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Old 16-07-2018, 06:50   #31
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

I transit the 2 bridges on the Murray Canal by Belleville, ON, twice per summer, and find that leaving a can of beer on the wall while going through works like MAGIC. Everyone is always happy and helpful.
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Old 16-07-2018, 09:50   #32
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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I transit the 2 bridges on the Murray Canal by Belleville, ON, twice per summer, and ... find that leaving a can of beer on the wall while going through works like MAGIC...
I've heard that the unofficial price (bribe) for requesting an "unscheduled opening" on parts of the ICW was a 6-pack of beer. Forget which brand, but apparently the tender would come down on one of the bridge piers to collect payment.

Anyone know if this tradition still lives, or if the delivery captain who told me about it was pulling my leg?
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Old 16-07-2018, 10:05   #33
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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There is a female tender on the Lady's Island bridge in Beaufort, SOUTH Carolina that need to read these posts!

jewt
That bridge is so old she probably has to crank it by hand.
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Old 16-07-2018, 10:38   #34
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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I've heard that the unofficial price (bribe) for requesting an "unscheduled opening" on parts of the ICW was a 6-pack of beer. Forget which brand, but apparently the tender would come down on one of the bridge piers to collect payment.



Anyone know if this tradition still lives, or if the delivery captain who told me about it was pulling my leg?


I think that died about the same time as the garbage man quit walking to your back yard to empty the trash. Or milk was delivered.
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Old 16-07-2018, 10:38   #35
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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I've heard that the unofficial price (bribe) for requesting an "unscheduled opening" on parts of the ICW was a 6-pack of beer. Forget which brand, but apparently the tender would come down on one of the bridge piers to collect payment.

Anyone know if this tradition still lives, or if the delivery captain who told me about it was pulling my leg?
$10 worth of beer to get a civil servant to do their job is not too unreasonable.

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Old 16-07-2018, 20:45   #36
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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Tantrum,

Great to have your input. Like others, I find almost all bridge tenders very good - certainly better than the boaters. I'd just as soon make it as easy as possible on you. So some questions?

Your bridge is a little unusual because of the trains. How long before arrival is the ideal time for a boat to hail you? Distance or time?

If you were a highway bridge that is open on request what would you guess would be the best time to call?

Same questions for an hourly or half hour scheduled bridge?

Thanks.
to carl f

In my case, and I can truly speak only for myself, our bridge(and all the rr bridges in our area) open between every train unless there are 2 or 3 trains in the area, in which case , the dispatcher will clear all trains in the area, then unlock my bridge so I can clear boat traffic..so in my case , calling is not generally even necessary, since we open like this between april and late september ...
ok, so if its rainy and little boat traffic do we still open? well maybe not, in this case a heads up is perfectly fine so we know youre there, but again, calling 1 mile ahead is frustrating for everyone since i may open 3 times before you get to me, so predictions about whether you can make this opening a half hour away do nothing for anyone except jam up 13 and cause angiush.
i suggest approaching the bridge with 13 on, LISTENING to the other boats ...this will tell more than anything...when you get close, observe..wait for the next train, and in the busy season, the bridge SHOULD open shortly... bear in mind that there could be another train, IF THERE IS,, the dispatcher may have put in the signal already...if he HAS he cant just put a red signal in front of a train going 100 mph, so theres sometimes more going on than some guy just sitting there watching tv!
as far as a highway bridge, I think that a call about 5 minutes away is good. be sure to listen before talking, give him your vessel name, position, and request, and beyond that, if hes still difficult, then its on him..
Think of this, lets say someone calls u on the phone, doesnt identify themselves, and starts asking you for info...how will u react? i have boaters call all the time" insert any wrong name of my bridge" when is your next opening...if you provide your vessel name, at least he knows who he's speaking to, your position, waiting for your next opening sounds soooo much better than xyz bridge when will u open?
95% of boaters are nice, but often are not experienced in transitioning bridges, providing some info to him before you ask him for info may do wonders at lubricating the wheels of mutual cooperation!
one more thing: calling him with a weak handheld radio that he can barely hear is probably going to be a frustrating experience for the operator, and may produce less than stellar results...hope this is helpful...
best, Jim
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Old 16-07-2018, 20:54   #37
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

amen to that tax whizzzzz!
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Old 16-07-2018, 22:19   #38
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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Was this in South Florida perhaps?

Most places the tenders seem to like chatting and if reasonable will try to help you out (ie: if no one else is approaching they might open a few minutes early).

In south Florida, if you weren't timing it (and making a wake), they were on the radio telling us to pick up the pace.

That said, some of this is a balance between competing interests. Getting your single pleasure cruise thru is often delaying hundreds of drivers at or going to work.

Not responding is an issue but being a bit abrupt isn't that big of a deal.
The few I've looked at don't open during rush hour.
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Old 17-07-2018, 04:42   #39
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

I would point out that it is one thing to be grumpy. I mean, everyone has a bad day now and then, and some people are just grumpy. It is a whole different matter if he is not following procedures and/or is creating dangerous situations.


If it is just the former, then try to be understanding and ignore it. If it is the latter, then I think a formal complaint is well justified.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:37   #40
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

I knew a guy who could be considered a grumpy tender. He was a family friend that would do anything to help but his demeanor was a little rough at times. He just had a thing for folks that didn't put in some effort on their own expecting others to do it for them.

Anyway his business was getting pounded by health insurance premiums so he started as a bridge tender for the state benefits and it was going pretty well. But one day he fell asleep and didn't hear the requested opening. Problem was it was the Coast Guard escorting a fishing trawler in. But he got a warning and that was about it.

Then a few months later a guy who just missed a opening requested it to open. Problem was the traffic was backed up for miles so he told the guy to just drop his outriggers or wait. Needless to say the guy didn't feel like lowering his outriggers even though legally you're supposed to if you can. He started spouting out over the radio how he's never had to lower them and all this bs. The funny part is he just had to press a release and they'd drop straight back down. But he refused, got on his phone to the coast guard and they eventually called the bridge asking him to open it and he did. The a hole then went to the ramp a mile away where in preparation to tow his boat he lowered the outriggers.

Well a few days go by and my friend gets called in. It appears the entitled a-hole continued to complain and it cost my friend his job.

Now keep in mind that this guy was a successful small business owner of 25+ years. He was well respected and took the job to get the benefits because his wife was dying from cancer. The only good thing that came out of it was the bridge commission suspended him before letting him go and that allowed him benefits and time with his wife of 42years before she passed away.

I'm a firm believer in trying to solve a problem at the lowest level possible. Who knows what the guy is dealing with. For all you know he could be in a situation like my friend was and working 2 jobs,or can't hear the handheld etc.

Why not try calling him with a open mind and go from there.

Of and there's a ironic ending to my story. The a-holes truck broke down a few months later and got towed into his shop. Well he told him to go pound sand and said good luck getting it fixed. It got towed to 4 other shops who then took their time looking at it and claiming they don't know what the issue was.I don't know where it ended up since he ran out of AAA tows but I do know it was the most expensive and time consuming fuel pump ever lol.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:53   #41
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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The few I've looked at don't open during rush hour.
A fair number of those S. Florida bridges are busy all day long and have limited openings.
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Old 18-07-2018, 06:59   #42
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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I knew a guy who could be considered a grumpy tender. He was a family friend that would do anything to help but his demeanor was a little rough at times. He just had a thing for folks that didn't put in some effort on their own expecting others to do it for them.

Anyway his business was getting pounded by health insurance premiums so he started as a bridge tender for the state benefits and it was going pretty well. But one day he fell asleep and didn't hear the requested opening. Problem was it was the Coast Guard escorting a fishing trawler in. But he got a warning and that was about it.

Then a few months later a guy who just missed a opening requested it to open. Problem was the traffic was backed up for miles so he told the guy to just drop his outriggers or wait. Needless to say the guy didn't feel like lowering his outriggers even though legally you're supposed to if you can. He started spouting out over the radio how he's never had to lower them and all this bs. The funny part is he just had to press a release and they'd drop straight back down. But he refused, got on his phone to the coast guard and they eventually called the bridge asking him to open it and he did. The a hole then went to the ramp a mile away where in preparation to tow his boat he lowered the outriggers.

Well a few days go by and my friend gets called in. It appears the entitled a-hole continued to complain and it cost my friend his job.

Now keep in mind that this guy was a successful small business owner of 25+ years. He was well respected and took the job to get the benefits because his wife was dying from cancer. The only good thing that came out of it was the bridge commission suspended him before letting him go and that allowed him benefits and time with his wife of 42years before she passed away.

I'm a firm believer in trying to solve a problem at the lowest level possible. Who knows what the guy is dealing with. For all you know he could be in a situation like my friend was and working 2 jobs,or can't hear the handheld etc.

Why not try calling him with a open mind and go from there.

Of and there's a ironic ending to my story. The a-holes truck broke down a few months later and got towed into his shop. Well he told him to go pound sand and said good luck getting it fixed. It got towed to 4 other shops who then took their time looking at it and claiming they don't know what the issue was.I don't know where it ended up since he ran out of AAA tows but I do know it was the most expensive and time consuming fuel pump ever lol.
I really have to wonder about a tender who fell asleep on the job. Sounds like there might have been a pattern of poor work skills.

Also, requesting the outriggers to be dropped doesn't tell us about what really happened. Was he polite but firm or was he a jerk. Having owned a business for years doesn't mean he is good at customer service (I know a few real jerks who have been in business for years, usually they have some sort of mini-monopoly or other situation that protects them from poor customer service).

Also the status of his wife's health doesn't justify him being rude to customers. If anything, he should have been keeping his nose clean to protect those benefits.
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Old 18-07-2018, 12:30   #43
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

I probably could have given the thread a better title. I got no issue with the grumpiness itself. I really dont like the fact the he doesn't respond to his radio. The part about him being pissed off and snarky is just kind of icing on the cake. If he'd just let me know he is aware of me and that the bridge will be opening on time then I could come up closer to the fenders to wait. I really wouldn't care what tone he took if he would just do that.

His MO seems to me to be:

If you hail him using the correct bridge name he wont say anything but does open the gate on time.

If you hail him with any other name (no matter how obvious) he wont respond or open the gate.

This is what it seems to me from listening in on Channel 9 whether its me or someone else trying to get through.

So I'm just curious if he's actually performing his minimum required duties with just that. Is there anything sayin he has to respond other than just silently opening?
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Old 18-07-2018, 12:44   #44
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

If you use your whistle, you don't even need to call on the radio, don't need to know the name of the bridge, etc. One prolonged blast followed by one short blast signals to the bridge that you want an opening. You can then announce "standing by on channel 13" or something like that if you want, but it's not required. The bridge tender is required to open (at the scheduled time if a scheduled bridge) when you signal.
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Old 18-07-2018, 13:05   #45
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Re: Grumpy ICW Bridge Tender

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I probably could have given the thread a better title. I got no issue with the grumpiness itself. I really dont like the fact the he doesn't respond to his radio. The part about him being pissed off and snarky is just kind of icing on the cake. If he'd just let me know he is aware of me and that the bridge will be opening on time then I could come up closer to the fenders to wait. I really wouldn't care what tone he took if he would just do that.

His MO seems to me to be:

If you hail him using the correct bridge name he wont say anything but does open the gate on time.

If you hail him with any other name (no matter how obvious) he wont respond or open the gate.

This is what it seems to me from listening in on Channel 9 whether its me or someone else trying to get through.

So I'm just curious if he's actually performing his minimum required duties with just that. Is there anything sayin he has to respond other than just silently opening?
I think at a minimum it is inconsiderate not to respond. It can also become a hazard to navigation if you are in need of circling while waiting without knowing he is a. Hearing you or b. Going to open.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I like those tenders who announce the start of the operating sequence with the standard bridge name and request that vessels remain outside the fenders until the spans are completely raised.

That patter leads me to believe that is the USCG standard but it would be good to hear it from the standpoint of the tender who posted earlier.
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