Australian manufacturers must ‘unite or die’

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 08:10
ThreadID: 136502 Views:3288 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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This might be of interest to new caravan or camper trailer buyer's...

"Only one third of existing Australian caravan and camper trailer manufacturers will survive beyond That is the prediction of Gerard Waldron, CEO Track Trailers...

“Following the end of Australian car manufacturing, the Motor Vehicle Act is currently being updated and the expectation is that the legislation from June this year will tie recall arrangements and ADR compliance much closer to the ACCC watchdog (the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission),” he told Caravancampingsales.

“The major change that this will bring is that RV ‘Providers’ such as importers and their dealers will now primarily be responsible to ensure that the products they sell are ‘Fit for purpose’, rather than the manufacturer.”

You can read the article at the following link...

Australian manufacturers must unite or die

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 14:29

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 14:29
The responsibility has always been that of the vendor/dealer, they can’t legally absolve liability & refer the buyer to the manufacturer.
The sooner Australian manufacturers actually read & comply with VSB1 the better, I looked a new Lotus Off Grid the other day & didn’t get past the draw bar before I noticed 2 non-compliant issues, Jurgens are no better.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:02

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:02
How do they manage to get them road-registered if they don't comply with VSB1?
Vehicle and trailer and 'van inspection is all about checking thoroughly for compliance here on the Left Coast.
Have the standards been dropped so much on the Right Coast, that you can register anything with wheels that rolls??

More importantly, how do people go when they have a prang, and an assessor deems the trailer or 'van, non-compliant? - thereby giving the insurance company a reason to avoid a payout?

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:42

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:42
It appears that way, also I believe that dealers can register their own new vans.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 06:48

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 06:48
Without wanting to split hairs on who is responsible for what, but my understanding in terms of ADR compliance is that currently the responsibility rests with the manufacturer.

Vehicle certification in Australia

Fit-for-purpose might be another matter altogether and I suspect that has more to do with consumer law rather than ADR compliance and hence why it appears a greater involvement from the ACCC in the new legislation.

But I am a casual observer not an authority on either. Either way, it would appear legislation before the Federal Parliament is set to shake the industry up...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:07

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2018 at 22:07
If it gets rid of the shysters and charlatains, and if that is most of them as it appears, then it can only be a good thing.

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 06:41

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 06:41
Following is a summary of the changes (relating to trailers) in the legislation which is currently before the Federal Parliament.

Light and heavy trailers summary

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 09:53

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 09:53
It doesn't look like a lot has changed, in the new legislation, to me.

The legislation goes from manufacturers "self-certifying" a design, stating that it is compliant (with all relevant laws and regulations) - to having to register with the Dept (once they produce more than 4 trailers or 'vans of the same design in one calendar year), acquire a "type approval" from the Dept - and then "self-declare" that the item meets with all relevant laws and regulations.

Perhaps the only real change in the new legislation is the need for a trailer or 'van builder to register with the Dept - and the demand that the Dept be allowed to access, "all manufacturing and design facilities".

If a 'van or trailer or camper is designed and built in China, then I can't really see any Dept officials being allowed into a Chinese factory to examine all the pertinent "manufacturing and design facilities".

The language barrier alone would be enough - let alone the Chinese techniques of total authoritarian party control - and stalling and shuffling investigation efforts from one party official to another.

These clowns in Parliament drawing this stuff up fail to understand that the Communist Party of China is the majority owner of any Chinese business above anything more than a one-man, or family operation.

There's also the lack of information in the article, as to what constitutes a "Light trailer", and what constitutes a "Heavy trailer".

At the present moment, under VSB1, there are 3 trailer weight categories - up to Medium - but no definition of a "Heavy trailer".

The current VSB1 definitions are:

VERY LIGHT TRAILER (TA)—A single-axle trailer with a GTM not exceeding 0.75 tonne.
LIGHT TRAILER (TB)—A trailer with a GTM not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, other than a trailer of Category TA.
MEDIUM TRAILER (TC)—A trailer with a GTM exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.

At present, it is my understanding that the current trucking definition of a "heavy trailer" is one over 4.5 tonnes gross.
Over that GTM, under trucking regulations, you need to revise your truck registration and pay more in registration, if you want to tow more than 4.5 tonnes.
For example, I own a 5 tonne Isuzu truck and it is registered to only tow a maximum of 4.5 tonnes.

Yet the truck is legal under the manufacturers rating, to tow 6.5 tonnes.
However, if I want to tow a 6.5 tonne trailer, I have to have the truck re-inspected, and pay more in rego fees, to be able to tow the 6.5 tonnes.

I don't know what the setup is, if you have, for example, a big U.S.-built "pickup" such as an F250 or F350, and you hook up a massive 'van to it, and the 'van weighs more than 4.5 tonnes (which is starting to become a feature of the larger rigs).

The only requirement then, is a need for air brakes over 4.5 tonnes - there's no requirement for another inspection or increased rego fees for the towing rig - as there is now, if the tow rig is defined as a truck.

As with all new legislation, there's a vast amount of discrepancies, gaps, poor wording, fuzzy definitions, and impractical and un-enforceable requirements in the legislation.

I trust someone from the trailer and 'van industry gets to the relevant pollies and blows in their ear about producing workable and anomaly-free legislation, in the new and revised Road Vehicle Standards Bill.

While they're at it, they could also look at removing the anomaly of not needing a truck or articulated endorsement to haul massive 'vans and trailers, with "pickups" that are basically trucks - on a car licence!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Apr 05, 2018 at 16:03

Thursday, Apr 05, 2018 at 16:03
I hesitate to even voice this thought, but maybe we need a bit of Trump-style protectionism for the Australian caravan/camper manufacturers to wind back the volume of cheap crap coming in from overseas!!
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