Coaster Mechanics

Thursday, October 25, 2001 3:02 PM
Hey, I was wondering if anyone knew any information on being a coaster mechanic.  What kind of education do they look for, or is there a program you can get into?  Just wondering, I dont care how much money they make, I just want to do something fun.  Thanks
+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 3:08 PM
When I worked at the Adventuredome, i realized that ride engineers (what we called them) dont always stay at one park. For example one of my good friends was an engineer and he used to work at SFMM. In talking to him I found out that most of them went to school for things like electrical engineering, structural engineering, and things of that nature. I doubt there is a school just for coaster mechanics, but if you acquaint yourself with the actual workings of rides now and combine that knowledge with a degree I'm pretty sure you'd get to where you wanna go.
+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 4:40 PM
Wooden coasters are taken care of primarily by carpenters (track and  structure) and mechanics ( rolling stock ,lift systems ,brakes,etc). Plus the control system (computer) techs. Steel coasters are handled by mechanics and system techs.

A good vocational background in these fields is a definite plus, plus a natural aptitude is helpful. There is always the old fashioned way. Start at the bottom and work your way up.

+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 5:03 PM
At Cedar Point you don't really have to have schooling to be in Maintenance. Although I'm sure it helps. You start out as a seasonal maintenence worker and then move on. An there really aren't "coaster mechanics" specifically. They work on all the rides. They are given a certain zone to work in.

  That is true..there is a seperate department for the computer on the rides. And as far as I know Maintenence does all the work wether it's wood or steel.

+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 6:31 PM
PatrickK, I admire you desire to get into the industry, but I don't know if I'd call it fun. Just imagine it's a full day at the park, and the star ride just went down. Everyone guest in line and the ride ops are staring at you while you try to get the ride back up and running. That's what I'd call stressfull.

-------------
Batwing-Bow Down

+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 7:16 PM
at SFGAm, you just have to be 18, I am not sure about any schooling, other than high school.  You learn on the job.  Heck SFGAm, had an international as a lead in maintenance.
+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 10:28 PM
Stress is something I can deal with.  Right now i'm the manager of a movie theatre and stress is something I already have to deal with.  But think about the perks!  I would get to work outside (not only outside, but outside at a park).  Hands on work, and best yet, the occasional ride on some of my favorite coasters!
+0
Thursday, October 25, 2001 10:43 PM
I want to be a ride-op at SFMW because I too clumsy to be a mechanic. I'm afraid I might take off a wheel or something that isn't supposed to come off.

-------------
We're not White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian. We're American!

+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 6:41 AM
PK, I don't know where you live, but, do you realize that the outdoor work is all year round? You can have the 20-degree temperatures and snow and ice:)

-------------
Batwing-Bow Down

+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 6:57 AM
I'd get dizzy and fall off of something. For most parks, it looks like there's a few really educated guys and some grunts, much like construction or maintanence anywhere else. Then there are small parks with maybe one coaster, and I suspect maybe the guys working the line do the work, like at Family Kingdom in Myrtle Beach. I see those guys with tools all the time, and it doesn't look like anyone else is around. I've also seen the southern, old-school type mechanic/carpentar/good ol' boy like they showed at Lake Winnie during that PBS special. What kind of degrees do you think that guy had?
+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 12:53 PM

Intamin Fan said:
PK, I don't know where you live, but, do you realize that the outdoor work is all year round? You can have the 20-degree temperatures and snow and ice

THANK YOU!!!

Most people think it's a big party being in this line of work.  They somehow think we leave on labor day, then come back in April and just turn a big switch on and start back up.  Winter kicks my ass! 


It's real fun being the first person who gets to test the brand new rides, it sucks building an Intamin Giant Drop, 250' in the air when it's 20 degrees with a -35 wind chill. 


Add to that the fact that when you go to fix rides, most patrons blame you for the problem instead of thanking you for fixing it.  (Do you people go to Kentucky and boo the Nissan people when your car breaks?)


It ain't all glory, folks.  (Of course, I'm not quittin' any time soon, either! )

-----------------
"Reality" is the only word in the language which should always be used in quotes.

*** This post was edited by kpjb on 10/26/2001. ***

+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 2:18 PM
kpjb:
20 degrees with a -35 wind chill would be over a 100 mph wind.  I hope you weren't assembling rides in a frozen hurricane.     But, having assembled a 130 foot flare in snow flurries and 20 mph winds I do know how miserable it can be.

*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 10/26/2001. ***

+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 2:25 PM
Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but the point I was making still holds true.  

(And might I add... you know way too much about meteorology!)
-----------------
"Reality" is the only word in the language which should always be used in quotes.

*** This post was edited by kpjb on 10/26/2001. ***

+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 2:50 PM
Nobody said its a cake walk, its a job and its all about working.  I would just rather be on top of a roller coaster than in an office coallating papers or something.  Its like reffing paintball.  Its either cold as hell or hot as hell, and we do occasionally get hit by stray paintballs, but my love for the sport overcomes all that and makes it worth it. 
+0
Friday, October 26, 2001 3:53 PM
Speaking from thirty years of experience of keeping these things spinning,you have to truely love what you are doing. You can get better wages on the "outside" than working for most parks. It's one of those "If you have to ask, then you wouldn't understand" things. Go back and dig up the article on Fred Weber, the retired head of Maintenence at Kennywood. His story is typical of many people I know personelly in this business. I know one gentleman whose has to have been retired at least five or six years by now and he still goes to the park a couple of days a week. It would kill him if he couldn't.
+0
Saturday, October 27, 2001 9:35 AM
Not only does it help to have some type of vocational background, but working as a ride op helps. Great America used to hire a couple folks straight from ops each season. Dutchman is right though...if you want to make lots of money, don't become a ride mechanic. But if you REALLY love rides and parks, go for it. I know I sure as heck wanted to become a mechanic at one point. My utilitarian background left quite a bit to be desired though.
-----------------
Yeeee Haaawwww!
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...