communal beach tractors

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: communal beach tractors
    Posted: 13 Jan 2022 at 7:25pm
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So after a post by Phantom Menace displaying his injuries while trying to utilise a club beach tractor (on Bazzas latest boating injury thread) it got me thinking.
There are obviously a few areas running club beach launch tractors.
We run 2 and usually have a 3rd backup/replacement in the pipeline. Club membership fees and what we raise from the annual fishing comp funds them.
For some years I offered to take on their maintenance  - which can be significant. Electrics like starter motors/alternators etc hate seawater. Then there are the collapsed wheel bearings, frozen bushes, cracked front rims from people sledging them in sand rather than using a wheel brake etc.
I didn't mind the regular expected beach wear and tear. Usually sorted all that over winter. Fitted grease nipples to front hubs - wheel bearing sorted. Had a spare hub with new bearings and packed with grease ready to go - 1/2 hr job.
I finally chucked it in. because of all the idiot stuff I had to deal with. People drowning tractors - after I had just spent $600 changing transmission oils, ramming one radiator thru the tow bar of the tractor pulling the stuck tractor, a p......ed guy hooning down the beach to assist some beach drama (can't remember what it was), and ran over a log in the sand and literally threw the tractor battery out of the tractor, and the latest a drowning of a tractor just before Xmas - write off. One guy left the tractor and his trailer in the surf and took off fishing.
So I bought my own a couple of years ago and gave up on maintaining stuff wrecked by idiots.
This sort of problem has dogged our club for the 30 yrs I have been there. One constant issue is non members using them - friends/rellies of members down for a couple of weeks and don't want to pay $20/day to have a member launch them.
So finally I washed my hands of the whole thing. A bunch of guys feel the same way but we don't seem to be able to come up with a decent solution to restrict the use to paid up members, apart from the issues of idiots drowning them - members or not.
Just wondering how the other communal tractor systems work, and whether they fare any better?
Alan 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2022 at 8:55pm
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Hi Alan, I used to look after the tractors at the local club and yep seen all of the above happen and more.

Some people use things and except the responsibility when things go wrong and others don’t and hide the results and damage and don’t tell anyone.

One thing I have seen makes a difference when it comes to tractors is have machines that are way over engineered for the purpose. Larger later model tractors with axle extensions to lift them up in the air so all the engines and electric’s are away out of the water. Dual wheel setups so they don’t get stuck and locking them into low/low gears so they can’t be driven faster than a crawl.

And the other thing that works really well is charging the tractor users a large fee for an annual key that can in some cases include a deposit to cover any unbudgeted maintenance, that can be refunded at the end of the year if all members look after the equipment properly.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2022 at 9:28pm
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Thanks KAndrew.
So how does the key system work. I have pondered this and can't come up with a solution. What does the key give access to?
I set up trickle chargers in our tractor shed - not so much for o/night charging - but weeks where they won't be used, winter etc. The plug in was in front of the steering wheel. And they drive out still connected. I painted it in dayglo. No difference. No one ever owned up of course.
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Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2022 at 9:45pm
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

Thanks KAndrew.
So how does the key system work. I have pondered this and can't come up with a solution. What does the key give access to?
I set up trickle chargers in our tractor shed - not so much for o/night charging - but weeks where they won't be used, winter etc. The plug in was in front of the steering wheel. And they drive out still connected. I painted it in dayglo. No difference. No one ever owned up of course.
Regards
Alan
they have to pay a deposit to get a key which could be say $500.00 for the year. The key gives them access to the shed and the same key starts one of the tractors. You can have it so if you have 2 tractors only one group of members get the key to tractor A and the other group of members get the key to the other tractor, then you can see who the bad drivers are. Refund some money back to the group that has the lowest maintenance costs and the other group will get the message.

Security cameras in the shed are another good way to keep an eye on things you’re see the guy’s who don’t look after things and don’t unplug the charger’s.

I’ve had trouble a work with staff driving forklifts and trucks damaging products, security cameras fixed that problem. I’ve got them everywhere, wireless ones that record back to a hardrive not expensive to setup.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 7:12am
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Caught one guy driving a tractor while belching steam. Determined to launch his boat. Went down and saw the fan belt had broken. Took the key. Waited for it to cool and put back in shed and took the key.
Half hr later I see it going down the beach , steaming.
Someone had found something that approximated a key and stuck it in and used it.
Those tractor ignition switches are very simple- as simple as some of the people that use our tractors.
Regards
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Tzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 9:54am
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Alan, our club has similar issues and share your frustration.
Our club has 2 tractors available for members to use and its a constant battle to get members to report any damage or issues with them. Our tractor shed is monitored with cameras both inside & out that record any activity for a month before being over written, so we are able to see just who used the tractors last. The committee has implemented a policy that if you damage any of the tractors without reporting it, you will be liable for any restitution for repairs and if they don’t pay they will be banned from using them until done so.
We charge members for keys and also change the keys every year to minimise keys getting copied but we are now looking at having one key that opens the shed & starts the tractors plus they will be security coded so they cannot be copied.
Tractor etiquette is that you launch the boat in front of you and retrieve the boat behind you, this works well most of the time. We have just spent 10K on doing one of the tractors up and the 2nd one is due this year.
Club also has live feed camera which looks down the ramp and some days when watching we can catch people out, its also good to see if tractor has been left out.


These are our rules
Tractors are to be used carefully and responsibly and in compliance with the rules below. Should a breach of the rules occur, the member at fault will forfeit their key and the right to use the tractors and also compensate the club for any damage resulting from the breach.
•    You must be a full club member to purchase a tractor key.
•    Tractors are ONLY for the launching of FINANCIAL members boats.
•    The Driver of the tractor must be a financial member.
•    Don’t drive the tractor too deep, the front wheels axle should be above water.
•    Don’t lend your keys to anyone else or have a spare key cut.
•    No passengers to ride on the tractors.
•    Tractor drivers must have a full drivers licence.
•    Do not take the tractors across the state highway.
•    Tractors are not to be used for commercial purposes.
•    Report others you see abusing the tractors to the committee.
•    Report any problems with the tractors the club office or to a committee member.
•    The person getting the tractor out of the shed is to check the level of diesel in the fuel tank, report to the office if it is low, do not use if low – don’t run it out of fuel.
•    Tractors are an asset of YOUR club, please look after them.
•    Last person using them to put them away in the shed, if in doubt - put them away.
•    DO NOT LEAVE THEM OUT OVERNIGHT.
•    As a curtesy – launch the boat before you, and retrieve the boat after you.  
Should you have a problem with a tractor please contact the club office 06 8684756, straight away, don’t go fishing and worry about it later.

By paying the membership for and accepting the key you take full responsibility for the tractor, its operations and any situation that may arise while you operate the tractor. You are also aware of your responsibility to operate the tractor in a safe and responsible manor at all times and agree to abide by the tractor rules and any amendments that may be notified from time to time.
REMEMBER SAFETY FIRST, BE MINDFULL AND CONSIDERATE OF OTHER ROAD/RAMP USERS, WATCH OUT FOR CHILDREN.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 10:36am
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Thanks Craig - very helpful. Also to know we are not alone - trying to run communal tractors and deal with idiots at the same time. Not a good mix. (Glad I bought my own - but the club still has to deal with the issues).
How does your security key system work for the tractors?
Thanks
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 11:00am
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Alan, currenttly the keys are just a standard key and we know there are some non members with a copied key hence we are looking at just one key to do both jobs, shed & tractor. They I think are a stamped key with a code so that they cannot be copied without authorisation.
We notify members by way of email, FB, contest breifings & over club radio on contest days even then we still have muppets who refuse to follow the rules or for that matter even listen. We have even offered tractor driving tution days without much success.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 12:04pm
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Thanks - be interested to see if you can get a key solution.
I have been around in circles on that one.
Alan
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You can buy better quality ignition switches but you won’t stop the guy’s who really don’t care.

That’s why I gave it away as well just had enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 12:22pm
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

You can buy better quality ignition switches but you won’t stop the guy’s who really don’t care.

That’s why I gave it away as well just had enough.


Yep your right there, one of ours guys was ixploring the idea of being able to have an electronic key much like a fob to unlock doors to building eliminating the need for a key
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The local club has 3 tractors.  An annual tractor fee of $250 is charged in addition to basic club  membershipof $95.

Tractor members are given a fob that provides entry to the tractor shed for the year. This means the club at least has a record of who first opened the shed. (there is a little pad by each of the roller doors  - wave the fob close to the pad and the door goes up).  I believe they changed from a key that was changed annually to a fob in the last couple of years.

Tractors have a simple push button to start rather than keys.

The club issues annual stickers to go on the portside window of the boat and the trailer winch post.  This way it is easy to tell that a boat being launched/retrieved is a current member.

Also - boats are inspected for minimum safety equipment, boat name must be on the trailer and the club keeps a record of members boats behind the bar so they can see who is out (good safety feature IMO).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 1:12pm
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Thanks PM. 
Something we do that may be of use to others. We have tags for the trailers - same as animal ear tags. They have the members number on them. They have a duplicate tag which goes on a peg board inside the tractor shed - alongside their name.
When at sea the duplicate tag goes on a board outside the shed. And returned to peg board when back.
The tags are changed each yr, new colour, if paid up.
Sounds simple - right.
They (some) don't put the tags on the board. We had our fishing comp just before Xmas. Everyone told to make sure they have a tag on trailer and D shackle on front of tow point on boat.
I was driving one of the two tractors that day. We make a map of all the trailers on the beach and their numbers when all boats launched. They sit outside the surf til called in - when we have their trailer ready. 
8 trailers - no tags or ID. Hopeless. Holds all other boats up while we have a conversation as to what their trailer looks like.
Half the boats, no D shackle. The winch hook won't fit half them.
A commentary on human nature really. Frustrating.
Alan  

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Alan, this is my 1949 Farmal super A. Had it for years. Restored it a couple of times.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2022 at 8:37pm
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KAndrew - that looks mint - awesome.
Here is mine.
Had it on beach 2 yrs now. Not one issue. Runs like a swiss watch.
Spent over a month on it after purchase. Replaced all suspect seals, rubber boots etc, rebuilt the fuel injector pump etc.
Trailered it from Tga to HB. Then it would not start. Could not get it off the trailer. So worked on it for a month on the trailer and did the injector pump since ran out of ideas for no-start.
Fitted a quad bike elec winch - 2500lb. Brilliant. Has a remote switch too. Can launch and load it in the surf on my own no problem.
regards
Alan
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

KAndrew - that looks mint - awesome.
Here is mine.
Had it on beach 2 yrs now. Not one issue. Runs like a swiss watch.
Spent over a month on it after purchase. Replaced all suspect seals, rubber boots etc, rebuilt the fuel injector pump etc.
Trailered it from Tga to HB. Then it would not start. Could not get it off the trailer. So worked on it for a month on the trailer and did the injector pump since ran out of ideas for no-start.
Fitted a quad bike elec winch - 2500lb. Brilliant. Has a remote switch too. Can launch and load it in the surf on my own no problem.
regards
Alan
Very nice, having a winch on the back of the tractor is a great idea. I launch at a few different ramps in Auckland and my tractor is based on the coromandel, so I’ve got an electric winch on the trailer. Wouldn’t do without it.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 7:13am
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The winches are worth their weight in gold.
Mine cost the princely sum of about $350. New. The best $350 I have spent. And the remote switch is priceless. At that price it can be a throw-away item. 2 yrs on and still going strong. It hauls my boat off the beach on to the trailer no problem.
Our club runs hydraulic ones. They are slow, have no free spool - you have to winch the rope out as well as in, and they are expensive. Cost a few $k to fit each one. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 3:30pm
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Xmas at the beach.
What fun. That tractor is a write off. Engine shot.
Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 6:21pm
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

Xmas at the beach.
What fun. That tractor is a write off. Engine shot.
Alan


Don’t they how to reverse?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2022 at 6:42pm
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

Xmas at the beach.
What fun. That tractor is a write off. Engine shot.
Alan



I've never been involved in a communal tractor arrangement but appears to be a headache from what I'm reading here. Surely the security camera and large refundable deposit would fix a few issues.
The pic above suggests a bit of training wouldn't go a miss.

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