Two die on Fraser Island - Speed?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 15:32
ThreadID: 67974 Views:3332 Replies:11 FollowUps:10
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Two tourist died when their troop carrier overturned on FI this morning

Now I know from the past posts that we shouldn't cast our negative assumptions because we do not know what contributed to the accident or what the real were.

But in this case "the troop carrier overturned several times and left a trail of debris over 50 m"

Now if it was not travelling way too fast this could not happen

We said it sooo many times on this forum, whether the topic is tire pressures, tire choices, suspension, GVM, whether certain cars can make certain trips, etc etc , that if common sense prevail and one drive to the then the chance of damage (both vehicle and tragically in this case, life) will be less
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Reply By: Member - Paul W- Esq (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 15:44

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 15:44
I was thinking exactly the same thing, loaded to the roof with passengers, low tyre pressures and probably too fast. as we say though we can only speculate as we may be completely wrong??
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 18:05

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 18:05
Paul,

Just caught the story on the news, the driver has supposidly swerved to avoid an incomming wave. It was full of backpackers.

Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Follow Up By: Tenpounder - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 18:45

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 18:45
Hi Paul. I doubt that low pressures are as much of a problem as high pressures. I just wonder why you suspect they pumped up their tyres from the normal hire car pressure, 40 - 45psi, probably without a pump.
Chris
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Follow Up By: ross - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 10:54

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 10:54
I was under the impression they supplied the troopys with high tyre pressure and did not approve of hirees deflating them ,something to do with insurance.

The videos on youtube seem to confirm high tyre pressure.

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Follow Up By: Tenpounder - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 12:20

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 12:20
Yes, Ross, that was precisely my point, so the odds of excessively low tyre pressures are remote in the extreme.
Chris
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Reply By: CLC50 (QLD ) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:42

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:42
Being a Local to this Area ,It is time the 4x4 Hire companies realised the danger of letting Back Packers hire these trucks with out the experience to use these Trucks as there are many hidden dangers travelling these beaches specially with so many young people in one truck,
These young people like us all. When we all very young have no fear.
AnswerID: 360175

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:44

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:44
Driving skills, commonsense and respect for the rules.

I know it's easy for us oldies to criticise youngsters but in some cases it's deserved (not all so don't jump on me).

On the way home this morning a young guy in a Commodore (naturally) was pushing himself into tight spaces between vehicles, immediately eliminating any room for error. Overtakes another car, sees a space, squeezes in.

Then Karma.

Tail ends some innocent young girls minding their own business when the whole lane had to come to a halt because of something happening a dozen cars further on. He reduced his own room for error/safety by squeezing and then crunch.

He's at fault.



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Reply By: Member - Jack - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:46

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 16:46
From what I have seen of Fraser Island on quite a few trips, this has been a while coming. You cannot strew debris over 50 metres and tip the things over several times when travelling at a reasonable speed.

This should be a wake up call to the rental companies who just want the vehicles out of the yard and the signature on the rental agreement without any real advice on sand driving ... but it won't be.

CJ got it in one when he said " that if common sense prevail and one drive to the then the chance of damage (both vehicle and tragically in this case, life) will be less ". But what we do know about common sense is that it is not common.

So sad for the families of those who were killed.

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 08:19

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 08:19
Heard on the news that the hire company involved has the drivers do a 30 min video and course on sand driving before they leave. At least the hire company tired.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 08:41

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 08:41
It's a step in the right direction if they did. I have hired two vehicles up there to head over to Fraser (last minute decision when in the area) and received nothing.
Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Reply By: Smudger - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 17:32

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 17:32
Agree with all of that.

Then, there's the insurance companies who put a statement in the hire companys' contracts saying that if the hirer runs tyre pressures below the manufacturers spec's, the policy is null & void. Of course the first thing these poor bugga's see when they hit the sand on Fraser is a Nat parks sign advising reducing tyre pressures. Thy can't down pressure or they'll lose insurance ..they get fed up with paying premium rip-offs to the locals to pull them out of sand traps ..so they go like the clappers to avoid going down.

I also reckon the some fourby manufacturers need to take a good look at the messages they send out. Advertising their vehicles doing stunts in the sand, drving at high speed below the waterline on beaches, charging up vertical gravel roads ..generally doing things that no responsible 4X4 driver would do.
A few years ago one of the major manufacturer reportedly wrecked 5 vehicles to get the shots they needed for one of their commercials. They all hire professional drivers to choreograph the shots, many of which are dangerous.
Now, along comes some poor bugga who's never driven anything with a short stick, they give him one of those 'bullet-proof, go anywhere' trucks to drive, and the only tution he's ever had is what he's seen on tele.
And we've just seen the end result.
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Reply By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 17:50

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 17:50
Was on Fraser a couple of weeks ago and there are dozens of hire troopys all with exactly eleven occupants and all under 30.

Did not observe any speeding over the 80k/h limit but did have to pull a couple of them out of soft sand. Also saw several others dig themselves down, then eventually the rear doors open and 8 young things pour out and start pushing. Saw a couple of close ones when the driver decided to try reverse while there were still people still trying to push!

From what I understand the hire company requires the driver to sit through a short training video then off they go.

I was also told that they were not permitted to lower the tyre pressures at all. I could not determine what pressure they were running but from observation of a couple whilst standing on a hard surface it looked at least 25psi. I guess the hire company is concerned about having a tyre roll-off.

The ones we talked with were exuberant and lovely young people.
This accident is such a shame.

Allan
Cheers
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Follow Up By: goldpelican - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 23:21

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 23:21
Had some friends (originally from the UK) who visited Fraser about 3 months ago - they got bogged blocking a track (no compressor or tyre gauge provided in the rental 4WD and they have zero offroad experience) - a local tour operator snatched them out, the tyres had 70PSI in them when the tour operator offered to check and lower their pressures. The hire company apparently was chosen as they specifically advertise vehicles for use on Fraser. No gauge or compressor provided, or information provided about tyre pressures and sand driving ("stay left on the beach" apparently was the only advice offered).

Similar story from our trip to the Kimberleys last year - ran into a German family who had blown a tyre coming into El Questro - for starters he had been doing 120kmh down the Gibb, but his rental troopy tyres were all over 80PSI when the mechanic at El Questro checked them.

I don't understand 4WDs being hired out by companies without a gauge at minimum, let alone the option of a compressor. Bit like renting a vehicle without a fuel gauge.
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Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 20:02

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 20:02
Hi
Matt and I were on Fraser Island in 2008 and we came across a bright pink troopy full of OS backpackers - they were seriously bogged - we pulled them out and got them to safety -(go the 80 series!!!) however they had no idea with regards to 4WDriving ect - Matt gave them a few tips ect. I think if they are going to hire a 4WD they should know how to get out of a situation
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Reply By: Dunco (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 22:27

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 22:27
So many experts !!!!

Please leave the conjecture and let the real experts put the evidence together.

May the deceased rest in peace. Leave them be
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 09:01

Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 09:01
Here Here!
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Follow Up By: ross - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 11:00

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 11:00
Whats wrong with people expressing their ideas and knowledge.
It is the internet and that is one of its main benefits.
If a few of the overseas back packers read this before they got behind the wheel of their hire troopys ,they would be better off.
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Follow Up By: Dunco (NSW) - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 17:53

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 17:53
It is not knowledge, it is conjecture and guess work Ross.

No one knows how fast they were going. No one knows how far a troopy will roll at say 40km/h ...Do you ?

Leave it to the experts. They know what they are doing, we are only guessing.

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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 22:30

Saturday, Apr 18, 2009 at 22:30
Saw the footage on tonight's TV news.

Wow, what a mess !!

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Reply By: Mudjimba - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:16

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 20:16
We were at Fraser for 9 days and left the day before the accident. We travelled up and down the beach a number times where this accident happened and it was not a bad streatch. I would say that they were not exceeding the advised speed limit of 80kph as when we were driving on the beach between 60 and 80 kph we over took lots of back packer troop carriers but were NEVER overtaken ourselves.
As for the wreckage being spread over 50 mtrs..........thats nothing. It could happen at 40 kph or less, 11 people inside and all their gear stacked on top..........lots of weight up high and unstable.
While I don't agree with inexperienced drivers renting these troopys and self driving, they are usually a great group of people to talk to and are always williing to help push if anyone gets stuck.....it's part of the experience. Sure ....they get stuck and you have to tell them what L4 means but so what!

I get more worried driving on the beach with all the old DH's cruising around permantly bleep , never driving with out a stubbie in hand.....it's really ugly!

Most of the back packer troopys are driven by young females who seemd quite capable and responsible, as one said to me it wasn't much different to driving on snow.

Any way a very sad situation that will not be solved by lowing the speed limit.
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Reply By: dact - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 14:42

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 14:42
We saw similar, on the Merinee Loop a few years ago, came across a rolled hire 4wd rolled, no radio, and of course no phone reception out there(atleast then) 5 german tourists, who could barely speak a word of english. (My then 9yr old tried to converse in his limited primary level german...LOL)

We were able to pull their vehicle back upright clear the smashed windows, and they there were able to continue the journey to Kings Canyon (as we were heading the other way) going about 20-30km/hr with 2 wheels wobbling.

They were lucky, no-one was seriously hurt, and they made it to Kings (we phoned from Alice to check if they arrived ok)
but just scared the pants off them, and served as a good warning to us and the other vehicle we were travelling with. But we commented at the time, that it seems irresponsible for these hire companies to hire 4WDs to people with no 4wd experience, and for these people, they had never seen roads like ours before. Lord knows what the repair bill was like !!
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