These are common questions we have been asked over the years.
Q I have never booked a ride before but I imagine they come on big lorries is there anything special I need to know?
A: We send out a fact sheet on all rides you book which tells you what you need to know, they are all big and different sizes so it depends on each individual ride as to what access we need, for example children’s rides are normally towed by a small lorry or a 4 x 4, where as dodgems can come on 2 lorries the rough size of a coach towing a coach or an arctic lorry, hence we offer to do site visits to check this unless we have had rides in there before.
Q I want the ride to go inside is this ok?
A: Most rides are trailer mounted and are 9ft wide and up to 15ft high, some bigger venues, O2 arena, Excel, Earls Court etc have giant doors that open so we can drive inside. Our Rides come with a generator, due to the fumes we would not be able to run these inside so be aware these venues will charge you extra for power. There are a few rides that can be carried through smaller doors, however it does cost extra as we need more staff.
Q I have had 3 prices for dodgems and all are really varied why is this?
A: It depends if you have asked someone who owns the ride, or an agent who goes to another agent, or you have gone to a showman who does not own the ride you want but will put a lot of money on top and sub contract it out. I used to put a set dodgems in the Hurlingham Club in London they were not my set as the time needed to get in and out did not work for me so we put another set in, the following year the Hurlingham Club booked with one of my competitors at a higher cost (in fact £2,000 higher) and he put the same set in as I did so they paid £2000 more and got the same set.
Q I have found a cheaper set than yours why is it so cheap?
A: Well I have to advise you to be careful of cheap tracks, bearing in mind 2 large lorries and a jeep are usually needed to take the ride and 5 staff who all eat like horses and then require paying to build it and operate it. Then you have to keep up to date with maintenance, a good insurance company, thorough testing, good transport and have good dodgem cars, this all comes at a cost. if i had a cheap old set of dodgems with a torn roof and 10 cars that have torn seats maybe i would do it cheaper, but i’m pleased to say I don’t.
Q do your rides include power as I was charged extra for this by someone last year?
A: Yes our rides come with everything needed to set up, operate, dismantle and depart.
Q last year I booked through another company and did it not arrive – how do I know you will ?
A: This I’m afraid is more common than you would think. We get many calls from people who have been let down quite often at the 11th hour. There are a couple of companies who offer rides for hire at cheap prices, take a lot of bookings at these prices, then try to find someone who will do it. One company, rides for hire, let 5 events down that we covered at short notice. The problem comes in when these cheap bookings fall on busy weekends in the summer and then a new event at maybe at short notice is looking for rides for one of these dates and is offering more money for a ride. If we are fully booked we turn it down no matter how much they are offering but not everyone does so someone will pull out of one of the cheaper events to do one with an offer of more money, hence you get let down. Whilst everyone likes a bargain, cheapest is not always best. The reason we don’t let people down is because we are a professional company and as such when we are fully booked we will not take another booking, most of the rides we have belong to us. We do use other showmen and only use ones we know and deal with on a regular basis and we give them a lot of work so in turn they wont let us down, Most events we ask for 20% deposit on completion of contracts and the balance on the day of the event.
Q do you do discounts?
A: Yes we do offer package discounts, just let us know where, when and the times you want the rides and we will put a package together for you.
Q I notice you do a large selection of children’s items in one package, the price seems too good to be true for all those items, is there a catch?
A: No not at all, it all packs into one lorry with a squeeze and we have a team that just take that out on a weekend, yes they are big items but the lorry has a hoist inside so there is no heavy lifting for the staff, the only catch is its in the south of UK and we only have one of them.
Q What if I need to contact you urgently ?
A: If there is an issue you can ring us 24 hrs a day.
Q Do you do events where you take money and pay us a ground rent?
A: As a rule no, we only do events where we are hired, you can hire us and charge to go on the rides and you keep all the money taken, if you have a lot of people this should be profitable for you. However we do know people who operate this way so if you let us have the details we will put you in touch with your local operator and you deal direct with them.
Q I’ve spoken to a couple of ride suppliers and you all say same the same thing about be aware this, or watch them, how do I know who is a genuine company, and why does no one put the prices on their website?
A: In short you don’t know one from the other, we are the only company that only does corporate work, all others do fairgrounds and do corporate events around their fairground work. Most of the others only use a mobile number as a point of contact and run the business from their lorry cab. They do not list an address and have a public hotmail type email address, I would be cautious of those. If you ask for an insurance policy before you confirm and ask if its their ride attending their name should be on the insurance provided. I would be aware when they ask for money up front and in cash, and check they offer you a contract in writing. Be aware of anyone who claims to own loads of rides, there is no one in the UK who owns lots of rides, I’ve seen one website where they say they own 400 rides, this is not the case. If you have any doubts until you have signed the contract pull out. We own 4 x big rides, 7 x children’s rides, 21 x inflatables, 8 x stalls, and that takes some building at an event and driving to it as well.
The reason we do not publish prices is simple, we have a standard price list for a 6 hr event we are happy to send you, but you will get the rides cheaper if:- the event is midweek, or you have more than 3 rides, or you want it for more than one day. However there will be a price increase if the event is very long hours, you need us in place days before the event, and we cant get out for a day or so after, or we have to carry it etc. I’ve also seen adverts where it says prices “from” and yet the from price is never given. That’s why every event gets a tailor made quote so you get the best price from us in writing so we all know where we stand.