Off season maitenence

Thursday, December 1, 2005 12:42 AM
Quick question for anyone out there who may have worked at a park. Considering i frequent sites in the offseason of parks, why is that they strip off some parts that seem to be completely alright being on a ride. Like Millenium Forces lift cable considering they are not going to replace it with a new one. It seems that. I can see other things like trains on coasters and cars and whatever else may carry us about.

Thursday, December 1, 2005 12:51 AM
Basicly to actually make sure they are ok. Even though your car is running well you still need to (in most states) take it for an inspection. You wouldn't plan a two week long road trip in your 10 year old car without checking the oil, tires, and coolent levels would you?
Thursday, December 1, 2005 1:05 AM
I guess but if they said there was nothing wrong with something then why would they up and take it off.
Thursday, December 1, 2005 1:12 AM
preventative maintenance
Thursday, December 1, 2005 1:22 AM
Basically most things are taken out to be inspected. If you look at a sky-coaster site, those flight and launch cables are pulled out and inspected every day.

When I worked at a park, full inspections of the rides would be done in the off season. Inspections were done every day, but highly durable items like cables were inspected anuually or bi-monthly. Off season was always a time to to do full long term inspections. *** Edited 12/1/2005 6:23:14 AM UTC by Industry Force***

Thursday, December 1, 2005 7:55 AM
I think it is for inspection also but if you leave the cables in the same postion for the entire off season they will rust. They are steel cables that need to flex so leaving them in one postion for a long time is not a good for them. They will tend to remember that postion and you will feel bumping and jerking when going up lift hill.
Thursday, December 1, 2005 8:00 AM
Maybe the maintenence guys just want to ensure their position in the off season. ;) joking.
Thursday, December 1, 2005 12:29 PM
That certainly clears alot of things up, but man oh man they do a lot of stuff during the offseason and it takes so much time and then like two months later they start putting it all back together again. Makes you think that some people might hate to have to do that, but i guess its like working where i do now when seasons change and you put stuff away for the next year, sometimes it feels unneccessary.
Thursday, December 1, 2005 4:24 PM

eightdotthree said:
Maybe the maintenence guys just want to ensure their position in the off season. ;) joking.

You got us.. ;)

Actually, reassembly has already started on several of the rides at our park and the overhaul actually started before the season ended.

Honestly, this is tbe busy season if your work in rides maint. The regular season is the easy part.

*** Edited 12/1/2005 9:26:22 PM UTC by Red Garter Rob***

Sunday, December 4, 2005 1:15 AM
Or at least that is the way it is supposed to be.

If the winter is your busy season, then the operating season will be easy. On the other hand, if you just throw tarps over the rides and ignore them all winter, you will be busy in maintenance all summer long, with the major breakdowns happening at 5:30pm on the Friday night going into a 3-day weekend...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, December 4, 2005 7:44 AM
Your exactly right Dave. A parks performance during the season, from a mechanical standpoint, can be directly linked to just how hard the staff worked on the off season.

I know people at most of the major parks around the country and you'd be surprised on how "lax" some of the crews are.

"Ohh we'll get it done.. if we don't, we'll fix it after opening day." - take a guess what chain that is from (although not all their parks have the same attitude).

Then there are some parks where the staff looks forward to the off season because it's really our chance to get into the meat and potatoes of our job.

*** Edited 12/5/2005 10:58:06 AM UTC by Red Garter Rob***

Monday, December 5, 2005 12:13 AM
Rob: No idea what chain that attitude came from...but something tells me that where you are, you've seen the results of doing it both ways...........

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, December 5, 2005 4:15 PM

The thing is, it wasn't even the whole chain. The attitude seems to vary from park to park. You can have the EXACT same ride at more than one park but there is no communication between the parks. Park A may have had a problem that park B is having yet no one talked to each other.

Pretty interesting to watch as an outsider.

Monday, December 5, 2005 11:00 PM

MagnunBarrel said:
Like Millenium Forces lift cable considering they are not going to replace it with a new one.

Actually, CP's website seems to imply that the cable stays right where it is over the offseason and is only replaced (and thus only removed) as necessary. However, many pieces of rides are removed to keep them in prestine condition, especially in places where winters can be especially harsh. Take for example Cedar Point. Being right on the lake, the rides are subjected with highly abrassive winds, snow, ice, and large temperature changes throughout the winter... all will damage rides or dull paint and what not. Add that to the fact that parts may need inspected or replaced, and that's why so much comes off some rides in the offseason.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:42 AM
Millennium Forces Lift cable doesn't need to be removed. The abrasion wear has a much faster effect than corrosion. The cable is actually protected by grease. The cable itself costs between 30 and 40 thousand dollars. The labor needed to replace it is pretty high too.

When it does need replacement, then they have a timeframe to get a new cable on. If they wait too long, 2001 will repeat itself.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 3:24 PM
Each park has a very extensive maintenance program. This is dictated by the manufacturer and industry standards. The manufacturer requires certain parts replaced after so many cycles and certain NDT performed. A maintenance manager puts together their program using this criteria and also his own. Ride vehicles for example require annual removal then dismantling and NDT conducted again using the above criteria. They are cleaned, inspected and all questionable parts replaced (after a while the whole thing is quite routine and easy to forcast for each ride). The MF cables are not removed and the same goes with coaster chains. The cables are inspected by a 3rd. party professional and a link or 2 of the chain is removed (and shortened do to stretch) and that link (or pitch) is send out for examination. Tracks and structures are throughly inspected and repaired, again dictated by the maufacturer. They also supply welding procedures for repair. Most manufacturers require replacement parts be purchased through them for liability purposes.

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