Occ. Code 7221800




New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Positions in this class exist only in the New York State Canal Corporation where they operate and maintain and supervise the operation and maintenance of canal locks, lift bridges, guard gates and moveable dams.


Chief Lock Operators are responsible on a 24 hour basis for the operation and maintenance of a canal lock and any associated structures. This includes the immediate supervision of any helper­s needed to operate the associated structures on the day shift in a three shift operation, and supervision of the work of Canal Structure Operators assigned the operation of the structures on the second and third shift. They also plan and carry out the off navigation season maintenance work plan.




Chief Lock Operator is the first supervisory level in the Canal Structure Operation and Maintenance series. Incumbents supervise Canal Structure Operators and Canal Helpers and report to positions classified as Canal Electrical Supervisor which are responsible for supervising the operation and maintenance of all canal structures in one of the seven sections into which the canal system is organizationally divided.


Chief Lock Operators, working on the day shift, perform the same operations in passing vessels through the lock as those listed in the Canal Structure Operator standard #7224000. The Chief Lock Operator is also responsible for assuring that the lock and associated structures are maintained and kept in good working order. This is accomplished by daily inspections, by leaving maintenance and housekeeping instructions for Canal Structure Operators on other shifts, by repairing and replacing mechanical and electrical parts, by checking to see if prior day's instructions have been properly followed and by being on call on a 24 hour basis to deal with any emergency which might arise.  At the close of each navigation season, the Chief Lock Operator prepares an off season maintenance plan scheduling mechanical and electrical repairs. During the off season the Chief Lock Operator puts this plan into effect, supervises a small crew of Canal Structure Operators and report weekly on the progress accomplished.




During the navigation season operates one of a variety of different kinds of locks following detailed standing and special procedures. A detailed list of the tasks associated with this activity may be found in Standard #7224000 Canal Structure Operator.


Supervises the operation of a guard gate, lift bridge or other structures. These tasks are also described in Standard #7224000.


Plans, supervises and conducts a preventative maintenance program on a daily basis for the assigned lock and any associated structures.


·      Conducts daily inspection of machinery, rotary pumps, seals, filters, reservoirs, thermostatic heaters, hydraulic circuits, electric circuits, master control centers, operating panels, motor generator sets, water turbine generators, limit switches, overload relays, relays, contact, master switch coils, starters, circuit breakers, and arc, navigation, pilot and traffic signal lights.


·      Performs regular maintenance tasks, cleans and lubricates machinery and replaces worn or defective parts.


·      Issues written instructions to Canal Structure Operators on second and third shifts to perform needed maintenance or housekeeping chores and inspects the following day to ensure compliance.


·      Applies preservatives to quoins and miters used to seal lock gates.


Maintains good public relations during lock operation phase.


·      Collects tolls and permit fees as required.


·      Informs pleasure boat operators of tolls and permit fees, locking schedules, distance between locks, speed limits, availability of, and location of marinas.


·      Informs commercial boat owners of boat locations and weather conditions.


·      Informs tourists and visitors of canal lock operations and required safety precautions.


Prepares daily report of activities associated with lock operations including daily wind, weather, temperature and water level, any violations of Canal Rules and Regulations and any accidents entailing damage to canal facilities.


Based on knowledge of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic equipment in need of major repair, prepares detailed schedule of such repairs for Off Navigation Season Maintenance Program, including work hours required and submits to Canal Electrical Supervisor.


During the off navigation season supervises a small crew of Canal Structure Operators in the conduct of such electrical and mechanical repair as:


·      Removes electrical motor, disassembles, cleans and replaces worn parts, lubricates, paints and reassembles.


·      Removes, repairs and reassembles panel boards, brake assemblies, switches, overload relays, magnetic starters, thermostats and circuit breakers.


·      Dismantles, paints, reinsulates and reassembles resistor grids.


·      Assists maintenance crew in major rebuildings involving removal and reassembly of lock gates and valves.




Although the tasks assigned this class are predominantly thing-oriented, Chief Lock Operators have regular contact with canal users which may involve giving advice on canal rules, regulations and available facilities. They must also maintain cordial relationships with visitors, providing general information on the canal and its structures.




Chief Lock Operators report to Canal Electrical Supervisors but function in a quite independent fashion. The Canal Electrical Supervisor is available to assist in major repairs, makes periodic visits to each of the locks in the section and reviews, on an annual basis, each Chief Lock Operator's off navigation season maintenance plan. Chief Lock Operators supervise Canal Helpers and Canal Structure Operators both immediately and through written instructions and follow-up observations.




Chief Lock Operators use a variety of hand and power tools appropriate to the mechanical and electrical trades. They also use a variety of hand and power tools normally utilized in building and grounds maintenance. They are also required to operate motor vehicles.




·      Working knowledge of machinery relationships between component parts, especially interdependence.


·      Working knowledge of AC and DC electricity.


·      Working knowledge of electrical motors and control devices.


·      Working knowledge of the operation of hydraulic pumps, direction valves, circuits and motors.


·      Working knowledge of Canal Rules and Regulations.


·      Working knowledge of electrical and mechanical maintenance procedures including lubrication and the identification of malfunctioning mechanical, hydraulic and electrical parts.


·      Working knowledge of procedures used to transfer vessels into and out of locks.


·      Working knowledge of proper safety procedures.


·      Ability to prepare brief written reports.


·      Ability to establish supervisory relationships.


·      Ability to use hand and power tools.


·      Ability to manipulate electrical, mechanical and hydraulic control switches.


·      Ability to operate a motor vehicle.


·      Ability to understand the functioning of mechanical devices.


·      Ability to recognize and identify mechanical, electrical and hydraulic system malfunctions.


·      Ability to determine tools and supplies necessary to effect the repair of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic system malfunctions.


·      Ability to understand written and oral instructions.


·      Ability to maintain good public relations.


·      Ability to read schematic drawings.




One year of service as a Canal Structure Operator and a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State at the time of appointment and continuously thereafter.




Reviewed:  4/05





NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.