Atb operation question

I’ve heard different ways that cargo is handled on ATBs. What are the different ways and what seems to work best? (Like mate handles paperwork and tankermen help…ect…) How do the different companies do it, like Kirby does it this way, Bouchard does it like… and Vane does it like so and so? Thanks, just trying to educate myself a little.

Mates PIC at Kirby, Crowley and OSG, I’m not sure but I think tankermen (barge captains and mates) take care of it everywhere else. Reinauer and Moran let the tankermen handle the cargo, I think Bouchard and Vane are the same. What would be really interesting is to hear how the dry bulk units handle responsibilities during cargo ops. Moran’s Mary Ann carries grain, Express Maritime’s Freedom and Kirby’s Jason E. Duttinger carry coal. There are a lot more lesser known dry-bulk ATB’s out there. If anyone’s got any knowledge or experience with them I’m sure we’d love to hear about it.

Bouchard, Vane, Genesis mate’s don’t do anything. Reinauer, Moran they usually do ballast sometimes. They have 2nd mate’s sometimes that are really just tankermen (reinauer) but how that plays out really varies from boat to boat. I personally don’t see how the hell the mate has time to be responsible for cargo on a 2-watch tug. I also have heard the reinauer 60-barges are manned with their own tankermen as they are not tug crew.

Express has a few more boats than the freedom, not sure how many are atb’s though. I know the moran boat that hauls a coal barge to connecticut used to (maybe does still) have a “coal mate.” I’ve also heard its a terrible boat to work on with turnover equaling the mary ann. The coal rig isn’t an ATB but a conventional boat, and its important to note that Vane only has two ATB’s and Genesis none.

OSG and Crowley use the mates as The PIC. Crowley 3rd and 2nd mates run cargo and also do the safety and FF checks as well as SOLAS if their boat is classed as such. The C/M is in charge of the barge and ultimately in charge of the load plan and all things cargo related. Funny thing is, Crowley 3rd mates make $20.00/day more than the tankerman and the 2nd is $20.00 more than the 3rd. The C/M is not that much higher. It’s worse at OSG for pay / responsibility ratio.

Reinauer usually has 2 Tankerman and a “2nd Mate”. The 2nd mate sets up the load and does ballast…he’s paid an amount just under the Steering Mate. Best job in the fleet if you ask me. You don’t sign the DOI OR Steer. You’re a water boy who punches numbers into Cargo Max and the tankerman do all of the work.

Bouchard has a steering mate on the tug 6/6 with the skipper. The barges are usually manned with 2 tankerman and 1 ballast AB.

So basically what Paddy and Z said.

hope this helps.

Not all Kirby boats the mates do cargo. The Penn atb’s the mates do ballast & tankermen handle the DOI, the old allied boats the tankermen handle the cargo & the mates supervise. Express has 2 bargemen for their atb’s that handle cargo & ballast. Any monkey can load a coal barge.

In the Great Lakes company I work for, mates tanker the barge, stand watçh and do the paperwork. 6 and 6.

[QUOTE=seriously;147008]In the Great Lakes company I work for, mates tanker the barge, stand watçh and do the paperwork. 6 and 6.[/QUOTE]

I think 4-5 of us all sent in our notice within a 3 day period, but no one told anyone else, was kinda funny right before crew change. I didnt mind working there, just the travel was too much.

Reinauer, Bouchard and Moran still run actual “tankerman”, the 80k and up barges at Reinauer had a “waterboy” who set up paperwork and played on the computer. 95% of the time those boats stayed in 1 grade anyway, doesnt take a rocket scientist. The 40k and 3x 60k barges just have 2 guys, actually very nice barges to work and live on, they didnt spare money when they built them. The 3 big barge the mates would go over and pump water if it was on their watch, they are so big 1 guy cant handle the cargo and water.

So as an Ab/tankerman, is life on an atb better than a manned barge?

That will depend on the boat and crew. An old boat that was converted usually isn’t made for 7-9 crew members and can get crowded but if everyone gets along it’s not bad. A new atb usually is designed with a stateroom for everyone and a crew lounge or exercise room too, but if they’re all assholes it won’t be as nice.

If you have a good crew it doesn’t matter if you’re on the worst run on the worst boat, it may still be the best job you ever had. By that same line of reasoning you could be on a floating palace doing a real gravy run but if the crew is terrible then it will make for the worst time of your life. It really is all about the shipmates, that’s what makes it or breaks it.

The worst part about this job/career/industry is the people. The last 2 posts are soooo fucking true.

Im still kicking myself over the 100 a day paycut but a gravy run and awesome crew makes it so much nicer. Havent seen an airplane since January. :wink: hows things going @ your new home ??? Any horror stories yet ???

So far so good. I am working with the best crew I’ve been with in years. Man, companies are all the same at the end of the day with the exception of crew members and small nuances. We are all just tools to get a job done.

Way back in the olden days on the ATB SEA SKIMMER/PLAQUEMINE, the Mates worked cargo, made the loading plan, etc. We had two tankermen that did the grunt work on the barge, although the engineers did all of the mechanical work on the pumps, seals, generators. . . . . They were actually busiest on ballast runs, what with cold water tank cleaning. Most of the time we ran multiple products, primarily grades of gasoline and diesel. Other times things like veg oil to the west coast of South America and Caribbean, and other more noxious products. . . .

At most of the companies that still run wire boats the Tankerman (barge Captain/mate) handle all cargo by necessity. We used to drop off a barge at one dock and go pick up another so the barge crew had to stay aboard and the tug mate had to go with the boat. I know first hand that the Genesis/Hornbeck barges still run this way and it works great. They have some top notch Tankermen and the tug officers have enough paperwork to keep them busy during the cargo ops. As far as an ATB they don’t have any but it wouldn’t be impossible for the mates to do it but it seems that if anything it should be in a more supervisory roll since in my experience the barge guys are more than competent and can handle their own cargo ops. I think since that company has a history of giving them that responsibility it’s expected and when they hire and train new Tankermen they instill that sense of responsibility. It would be hard to change it over if traditionally the mates have done it because the tankermen would probably be pissed at having the extra work without the pay of a mate. I’m curious though, do the companies that require the mates to do the barge work pay the tanker men less than the companies that require the tanker men to handle cargo?

Nothing burns my ass more than the tug mate coming over to the barge, thinking he has 1/2 a clue. We had quite a few who where good guys, had been mates at Kirby and wanted nothing to do with cargo, but if I needed a hand they where there. They had enough paperwork and bullshit when we where at the dock, why complicate things. I saw the ATB-“tankerman” coming from Kirby and I wasnt impressed, they where used to having their hands help, the ability to make decisions on their own or change on the fly wasnt there. I was on 1 unit for 4yrs, basically the same crew except for deckhands and mates, we had it down to a sweet science. Everyone knew their job, and knew how to help out to make things run smoothly. Unfortunately getting a crew of 7 to work like that takes a captain who doesnt continue the “them v.s us” tug and barge bullshit.
Had a fresh faced maritime grad over here a few months ago tell me how he was going to take a job as a “cargo mate” because he had just received his PIC. I cautioned him, I could just imagine him with some senior barge guy who wants to hang him out to dry, out barking orders without a clue, his name on the DOI and the USCG coming and ripping up his pretty red book.
But what do I know, all we push is rocks… :wink: