Vans drive again in Recklinghausen

The Mini-Truck-Club Recklinghausen at the season opener. If you wish, you can even get your driver’s license using the remote control

The Hillerheide development area in the district of the same name in Recklinghausen is a real gem. Delicately trimmed lawns and shrubs caress the shimmering white facades of a typical modern housing house. One would think that the world is still organized here. If there wasn’t always that truck traffic…

Right of way in new residential property

It’s electric, however, at a manageable size – and it has public right-of-way in the area anyway. Since it is behind the doors of the Mini-Truck-Club Recklinghausen, the cars – both small and remote-controlled – you will search in vain on the entrances to the miniature houses. why? “Nothing is on the right scale,” Ralph Bahlke explains, shrugging his shoulders. “You can find some in the 1:12 scale ratio – but you can immediately see the difference,” says Regulatory Pickup Truck Drivers.

With the excavator in the sand

Of these, 1:14 and 1:8 are the crucial numbers. At the last scale, trucks of club members roll down roads once owned by locomotives and children’s bikes. An old traffic kindergarten next to Vestlandhalle became home to the Mini Truck Club in the 1990s. And the 33 members (all male) are now cleaning it up nicely, because visitors come on Saturday: everyone is invited to get to know the pickup hobby better at the season opener.

1:14 scale construction site

Of course, only they are part of the fleet – the other with chains and shovels. A stone’s throw from the new development area on a scale of 1:14, construction machinery is working: grubs, excavators, dumpers are working in the dirt of the “construction site”. Which brings us to the big difference—because not all pickup truck drivers are alike: “Some want to play with their vehicles, others appreciate attention to detail and perfect paintwork,” says Ralph Bahlck, explaining the factions that do the hobby.

Where the former calls the latter ‘carpet slippers’ with a wink – ‘of course only behind closed doors’. In any case, a trip to the dirt on the construction site would be out of the question for owners of bright miniature dream trucks.

“Anything under 650 euros is just a game”

There will be enough to do there – because what does “run” mean here anyway? “We load the sand and transport it to our working screening plant,” explains Bahlke. “We produce three types: fine, medium and coarse.” One would think that the sand at the “construction site” was the best in Recklinghausen for a long time. “No, it actually gets dirty over and over again,” Ralph Bahlek taught with a laugh. “But sieving helps us keep the earth healthy.”

Of course, good work has its price: “With construction machinery, things really start from 2,000 euros,” the club president reveals – just to add that you can get an entry-level model for 650 euros – “but everything less than that is just toys.” Trucks and construction machines Etc. has nothing to do with all this “play”.

The entry-level truck costs €600-700, Ralph Bahlke explains – but only the tractor. “You have to build the trailer yourself,” says the 53-year-old. This costs twice as much, after all, the trailer also has a drive for the heart device.

Pickup truck driving license

Those who want to try their hand at driving a pickup truck can drive the club truck on Saturday. Not just in blue, but with a specially designed course. Those who master it get a pickup truck driver’s license. It’s not difficult, reveals Ralph Bahlck with a wink. However: “Accidents happen on the premises. If you do not pay attention for a moment, then this really happened … “

On the other hand, you need a lot of remote control feeling for the “Spedition”. Goods are loaded here, just like in real working life: except for forklifts, Euro pallets & Co are 14 times smaller. Even the mayor of Recklinghausen is surprised. When pickup truck drivers are loaded into town for the season opener, he’s there regularly. Just like many drivers of pickup trucks and construction machinery from neighboring cities and federal states as guest drivers.

Tanks and alcohol are not allowed

On the other hand, military machine models of any kind are not allowed, nor is alcohol allowed on site – there is almost always zero alcohol in the steering wheel of a small or large Recklinghausen van. Like I said – the world is still doing well in the Hillerheide development area.

By the way: If you want to see what typical homes, streets, and the like look like in the light of small street lamps and truck headlights, you can come to the traditional “Funzelparty” in the fall. The same is true here: no entry – and a general right of way for trucks.

Van Club Recklinghausen (Herner Str.188). Season Opening: May 7, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Entry is free. More information:

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