Why do Wooden Coasters generally run rougher?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:33 PM

I am NOT an engineer here. I am only a common sense professional mechanic by trade. Wood designed coasters suffer from everyday weather changes and conditions from both expansion and contraction issues due to humidity, rain etc.. Does the rough ride that we get from a wooden coaster involve more than this? I feel that the "rough ride" complaints from members as well as the general paying public is about a "smoother ride" while checking your own liver after the ride.......Hahaha. Maybe the wooden coaster designers should set up a computerized system that squirts as few drops of oil via on the track surface photo cell triggered every 10-20 cars before it passed by before the highest "stress" banks and turns to keep the friction in check while keeping the flat track "washboard" free for a much longer period? What do you think?

Last edited by talon1189, Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:34 PM
+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:21 PM

If it's built and maintained right, it won't be rough.

+3Loading
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:48 PM

I can't think of more than a handful wooden coasters where the design had FAIL clearly written all over it. (Sonny, HC5, Clementon's Tsunami, Herc, Rattler). Those were extremely hard/impossible to maintain from the outset. Have to note that mid-ride helices and tight turns at high speeds featured prominently on that list.

In the vast majority of cases, an emphasis on maintenance and a decent budget can keep a wooden coaster running not just well, but great. If Mt. Olympus decided to get in on the game, they could have one of the greatest collections anywhere.

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:52 PM

You never stop building a wood coaster. Most parks forget that simple fact.

+1Loading
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:53 PM

kpjb said:

If it's built and maintained right, it won't be rough.

I'm just not sure that's true. Take the Legend at Holiday World, for example. Built by a company with plenty of experience, maintained by a park known for taking great care of its rides. It's still very rough.

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:33 PM

If for any reason you think Holiday World's mechanics are as skilled or versed as Kennywood's mechanics, please make that a IAAPA seminar. I know what side of the room will have more people.

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:21 PM

And besides, Legend was anything but rough on the roughly twenty to thirty rides I got this year and the previous visit...

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:27 PM

Gator, forgive my ignorance...HC5? That's not Hurtyourknees, is it?

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:33 PM

Hurricane Category 5

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:25 PM

I think mostly because of the expansion and contraction of the wood, the tolerances are never quite as small as they are on a steel coaster.

+0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:34 PM

rollergator said:

Have to note that mid-ride helices and tight turns at high speeds featured prominently on that list.

The only exception being Twister at Knoebels. That is one gnarly coaster.

+3Loading
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:10 PM

Think about it... It is nothing but wood, nails and bolts and other hardware. The wood will swell/shrink based on atmospheric conditions, rainfall, etc... The heavy trains bend and shift the tracks every time they go over. There is a ton of stresses on that track and eventually the gage will widen or potholes will form. This causes a rougher ride over time.

Parks have to constantly replace lumber, running steel, etc... This will keep the ride running smoother, longer.

Steel coasters do not have this issue. The steel, although will flex, is flexing under elastic deformation. After the forces go by, the ride returns to the original state the steel was manufactured in. Steel coasters will get rougher over time mostly due to wear items, such as wheel bogey springs, the wheels themselves, etc... But generally is not the track itself.

Wood coasters wear more at the track versus steel which wear the train more over time.

Wood is prone to much larger defects over time. This is why they generally get much rougher. Maintenance is everything. It takes more than a few drops of oil along the track. This generally just helps with friction along the course to maintain a higher speed.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:13 PM
+1Loading
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:15 AM

Tekwardo said:

And besides, Legend was anything but rough on the roughly twenty to thirty rides I got this year and the previous visit...

I'm an 18 year old with a high pain tolerance and an appreciation for rough coasters. If you want to argue that Legend isn't rough, I have to assume:

1. You only rode in the front seat.
2. You have very low expectation for comfort on wooden coasters. Or...

3. You're kidding yourself. ;)

+0
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:32 AM

Agent Johnson said:

If for any reason you think Holiday World's mechanics are as skilled or versed as Kennywood's mechanics, please make that a IAAPA seminar. I know what side of the room will have more people.

That's a pretty dickish statement to make, and pretty lame for someone who claims to be an industry professional.

+2Loading
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 1:04 AM

DantheCoasterman said:

Tekwardo said:

And besides, Legend was anything but rough on the roughly twenty to thirty rides I got this year and the previous visit...

I'm an 18 year old with a high pain tolerance and an appreciation for rough coasters. If you want to argue that Legend isn't rough, I have to assume:

1. You only rode in the front seat.
2. You have very low expectation for comfort on wooden coasters. Or...

3. You're kidding yourself. ;)

I rode Legend in many different seats, and thought it was great. Not the least bit rough. Granted, this was about 8 years ago.

This pretty much backs up my previous statement. The design and maintenance was obviously good enough to make it a great ride back then, there's no reason it can't be that way now.

+0
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:27 AM

I tried to find Hurrican Category 5 here and on RCDB...no luck. I found several Hurricanes, but I dunno if HC5 is one of those. Can anyone provide a link? I'd like to see a picture.

+0
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:01 AM

http://www.rcdb.com/595.htm?p=0

The Category 5 suffix seems to have been lost somewhere along the way.

Last edited by Rick_UK, Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:01 AM
+0
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:07 AM

I stand behind that statement. Kennywood's woodies are smoothest. And with 3 totally different style of trains. Granted, the Thunderbolt is the only real agressive one at the park, they have a 70 year head start.

+0
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:12 AM

I would love to see what Kennywood could do with a Gravity Group or GCI coaster.

+3Loading
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:17 AM

Reading these forums and those at Pointbuzz over the years, it seems to me that "rough" is in the eyes (or back/spine) of the beholder (rider). I see people say that coaster A is smooth and others say coaster A is rough, jackhammers, rattles the spine, etc. But its the same ride. Different body sizes/shapes, impacts of restraints, expectations, etc. make a difference.

+0

You must be logged in to post

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