Driving a tuk tuk / auto

#1 Jul 10th, 2018, 07:26
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  • Fing Fang is offline
#1
Not sure if this is the correct place for this post...

Fing is planning a trip to Sri Lanka (March, 2019) and upon spending my night shifts travel researching I stumble upon the suggestion of hiring a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka. I found a company that seems good - they'll help with local driving licence and let you rent the vehicle for $14 per day, they'll provide 3rd party insurance and even a one hour driving lesson.

Now a few questions... for a tiny lass that's not driven for 10 years, terrified to drive in Dubai 1. AM I MAD (don't answer that one)..

But serisously, anyone ever driven an auto before?? Is it easy? It it secure to drive when travelling? Anyone done a similar trip? I'm going solo - so can't guarantee I'll have another driver / travel buddy with me.

Also routes - very briefly I'm considering driving the South Coast from Galle back towards Colombo and stopping at pretty beaches and ayurveda reserves, or my second plan was instead of the famous scenic train trip (worried about getting a ticket and decent seat) - I could do the same trip driving with easier stops for pretty photos...

Bascially any one thats driven an auto or taken a similar trip, either in India or Sri Lanka show me your thoughts!
#2 Jul 10th, 2018, 10:42
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#2
Go with the rick and enthral us with the the tales of your adventure!

Note - No experience of the above and hence would like to be a virtual traveller for one such trip!
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#3 Jul 10th, 2018, 11:14
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#3
[QUOTE=Fing Fang;2094034]Not sure if this is the correct place for this post...

Fing is planning a trip to Sri Lanka (March, 2019) and upon spending my night shifts travel researching I stumble upon the suggestion of hiring a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka. I found a company that seems good - they'll help with local driving licence and let you rent the vehicle for $14 per day, they'll provide 3rd party insurance and even a one hour driving lesson.

Consider the experience of visitors who have rented rickshaws in India; there are two outfits I know of that sponsor lengthy rickshaw races. One such account, of many, is here:
https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/r...discount-code/
Kathy
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#4 Jul 10th, 2018, 11:38
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#4
Hi,

Good use of quiet night shifts!

Never driven an auto, but that sounds an interesting project.

Based on "scooter" technology, the clutch and gears are on the left handlbar, and the accelerator is on the right one, together with the front brake. The rear brake is by a foot pedal.

A "three wheeler" with one wheel in front is less stable when cornering than a four wheel vehicle, this becomes more evident when trying to corner or swerve at speed.

There seems little in the way of solid protection or safety features on autos, built to be cheap and cheerfull ?

I love train rides, but it is true that it is so conventient to stop and start as you please, with your own transport.

Why not consider a self drive hire car instead, maybe a bit safer to drive. This seems not much of an option in India, not sure about Sri Lanka?

Don't work too hard!

Ed.

PS Just read the "broke backpacker" item mentioned above. Bit odd he was not in the race, yet was sponsored by the organisers?
Last edited by OldandRambling; Jul 10th, 2018 at 14:05..
#5 Jul 10th, 2018, 11:46
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#5
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Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post
But serisously, anyone ever driven an auto before?? !
...and you'd expect us to admit that?

https://www.indiamike.com/india/scam...-tout-t221110/
#6 Jul 10th, 2018, 13:18
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#6
Sounds intrepid, Fing! I look forward to reading all about it.
#7 Jul 10th, 2018, 13:28
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#7
Thanks for the replies.

I did look at the broke backpacker link - I even considered their Pakistan tour but cost, visa and insurance all got in the way of booking that.

I liked the idea of the auto hire for maybe 2-3 days only, it wouldn't be a full trip. I enjoy train travel so would do that mainly if I could. And no need to worry about speeding around corners, Fings to scared for breaking foreign speed limits.
#8 Jul 10th, 2018, 14:02
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#8
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post https://www.indiamike.com/india/scam...-tout-t221110/
That was a fun thread ....was is not ? I think there was another tuk-tuk-wali thread with it's start either out of Gujarat, or HP !
#9 Jul 10th, 2018, 14:04
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#9
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Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post I liked the idea of the auto hire for maybe 2-3 days only
Most tuk-tuks in South Asia, have flimsy storage, if any. So, think twice !
#10 Jul 10th, 2018, 15:57
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#10

Driving a tuk tuk / auto

Autos come in slightly different shapes and sizes in different places. The smaller ones (Chennai, at least) have little storage and none of it is secure in any way. Not long ago, Mrs N and I made a mad dash to the station, having been let down by a cab driver, with a couple of suitcases and a bag and it was very uncomfortable.

I bet Redninja has driven one. Safety-wise, I'd rate it as bike or worse... Because it comes with its own bits of steel to stick into you! Hope Redninja comments.

I'm a fairly sedate car driver, but suspect that I might flip an auto all too easily. Probably, if I got through my first hour the rest would be OK. Believe it or not, I did think of having one instead of the much more expensive car. Eventually figured that even a Tata Nano would be a safer and more comfortable option (and bought the VW Polo anyway).

Self drive is an option., in India. No idea about Sri Lanka. Saner than India?
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#11 Jul 10th, 2018, 18:16
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#11
I have driven both, rickshaw and auto rickshaw. Whenever I tried those, the damn vehicle just never wanted to move straight. There is some instability factor that makes three wheeler move to one side. So your first issue will be to get used to it, and if you proceed to drive it, rest assured that you will have a muscles to show off, albeit just in one arm.

The second issue, and more serious one is that it does not behave like a four wheeler in case of abrupt turn, it topples over, and so is a risk to you and others. I really wonder if you have that much time to get adequate lessons and get used to the vehicle and crowd, if not, all the best, specially to those in vicinity of your tuk tuk
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#12 Jul 10th, 2018, 22:49
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#12
Again, that's to all replying. It's helpful to hear from those that have driven them. I'll be considering carefully because I want to enjoy my holidays and not suffer in Sri Lankan emergency dept with broken limbs. Just seemed like a pretty cool idea for a few days. But maybe I'd even rethink and only do 1/2 day or 1 days. Fings arm muscles don't exisit!

Storage wise I'd do same as Indian rail / padlock my bag to the tuk tuk somehow. But I realise if I stop the tuk and want to explore the bag can still be taken. Something again for me to consider.
#13 Jul 11th, 2018, 02:42
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#13
Quote:
it does not behave like a four wheeler in case of abrupt turn, it topples over, and so is a risk to you and others.
Amen to that twice and I wasn't driving. The trick to that is avoiding conking one's noggin on the steel bars and managing to roll with the egg shell. A course in Aikido is helpful. Those buses are hell on the road..
#14 Jul 11th, 2018, 11:45
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#14
I believe the Sri Lanka tuk tuk is amchi Mumbai's auto doppelganger (or so tells google images). If that is true, then go for it. I have driven the autorickshaw, the current generation ones which are better built and far more stable. But they still lack a workable pair of shock absorber. Be prepared being saddle sore (though the almighty has paired us with an inbuilt one in our derriere).

The auto's (atleast the ones over here) are akin to most two wheelers, and pretty much works like it. Obviously, you cannot use your body roll on the turns, but shifting in your seat works similarly. You have to take it slow on every turn. Straight roads are a no-brainer. Keep the speed limits in check, hold the handle lightly but steady and you should have zero problems. As for the luggage issue, auto's come with an under seat compartment, which could serve you well for your valuables. Should be pretty secure, unless someone breaks into it. The back seat would work well for the other luggages (and help stabilize the center of gravity of the tuk tuk).

All the above shouldn't take you away from the experience of riding the tuk tuk (should or shouldn't). If Sri Lankans are not prone to rash driving (like the controlled chaos of their neighbors), you wouldn't really need to worry about anything else, other than to immerse yourself in experience. Be zen with the tuk tuk
#15 Jul 11th, 2018, 12:07
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post if I stop the tuk and want to explore the bag can still be taken. Something again for me to consider.
In a typical late Ted Kennedy's voice - When I returned, Mary Jo and the car were gone

They will drag the auto and the bag

When I returned tuk-tuk and the bags were gone

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