Checking restraints on Disaster Transport

Monday, October 14, 2002 3:22 PM

About two weeks ago, I rode Disaster Transport at Cedar Point for the first time. First of all, the 'Alaska' theme confused me. But when I got on the train, I noticed that there was only one ride op at the load station.

This ride op watched us get on the train. He waited until we were all sitting, then dispatched the train. I thought that this was very unusual because he did not check any of our restraints.

This greatly worries me. I like Cedar Point a lot, but this led me to have serious doubts about the safety of their operations. There are very good reasons that restraints are checked manually. Why don't they do it on Disaster Transport?

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Monday, October 14, 2002 3:48 PM
I don't know why they don't cheack but they didn't in July either.
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Monday, October 14, 2002 3:49 PM

Don’t question the whole establishment on the action of one person not checking restraints once.

It might not even be necessary, as I don’t think Cedar Point would jeopardize anyone’s safety.

*** This post was edited by KurtCobain on 10/14/2002. ***

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Monday, October 14, 2002 3:55 PM

First of all they checked mine in june but second of all the ride is really tame and uses a similar system to the mine train so I'm not worried.

Also if one ride op not checking you worries you then you should be scared riding anything. I hardly ever get a ride op that truly checks it. Like riding SFStL's Ninja, the ride ops raced from the front to the back of the train barely touching the restraint. So basically you had nothing to worry about.

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"But you hide away where no one can see
And it's only you that can set you free" Running Out Of Pain-12 Stones

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Monday, October 14, 2002 4:00 PM
The lap bars on Disaster Transport have extremely strong return springs and a mechanically operated ratchet pawl. Each bar has a dot on the load side which is clearly visible to the platform attendant.

On that ride, if the bar is down, it's locked. The extremely stiff return springs see to that. This isn't like an Arrow lap bar, which can be down but not locked. And it's not like the double-acting PTC lap bar, which can be down and latched but not locked. A visual check of the lap bars on Disaster Transport is perfectly adequate. Oh, and at the end of the ride, get your fingers clear of that bar because it comes up with quite a lot of force. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 4:02 PM

The past few times I've been on Disaster, it's just been a visual check. To be honest, I don't ever remember them checking on Disaster, but I could be wrong. I mean do you really need restraints at all on that ride!? The ride sure as heck isn't going to eject anyone and unless you're stupid enough to try to get out, you're not going anywhwere.

I don't condone missing lapbars and to be honest, it happened to me on MF and kind of got under my skin being a former employee of CP. It was a situation where the bars were all checked, but then got released and the girl on the back left of the train did not recheck her section. That was the only time I've seen bars missed at CP.

I don't think they are "missing them" at Disaster. I think it's just standard operating procedure to just visually check...

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Monday, October 14, 2002 6:57 PM
I was there yesterday. I don't remember them checking on DT, but I know for sure that the entire right side of the red train on Gemini (the only side that was running yesterday) went out unchecked time after time after time. Frankly, I was shocked.

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If you're skating on thin ice, you may as well tap dance.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 7:08 PM
I have been on rides like Goliath and Phantom's revenge when they did not check the bars at all. I was a little shocked but it was a hot day and the trains were not full. Not an excuse, but still they seemed to be having record loading times ;)

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www.EverythingRollerCoaster.com
~Hypersonic XLC, the most fun you will have in 1.8 seconds!

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Monday, October 14, 2002 8:31 PM
When I was at Cedarpoint in 2000, they dident check my lapbar or harnest on a few rides, includeing MF,Meanstreak,Bluestreak ,and corkscrew, and prop some others. Is there difrent laws in difrent states that checking restrainets isent nessacary?
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Monday, October 14, 2002 8:36 PM

I would imagine that trains go out occasionally at every park unchecked. Human error has to factor in there some time.

I tend to agree with Mr. Freeze, it seems that they are more worried that the bar has been depressed as far as possible rather than if they are latched or not. I hate being stapled.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 9:02 PM

Just because they are down does not mean they are locked, not on DT, not on any ride. When gears are constantly moving hundreds of times a day with lots of stress on them, they occasionally break down. The reason why bars are checked manually is to catch these instances before they get too severe. And just because it is a mild ride does not mean that people should be able to stand up during the middle of it. While most people wouldn't do this, all it takes is one idiot, or one scared kid, to try it and there is a major injury.

Do bars have to be checked every single time? Probably not. But should a train run for an entire day without ever being checked? Definitely not. And judging by the replies on here, the policy on Disaster Transport appears to be not to check them.

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Monday, October 14, 2002 9:15 PM

MDOmnis said:

I mean do you really need restraints at all on that ride!? The ride sure as heck isn't going to eject anyone and unless you're stupid enough to try to get out, you're not going anywhwere.



Not to mention the original Flying Turns had no restraints and those are considered more intense.


As for checking I've been missed a couple times as well, but pushing down without pulling up is almost as bad as not bothering at all. This happens a lot and I wonder if they bother training some of these people.

Gemini's bars I believe are on the same mechanism for each side. If one is locked they are both locked. In fact if you push up and down on one side the other sometimes moves a bit. Now why they check both sides on Magnum, which uses the same lap restraints I don't know. It could be because Magnum is more intense and they want to make sure the bar is down far enough (although I doubt either could eject anyone even there was no restraint ;)).

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Monday, October 14, 2002 11:26 PM

quailroberts said:

Just because they are down does not mean they are locked, not on DT, not on any ride.

You know, I would like for you to prove this to me, considering you have no idea how the ratcheting system on this ride works. I have worked on this ride, and the ride manual says exactly what RideMan said. A visual check is all that is needed on this ride, and that's why that is all that is done.

The way those lap bars release is the key to understanding how they work, and why the ride attendants know they are OK without tugging on them. When the lapbars are unlocked, you don't have to pull them up, they release themselves very forcefully (thus the "please put your hands in the air, your lap bars are now releasing"). If the lap bar was not locked, it wouldn't be down on their lap, it would be in the release position. If the spring wasn't working, the lap bar would not have released and would be in the down position before loading.

As far as checking on other coasters, I know that on some only one side needs to be checked. This is because both restraints are attached to the same system. Believe me, Cedar Point stresses safety to no end, but they still stress capacity, meaning safety checks aren't performed needlessly.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 5:08 AM

Read the next sentence after the one you quoted, and you'll have the answer. Believe it or not, moving parts do break or wear out occasionally when they are used hundreds of times daily. Any 'proof' beyond that is only available with physical evidence, which is impossible to present over the internet.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 5:17 AM

Again... you need to leave the operation of the ride to the experts. In the event that a spring was broken, the bar would be limp on the unload side and be easily seen. If it still isn't caught on the load side, it would create a difficult situation for the guest entering the vehicle, because there's no way to step into the train if the bar was down. It's too low to the ground. It's hard enough to get in as it is.

Then consider that the rider is so deep in the car, and the ride so mild, that no lapbar would be adequate.

A visual check is all that is required.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, when it's all in your mind. You gotta let go." - Ghetto, Supreme Beings of Leisure

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 5:20 AM
Blaster_1578, have you seen a bar failure on Disaster Transport? I know it's happened because I've seen that thing run with roped-off seats.

None of us is arguing that the system can't or won't fail. The point is, on Disaster Transport, the return spring pulls hard against the detent, making a two-stage visual check necessary: Check 'em when the car comes in to make sure all 10 bars are up; check 'em again before it leaves to make sure all 10 are down. The only way a bar will be down but not locked is if the spring fails AND the latch fails, in which case the failed spring should have been caught visually before the car was loaded.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 5:57 AM

WoodenCyclone said:
When I was at Cedarpoint in 2000, they dident check my lapbar or harnest on a few rides, includeing MF,Meanstreak,Bluestreak ,and corkscrew, and prop some others. Is there difrent laws in difrent states that checking restrainets isent nessacary?

I *might* take you seriously if you knew how to spell the word "harness."

Instead, I'm just going to attribute your lameness to the fact that we check lapbars so fast at CP that you probably missed the ride op flying by you.

(that and I can't see you being very observant, neglecting spell-check and all)

-Natalie

*** This post was edited by Natalie on 10/15/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 6:34 AM

The thing is, if its in the SOP, or whatever its called at CP, then the lap bars should be physically and visually checked. If they aren't, then that's a big, big problem.

Of course, if its not required by the SOP, then obviously somebody that knows a lot more than coasters than most of us has determined its not neccesary, and is no big deal.

Has anybody on this board Op'ed Disaster? Or at least read the training literature? I really dont' care either way if they check my lap bar or not, but of course the SOP needs to be followed to a "T" no matter what it says.

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

*** This post was edited by ravenguy98 on 10/15/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 7:53 AM

That's exactly what I was saying RideMan. You know that the bar is functioning by the position before it is loaded and after.

I haven't seen a bar failure myself (I only filled in over there), but I was told that when it happened, that it was the exact situation you described. I myself was skeptical over a visual only check and asked why. Thus they explained and showed me the SOP manual so I would understand.

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*** This post was edited by Blaster_1578 on 10/15/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 15, 2002 12:57 PM

I have to side with Natalie (gasp!) on this one. No one is going to buy a thing you say when you spell like a four year old! In all of the hundreds of coaster rides I've taken at CP, I've had my bar "missed" twice. Both on the same morning, both by the same employee, both on Millennium Force, and both after they had been checked once, but were released. No one is going to believe that you just so happened to have your bar missed on nearly every ride you rode all day. Quit trying to capitalize on the original post. We're not talking about a chronic problem. We're talking about a concerned guest not knowing the standard operating procedure on Disaster Transport (and now Gemini too where they have only physically checked one side - the other side is visual - for as long as I can remember and possibly forever).

Things happen really quickly on the platforms at CP. If you pay attention to just how things work and watch the employees, the signals, etc - most of their rides are really impressive operations. You'll probably start comparing CP crews to crews at other parks and start to realize why CP is so respected when it comes to operations. Magnum, Raptor, Gemini, etc all move people through extremely quickly and safely. I don't think things are missed too often at CP when it comes to ride operations. They do it better than anyone else.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 10/15/2002. ***

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