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Airport buses defective

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Airport buses defective

Postby Roderick Smith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:44 am

Roderick.

A quarter of all Melbourne Airport buses tested found to be defective.
Herald Sun July 11, 2017.
A QUARTER of all buses tested at Melbourne Airport were found to be defective in a worrying trend for airport users.
Officers from Transport Safety Victoria joined forces with Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police Heavy Vehicle Unit and VicRoads to conduct the compliance blitz at Melbourne Airport in May.
Drivers were tested for drugs and alcohol and had their licence and accreditation checked, while buses and attached trailers were examined for roadworthiness.
A total of 31 buses and 15 trailers were checked, resulting in eight buses being issued with defect notices for worn tyres, brakes and glazing.
Two buses had to be towed, one for severely worn tyres and the other for not having an operating park brake.
A quarter of all buses tested at Melbourne Airport were found to be defective. Picture: Calum Robertson
In both cases passengers had to disembark and wait for a replacement bus.
Transport Safety Victoria spokeswoman Antonia Preston said one of the buses operated by Jinling International Group (Australia) Pty Ltd was in such a poor condition that it decided to undertake an unannounced inspection of Jinling’s fleet and safety systems.
“This inspection resulted in all Jinling’s 13 buses being issued with defect notices,” she said.
“This result indicates Jinling has a systemic issue with its maintenance management system and TSV has prioritised its audit schedule to maintain a more rigorous oversight of this operator to improve safety performance.”
Five trailers were issued with defect notices for worn tyres, wheel bearings and couplings.
Two trailers were towed due to the severity of their worn tyres, wheel bearings and couplings.
BusVic executive director Dr Chris Lowe.
Infringement notices were issued to three drivers for failing to maintain their National Driver Work Diary, one driver for driving without a current driver accreditation, two drivers for using an unsafe vehicle and two drivers for using an unsafe trailer.
BusVic executive director Dr Chris Lowe said Victoria’s bus safety accreditation regime was world class and in place to ensure the highest standard of public safety.
“Operators who choose to ignore these mandated systems do so at their own peril,” Dr Lowe said.
“Industry is encouraged that Victoria Police, Transport Safety Victoria and VicRoads will be doing more planned and unplanned audits, to weed out fly-by-night bus operators”.
Melbourne Airport spokesman Grant Smith said its shuttle bus service was not among those buses affected in the recent Transport Safety Victoria audit.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... 95a6432bd2
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby V981 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:56 pm

I am guessing the operators caught up in this were most likely of Chinese origin and servicing the inbound tourism market. :twisted:
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby burrumbus » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:17 pm

Correct.
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby V981 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:23 pm

burrumbus wrote:Correct.


I remember a few years ago, myself along with around 8 of my colleagues from Grenda Charter were doing a job for a special events company at the Melbourne Cup. We were all parked up in the bus area when the compliance officers from Transport Safety Victoria rolled up to do a blitz. They did a check on the vehicles and the drivers to ensure they had all the correct licenses and accreditations.

In talking to one of the officers while this was going on, he virtually openly admitted to me that working for a credible company, they didn't expect there to be any issues with me or my vehicle. He said in the interests of fairness, they had to inspect everybody, even though the "Chinese operators of plain white buses" were the ones they expected to have compliance issues with.

Sure enough, it appeared going on the drivers who were handed infringements, that was exactly how it played out. One operator was told he was not allowed to operate from that second onwards. I think his group had to organize taxi's to get back to their hotels if I recall correctly. :lol:
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby burrumbus » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:53 pm

Yes,the Asian inbounds do present the majority of dramas ,not only in Melbourne,but elsewhere where they operate.They just don't seem to get the standards that need to be operated to.There are some good ones out there.You can see them by the condition of their vehicles.Sadly more blitzes are the only way to get them to adhere.Sadly that also means increased compliance by the good operators.
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby funbus » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:49 am

We sold our business to a Chinese company, they bought 30 new buses and are really doing well in the marketplace from what I can see.

The other problem I see with these companies is that they do some really long trips 7 days a week,

great ocean road
penguins
grampians
sovereign hill
etc

So I think having a small fleet with busy buses and tight profit margins, is a recipe for disaster when it comes to wanting and having enough cash flow towards maintenance.

But this is what one takes on as an accredited operator, so we should not feel sorry for simple carelessness and or stupidity.
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby boronia » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:21 am

My observations of Asian operators when I worked in the industry a few years back, were that they relied on a lot of "vertical integration". The Asian wholesalers owned the inbound operator here, the local operator also controlled the coaches that worked for them. There was no incentive to set "standards" for the quality of vehicles, so cheap second hand buses/coaches were the norm. Drivers and tour guides were usually "sub-contractors" rather than employees, and depended on kickbacks from their suppliers to survive. Usually they were students or working holidayers with little local knowledge. Restaurants and shops usually had links back to the operator, and passed large commissions back to them. Ripping off tourists with fake "admission fees" to free attractions was another lurk.

From ongoing observations, not a lot has changed although the influx of cheap Chinese buses/coaches has improved those standards.
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Re: Airport buses defective

Postby burrumbus » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:06 pm

I agree with most of that Boronia.It is a very competitive market with literally hundreds of operators competing.A fair percentage are tour wholesalers or travel agents operating their own fleets.Some travel agents/tour wholesalers subby in operators-but there is constant pressure on these operators to price cut.
The vast majority of vehicles are Hiaces/Coasters/Rosas as the group sizes are generally small.The majority of these buses are purchased either late model or mid life secondhand.Some of the better ones do buy new and the ones that buy new are the best quality operators looking after their buses mechanically and with cleanliness.The biggest problem most inbounds have with cleanliness, paticularly, is the lack of depot facilities.The vast majority just park at the drivers residences which tend to be in a range around 15 kms from the CBD'S
Before the influx of cheap Chinese buses the operators that had the bigger group sizes generally bought mid life to old secondhand full size coaches.Most inbounds are pretty poor at maintaining full size buses,but there aren't large numbers of full size coaches.Most operators range in size from 1 bus to around 5.There are only a handful of operators with over 10 buses,mostly minis.As Boronia states the influx of Chinese built buses has improved standards,but the vehicles rock up big kms each day and the build quality on these buses isn't great.
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