START UP PROCEDURES
To prepare your batting cages for the upcoming season, the following
spring start up procedures are recommended.
First and most important is to train new employees or retrain
existing employees in the safe operation, proper care and use of
the equipment. ABC has a Safety & Maintenance training video for
this purpose (part # 995). Also available are Service Manuals that
include safety and maintenance procedures and checklists. You will
refer to this manual often and it is useful when calling ABC for
service. Our maintenance section has information on adjusting the
ball drop chute to servicing the light box electronics and everything
in between. It also has a very helpful troubleshooting section and
a complete parts listing for easy ordering. If you don't have a
copy of our Service Manual or Safety & Maintenance video you can
download them from the website or call 1-800-578-2243 and order
1) Remove all equipment coverings.
2) Re-install all equipment that was removed for the winter.
3) Re-tie all perimeter pole net ropes and raise net. Inspect net
for rips, tears, holes, etc. and repair as needed. Check center
pole collar hook release rope for dry rot, fraying, or wear and
replace if needed. Check winch cable for fraying and replace if
4) Inspect all pitching machines and clean/adjust the following
components (refer to your service manual for procedures on how to
do this). Clean all wheels. Lubricate the variable speed pulley
and adjust each machine to the fastest speed and then slow down
to the desired speed. If the variable speed pulley does not open
and retract then it needs to be replaced. Inspect the drive belt
for wear, fraying, or dry rot and replace if needed. Lubricate the
wheel shaft bearings and check for any movement in the bearings
to shaft, replace if needed. Lubricate the speed adjust arm collar.
Lubricate the left/right adjuster knob threaded rod. Lubricate the
speed adjust crank handle. Lubricate the hi/low adjust handle.
5) Adjust "feeding chutes" and ball count micro switches. Verify
the chute "tongue" is aligned so that the balls are delivered to
the center of the pitching wheels. Clean all feeding troughs. Verify
that the troughs are hung properly and that after the balls are
released from the pinch roller assembly they exit the 90 degree
drop without sticking in the feed chute. Check for proper spacing
between the 90 degree drop and the chute, there should be a minimum
of 3 ½ inches for baseball and 4 ½ inches for softball. Check pinch
roller wheel for missing chunks or gummy texture and replace if
needed. Check the pinch roller set screw and verify it is tight
and installed correctly (the pinch roller wheel should not be able
to spin on the motor shaft).
6) Inspect Conveyor/Distributing System and adjust the following
components - Adjust belt tension on conveyor belting; there should
be about 6 inches of play in the belt. Check conveyor drive belt
motor pulley and belt, replace the belt if dry rot or fraying is
visible. Lubricate conveyor pulley upper and lower bearings. Remove
Chinese hats from the baseball and softball hoppers and clean out
debris. Check distributing system for proper operation. Check gear
oil on conveyor drive motor; use heavy-duty gear oil (about 21 ounces
7) Inspect Warning Light Boxes for proper operation. Replace any
light bulbs and lenses if needed. Check that lens guard is installed
and is in good condition. Replace any relays/logic blocks as needed.
Face light boxes so that the lights are towards the batters, tighten
light boxes to the mounting posts. Check all cords for fraying,
bare wire, or bad connections and replace as needed. Verify circuit
boards are secure and that all ground connections are clean; if
corrosion is present, use a wire brush and clean it off.
8) Inspect Coin Boxes/Mechanisms for proper operation. Adjust and
replace coin mechanisms and micro switches as needed. Inspect all
wire leads and replace terminal connections as needed. Drop tokens
and verify each machine operates properly and is throwing in the
strike zone, adjust if needed. Check coin boxes for faded or missing
decals and replace as needed.
9) Inspect Master Control Panel or BC-2 or MP04A1 computers for
proper operation. Start and stop all machines from the panel. Verify
each machine is counting down balls on the panel. Verify ball and
coin count is correct.
10) Inspect warning signs for damage. Replace any signs that are
missing or not legible.
11) Check roof cover over pitching machines for wear, replace
12) Inspect all baseballs and softballs for wear. Balls which show
dimple and groove wear should be replaced. We recommend beginning
each season with new balls! This will ensure the most accurate pitching
of all machines. Very Important!
13) Check home plate and "do not cross" line, re-paint if faded.
If you have any questions feel free to call us!