Trailer Talk

Wheels Bring 'Thrills' to the Delaware County Fair

Blog commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

September 20, 2017

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
Food concessions on the Delaware County Fair's midway are all on wheels. Sirloin tip meals were pretty good. Photos: Tom Berg
Food concessions on the Delaware County Fair's midway are all on wheels. Sirloin tip meals were pretty good. Photos: Tom Berg

The fair is on and who can resist it? My wife and I, that’s who. We haven’t been to a state or county fair in many years because it just seemed like too much trouble. But in July we moved to a house right across the street from the Delaware County (Ohio) Fairgrounds, and in the last few days we have been treated to wonderfully entertaining sights, sounds and colors. Now we can just walk to it, so no more excuses.

Yesterday, we went and enjoyed the colorful sights and tasty food, watched a few of the harness races. In those, horses rapidly prance with a specified gait while pulling sulkies and drivers, a competition not nearly as spectacular as regular horse racing but a big deal around here. We ignored the barkers and their money-grabbing games of “skill.”

Of course, I’m always seeking subjects for Trailer Talk, and there were plenty at the fair. Food stands are on wheels, but most impressive were the complex and heavy rides. The kids and fun-seeking adults who buy their way aboard them are unaware that their many parts are permanently attached to special trailer chassis and powered by large trailer-mounted generators.

Large electric power generator is housed in a van trailer that's pulled from fair to fair by a late-'90s Volvo tractor that looks new. Gray box contains a transformer. 
Large electric power generator is housed in a van trailer that's pulled from fair to fair by a late-'90s Volvo tractor that looks new. Gray box contains a transformer.

In some cases, the vehicle components are covered by shrouds and in others they are partially visible. I found and photographed some, and had fun doing that without getting my head spun and guts churned by vertical and centrifugal forces these contraptions impose on young, masochistic lunatics. They call it “thrilling.”

Screaming young people aboard the spinning Zero Gravity ride wouldn't care, but the machine is on its own trailer chassis. In the background is the Parachute Drop. 
Screaming young people aboard the spinning Zero Gravity ride wouldn't care, but the machine is on its own trailer chassis. In the background is the Parachute Drop.

The rides and much additional equipment are clean and appear well maintained. Road tractors are late-1990s Volvos that look new. Carnival (“carny”) stuff wasn’t always so well taken care of, so my salute goes to Bates Amusement Inc., of Wintersville, Ohio, a company that seems to care about image and safety.  

Scooter – called Bump-A-Car in editor's youth -- facilitates entirely legal vehicular assaults. It all folds up and rides on a tandem-axle trailer.  
Scooter – called Bump-A-Car in editor's youth -- facilitates entirely legal vehicular assaults. It all folds up and rides on a tandem-axle trailer.

Oh -- one exception to my chicken-heartedness is the “Scooter,” whose rubber-ringed electric cars scoot around on a sheet-steel floor and bash into each other as their drivers squeal diabolically. As a boy, I repeatedly rode an almost identical attraction during the old Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. There it was called Bump-A-Car, a much more apt description of what the thing is and the behavior it begets. The floor sections, ceiling, support posts, and wiring evidently fold up and onto a tandem-axle trailer chassis.

Heh heh, I plan to go back later in the week and do my share of vehicular assaulting. Look out, you young whipper-snappers! 

 

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Author Bio

sponsored by

Tom Berg

Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?
sponsored by
sponsor logo

ELDs and Telematics

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All
GotQuestions?

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All