Ride inspections multi-layer process for fair officials

LADSON, S.C. (WCIV) - This year the Coastal Carolina Fair will offer about 68 rides. Many of the rides have already made their way to the fairgrounds and are built by their owners.

Meanwhile, a group of independent inspectors are making sure the rides are being built correctly.

"You always want to go back and make sure the ride meets the rides' manufacturer specifications," said Jonathan Brooks, President of The Wagner Group, the company that inspects all of the rides at the fair.

Brooks says he and his crew analyze each ride several times as it is being put together.

"They'll start pinning everything, then they'll build the platform, then they'll hang the seats. So, as they start through that process we'll make several stops here," Brooks said.

Many of the rides are owned and operated by Amusements of America. It is the company's responsibility to repair each ride.

"Let's say we find an issue with the cable," said Brooks. "The cable has to be replaced, period, which means the Amusements of America would have to order one from Germany because they won't allow another cable to be put on there."

Brooks says the qualifications are very specific. There are specific brands of parts for each ride and every person who repairs parts on the rides has to be certified.

"[The repair] has to be addressed by the ride foreman and then if they can correct it or it needs to be welded, we have to check the certification of the welders," Brooks said.

Brooks says there is no time limit on ride inspections.

"I can't tell you that we got six stages on this ride and four stages on this ride. Every ride is different," Brooks said.

So far, Brooks says there have been no signs of ride malfunction.

"We don't see anything at this stage," Brooks said. "Right now, there is no reason to think that we won't open up with 68 rides on Thursday afternoon."

The Coastal Carolina Fair starts Thursday and runs through Nov. 10.

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