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-   -   Wanderlodge, The Final Days. (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6001)

davidmbrady 04-06-2010 11:34 PM

Wanderlodge, The Final Days.
 
A fascinating read:

http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.go...006-39365P.pdf

Excerpt:

"16 Q, Was it ever explained to you by management
17 as to why it was selling the division?
18 A, I was told that they had a specific amount
19 of money to spend on the entire corporation, and they
20 could either spend it on Wanderlodge, or they could
21 spend it retooling school bus lines.
22 Q, And they elected to do the school buses?
23 A, There is more profit.
24 Q, And who told you that?
25 A, Christoph Majeske."

iamflagman 04-07-2010 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 52553)
A fascinating read:

http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.go...006-39365P.pdf

Excerpt:

"16 Q, Was it ever explained to you by management
17 as to why it was selling the division?
18 A, I was told that they had a specific amount
19 of money to spend on the entire corporation, and they
20 could either spend it on Wanderlodge, or they could
21 spend it retooling school bus lines.
22 Q, And they elected to do the school buses?
23 A, There is more profit.
24 Q, And who told you that?
25 A, Christoph Majeske."


David,

Would you please also note on which page those excerpts were located at.

mynavion 04-07-2010 06:18 AM

I hate to see Parliament's name included in this. Before anyone responds, yes I know how it works, but I still hate to see it.....



Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 52553)
A fascinating read:

http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.go...006-39365P.pdf

Excerpt:

"16 Q, Was it ever explained to you by management
17 as to why it was selling the division?
18 A, I was told that they had a specific amount
19 of money to spend on the entire corporation, and they
20 could either spend it on Wanderlodge, or they could
21 spend it retooling school bus lines.
22 Q, And they elected to do the school buses?
23 A, There is more profit.
24 Q, And who told you that?
25 A, Christoph Majeske."


mynavion 04-07-2010 06:30 AM

I forgot to mention, thanks for posting this. For me at least, its interesting reading...



Quote:

Originally Posted by davidmbrady (Post 52553)
A fascinating read:

http://nhthqnwws112.odi.nhtsa.dot.go...006-39365P.pdf

Excerpt:

"16 Q, Was it ever explained to you by management
17 as to why it was selling the division?
18 A, I was told that they had a specific amount
19 of money to spend on the entire corporation, and they
20 could either spend it on Wanderlodge, or they could
21 spend it retooling school bus lines.
22 Q, And they elected to do the school buses?
23 A, There is more profit.
24 Q, And who told you that?
25 A, Christoph Majeske."


markusfmeyer 04-07-2010 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mynavion (Post 52562)
I hate to see Parliament's name included in this. Before anyone responds, yes I know how it works, but I still hate to see it.....

I don't understand. Care to explain?

Also, is it just me or are there pages missing? I only saw odd numbered pages, all the even numbered ones seemed to be missing.

mynavion 04-07-2010 09:25 AM

If you scroll down instead of paging down you will see that there are 4-sheets per page. The missing even number pages are on the bottom half of each .pdf page.

After having read it I had misunderstood things. I see now that Parliament was included as a dealer selling the M450. I was previously thinking in terms of them now owning the "intellectual rights".



Quote:

Originally Posted by markusfmeyer (Post 52567)
I don't understand. Care to explain?

Also, is it just me or are there pages missing? I only saw odd numbered pages, all the even numbered ones seemed to be missing.


Stephen 04-07-2010 09:32 AM

i resized it ti present 4 pages on a page
it does read correctly
1 3
2 4


5 7
6 8

iamflagman 04-07-2010 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mynavion (Post 52568)
If you scroll down instead of paging down you will see that there are 4-sheets per page. The missing even number pages are on the bottom half of each .pdf page.

After having read it I had misunderstood things. I see now that Parliament was included as a dealer selling the M450. I was previously thinking in terms of them now owning the "intellectual rights".

John,

Did you read all of it, I got to page 100 and stopped for now, but I will read more when my old eyes are not blurry anymore:rolleyes:

I did read where they mention that Parliament was the winner of the auction for the filing cabinets and records, about which they are asking questions about some records missing, I'm just glad that the forum was not the winner of that auction, we don't need to have that headache.

Gene Mehr 04-07-2010 10:07 AM

I openend it and all there was is scrambled letters and numbers

davidmbrady 04-07-2010 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamflagman (Post 52560)
David,

Would you please also note on which page those excerpts were located at.

John,

Page 116.

clyndes 04-07-2010 10:51 AM

Page 116

Interesting reading on a day home sick. Lawyers certainly have an interesting job. I feel sorry for the engineer!

JackandLiz 04-07-2010 11:40 AM

What are the charges in this lawsuit?
 
Howdy.
Guess I've missed something. I read through Pg 32. WHAT are the charges in this lawsuit? What is the plaintiff asking for?

TIA,
Liz

DTW1086@cox.net 04-07-2010 01:25 PM

Very interesting reading, I stayed up til 1:00 AM reading the whole thing.

Bumpersbird 04-07-2010 02:29 PM

That was interesting I read all 258 pages.

Unless I'm mistaken there will not be a happy ending.

Owners are stuck holding the dirty end of the stick. Three of four choices for who is responsible, builders, suppliers, engineers, dealers. Sure looks like there were a lot of cooks in the Kitchen.

The engineers had an idea that something wasn't right with the statements of "The Coaches Are Getting Heavier" They'll throw someone under the bus that's certain. Management, :rolleyes: typical S.N.A.F.U.

I guess determining which Owner Group and when they knew there was a problem would be culpable.

Of course that may be too logical and of course knowing nothing about the law I wouldn't place a bet on who Pays!

There will be no winners, Everybody looses on this one. Mostly guys like us, The Owners F.U.B.A.R.

Joatha 04-07-2010 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bumpersbird (Post 52600)
There will be no winners, Everybody looses on this one. Mostly guys like us, The Owners F.U.B.A.R.

Oh...there will be one set of winners - the lawyers. Everyone else? Nope. They'll all lose.

I read it over lunch today - very fascinating. And, that was just one examination - the engineer. I thought that the engineer did a good job of testifying. He said what he knew and what he didn't know.

davidmbrady 04-07-2010 06:05 PM

One of my favorite passages regarding testing at "The Bosch Proving Grounds in South Bend Indiana", page 243:

"2 A, We torqued the coach enough to where we were popping
3 skins loose and breaking windows.
4 Q, Why would you do that to the coach?
5 A, Because I wanted to see what it could do.
6 Q, Essentially you wanted it to fail?
7 A, I wanted to see how far you can take it
8 before it does fail.
9 Q, And what was your assessment of the
10 durability testing on the coach?
11 A, Well, we passed all the testing. We were
12 complimented numerous times by the technicians at
13 Sound Bend. We would leave -- I actually went to the
14 track once and we would leave to go on our durability
15 cycle, and all -- there was another RV company that
16 had a unit there, and they would go to the track just
17 to drive in circles, and we would go out in the
18 woods, and we would be doing these events that
19 just -- I couldn't film it inside. I had to get out
20 to film it. And it just -- it was a tank on wheels
21 and that's what we were going after."

markusfmeyer 04-07-2010 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackandLiz (Post 52585)
Howdy.
Guess I've missed something. I read through Pg 32. WHAT are the charges in this lawsuit? What is the plaintiff asking for?

TIA,
Liz

Bottom line, there were issues with several coaches, including a death apparently. I think from what I've read so far, they are trying to figure out what BB knew, or didn't know. Just like with Toyota now, if it turns out they hid information they knew that could have prevented fatalities or accidents, they will be way more liable than otherwise - because they knowingly surpressed or hid information. I think the biggest issue here is that the company changed hands several times, and it looks like they didn't do a great job of documenting things either officially.

Obviously the person who died and their family will never "win". Not sure what damages the other 2 coaches sustained other than tire blowouts. I find it interesting that one way to address the problem was a bunch of changes that they thought would cost close to a million, about as much as a coach cost to build. Not sure if they considered different axles, but again, this isn't the first time this has cropped up. First off, the early BMCs had this same issue on the rear axle. Then, other manufacturers in the RV industry have long been doing the same thing. One obvious way to address it is by making thinner, less heavy materials - hence the stick and staple coaches, which BB never built. That didn't leave them many options unfortunately.

Bottom line, if someone thought there was an issue and never notified owners of the potential problems and furthermore knew something bad and knowingly hid it, the lawyers will have a field day. What a shame. The Luce family is probably quite ashamed of how things turned out compared to how things started.

dentmac 04-07-2010 08:09 PM

Read the rest of the public documents on NHTSA
 
Go to the NHTSA site:
http://www.safercar.gov/

select "defect investigations"
select search defects
use DP09006
select search documents
3 days of reading

Randy Dupree 04-07-2010 08:27 PM

Truly a sad story,and to think it could have been prevented.

iamflagman 04-07-2010 08:50 PM

I have been very busy tonight and just now have had a chance to post this message on this thread.

There is no need to double post your messages as this thread is being moderated because of past abuses on the topic of the lawsuit, so please bear with me, I will read each post and so far everyone has been behaving themselves and all of them have been approved, except for the duplicate post which only one of then was approved and the other deleted.

Randy Dupree 04-07-2010 09:26 PM

We moderated this thread because topics like this can get people excited,bad feelings come out and we all feel that someones to blame for the problems..

markusfmeyer 04-07-2010 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dentmac (Post 52626)
Go to the NHTSA site:
http://www.safercar.gov/

select "defect investigations"
select search defects
use DP09006
select search documents
3 days of reading

Am I correct in assuming you are one and the same as Dr. McKillop in the original link/suit discussion?

pgchd 04-08-2010 08:39 AM

I read this yesterday morning, thanks David for posting, yes it was " very interesting", I too liked the passages you "highlighted", especially the Bosch testing piece......tanks we have!!!:D I will not comment on pending litigation but I found the manufacturing process / procedures extremely interesting and informative. Lots of commonality with other products processes I've seen produced. The process information about weighing coaches and certification was very valuable in my opinion. Although I can't 4 corner weigh every year, I am glad I use the scales every year when I'm loaded,and make good use of the blue highways tooling along at 55 pretending I'm on a bike pushing 24 tons!!!!!!!!;)

Bruce 04-08-2010 05:40 PM

Sure makes for interesting reading. I cannot figure out how that lawyer knew that Randy traveled with his anvil collection. But he forgot about the sledge hammer collection in the other bay! I dont know if maybe I am reading too much into the deposition but it seems like they are almost suggesting that Cerebus new there was a serious weight problem. At one point it sounded like he was inferring that CCW declared bankruptcy to avoid a lawsuit. Interesting!!

davidmbrady 04-08-2010 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pgchd (Post 52664)
I read this yesterday morning, thanks David for posting, yes it was " very interesting", I too liked the passages you "highlighted", especially the Bosch testing piece......tanks we have!!!:D I will not comment on pending litigation but I found the manufacturing process / procedures extremely interesting and informative. Lots of commonality with other products processes I've seen produced. The process information about weighing coaches and certification was very valuable in my opinion. Although I can't 4 corner weigh every year, I am glad I use the scales every year when I'm loaded,and make good use of the blue highways tooling along at 55 pretending I'm on a bike pushing 24 tons!!!!!!!!;)

Thank Ross for unintentionally chronicling a very pivotal point in Wanderlodge history. Thirty years from now I can see someone asking what happened to the Wanderlodge. "Any lawsuits? I don't know, let's see if we can find some depositions, Okay"...

Randy Dupree 04-09-2010 09:11 AM

it is interesting,i would love to see footage of the testing at the Bosch track,or even talk to the driver who tested them.

So,the downfall of the 450LXI after the recalls are done is what?
All prevost conversions have the genny in the middle bay,so thats not a biggie,if it was Bird owners would not have traded for a prevost in the past..

markusfmeyer 04-09-2010 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randy Dupree (Post 52749)
So,the downfall of the 450LXI after the recalls are done is what?

Was there finally a recall at some point done? If so, what did it do?

Well, one downfall, if nothing else, is the same bad press that Toyota, Audi and others have had now and in the past when accused of knowingly hiding issues with their vehicles. Except in this case, unlike Audi who was almost run into the ground, BB no longer exists so that's now a mute point. But, I would think it would lower the price of 450's to future buyers if there is any concern with safety in those coaches. Hopefully it doesn't tarnish the reputation of BB and their coaches overall, as that would affect resale prices for all of us.

bluemangroup50@yahoo.com 04-09-2010 01:21 PM

a fascinating read
 
Yes, it is a fascinating read. Not being able to comment much on the litigations, as they are still pending, I believe there were probably a few more claims againist the product liability with against other dealers as well. In my opinion and from talking to other M450 Coach Owners, Blue Bird Body Company is doing a fine job in defending their dealers against these claims, as well as performing the recall to the satisfaction of their owners. I've been told that approximately 58 models of the 450LXI were produced, and they have all been recalled through several different phases, except for the one everyone probably knows about that was totaled in TN. on its way to the Rally in the Valley from California.

We've sold several 450 LXI post recall and the coach owners seem to be very happy with the product.

Steve Mitchell
Parliament Coach

susanmarycamilleri 04-10-2010 11:32 AM

Very interesting.

I visited an RV manufacturer in Canada that makes higher end trailer and Fifth wheels. A good friend of mine owns one of them and was surprised that when he weighed his trailer it was much heavier than the "estimated" weight that was printed in their brochure.
Apparently, most if not all trailer manufacturers underestimate the weight of their trailers in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.
I am sure that there are many trailer and fifth wheel trailers out there that are being pulled by trucks that do not have the legal towing capacity, or pick up trucks that are over gross when they have a truck camper in them. I know that I have seen many of them.
There must be some old truckers on the forum and I am sure they could tell stories of truckers hauling more than they should. There are even songs about it - six days on the road.
It would be interesting to get the weights of other bus conversions, MCI, Prevost etc, to see if this is a common situation.
I am not saying that over weight is okay, I'm just pointing out that I believe it is a common problem, that most people are willing to ignore, or that they don't want to know about it.

Stephen 04-10-2010 01:05 PM

have a look at greyhound bus express the package delivery of choice out west
mci, that have pintle hitches and air brake glad hand on the rear

rrueckwald 04-10-2010 04:08 PM

Peter, I would bet you are right. Not a good scenario.

However, if one is involved in an accident, and the coach is overweight, I'd not want to be on the liability side of that as it would be determined to be negligence which insurance will not cover. "I didn't know." doesn't cut it in court.

We watch our weights carefully; we are within 515 pounds of the front axle limit before loading the seasonal stuff for going south, so we have to manage it closely. Systems are engineered with a safety factor, but coach age alone is using some of that up.

As Paul LaZar says, "This opinion is worth what you paid for it.."

Bruce 04-10-2010 10:48 PM

BB was not the only RV mfr. with a weight problem. CC also had this problem. Many RV mfrs. weigh the completed coach but that info is not normally passed onto the buyer. From reading the deposition it appears that BB was aware of this problem for many years. Before the plant closed under CCW I asked the person giving me the tour about overweight issues. He blamed it on the owners wanting too many goodies. Almost every 40 ft. single axle mid to high end MH is overweight on the rear axle. Without starting a war on this subject it is my understanding that a single rear axle cannot carry more than 20,000 lbs. All the Tiffins, American Coach and the high end Monaco single axles are overweight on the rear end. The comment about that Canadian RV mfr. is very interesting. All Canadian made trailers are supposed to conform to CSA standards. The listing of weights is a requirement. So I guess this mfr. just lies about the real weight.!!!

davidmbrady 04-11-2010 10:10 AM

Many of us have issues with particular axles that are close to their rated capacity, even though we're quite far from our CCC. Here's what Erik Johnson had to say.


Excerpted from page 162:


"5 Q, It's what?
6 A, I did not expressly dictate that to them.
7 Q, What do you mean by that?
8 A, I didn't tell them where they could put the
9 cargo.
10 Q, Well, would a reasonable person assume that
11 they should be able to put cargo in a cargo bay?
12 A, Well, the folks that have other
13 Wanderlodges, are they all exhibiting the same
14 issues?
15 Q, I mean, you understand there are 58 very
16 pissed off sets of customers here, don't you?
17 A, Are they all pissed off?
18 Q, We'll let a jury decide that.
19 A, That's not my argument, you know. The
20 people that have had several coaches that understand
21 weight distribution, that's just -- you get used to
22 doing that. So when you by a new coach, you
23 understand that I have my golf clubs, I need to put
24 them in the last bay; I have my pillows and blankets,
25 I can put them in the first bay."

Bluebird Bob 04-11-2010 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by susanmarycamilleri (Post 52824)
Very interesting.

I visited an RV manufacturer in Canada that makes higher end trailer and Fifth wheels. A good friend of mine owns one of them and was surprised that when he weighed his trailer it was much heavier than the "estimated" weight that was printed in their brochure.
Apparently, most if not all trailer manufacturers underestimate the weight of their trailers in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.
I am sure that there are many trailer and fifth wheel trailers out there that are being pulled by trucks that do not have the legal towing capacity, or pick up trucks that are over gross when they have a truck camper in them. I know that I have seen many of them.
There must be some old truckers on the forum and I am sure they could tell stories of truckers hauling more than they should. There are even songs about it - six days on the road.
It would be interesting to get the weights of other bus conversions, MCI, Prevost etc, to see if this is a common situation.
I am not saying that over weight is okay, I'm just pointing out that I believe it is a common problem, that most people are willing to ignore, or that they don't want to know about it.

Talked to a Prevost owner of a 45 footer alongside us here at Twin Oaks park in Elko, Ga....imagine that, a Prevost owner talking to a lowly 84 bird owner!
He said his rig weighs 53,000 lbs!! Jeeze....doesn't have an air brake endorsement, just a regular Florida driver's license....nice...really nice.:eek:

susanmarycamilleri 04-11-2010 12:02 PM

During the tour of the trailer manufacturer there was a comment made, by the guy giving the tour, something along the lines that all manufacturers understate their weights. I don't remember the words exactly- but that everybody lies so they are forced to lie as well. I have noticed on many brochures of fifth wheels and trailers the weights are given as estimated and that they may vary due to installed options.
I don't know if they actually weigh the units after they are made.

peteaeonix 04-11-2010 01:20 PM

Earlier in the deposition, there was a comment about each "model line" getting heavier as production progressed -- and the one giving testimony discussed the need for a "weight reduction program" where lighter materials, thinner steel (body), and lighter cabinet material should be used.

Indeed, my coach exhibited some "concerning" weight issues, leaving a potential to overload the drive axle in some circumstances (due to side to side variation). However, I never had the opportunity to weigh each corner independently, so I'm not entirely certain if that was a "real" issue, or not. The drive axle was heavy on the curb side, but the tag axle was heavy on the street size -- this did not make sense and may have been caused by weird air bag loading. The coach had made a tight, 90 degree turn (to enter the service bay) just before being weighed. I'm not sure the air bag system had been given enough time to "settle." Of course, this could, instead, have reflected a screwed up adjustment in the rear suspension between the tag and drive axle. Had that been the case, I'd have hoped that the shop would have been bright enough to realize the problem, since they were a suspension specialist. (I was having the wheels aligned and we replaced the drag link during the process.)

We didn't carry an "anvil collection" -- but my wife wanted to bring her Kettlebells (weight lifting apparatus) -- a couple hundred pounds in total. I placed them in the 2nd compartment, curb side, in the narrow space where the BB deck chairs used to be stored. It's stuff like this that can drive you nuts.

After reviewing the testimony, it might have been better to have stored those in the bedroom closet (from a weight distribution standpoint) but my wife would probably have dropped on of the weights on my head due to the inconvenience...

Turbokitty 04-11-2010 01:40 PM

My peanut way of thinking has me wondering why such very expensive motorcoaches were pushed to such limits without going to larger capacity axles:rolleyes:

I know Terex makes bigger axles;):p

Were tire ratings an issue too?

Joatha 04-11-2010 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbokitty (Post 52879)
My peanut way of thinking has me wondering why such very expensive motorcoaches were pushed to such limits without going to larger capacity axles:rolleyes:

I know Terex makes bigger axles;):p

Were tire ratings an issue too?

The problem is that you begin to run in to issues on how heavy you can run on the highways. The federal limit is 34,000 lbs for a tandem axle set (ie drive/tag) and 20,000 lbs for a single axle. So, in theory, the coaches can't weigh more than 54,000 lbs - 34K on the drive/tag and 20K on the front. If you want, you could add a 4th axle in the middle and add another 20K. I think Revcon did something like this on some of their 80's models. It might've been another manufacturer.

davidmbrady 04-11-2010 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbokitty (Post 52879)
My peanut way of thinking has me wondering why such very expensive motorcoaches were pushed to such limits without going to larger capacity axles:rolleyes:

I know Terex makes bigger axles;):p

Were tire ratings an issue too?

Well ultimately it's the Federal Bridge Gross Weight formula for single and tandem axles that provides the limiting factor: 20,000 lb for single axles and 34,000 for tandems. For a three axle bus that means a max GVWR of 54000 lbs. The Prevost mentioned earlier weighed in at 53,000 lb and I know he has an 18,000 lb steer axle. This means that he's overweight on one or more of his axles, from both legal and technical view points. If your high end coach has full length Gerard awnings, residential refrigerator, basement entertainment systems, laminate cabinetry, granite, marble, and corian surfaces, it's probably overweight. There's truth in the notion that consumers' endless requests for more and more has made these vehicles very heavy. Erik Johnson points out that it's cheaper to increase the axle capacity then it is to put the bus on a diet. Add to this the need for a converter/manufacturer to stay competitive in feature sets and you end up with an industry in denial. Marketing then get's to play their games with numbers to massage the buyer.

E Johnson 04-20-2010 03:10 PM

I didn't know this would become public knowledge. I tried to give accurate answers to the questions asked. If I can be of any assistance to anyone, please let me know. I still reside in Georgia.

Erik Johnson


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