The attitude of an ATV with the body of a tank, Colin Furze’s Rhino Tank is an obnoxiously beautiful hunk of metal that really makes the Cybertruck look like a bit of a simp… Don’t quote me. However, Furze’s build isn’t really the success he hoped it would be, as he documents in the video. While the Rhino Tank looks like an absolute beast, its unique design does give up under demanding conditions, like driving down a swamp. I doubt if the Cybertruck could pull that weight on wet swampy grounds too…
Designer: Colin Furze
The British-based YouTuber got the idea for building this beast out to test its viability, following a few experimentations by people in the past. The Rhino Tank’s most defining feature remains its uniquely hemispherical wheels, which are designed to help give the tank traction even on uneven surfaces or when the tank’s at a slight tilt… especially in mud.
The truck’s design, and its name too, come from a wild 1950s concept called the Rhino, designed and built by Elie Aghnides – an inventor also credited with designing the aerator that fits on standard taps to help conserve water. It’s said that Aghnides was inspired to create his original concept while looking at a waterfall, and had originally built out his prototype as a one-off schematic to sell to the military. It didn’t work for a variety of reasons, some of which Furze also found himself facing with his current build.
To build out his 2023 redesign, Furze started off with a hydraulic dump truck, which he stripped and re-clad with a Cybertruck-like sheet-metal body. The axles were tilted to 15°, and the massive semi-circular wheels were mounted in place. The wheels featured longitudinal ridges that would serve as additional traction, along with rubber treads on the rim to help it actually grip roads and tarmacs with ease.
Experimentation showed that the Rhino Tank did, indeed, work rather well on land, but had problems with inclines. The hemispherical wheels weren’t particularly great on sharp turns, giving you the feeling that you would tilt and roll over with enough centrifugal force. The wheels also struggled with mud, as Furze found himself cruising through the water rather easily (thanks to the massive wheels and their ground clearance), but getting stuck in bushes. Ultimately, it took a JCB to pull the tank out of its literal quagmire.
While the build and the experimental runs were a lot of fun, Furze also pointed out the real reason why the tank was rejected by the military. Even though the hemispherical wheels were the tank’s most unique detail, they were their Achilles heel too, because if the tank was ever under fire, the hollow wheels would get pierced, allowing things like water, mud, and dirt to seep in. This would make the tank incredibly heavy and sluggish, defeating its true purpose, and also causing it to begin rusting from the inside. Maybe if we used the Cybertruck’s bulletproof steel instead…