Author Topic: Solo 2 Novice Handbook  (Read 33578 times)

Online Habib88

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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2004, 12:06:40 AM »
man am I late to this post lol.  Well first things first.  Yes Mark I can probaly hook you up with a radio.  I'll start mentioning to the post-it writer to add in cones if possible to catch them on time.  

Also I think next even i'm gonna start a new policy.  Before the first car leaves the line i'm gonna have them sound the horn (if its a race car with no horn i'm sure the van has one).  This will mainly serve the purpose of saying "hey, we are ready, car comming onto course, get your ass in gear".  I figure we do this enough and people will learn what the horn means.

For those of you who have taken to special jobs like starter, grid, etc.  We can't thank you enough.  In all honestly most people just wanna stand on course and watch cones all day, thats fine.  Finding people who can not just do the grid but also handle all the traffic passing thought it.  Or getting starters who know to hold a car when they still see course workers running around making sure cones are upright.  Thats what makes the difference in the other jobs, you gotta be able to go a extra step now and then.

I've also realized as we have grown in the number of drivers, the stations become crowed.  The next few events you'll see more action taken to fix this, it always depends on the # of drivers we have so it changes per event.  But lately making up new stations on the fly BARELY takes care of things.  Also if you are assigned to a pile of cones thats been dubbed a worker station DO NOT WONDER TO ANOTHER SPOT ACROSS THE COURSE AND DECLARE THAT A NEW STATION.  A few events ago I notice one station got loaded up with 4 people, no big deal.  Till two of the people decided to move on the other side of the course path they were next to.  Basicly, they went from saftly standing on the inside of a turn, to standing on the outside of a turn waiting to be hit.  I don't care if your entire run group is at your station...don't pull any "i'm gonna go stand over here" you are at your station for a reason, so you don't get hit lol.

Lastly, stations are USUALLY identified by one cone standing upright with a cone on the left and right pointing twards the standing cone.  Sorta like this...

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2004, 12:10:04 AM by Habib88 »
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2004, 02:06:55 AM »
this is kind of related to working(i think).  on my first run, i was called off course.  neither my passenger nor i saw where.  when i finished, no one at the van could tell me where.  i understand they are all very busy and probably weren't watching my run.  no one else i asked saw it either.  the car behind was called off course as well.  i think they gave me his(or her) off course.  i know it's a first run and not really that critical, but this has happened before.  i can't argue with anyone about whether i was on or off, so is there any way to commuincate to the van better than we are?  i was ina crx, and the car behind me was a 350z.  besides the car color being the same the two are pretty different and not in the same class.  this may not have a point, but i thought i'd throw it out there and see if anybody had any ideas.

Offline marka

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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2004, 11:06:47 AM »
Quote
this is kind of related to working(i think).  on my first run, i was called off course.  neither my passenger nor i saw where.  when i finished, no one at the van could tell me where.  i understand they are all very busy and probably weren't watching my run.  no one else i asked saw it either.  the car behind was called off course as well.  i think they gave me his(or her) off course.  i know it's a first run and not really that critical, but this has happened before.  i can't argue with anyone about whether i was on or off, so is there any way to commuincate to the van better than we are?  i was ina crx, and the car behind me was a 350z.  besides the car color being the same the two are pretty different and not in the same class.  this may not have a point, but i thought i'd throw it out there and see if anybody had any ideas.
Howdy,

First, the way we distinguish between cars is by car numbers and class.

If you don't already have good (magnetic, big, following the rulebook) class and numbers on your car I'd suggest getting some.

Second, sounds like we definately need to improve worker -> van communications.  I'l carry a radio at the next event and listen in to see what problems I can hear, etc.  I'll also continue to emphasize to the spotters and van how important their jobs are.

Chris, related to this, lets make sure we have at least two spotters per heat.  That'll let each spotter follow a car completely through the course, one person takes the car off the line, the other takes the next car, the first car finishes, that person takes the next car, etc.

Mark

Offline b_nmi_r

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« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2004, 11:28:53 AM »
How about improving the van to worker communications, too?  Can't hear the PA at all on course.  Sometimes the van workers confirm that they've heard a cone reported, sometimes not.

Off course can be easily assigned to the wrong car when workers hold up their arms in an X.  That's why we've got radios - call it in by #.
(Can't here a damn thing over *some* people's exhaust.)

I think three workers per station is the most needed.  If we've got more, either spread them out, or swap on the fly.

I'd love to do something other than chase cones in the same spot all day.  How about training some of the 'extra' workers at different jobs by working alongside the experienced workers?

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one struggling with some of the numbers.  Let's get picky at tech.


Brian
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Offline KeithO

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« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2004, 12:07:28 PM »
If Mark's guidelines were followed, this wouldn't be an issue, but on Sat. the guidelines weren't followed.  There were two worker stations on Sat. that had their red flags with the poles down in a spare cone and the flag flapping in the wind.  On two runs, I looked to see if it were real and I saw it wasn't and continued.  I personally don't care but for people who are in a tight class battle, I can see where this would be distracting...

I had always handled the red flag by rolling it and sticking it in a spare cone at my worker's station.  When it is pulled out it "automatically" unfurls and you're ready to use it.  I guess this isn't an acceptable practivce, but it's better than sitting at the start see red flags behind people's legs when you are staging...  I now take note of the stations where a worker is holding a flag and the wind has caught it before I launch.
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Offline marka

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« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2004, 01:45:45 PM »
Quote
How about improving the van to worker communications, too?  Can't hear the PA at all on course.  Sometimes the van workers confirm that they've heard a cone reported, sometimes not.

Off course can be easily assigned to the wrong car when workers hold up their arms in an X.  That's why we've got radios - call it in by #.
(Can't here a damn thing over *some* people's exhaust.)

I think three workers per station is the most needed.  If we've got more, either spread them out, or swap on the fly.

I'd love to do something other than chase cones in the same spot all day.  How about training some of the 'extra' workers at different jobs by working alongside the experienced workers?

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one struggling with some of the numbers.  Let's get picky at tech.


Brian
Howdy,

The way cone calls (over the radio) should work is:

Worker: "one cone on 61 X"

Spotter: "Got it, one cone on 61 X"

Then, later on when I hit another cone:

Worker: "one cone on 61 X"

Spotter: "Got it, another cone on 61 X"

Etc.  Each time the spotter here's a cone call, he tells the van folks (timing operator as well as time writer).

Then, when the car finishes, the announcer says "61 X, Mark Andy, finishes with a 40.025 plus two cones.  The time writer writes 40.025 +2 on the slip of paper (verifying the time against the display) and hands it to me.

Then I go back to my grid spot, madder than hell.

:-)

If radios aren't available, a similar thing happens, except the spotter needs to watch the worker signals, then ideally wave their hand or whatever to indicate they saw it.

Mark

Offline ninetyfourintegra

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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2004, 02:24:08 PM »
Please take a moment to re-read this thread.  Especially the section about when you are using (or are being yelled at to use) a [span style=\'color:red\']RED FLAG[/span]

When a [span style=\'color:red\']RED FLAG[/span] is required, there is usually quite a relevant and immediate need for the car approaching (at speed) to STOP.

The best and primary item that will catch an eye of the driver is, yep a [span style=\'color:red\']RED FLAG[/span]...  but you know what, unless you are running towards the car vigorously waving (not just carrying) the [span style=\'color:red\']RED FLAG[/span] the driver is not going to see it.

There were, unfortnuately, a couple of incidents that needed a car to stop (like a Dodge pickup truck driving onto course via our finish line - in the rain - where stopping had already been proven difficult by the Z06 on Hoosiers that was attempting to occupy the same section of real-estate) and the [span style=\'color:red\']RED FLAG[/span] was slow in getting displayed and getting the drivers attention.

Get out there, get the attention of the driver, waive the flag, yell, whatever just get them to stop...  they get a re-run, they'll get over it.  They won't get over a balled-up hunk of steel.
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Offline acidburn

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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2004, 02:30:43 PM »
I have alot of extra walkie talkie radios.  I will even donate them to NHSCC so they can use them at events to make things easier.  I do believe I have four of them.  Two were just opened out of the case.  
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Offline jtmcinder

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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2004, 03:02:48 PM »
Alan Posner [Susq Region] does a great SSS pep-talk for course workers.  It goes like this:

"Number One: don't get hit by a car.  Number Two: don't let your buddies get hit by a car.  Number Three: don't let a spectator ... er, guest ... get hit by a car.  Number Four: don't let two cars hit each other.  Number Five: make sure the cones are in the right place."

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Offline jimbob_racing

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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2004, 03:21:15 PM »
Quote
Alan Posner [Susq Region] does a great SSS pep-talk for course workers.  It goes like this:

"Number One: don't get hit by a car.  Number Two: don't let your buddies get hit by a car.  Number Three: don't let a spectator ... er, guest ... get hit by a car.  Number Four: don't let two cars hit each other.  Number Five: make sure the cones are in the right place."

- Jtoby
That's similar to what I used to say, only A LOT better.

The way I see it is that we take our most skilled and dedicated workers and we put them everywhere BUT on the course.  As a consequence, you have a bunch of people out there that really don't know any better or sometimes they don't even care.  You can teach the people that don't know any better but the ones that don't care are the ones that are going to let bad things happen and then they'll just vanish.

Unfortunately, I can't think of another way of doing things so we'll have to beat safety into peoples heads, training who we can and assigning the indifferent people to a harmless position.
JimBob

Offline acidburn

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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2004, 03:37:48 PM »
I speak from a new person autoXing.  I have only done 6 events but I think alot of newer people are afraid to throw a red flag because they dont want to do it for the wrong reason.  They might not want to ruin a run someone is having and they might think twice about throwing it around like a mad man.  because they dont want to get brandished by doing something dumb.  

I know im out there to have fun and I wouldnt want someone to think twice about throwing a red flag id rather err on the side of caution.  a new run vs. hitting someone, a car....ill take the new run.  Maybe have the most expienced person control the flag out there and if the people havent done a full season of autoX make sure they are teamed up with someone who has alot of extra time under their belt

PS...im sure alot of this didnt make sense but, it did to me while typing it.
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« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2004, 03:45:58 PM »
Quote
PS...im sure alot of this didnt make sense but, it did to me while typing it.
Nope, it made sense to me.

I'd rather have somebody do something dumb and give me a rerun then get into a situation where I hit another car or a worker.  

The other big thing with the red flag is that people sometimes roll the thing up around the handle.  That's great for storing it but you just can't unroll the flag and run towards a car and stop the run all at the same time.

As a total aside, who would pay for the damages if two cars collide on course?
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Offline marka

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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2004, 04:49:48 PM »
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As a total aside, who would pay for the damages if two cars collide on course?

Howdy,

Officially?

Everyone is on their own.  That waiver you sign agrees to hold everyone harmless, no matter what happens.

So, if someone in a shitbox Starlet piles into a Viper, the Viper guy is outta luck.

I'm not as sure about wilful stuff (Like if the Starlet guy chases the Viper guy around the course, trying to hit him).

http://www.scca.com/_Filelibrary/File/sccaformMS-1.pdf

Before anyone gets their creative juices flowing about how they can now go bash each other up... The Region has the right to bar entry to anyone for any reason, etc.  In the event of a conflict like this, if some reasonable form of settlement isn't attempted there might be issues with us and with other SCCA events that person wants to attend.  That's all on a case by case basis however.  Legally, when you sign the waiver (which isn't optional), you sign away any rights to restitution or whatever in the event of an incident.

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« Last Edit: August 30, 2004, 04:50:35 PM by marka »

Offline jimbob_racing

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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2004, 05:03:47 PM »
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So, if someone in a shitbox Starlet piles into a Viper, the Viper guy is outta luck.

I'm not as sure about wilful stuff (Like if the Starlet guy chases the Viper guy around the course, trying to hit him).
Ha ha!

I'd never try to hit anybody in the Starlet but I DO have a Pontiac that I want to get rid of.    :lol:  
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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2004, 03:51:21 PM »
At least have the decency to hit him after the event, on the street, so the insurance company gets to buy it  
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2004, 11:15:14 PM »
Quote
I'd love to do something other than chase cones in the same spot all day.  How about training some of the 'extra' workers at different jobs by working alongside the experienced workers?
i'll second this one.  i'd be happy to do a job other than cone monkey, but i've hesitated in the past to take grid, starter, spotter, etc. because i wasn't confident i could do it safely/competently.

maybe some brief training sessions for the non-cone-monkey jobs would lead to some more participation.

jeff

p.s. i think i can handle post-it-note guy without any training classes...
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Online Habib88

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« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2004, 12:36:51 AM »
The two biggest things we usually need are two grid people because thats the first job I have to assign since to takes awhile to get the cars into position and keep the heats going smoothly.  Once you do grid once its really easy to get the hang of, the more you do it the more people know your the grid person usually and things go easier for you when they move up to the grid area.  The other big one is the PC and running the AutoX TS software.  Its not terribly hard from what I understand but we REALLY need to train more people on it.  We have a small handful now and I feel bad not being able to give them a break from the PC if they want to.  OR we'll end up with over half the people who know how to run the PC on one heat...and no body who knows how to run it in the next heat lol.

The second tier jobs would be writing times down in the van, since you have to be very alert and on the ball to do this one.  Starters have to be aware of where the other car is on course and if course workers are running about.  I've seen so many starters told to hold the start because there were cones on the loose and the workers just needed a few extra seconds to get things in order....and the next thing you hear is a car launching at WOT lol.  Also annoucers who can chat pretty well are nice to have handy.  Spotters have to be able to watch the cars at a distance and stay on the radio, making sure the right calls are told to the Van.  We've been stressing the spotters more lately, doing things like having two of them and such.  Just to make sure things go better and there are no errors in who hit what.  Post its notes use to be the board writer...thank god we got rid of that lol.  But yea most of those jobs are pretty easy to teach someone in a few seconds.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2004, 12:38:42 AM by Habib88 »
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Offline rickshank

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« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2004, 07:28:19 AM »
Quote
The other big one is the PC and running the AutoX TS software.  Its not terribly hard from what I understand but we REALLY need to train more people on it.  We have a small handful now and I feel bad not being able to give them a break from the PC if they want to.  OR we'll end up with over half the people who know how to run the PC on one heat...and no body who knows how to run it in the next heat lol.
 
Chris, let's work on something together this winter to get a training session going.  I know enough about running the computer for heats that I could train a group of people on it.

We'd need some space to set up the timer, etc, but it's definitely do-able.  

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Offline roundel

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« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2004, 07:42:14 AM »
Speaking of things going smoothly...  I was wondering if a sign "The grid is open" or "The grid is closed" might help with the transition between heats?  When there are about 6-8 cars left to run in a heat, the grid workers could make sure everyone is clearing the grid spots and "open" the grid for the next heat. That way you might minimize the congestion right by the entrance gate and not have 6 people lined up for the next heat, while people are driving back to their area and someone with a RV trailering a track car is trying to get past all of that to get out, etc etc...

I know when there are no cars in the grid spaces it's open, but here has been my problem:  Sometimes people pull back into their grid spot after the 3rd run, to pickup an air compressor, check tire temps / pressusre, and so on...  If enough people do that, it looks like that was not the 3rd run - and this can confuse things.  "That should have been the 3rd run, those guys pulling back into their grid spot must just be checking tire pressure, I'll just pull up anyway... (half way through 2nd run *sigh*)"

 :dumberer:

When the FM transmitter isn't available it makes things much worse, since heat changes can be anounced when it's working - but I think this might be a good thing to do all the time for those who might be in a porta-john when that anouncement is made - or whatever...

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Offline marka

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« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2004, 12:06:21 PM »
Howdy,

Hitting the "non cone monkey" jobs that I can think of...

Computer operator.  Pretty much, this person needs to know what the hell they're doing and be capable of staying calm and collected when things get tense.  Knowing how to operate the software is a requirement, but so is the first part.

Van Time Writer: This person is arguably one of the most important, since what they do is going to backup what the computer operator does, and they have the ability to write notes for later during the audit, etc.  This person will also be responding to radio calls.

Announcer: This person is the least critical job in terms of event operation, but the most critical in terms of event enjoyment.  Having someone here comfortable with speaking on a mic, knows what to say and what not to say, etc. is important.

Spotters: There will typically be two of these, one for every car out on course at once.  The first car off will have spotter 1 follow it completely through the course, relaying any cones seen, O/C's, etc. to the van.  The second car will have spotter 2, 3rd car spotter 1 again, etc.  These folks _won't_ be doing radio stuff like they did in the past, they're a backcheck against the radio.  These folks are also critical, since they're the van's eyes.

Post-it writer: This person writes the time AND PENALTIES on a post it when the driver finishes.  The penalty part is important, as well as having the situational awareness of seeing the access road, etc. and stopping problems before they happen.  See also "Grey truck pulls in front of Kent" last weekend.

Safety Steward:  Requires a safety steward licence.  If you should be working this position, you already know what's entailed, but basically you're a licenced safety steward who's hanging out watching for things that look unsafe.  Access road issues, corner workers that are going to get hurt, little kids on bikes, etc. etc. etc.

Registration Helper:  You do all your work at the beginning of the day, assisting the registration crew from 8am to 9:30am.  During that period, you get a half hour to walk the course / do whatever.  No work assignment afterwards.  Depending on what we need, you may need to be somewhat familier with AutoX/TS (and this might not be a bad thing to start with prior to getting in the van as a computer operator).

Tech:  Again, all your work at the beginning of the day, 8:30am to 9:45am.  Must be "car knowledgable" as well as knowing various tech requirements.

Both Registration and Tech workers must also be able to deal correctly with difficult or new people (which are most often not the same thing).  We tend to try and have a consistent set of Reg and Tech folks, though we could probably use another reg. person at the next event.  Contact me if you're interested.  Both Reg and Tech are assigned long before the event actually happens.

I think that's basically it...

Mark
« Last Edit: September 03, 2004, 12:08:16 PM by marka »