Tractor school?

So I’m good with conventional boats, want to further my horizons. Is tractor school worth the time and $? Can’t figure any other real way to break into that market. Seems to be getting more specialized all the time.

You need to find someone who will hire you and train you, or go find someone who will let you learn without paying you. As someone who’s run them as master and trained guys, I can tell you school isn’t going to do much as far as practical learning goes. Some guys pick it up easy and quick, others never really get it, but most experienced tug guys are competent after a few weeks of intensive training. Takes a year on the job in my opinion to really get smooth; yet again some guys never really get smooth. Also depends to what extent the capability of the boat is used. If you’re doing astern/tether/other aggressive stuff it will take longer, conventional boat style stuff less time. Best bet is keep your job and find someone local to home who has one and see if you can go in on your time off to learn but don’t expect to get paid…do good and learn quick you may have a job waiting for you.

I’ve also trained guys on z-drives who have come off of conventional boats, the company ended up sending them to a school also and it helped but at the end of the day hands on in the real world is best. It seems that the guys moving upstairs from deck have an easier time then the guy who ran boat for years on a conventional, but like Z-drive said some get it some don’t. When it comes to Z-drives most of the time I run them like a conventional boat and the times I don’t never seems that big of a deal.There are books out there that might help you as well, good luck.

Time time and more time is what it takes. Z-drive is correct I have trained many people as well and some pick it up fairly quick. The class will teach you the basics. Having played on a simulator it is still not that close to the real thing and every boat handles different from the next. I would say 1 year is a good timeline to be proficient.

Thanks! Guess I’ll just have to slowly work in that direction.

Or maybe build something like this…

Can’t say she handles exactly like the real thing, but she does break the left brain/right brain block…

Dredge… Now I hate you… I didn’t need another boat project.

I’ll start looking for parts tomorrow.

A small round chine skiff
A pair of 360* 3-4hp outboards
A case a beer… Think bid light( budget build)

Don’t forget the SAWZALL!!!

[quote=clear solution;114034]dredge… Now i hate you… I didn’t need another boat project.

I’ll start looking for parts tomorrow.

A small round chine skiff
a pair of 360* 3-4hp outboards
a case a beer… Think bid light( budget build)[/quote]

dew itttt!!

reckon I’ve seen some simulators…but that’s the best. God I could have some fun with one of those around the marina/tug yard.

Oh, Yeah… The day I splashed the thing I grabbed the Warden, drug her down the creek, spun her around and backed her into the slip… Piece of cake except its hard to hold onto your beer, oops, i meant coffee…

A mate I work with took a Livingston skill and put a electric troll motor on each side bought them off Craigslist and mounted them on the side aft of midships and trained himself that way. He has by far been the fastest to pick it up so far. Also there is a model R/C boat builder in Canada Ron Burchett who has made scale z-drive r/c models with the actual controls built into the controller. He was the partner with Robert Allen on the Bratt tug. Info on that found here—>

I have never think about that. I also like to get inform about this. Is really helpful for me or you can say for us???

Dancing With Miss Lucy: This Is Not A Simulation!
Posted by towmasters
At slack water two tugs, one a new-ish ASD tractor and the other a rather elderly conventional twin-screw boat of classic lines, work together with a combined 9,000 hp to sail a ship: the Laura K. Moran (2008) and the Cape Cod (1967) both pull together to get the M/T Miss Lucy off the dock at IMTT – Con Hook (proper name: Constable Hook) in Bayonne, NJ. Once the ship is far enough off the dock to allow the stern to swing around, and with the Laura still backing, the Cape Cod comes ahead into the stern quarter to take in her line……

……and begin pushing on the stern.

The Miss Lucy begins to pivot around neatly in the middle of the Kill Van Kull.

The Cape Cod keeps pushing……

……while the Laura keeps pulling……

……and the Miss Lucy finally starts making headway.

Still working, the Laura begins to swing aft ……

……and falls in alongside for the short run outbound on the Con Hook Range. Once into the Upper Bay the Laura will take in her line, retrieve the departing docking pilot, and peel off for the next job as the Miss Lucy heads for the Narrows, Ambrose Channel, and out to sea in the New York Bight, off for another loading port somewhere over the horizon.

This short photo essay serves a very important purpose: to illustrate and publicly restate in no uncertain terms this organization’s belief, which is strongly rooted in our member’s professional experiences, that ultimately you learn how to do evolutions like this by (brace yourselves for a shocking revelation!) actually doing them. With one’s feet firmly planted on the tilting deck of a tug’s wheelhouse as the diesels roar, the turbos scream, the boat shakes and the wheel wash blasts out in a frothing white rush. Whether it be a brand new, state-of-the-art tractor or a workhorse, do-it-all conventional boat, there is no substitute for the “real thing” and there never has been. Our job is not “virtual” and while simulator training absolutely has its place, and can potentially be a valuable tool to help broaden and enhance existing on-board training, it is absolutely not an equivalent of the real thing and should not be regarded or accepted as such. Thought I’d post this article, as I stated earlier in this thread I believe that nothing beats real world experience .

[QUOTE=DredgeBoyThrottleJocky;114032]Or maybe build something like this…

Can’t say she handles exactly like the real thing, but she does break the left brain/right brain block…[/QUOTE]
That thing is great wish i would of thought of that !!! I just about fell out of my seat laughing so hard!!! i want one

Oh I have lots if ship assist experience, just not tractors.

I was not implying that you did not have experience, sorry if I came across that way. The point I liked in the article was that useful as the simulators are,the best training is still done on a boat in the real world . I have gone through a simulator course and they will help with the basics, so not saying they don’t have a place but do put more weight in on board training. Also a good book to read is ASD Tugs: Thrust and Azmith

Learning to drive a Z-drive

By Captain Jeff Slesinger

I did the PMI Z-drive course with Doug Pine, which used Jeff S.'s book as the text. It was a good primer and a good time. I think that the simulator is a great place to practice new skills and gain exposure to new techniques without the expense, or risk of running a boat.

Roger. Sounds like a good book/course.