Inspecting The Mississippi Valley Fair Rides - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Inspecting The Mississippi Valley Fair Rides

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All the rides for the Mississippi Valley Fair just got into town and crews have been working fast to get them up in time for the start of the fair.
     
They're working quickly here but also safely, with an inspector going around checking all the bells and whistles, making sure cars are secure, and connections aren't worn down on every ride to make sure everything is in working order.

"If this piece here wore down to that level, it would need to be replaced," said Frank Guenthner.

Guenthner has been inspecting amusement rides for 20 years. Each year, he checks up to 60 different rides from big coasters to smaller children's rides.

"Checked all the trim pieces here, kids sliding in and out can cut their leg if there's a sharp sticking out," said Guenthner.
  
Including about 30 rides at the Mississippi Valley Fair.

"You look for unusual vibrations, sounds, you can listen to an individual ride and determine if something's going around and around, if a bearing is going bad," said Guenthner.
    
Guenthner checks every ride as they're being assembled and again once they get up and running. Once they're up, looking at the operations, hydraulics, and electrics. Rides are required to get a state inspection at least once a year in Iowa and Illinois and state inspectors can come in at any given time to give rides another look. But these crews do their own inspections too plus hire their own private inspector to come in.

"This is our biggest fair throughout the year," said Pat Cates, office manager for Evans United Shows. "This is the one and only time we have everything up in the air so this gives us a chance to get everything looked at."
     
And since these rides are well traveled, visiting a different town every week from February until Thanksgiving. The same teams are assigned to set up, take down, and operate the same ride at every fair they do.

Checking everything multiple times from start to finish, to make sure everyone has a good time at one of the biggest fairs of the year.