“We recently received a call from a site in California requesting a site visit. They had called the office and stated that the netting they had contracted for installation less than 3 years ago was wearing prematurely and requested a site visit to assess the situation. We had visited this site prior to this installation, but they had gone in a different direction. Although that assessment has not yet taken place, after 28 years in this unique industry, we can definitely attribute the premature wear to one (or more) of the following conditions:
- Improper installation.
- External abrasion to and excessive movement of netting.
- Improperly fitted net and poorly tensioned cable. (Unprofessional framework)
In this post, I will address Improper installation. This is the factor of utmost importance when choosing an installation contractor. At Judge Netting, we have a saying, “if it’s not tight, it’s not right.”
Although it sounds simple enough, you would be surprised how often we hear, “it’s just a net, how complicated can it be?” The result is either installing the netting in-house or going with an inexpensive, inexperienced, and or unlicensed contractor.
At Judge Netting, we take pride in setting and, just as important, keeping our poles plumb. This not only provides a professional installation that is clean and aesthetically pleasing but keeps the netting fitted properly. For instance, a 50’ high pole set just a few inches out of plumb can change the netting panel dimensions dramatically. For instance, the netting on one side of the pole can end up a foot short on one side and a foot long on the other. This, of course, overstretches the netting on the short side and makes the netting extremely baggy on the other, making for excessive billowing in the wind. We also set our end poles in a manner that ensures very taut guy wire and keeps that pole plumb. This may, in some cases, require a properly installed earth anchor or compensating for “deflection” in the pole to compensate for the tensions on the horizontal cables.
This is not rocket science but requires experience and a thorough understanding of the physics and structural factors involved in each unique installation. After the poles are set, the cables are tensioned and permanently attached to each pole. The net is then custom fabricated either in the field or by our premier suppliers. All connection points have a 3,200 lb. test rope sewn into the netting panels to ensure a perfect fit pole to pole and horizontal to horizontal cable. Each pole is designed and, where applicable, engineered to local codes and wind conditions for a professional and long-lasting installation.
Although we love meeting with our customers, we don’t want or expect to see them for replacement of their sports netting or golf netting for a minimum of 10 years, even under the harshest of conditions. In our next post, we will discuss the steps needed after installation to ensure the longevity and functionality of the netting barrier at your facility.