Dodgy Wicked vans taken off roads

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:50
ThreadID: 75052 Views:3720 Replies:17 FollowUps:21
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From the ABC news website

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The Queensland Government says almost the entire Wicked Campervans fleet has been taken off the state's roads because of safety concerns.

The hire company voluntarily decommissioned 77 of its 86 brightly-painted vans when asked for the vehicles to undergo safety tests.

A further five vans submitted for testing were taken off the road by transport officials, leaving just four still in action.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas says he has written to other governments to warn them about the problem.

"I am relieved that we have been able to investigate and act here in Queensland before a terrible tragedy occurred," Mr Lucas said.

"We have seen the incidents involving four-wheel drives on Fraser Island and the Government has taken measures there to try and protect visitors to our state."

Mr Lucas says the December investigation took place after random compliance checks at Wicked Campers outlets in August and October in Cairns.

The results prompted inspectors to investigate the company on a state-wide basis.

Mechanical faults included structural rust, defective seating, oil leaks and severe accident damage.
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Reply By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:51

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 11:51
These were deathtraps waiting to happen

A great business idea but a badly maintained fleet of vehicles.
AnswerID: 398623

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:02

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:02
Having seen many of these vehicles on the road... and the poor state (no pun intended) they were in, I wondered how they even passed rego? Now they should investigate the mechanics/inspectors who allowed/passed the vehicles for use/rego in the first place...
Fred B
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AnswerID: 398626

Follow Up By: xcamper - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:43

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:43
Hi,
I used to build trailers for a living, and thy all had to be measured and inspected before being registered and insured.
Eventually I became a licenced registered trailer builder and my living depended on my honesty and workmanship. I was proud of my work.
As Fred B says,who inspects the inspectors.
pete
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FollowupID: 667597

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:44

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:44
"Now they should investigate the mechanics/inspectors who allowed/passed the vehicles for use/rego in the first place"

That is too much common sense for a pollie to think of Fred. I have to agree with you though. Only problem I see is that if they are Qld registered vehicles they would have only needed to be "roadworthy" for the initial inspection and thus making it hard to ping the inspector who passed it fit.

Cheers, Trevor.
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FollowupID: 667598

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:47

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:47
Wouldn't they be classed as a commercial vehicle and therefore require regular inspections??


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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FollowupID: 667599

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:53

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:53
Don't know how "Wicked" run their business but I know of many owners using their vehicles (including small fleets) commercially without commercial rego. I suspect your thoughts would be correct for a hire company though Kev. This would then make it much easier to prosecute the inspector. May be worth writing a letter to Paul Lucas with these thoughts.

Cheers, Trevor.
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FollowupID: 667603

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:57

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:57
You write it and I'll sign and post it LOL


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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Reply By: long haired nomad - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:38

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:38
And the ones that are still on the roads are at the Summernats In canberra. I passed about a dozen of them heading south on friday just passed.
AnswerID: 398630

Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:06

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:06
The rest must be on the mid north coast, There is about six of them here at South West Rocks.
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:10

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:10
Gidday

One in perth too, passed it in South Perth this morning ... had a queensland rego and i must say it looked very untidy even for a wicked camper

Cheers Rocco
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FollowupID: 667609

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:01

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:01
This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Foul Language Rule .

Forum Moderation Team
AnswerID: 398637

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:20

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:20
about time
AnswerID: 398646

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:39

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:39
Gday,
Its seems odd how a whole fleet of vehicles maintained be dozens of different mechanics can all be so bad? If they only used there own mechanics I would understand.....but to find that many dodgy mechanics scattered all over Aus is a bit of a worry.
If they are un road worthy well and good........as long as someone hasn't got the "POO"S" ( sorry about the foul language in the previous post!!!) with them and gone through them with a fine tooth comb.(tall poppy)

Cheers
AnswerID: 398654

Follow Up By: xcamper - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:53

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:53
Hi Hairy,
I just got my previous follow up in just before yours. You are correct in your views, But I also believe that this may be a follow up to other rental vehicle problems and well press covered accidents, and be a political kneejerk reaction
pete
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FollowupID: 667604

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 13:30

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 13:30
Hairy, it sounds like it's just the Qld campers that were taken off the roads with the other state gov'ts being alerted to the situation so they can follow up with Wicked in their respective jurisdictions. So, may not be dodgy mechanics all over Australia, but just the one(s) that Wicked use in Qld? Finally, a mechanic (no matter how 'un-dodgy') will only fix what their client will pay them to fix...
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FollowupID: 667792

Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 14:30

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 14:30
I wouldn't be so quick to blame the mechanics. Companies like this probably dont take them to mechanics unless they stop running and then they will only pay the bare minimum to get it back on the road

If it wasnt the customer complaints,it was probably their competitors who complained.

This site put up by victims of wicked campers gave me a giggle ,check out the pics
One of the crash victims below LOL
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24507626751


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FollowupID: 667797

Reply By: Rod E B - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:07

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:07
The less wiz bangs I have the luck to camp to the better

For a van with one sliding door it can go on all night
AnswerID: 398655

Follow Up By: Member - Peter E1 (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:19

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:19
So what next? 5th wheelers because they are too long. Pop tops because they are too high. We can't all aford a big 4wd with a 20k camp trailer or 40k caravan.
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FollowupID: 667657

Reply By: Ian & Sue - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:29

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:29
I might be wrong and probably should have Google'd it first but I thought that people didnt hire Wicked vans. I thought they actually purchased them with some sort of promise from Wicked to buy them back.

Now off to check that statement out - LOL

Sue
AnswerID: 398657

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:19

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:19
Do know of a mob in Melb who instead of hireing the vans "sell" them without going thru the paperwork of roadworthy and registration changes and with the promise to buy the vehicle back as long as the registration has not run out on return. All their vehicles are registered in Qld to bypass the annual roadworthy required in other states.
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FollowupID: 667659

Reply By: Rangiephil - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:29

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:29
In Broome they do their own service as there is a "Wicked" workshop next to the only butcher in town .
when we were there stocking up on vacuum packed meat , there were 6 or so vans being fixed /serviced?.
Saw one broiken down then going south. One of the deluxe Mitsubishi grey import 4WD thingos, the name of which escapes me for the moment.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 398658

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:35

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:35
I would imagine they have a pretty rough life on the road. Any rental car does these would be even worse .
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FollowupID: 667613

Reply By: DIO - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:41

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:41
So does this mean that the Govt. sanctioned/enforced annual inspections aren't working or does it suggest that there are some inspectors or inspection stations that are passing unroadworthy vehicles. Might be a job for i.c.a.c.
AnswerID: 398662

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:58

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:58
A few years ago I saw a total rust bucket 4x4 parked at our local shops. the subframe was just full of rust holes big enough to put your fist into.

I took the rego number and went home to get onto the DOT website to report it.

The site was so complex and so user unfriendly I gave up and just called it in on monday morning. I still had to wait 20 minutes to speak to a totally uninterested person who I doubt took the matter any further.

At least I know I made the effort.

PS the 4x4 had child seats in the back of it too.
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FollowupID: 667618

Reply By: Cruiser .- Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:54

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:54
D200,

Just came home from Brisbane on Thur and there were heaps still on the roads.

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 398664

Reply By: kiwicol1 - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:20

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:20
You will find most of them are registered in QLD, so no annual machinery checks. Col
AnswerID: 398670

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:26

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:26
And very probably exactly WHY they are based and registered in queensland !! :-(
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FollowupID: 667628

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 16:05

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 16:05
From reports in the media, there are over 500 wicked campers in their fleet, not all registered to Qld.

Though i found it interesting that their youtube safety video (as linked from their website when i could access it) of late october 2009 mentions:

A safe and reliable van makes for a happy camper. That's why all Wicked Campers undergo a safety check before going out on hire. These checks include (and are not limited to): tyres, brake pads and seat belts, oil and water, battery and brake fluid, lights and hand brake, doors and windows/locks and key, fuel filter, gearbox and diff, management system and a roadtest.


I was wondering what was missing in Airlie Beach yesterday...something didn't look right, now i know :)

Andrew
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FollowupID: 667639

Reply By: dbish - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:45

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:45
Could also be big name companies trying to get rid of there competition very cleverly? Daryl
AnswerID: 398681

Reply By: buggyrider - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:58

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:58
Found this song 'Wicked Camper Blues' by a guy called Rob Imeson and I think it sums up what a lot of people have thought about Wicked Vans, particularly regarding the contents of the vans.

http://www.triplejunearthed.com/arti...artistid=32343
AnswerID: 398685

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:58

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:58
Bad link sorry





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FollowupID: 667699

Follow Up By: Member - Paul M (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 20:55

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 20:55
Corrected url
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FollowupID: 667704

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:55

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:55
I note that the owner of Wicked has come out claiming a 'beat up' by the media.

He claims they still have 944 vehicles on the road, not the 4 claimed in some media reports. He also says they have 500 new vehicles on order that will hi the road this year.

Lots of Wiz Bangs still around guys and more to come.

Our media is known for not letting a few facts get in the way of a good story.

I'm not defending Wicked. They have a responsibility to provide safe vehicles. Just like the media should have a responsibility to get at least close to the truth.

Norm C
AnswerID: 398740

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 13:42

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 13:42
"The Queensland Government says almost the entire Wicked Campervans fleet has been taken off the STATE'S roads because of safety concerns. ... Acting Premier Paul Lucas says he has written to OTHER GOVERNMENTS to warn them about the problem. ... The results prompted inspectors to investigate the company on a STATE-WIDE basis."

The media report is only talking about the QLD branch of Wicked, not Wicked Australia-wide.
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FollowupID: 667794

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 14:54

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 14:54
This is a cut and paste from a SMH news report.

'Wicked Campers now run 944 camper vans throughout Australia, of which 611 vans were registered in Queensland.'

As I said, I'm not defending Wicked, just commenting on often inaccurate news reports, designed to sensationalise rather than report facts.

I don't know the real facts. What I do know, is they will rarely be determined by reading and listening to the media or politicians for that matter.

Norm C
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FollowupID: 667799

Reply By: HGMonaro - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:28

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:28
saw one today, Trafalgar or Yarragon
AnswerID: 398750

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 09:16

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 09:16
Just as a BTW, some years ago the QLG gov was contemplating annual checks and this did not have the support of the RACQ because they quoted some handy stats that showed that there were less unroadworthy vehicle crashes in QLD than there were in NSW where annual checks are done at a huge cost to the motoring public. The RACQ successfully argued the cost benefits did not stack up.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 398775

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