Akha Chronicles
Book 1: Maesai
Chapter 17: The Truck


The Truck

Feb 14, 1998

Truck #1

I bought a motorcycle to help one family but they ran it into the ground so I got it back and sold it.



My truck was repaired with a 3.0 turbo and I was still trying to raise all the money.

New transmission and transfer case and radiator and reparied stearing gear, metal fenders, new lights in front, grill repair, etc.

The truck was the guts of this project.


The Truck

I busted up a break line backing up at Bpah Cheeh Akha and it was repaired but shorter now and needed a better repair.  Fenders were gone, frame cracked, starter hung up, broken spring shackles, no shocks, power steering very loose, steering ball gone and tail lights out.

The gas station owner is ok but wants his money fast and my situation never works like that.


Using, repairing, rebuilding the truck

No single factor changed my work with the Akha like the purchase of a 4 wheel drive truck. 

Modifications and uses.

Road conditions

Difficult to reach villages

Transporting people, bread, medicines


Vandalism: Sugar

Repairs:  Wear damage to the vehicle





Rolling off a mountain: How we saved the truck, rope, big hole, new road.

Long driving hours

Jump in fuel costs

Keeping contraband out of the truck

Building road at night in rain, coming very close to rolling.

Fuel pump fraud

Poor repairs.

Missing battery, air conditioner, reminds me of mexico

The Policeman and the Puddle

Pushing trees, pulling  trees, saws, axes,

The back road to Hua Mae Kom, the army checkpoint story.

Overall a very dependable truck

The shampoo road, mud through the tire sides in the rim

Diesel excellent for slow crawling, gas much more expensive.

How many people we could get on the truck.

Building the road to burma, don't say a word, riders tell all.

Crossing water

The Ngao South "Lake" driveway.

Carrying corpses

Spitting up riders.

Tires, needing tires

Deep mud, deep ruts, trees, fallen road hillsides, backroad mae chan mountain, Sven.

Shooting victim

Need winches

The very back village down Wiang Pa Pao way




Have a comment or question? Like to know more? Send me an email at akha@akha.org
Copyright 2004, by Matthew McDaniel