The strange, twisted world of the Swedish tractor

Imagine, if you will, you’re between 15 and 17 and you live in rural Sweden. To set the scene, you’re in some place whose name incorporates an å, an ä and quite possibly an ö as well. It’s a village surrounded by dreary coniferous forest with long boring summer days and long, cold, boring winter nights. Nothing happens here and nothing has ever happened here since that day in 1876 when someone stole a dozen kanelbullar from Malin Andersson’s bakery and the evening when Göran Larsson, that bachelor farmer down the road, was caught by the Eriksson sisters taking the concept of animal husbandry unusually far. (He said in his defence that they were after all his cattle and the judge agreed)

You look forward then to when you can go to college and then maybe get a job in Stockholm or trendy Malmö. Until then, you want transport so you can get to the next village, cruise up and down all 500m of the main and only street and meet persons of the opposite sex that you’re not related to. You’re in Sweden and you can’t get a car licence until you’re 18. What to do? Well, you can drive a tractor at 15. The law therefore has to define a traktor (with a K because Sweden) and so it does.

A traktor needs a warning triangle on the back, a tow hitch, no more than one row of seats, a cargo area at the back holding not more than 1.25 m3 and a maximum speed of 30 kmh.


So let’s see some traktorer so we can learn just what you can do within (kind of) the rules.

As originally defined a traktor almost had to be a Volvo Duett like this

Nowadays you have more scope.

You can have a Mk2 Escort:


Or you can go the Russian route with a Lada Niva:


Or you could throw caution to the winds with a Bangle BMW 520d:


Not to your taste? Want something a little different? Yes, you can go there too.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter