Lane Maintenance

Posted by: kagekikr

Lane Maintenance - 11/15/05 07:50 PM

When I thought about writing this post, I had to contemplate what forum to put this in. It involves a situation that happened last night in my Monday night League, but it deals with Physical/Mental Game & Lane Conditions. Anyway, we were bowling on lanes 15 & 16 and it didn't take long for us to notice that lane 16 was, well, screwed up. The sweep on the lane had a mind of its own and frequently came down when the ball was about 30 feet down the lane. So, being in a 24 team league in a 24 lane house, we just had to suck it up and tough it out. To make it worse, the several times that the ball hit the sweep, the pit guy came down onto the pin deck and slid out onto our lane 5 or 6 feet to push the ball back up the channel! 3rd game, I have the front 6 and I had to step off the approach 3 times because the sweep came down before I could get my ball off. When I finally was able to get the shot off, solid ten. Whoops, missed the spare, ended with 265 and a 717 series. I know, I shot pretty darn good, thumbsup so why complain. I was able to block things out and focus pretty well, but it was apparant that several guys were VERY upset and "is the rack coming down?" was on their minds every time they stepped on the lanes. The thing that REALLY upsets me is that this morning, I talked with my mom, who said that she bowled on that same pair last Friday, and the same thing was happening. So, let me get this straight, the management has known about this problem for AT LEAST four days, hasn't fixed it, brickwall AND doesn't even have the common courtesy to give the bowling on these lanes a heads up to what's going on. I know that lanes break down, but c'mon? What do you think? And what kind of stories do you have to share?
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/15/05 08:06 PM

Well, here's the deal. Older machines require older replacement parts which takes time to get. Even if you can diagnose the problem, order the part and then express mail the part to you....that can take days. And they maybe trying to fix the machine in the mean while before spending the money on parts they have a hard time finding.

In a busy house, where there are no extra lanes during league this can be a problem. I'm sure the house is trying valiently to get that fixed because its a pain for the mechanic to be running back there every 4 or 6 balls to fix the sweep.

Now one thing they could do is split the league in 1/2 and have 1/2 bowl at 6:30 and the other 1/2 bowl after them. That would get them the extra lanes needed to keep those problem lanes out of use. Of course then that would mean that people would complain about having second shift oil. But there's a solution you can put forth to your league if they do not want to put up with this broken lane.

The lanes should be pretty dry the last 5 to 6 feet. So the lane guy laying on them doesn't really hurt. Plus he may actually be helping by soaking up (with his clothes) the carry down oil that might be there, making your backends stronger. Maybe this is part of the reason you shot so well?

Posted by: MADDOG

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/16/05 02:09 PM

These things happen....over the summer i had to deal with a total equipment change out from the pins to the aproaches. I let this get to me week after week because it was just wierd to bowl in a house that looks like a work zone. Sounds like you adapted and over come the falty equipment.....Be proud of your self and be thinkful you dont have to bowl on thay same pair next week.
Posted by: kagekikr

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/16/05 04:01 PM

Ouch Erin, I'll take the approach that I was just able to block out the distraction and that is what enabled me to bowl well. The employee that was working the pitts came out onto the lane about 10 feet or so to retreive a ball that had hit the rack and deflected about 10 feet back from the sweep. This happened midway through the 3rd game, so it didn't have too much bearing on my overall series. That did upset me a little as I was perfect through the first few frames, but I do believe that I struck all but once (tapped on a good shot in the 7th) on that lane for the rest of that game. It's just that they didn't even let us know what was going on.
Posted by: Diesel bowler

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/18/05 06:38 AM

Last Thursday night our lane (16 lane house w/ a 10 team league) had a goofy foul line sensor. 3 times the foul line sensore tripped without someone stepping the line and brought the sweep down. Odd thing was that 2 of those three times the sweep came down before the ball even passed it. One persons ball hit it and it rolled into the gutter and stopped. The other time it happened my ball was on its way down the lane and I heard the foul buzzer. Looked down and my foot hadn't passed the line at all confused . Then I hear my ball smacking the sweep. My ball hit with enough force to rebound and come all the way back to me eek . It was odd to say the least.
Posted by: Sheldon

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/18/05 01:09 PM

This malfunction can be caused by at least several problems. The most common are: dirt or dust in the foul sensor, dust on the foul line itself, bad foul electronic circuit board.

The proper thing to do is to notify the person at the desk of the problem. This problem happens rarely but when it happens it is annoying. Someone should wipe the foul line to remove any dust and at the same time inspect the unit for dirt or dust and remove if necessary. If these things do not eliminate the problem, the foul lights should be turned off and the bolwers will watch and see if anyone fouls. Sometimes, I have even had the foul electonic circuit board replaced right then and there, it only takes a couple of minutes; But in most cases, the problem was caused by dirt or dust. It only takes a small spec of dust to trigger the unit and this can occur at any time even if the line and unit were cleaned and inspected prior to league bowling. The spec cannot even be seen but when the line is wiped off with a clean rag you can see the dust or dirt.

This happens at all centers sooner or later.
Posted by: jpruett2002

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/23/05 10:46 PM

I've seen the same thing happen before at the house I bowl at and there brand new. The first week it happened the mechanic said it was the computer system fouling up, the next time it happened, even he was puzzled because we kept getting scored fouled when now one was even on the approach.

As far as for older houses, being from a factory/mechanical background, I firmly believe in Preventive maintainance. Unfortunatly, most people don't. Just a thought..........
Posted by: Sheldon

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/24/05 01:09 PM

I too believe in preventive maintainance. However problems like this cannot be detected in advance as pinsetters are too complicated and in most cases something like this cannot be detected during a typical PM Inspection and oiling.

The problem of the rake coming down is really annoying to both bowlers and everyone at the center including management.

Parts are available for both Brunswick and AMF on an overnight basis. In most bowling centers, they stock most of the parts that wear and fail most often. So parts are most likely not the problem; what is the problem is when the rake falls with Brunswick equipment, it can be due to a number of reasons. It is hard to diagnose and this takes time. It can be as simple as a minor adjustment or the replacement of a number of parts usually one at time until the problem is gone. Both Brunswick and AMF have experts available by telephone to help with the diagnosis of a difficult problem. You describe the problem and they tell you what the most likely possibilites are. I have seen this occurr even if the mechanic has 15 years of experience on the same kind of equipment at 3 or 4 different houses.
Brunswick machines have about 4400 parts on each
machine. I am not familar with AMF pinstters.

So the answer is to be understanding and most likely by the time you have to bowl on these lanes again the problem will be fixed.
Posted by: jpruett2002

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/25/05 11:04 PM

I don't know if they have to tell you or not, but the mechanic I know at these new lanes has actually come and told us "I don't know what's going on but something is screwed up back there".

I will say that I don't believe he has a lot of expierence, because even simple errors (e.i. dropped pin or dead wood) sends him into a panic and rushing into the back with his hands in the air.

With that said, properly installed new equipment should not fail. I understand that there are many parts that make up a system, but a qualified mechanic or technician should be able to diagnose a problem almost immediatly. In my business, we use a lot of sensors and infra-red eyes to determine component positions and timing, and I can narrow down a problem within minutes and begin correcting the problem. Parts fail at certain intervals depending on time and care. An expierenced tech should be able to anticipate part failure on properly maintained equipment.

I know things will break down without warning, and those are the parts I keep on hand and ready, so that when a failure occurs, I can have it up in running without major headache. Constant lane failure is, in my opinion, a sign of poor craftsmanship or poor maintainance practices.

Just my opinion guys........ idea
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Lane Maintenance - 11/26/05 06:28 PM

Sometimes diagnosing the problem isn't that easy. And if the problem is found, the fix maybe requiring welding and such. So the Lane Mechanic has to have a very broad range of skills that enable him to diagnose a problem. There's really no diagnosing machines you can hook up to help you solve the problems. Maybe someday, but then probably only for the newer machines. And has been previously stated, many many alleys are running on archaic machinery.