Originally Posted by CarlF
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?
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...