VANISHING VILLAGE CULTURE
Here in Thailand it is still not hard to come across an E-tan อีแต๋น on village roads, although you can usually hear them quite a while before you see them. They are known for their sputtering, muffler-less “bang-bang-bang” (or “put-put-put” if you are kindly disposed toward them).
I think their days are numbered and they are an artifact of vanishing village culture.
E-tan farm trucks are fabricated rather than manufactured. They are made of salvaged parts, put together largely by hand, and powered by a Kobuta engine. Their design tends toward the imaginative side, but they are utilitarian.
The engine was first produced in the 1950s by the Siam Kobuta Co. It is a single cylinder, 14-horsepower diesel engine, widely used as a long-handle, 2-wheel field tractor, in place of water buffalos. The motors were and still are also used as water pumps. Apparently it was the first motor of its type to be practical, and the design has been copied all over East and Southeast Asia.
Now, both the tractor and the E-tan truck are fading as larger tractors and “real” trucks are available at affordable prices.
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Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.