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6-ounce hamster steers 33,000-pound truck

Volvo hands the wheel over to a tiny hamster for a publicity stunt meant to show off a massive truck's easy steering.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Charlie in the truck
Charlie the hamster steers a truck. Volvo

Charlie the hamster has truly blazed new ground for his species. He has steered a massive truck weighing more than 16 tons, which is about 33,000 pounds more than he weighs. The 6-ounce rodent was drafted by Volvo to show the world just how easy it is to steer the new FMX construction truck.

The trial took place in a quarry in Spain. A specialized hamster cage/wheel was attached to the truck's steering wheel. Charlie was led around with a carrot for motivation, making him perhaps the cheapest chauffeur in history.

The stunt was captured on video, though the video is labeled as "Live Test 2." There's no word on whether or not Charlie ran the truck into a wall on his first attempt. He was assisted by human precision-driver Seon Rogers. Rogers controlled the accelerator and brakes.

There were a few dicey moments when Charlie's lack of driving experience shows, but (spoiler alert) the truck did manage to make its quarry climb successfully.

While the truck hit the finish line, Volvo neglected to show if Charlie achieved his carrot. I'm assuming the treat was forthcoming for a job well done. In case you're considering it, you shouldn't try this stunt at home with your teddy-bear hamster and a Pinto.

(Via Geekologie)