license plates.
get insurance and PAY ROAD TAX.

Yes this is Holland so more tax  to pay!

6b- APK
Before I can drive legally

The car has to pass the yearly inspection APK.
I must state it was a bit of work to get it road ready.

To read the APK story go to the start page.

6c- get to the water
To get it read for the water I made a second page the HELL.
and many more pages after that one.

7- drive and swim
Drive and swim

a- have fun
b- have more fun
c- more and more fun

d to z still more fun and in between pay TAX.

8- TO BE SO WRONG
August 2007

How wrong can one be.

After almost a year I'm still working to get to minimal usable levels.

My Amphib index

If you want to send an email to me the web master Hans Rosloot.