Tiller arms ... we have two, our original that came with the boat now is the brolly mate equipped one and then we have the heavier hinged one that s great for getting a crew mate on and off the boat with.
We lock up by holding back in the lock and sliding up the bottom gates. Most I see use the technique of using the top gate plate as a slide. This is ok if your stern post is at a nice angle as it means the front fender can run up the plate in and keep the stern post off the cill. On our boat the stern post is very upright meaning it grinds on the cill until there is enough water in the lock for the fender to touch the plate.
When I have boated single handed I use the front gate with the boat in gear, when with crew we hold back and use the bottom gates. With enough reverse on the currents in the lock cannot hit the back gates and push the boat forward resulting in a uncontrolled charge in the lock to hit the front gates. This is also about how the paddles are opened of course so control of the lock by the boats crew is very important and on all too many occasions eager or sometimes malicious 'helpers crack open both paddles resulting in a massive surge of water that tries to push Waterlily off the back gates.
The reason for the lock technique explanation..... to avoid the rudder getting nipped by the closing gates as the water pressure forces them into the sealed position we put the tiller over to the side - this can result in the tiler arm catching obstructions as the boat rises on the side wall (it has nearly happened using the old tiller) so we can hinge it up avoiding this risk.
I'm sure you do it your way for a reason - these are our reasons.
1 hour ago