Sad Sign of the Times!

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 23:23
ThreadID: 135015 Views:5137 Replies:19 FollowUps:20
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I have just posted another thread alluding to the fact that I had an emergency break down.
I had just had my camper in for a suspension upgrade/recall & a wheel fell off about 80kms from Roma, Qld. I will not elaborate on the details or name the manufacturer, other than to say it is bloody scary when a wheel falls of a 2.5 ton camper at 100kmh.
We were unable to pull of the bitumen due to the very steep verge & it was only after about 10 minutes of road trains whizzing past, that I realised I could pull off the opposite side because the brake drum would run on the high side.
Anyway to get to the point, in a period of about 5 hours, only ONE private person stopped to see if we were okay, even though it was very obvious that we had big problems.

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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 23:51

Saturday, Jun 03, 2017 at 23:51
That is a sad fact these days isn't it. how do we change it?
AnswerID: 611658

Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:24

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:24
If it still has the brake drum was it the wheel studs broke off or the wheel nuts never tightened? Did anyone check them before travelling?
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Follow Up By: Member - DickyBeach - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:40

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:40
Years ago I pulled into the Kimberly factory in Ballina to have torn canvas repaired and got the shock of my life when they showed me that the RH wheel was held on by only one wheel nut.

The workshop in Sydney where I'd had the wheel bearings checked pre-trip had used a rattle gun to tighten the nuts and over-tightened them. When I returned to Sydney and showed them the 5 sheared studs the proprietor blanched at what could have been.

Ever since then, after a service I go over the Cruiser and the Kamper with a wheel brace and check the tensions for myself.

So, it could be not only loose wheel nuts but seriously over-tightened nuts.
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Reply By: sweetwill - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:38

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 08:38
Have seen the same thing happen at Maruya nsw brand new camper trailer first trip for the elderly couple, anyway it took us 15 minutes to find the wheel and yes it was the wheel studs sheared off.
AnswerID: 611664

Reply By: Genny - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:17

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:17
Hear ya! Wolf Creek and Ivan Milat have a lot to answer for .....

Seriously, consider the abominable events in our country in recent years, and it is not surprising people don't stop. The tourist at that rest area in NT, who got their throat slit, coward punches, glassings, all sorts of brutality.

Bring back the rope and cane, & let the jury decide punishment, not some antiquated senile judge.
AnswerID: 611666

Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:32
I agree, but the judges are just following command.
FollowupID: 881772

Reply By: AlanTH - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:29

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:29
Nearly happened to us some years back.WA made camper had had a "complimentary wheel bearing service, brake adjust" whilst having an awning attached.
Next trip we pulled off the road for a cuppa and I could smell hot metal... and the nearside wheel was leaning at an odd angle. Jacked it up and found the wheel bearing had not been tightened up!
Hot smell was the brake rubbing on the drum and getting it red hot. I bought some grease from a servo and redid them and never had a prob. for the rest of the trip.
Took it back to the yard and got there before the boss...all his men stood around shaking their heads in disbelief, but one of them had done it but none admitted to it.
Boss fitted new bearings and said that they had to employ who they could because the mines took all the best people! Not an excuse that would have gone down well at any inquest I suspect.
AnswerID: 611667

Reply By: rumpig - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:41

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 09:41
People not stopping is nothing new...we came across a woman broken down on the side of the Stuart highway up in the NT about 5 years ago, the bonnet was up on her sedan and one look at her it was obvious to me she needed help. It was late in the dry and pretty hot out in the sun, we stopped and she told us she'd been there for 2 hours with nobody stopping to help her. She had no water to drink, no phone reception to call for help, and a nearby quarry / mine had truck and dogs rolling out onto the highway past her regularly in the time we were there, aswell as all the other highway traffic that was cruising past. We sent friends up the highway to phone for help for her as the car engine had blown from overheating, we stayed with her for an over hour until help arrived so she wasn't alone in the middle of nowhere. Like I said, people not stopping to help is not new sadly
AnswerID: 611668

Reply By: Pete G - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 11:06

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 11:06
It is a sad reality, however, I don't think it has changed much over the years.
In my experience people (Gypsies they were called then) were setting up breakdowns and accidents 50 yrs ago with the intent of robbing you for the cash you carried in those days. Naturally the use of the fairer sex was the usual ploy.

Unfortunately scum like this prey on the positive aspects of human behavior.

Myself, I probably tend to take a chance and stop, although it is very dependent on the situation and what I feel for my personal safety at that instant. I have also been in countries where you don't stop even if in an accident (assuming the vehicle is still driveable).

That said there are various strategies that can be adopted to minimize the risk and if nothing else to put oneself in danger, a phone call to authorities alerting them to the situation would suffice. One can also wait down the road and flag down company if unsure.

Overall, I guess I have been lucky and those helped have been appreciative and I've got a few stories I can tell. I would certainly appreciate the favor being returned if it were me.

Also noting the number of comments in this post about wheels falling off, I'll pass on a little secret.

Go to the shop with the stuff in the centre isles and buy one of their torque wrenches (kit with sockets and extension). I got real lucky and paid $12-50 each (1/2 price) and fitted the family out. Had one checked out and it met calibration requirements for working on planes upto 120 Nm. Over that it under-read meaning tighter rather than looser. IMHO far better than the calibrated arm or rattle gun. Of course it is always an option to pay a lot more if one so desires for brand names.

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Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 12:11

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 12:11
I'd guess that in these times of good communications that passers by assume that you have called someone and are just waiting.

I stop to offer help, on more than one occasion 1st impressions have labeled the person a 'bit of a dick' and I have left them to it.

The last time was 6pm at the end of a long weekend, young family of 5 with everything for a weeks camping packed into a box trailer that had the wheel came off about 100km from their home.
The hub and wheel were stuffed, so we loaded everything in my ute and I stashed it in my shed until the trailer was recovered and fixed.
They were lucky and had 2 helpers stop, but with the traffic on The Buckets Way at the end of a long weekend, you would think that more than 2 cars would stop.

Another was a 35 degree day between Maitland and Raymond Terrace, again a well traveled road, but this couple in their 70's were on the side of the road with a flat. He was on the way home from hospital after a triple bypass and she couldn't even get the suitcase out of the boot to get to the spare.
I got to work 5 minutes late, not much in the overall scheme of things.
AnswerID: 611673

Reply By: nickb - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 12:19

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 12:19
It is a bit disappointing but did you flag anyone down?

I was on the Nullarbor in April and saw a car on the side of the road with bonnet up. Looked like it had hit a roo. I pulled over, walked towards him and asked if he was ok and did he need help. He just said "nup, I got a tow truck coming" then went back about his business. No thanks, no friendly chat. No dramas, I just went on my way, just the way it seems to be going nowadays.
AnswerID: 611674

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 08:30

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 08:30
Had something similar occur up Cape York.
Guy towing a caravan was missing one wheel and just parked on the side of the road as though it had just occurred.
We stopped and I started to walk back towards him to see if I could help. He simply started his vehicle and slowly drove forward dragging the stuffed caravan without the wheel. I was still some 20-30 meters behind him.
I gave up and walked back to my truck and drove off leaving him to it. Some people deserve the shit they land in.
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Reply By: lancie49 - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 18:25

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 18:25
I've stopped to offer assistance a few times over the years and always been thanked and told "we're OK", "the tow trucks on the way" or "we'll let it cool down and be on our way."
I did help change a wheel for one traveller.

A funny one just recently......
On the way down from Wagga, somewhere near Girgarre in Vic we spotted a bloke standing near the back of his van appearing to hold something.
I slowed down and as we got closer I wound the window down and yell out "You OK there, need any help ?"
He turned with a startled look on his red face, did up his fly and disappeared around the other side of the van.
We continued on our way.....................
AnswerID: 611686

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 20:07

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 20:07
I think part of the problem these days is people are conditioned to think the worst of people or a situation...

Tragic really!

I'll continue to take my chances and always stop to see if I can help.

I stopped on the Great Central Road to help three aboriginal gents fix a tyre - I was showered by more than a few stones as people raced by, but for me the experience was rewarding, we shared a lot of laughs and talked about 'country'.

After the tyre was long fixed, we shook hands and we were all on our way - for me I was richer for the experience.

Most people are the same as us all - decent people!

Stop and offer to help fellow travellers...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 611690

Reply By: Top End Az - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 21:43

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 21:43
On the Gibb River Road last year we blew a tyre not far from the Pentecost River, pulled over and jacked up the vehicle. I also put the bonnet up so oncoming cars could see us and hopefully slow down a bit as they went past as getting covered in dust isn't a lot of fun.
Granted, it was middle of July school holidays but it seems everyone was too busy to pull over to see if we were ok. The exception was one couple in an old army Landrover who said they always pull over to check on people which was good to see.
During our tyre change, which wasn't a big deal, no one stopped to check up on us, and a family in a 200 series towing a camper flew past us with not a hint of slowing down and was only a couple of metres or so from our vehicle. We were well pulled over off to the side of the road, and he showered our vehicle and us in rocks, gravel and dust. Thanks mate. Anyway, as karma would have it, we were back on the road only to pass him 10 minutes later, himself with a flat. The temptation was there to return the favour to him but we pulled over anyway. Bit of a sheepish grin from him and his missus but I think a lesson in outback etiquette was done for the day.
AnswerID: 611692

Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:05

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:05
We had the same issue on the final leg of our Kimberly trip when I forgot to check the wheel nuts at Windorah and 60km out of Quilpie lost the drivers side wheel as it past us heading off into the bush. I pulled over (plenty of space) and before i got out of the car a young Victorian farmer couple and there two boys pulled up and offered assistance. We used two high lift jacks and had enough clearance to remove the old studs. we had a couple of studs and some 10mm bolts and fixed the spare onto the drum. No damage at all on the drum after slowing down fro 90km/h on the bitumen. the young family then followed us fro 60km to Quilpie where we stayed. We bought them lunch and sent them on their way. Th next day new studs on both sides thanks to the local RACQ lad who pointed me to the local mechanic who repaired broken caravans in Quilpie.
So my story has a good semaratin ending which renewed my faith in our fellow man. While on the side of the road two other people offered help.
Mark And Helen QLD
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Reply By: Paul E6 - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:32

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:32
I usually get the wife to tighten wheel nuts.
Can you guess why?
AnswerID: 611695

Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 14:23

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 14:23
OK... Tell us!

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 15:24

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 15:24
Because she has usually got a tight grip on his...


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Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:57

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:57
It's so the physically weakest person is able to change the tyre in case the other is incapacitated.
If I tighten the studs, she wouldn't be able to get them off if I break an arm or something.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 09:49

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 09:49
Sorry! I don't understand your logic.

Shouldn't the nuts be done up to a standard tension? If your wife can't undo that standard - you lower the standard so she can? Or is it that you over tighten them?

I use a torque wrench on mine and have an pipe extension if needed. My wife uses the pipe to gain a mechanical advantage. She cracks the nuts while I drop the spare tyre and get the jack. Fortunately we have only had to practice in the driveway.


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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:50

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:50
Yep, leverage!
FollowupID: 881775

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:45

Sunday, Jun 04, 2017 at 22:45
We always stop and offer help, unless close to a town when mobile contact for help from town would be easy for them. In remote areas we find that most caravanners and campers stop, even if someone else already has.

A couple we met were on the Kalumburu road and stopped, and everyone stopped to ask if they were OK, so when the seventh vehicle pulled over she called out "I just need to pee". :O.

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Reply By: steved58 - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 15:26

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 15:26
I attempt to travel on a longer trip 6 to 8 weeks usually every two years when possible and every time at least once sometimes more I end up helping someone with a vehicle fault Funny it does often seem to be trailer bearings but you just have to stop no option in my opinion I would feel terrible if I did not stop I n the city its different and I will evaluate the situation before stopping particularly at night
Cheers all
AnswerID: 611706

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 17:32

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 17:32
A major part of wheels coming off is the use of 'rattle guns' that have not and in a lot of cases cannot be calibrated to the required torque for the various vehicle specifications ,,, now car manufactures actually spend big $$$ on research and development then outsource various components to 2nd and 3rd party manufactures , one of those is the vehicle specific Wheel brace , yep they all look silly , that angle and length of the lever is 'never going to do the job right ' ???? Thing is it has actually been designed and engineered to 'slip off' once the correct tension has been achieved ... no using a longer lever or body weight needed , just take it to the 'just about' to slip off and the nut / stud tension is how it should be , check with a 'calibrated ' tension wrench and you all may be surprised .... we all think that tighter is better ... nah ....
AnswerID: 611708

Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:59

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 21:59
My old man said that a quarter turn past "starting to get tight" was about right.
FollowupID: 881753

Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 23:09

Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 23:09
Are you serious? You really think they're designed to slip off when tight enough? Maybe they should put knobs on the end to stop the hand slipping off!
And on rattle guns , yes they can be bad, but only when not used right. As a tyre dealer for many years , I know this. We used torque bars with our rattle guns , which limit the tightness, then go over by hand with a torque wrench to finish. But you still can't totally eliminate the human element of making a mistake Occassionaly. Much to everyone's disappointment. Especially mine!
FollowupID: 881754

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 10:28

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 10:28
Mistake 'occasionally ' ? In well over 40 years I have never ever seen a tire fitter use a tension wrench when refitting a wheel to a vehicle .. NEVER ....How often have you Shane r1 ever gone and looked at the vehicle handbook for the specification of the correct tension of the wheel nuts on the vehicle you are working on ?? Every one ? 1 in 5 ? 1in 10 ? 1 in 100 ? or is it like its a Toyota she'll be right ?......
FollowupID: 881760

Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 12:41

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 12:41
Alloy, until a couple of years ago I was the same as you. But the last two sets of Yokies I had fitted by a local Bob Jane surprised me - ALL done with a torque wrench. (Their waiting room has a window onto the fitting bays). I actually queried them, and it is apparently standard and REQUIRED practice for all their outlets/franchises. Whether that is the truth or spin I'll never know, but those two sets were definitely torqued - just as I do at home.
FollowupID: 881765

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 12:56

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 12:56
Our Tyrepower also use tension wrenches.

FollowupID: 881766

Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 14:33

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 14:33
You may not have seen a torque wrench used, but we used them the last few years I was selling tyres, as I said previously. I have since retired from the tyre business.
And other posters are seeing torque wrenches used, maybe you're not going to quality tyre dealers?
Yes we did check owners manuals and tyre industry manuals, not all the time but enough to be around the mark.
And there is no way of 100% stopping humans making a mistake sometime.
From your above comment about the vehicles wheel brace/ tool being designed to slip off, I'm pretty sure your not very mechanically minded, so maybe you need to do some more research on the subject.
FollowupID: 881767

Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 21:06

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 21:06
Would hate to be relying on that angled brace when the nuts are too tight!
FollowupID: 881777

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 08:17

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 08:17
Nutta ,that is the whole point of the angle and length of the factory wheel brace , you cannot over tighten the wheel nuts using the brace as intended extension bar ...
FollowupID: 881784

Follow Up By: Nutta - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 08:55

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 08:55
I do understand that but if it was overtightened in the shop it could make things hard in the sticks, cheers.
FollowupID: 881785

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:29

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017 at 20:29
All is not lost!!!

Today I was helping a friend move a whole lot of stuff from one place to another.
I was towing a little-used two-axle dual horse float (or should that be a dual axle two-horse float?) loaded lightly, thankfully not with horses, but wooden chairs. So not much weight.

On the M1south of Wollongong, approaching dark, one of the old, hard tyres on the float gave up. I pulled over and started normal proceedings. Fortunately there was a wide concrete shoulder to work on as a continuous stream of traffic whizzed by at 100 plus klicks.

Within a few minutes a tradie bloke pulled up and helped me out. I didn't really need help, I had everything I needed, but he helped speed things up with his easy to access tools and general help.

Doesn't happen much in metro areas, especially when the person in difficulty is a bloke, not one of the fairer sex.

A little faith in humanity is restored. Thanks mate!


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AnswerID: 611727

Follow Up By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 20:29

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2017 at 20:29
regarding my px ranger,i tried to tighten the wheels with a torque wrench.but the name brand sockets i used were too tight of a fit on the nuts
,i tapped them on lightly,and damadged the nuts,ended up using the same socket of a rattle gun with my tension wrench all nuts for the xlt px ranger are 30 dollars each.ouch bye barry
FollowupID: 881791

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Jun 08, 2017 at 14:10

Thursday, Jun 08, 2017 at 14:10
Barry, go to Mazda and by the nuts for the BT50 and then go to Ford with their receipt and return the new nuts. You maybe surprised how much cheaper the identical nuts at M Mazda are.

Just a little horse trading can work wonders.
FollowupID: 881806

Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Friday, Jun 09, 2017 at 16:28

Friday, Jun 09, 2017 at 16:28
Use proper thin walled wheel nut sockets -think i spotted them in red shirt hardware chain and certainly total tools have them.

I only use them on prado -tension wrench is a pricey tool to have bouncing around in back (plus size of it) but set of wheel tension indicators like mandatory fitted to mine specs gives a quick visual indication of tightness -or pilfering by sleazy hands

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Reply By: Member - peter_mcc - Monday, Jul 31, 2017 at 15:27

Monday, Jul 31, 2017 at 15:27
I'm a little late to the party but when we broke down on the Mitchell Falls Rd in the Kimberley I think everyone either stopped or slowed down to check we were ok. We had lots of offers of help - quite a few had a go at working out why the car wouldn't go, we got towed off the road by one family, someone else sold me some diesel (long story but we had a blocked fuel filter and needed more fuel) and then someone else gave me a jump start!

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