In addition to annual check-ups, carnival companies that operate rides at
It happened here Thursday, when an inspector gave Tinsley's Amusements' 26 rides, which range in age from 2 to 30 years old, the thumbs-up on the eve of the fair. That's just what fair board President
"We've had Tinsley here for many, many years, and they've always been a good client for us," he said. "We've not had any incidents with their equipment, and I plan on that tradition continuing."
With scary scenes making summer headlines at amusement parks across the country -- last week, nearly two dozen riders hung in mid-air after a tree fell onto a rollercoaster's tracks at Six Flags in
-- For starters, Julka said, every amusement ride open to the public in
-- Once a ride has been approved for operation by a state inspector, it gets a permit decal, which is good for one year and must always be prominently displayed. An owner or operator of a ride that doesn't have a permit can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor under state law, according to the labor department, which encourages the public to look for the decal before boarding a ride.
Riders aren't the only ones checking. Kobel said he always takes a drive around the midway looking for decals -- "just to make sure."
-- Depending on the ride -- which will range locally from the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round to ones named The Predator and Starship 3000 -- inspections can be rather routine or very complex, Julka said.
Each ride has its own inspection points, based on the complexity of the apparatus. There are, however, several areas
One reason for that, Julka said, is to ensure operators are adequately trained, keeping up on required daily inspections and maintenance, and registering everything in their log books.
The other reason is so state inspectors can be sure criminal history checks have been done on all operators, attendants and assistants, and that the carnival company has a substance-abuse policy in place, which includes random drug testing.
Tinsley's Amusements says it welcomes the attention -- and has grown accustomed to it -- after packing up and setting up at a different fair every week since early April, said
Over the last month, Tinsley's stops included three cities in
They finished phase 1 of their set-up at
Between early this morning and
Walden said employees are also required to do dry runs of every ride themselves before a customer steps on the platform. "Once everything is inspected, we run the ride at least once or twice to make sure everything is functioning properly," he said.
Despite the gap in age, the company stands firmly behind the safety of every ride it runs. "A 30-year-old ride is perfectly safe as long as you properly maintain it," Walden said. "And we have a full shop truck with backup parts available in case we need them."
Walden has a personal stake in making sure every bolt is up to code: his 4-year-old daughter,
"I probably have the luckiest children in the world."
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