QUESTION: What is the primary goal of any business?
ANSWER: TO MAKE MORE MONEY!
QUESTION: How do batting cages do this?
ANSWER: By Meeting The Following Goals-
Provide a quality pitch
Provide the speed and height of pitch relative to the customer's skill level
To provide this service with the least amount of wait for the customer
Keeping machines operational at all times so they are available for customers
Have enough stalls available to meet the volume of business during peak times
By starting the cage as economically as possible while still meeting the rest of these criteria
Having developed the first dual pitching station (baseball and softball available to the same station), we learned in the early 80's that by increasing what is available to the batters in a station, the revenue per station goes up dramatically. Knowing this and also knowing about both indoor and outdoor cages that were limited in space, we set out to re-define our equipment to fully meet every batter's needs in one station. The patented Ultimate Trainer 2000 is the culmination of over ten years of meeting and refining the machine to meet these goals. Here is how it does it:
Goal One - Provide a quality pitch
While we started with the best machine on the market, the Jugs Range Pro pitching machine, we still had to change everything from the castings to the electronics to make the Ultimate Trainer 3000 work. The original strong points to the Range Pro-
• Aluminum corrosion free casting • Direct-drive wheels utilizing sealed bearings requiring no lubrication • Electronic speed controls that exactly monitor the wheel rpm and mathematically convert that into the resulting speed of the pitch • The least number of moving parts on any pitching machine ever invented
all helped to get the Ultimate Trainer 3000 started in the right direction. But here are just a few of the changes that had to be made to the physical mechanism to make the Ultimate Trainer 3000 work:
1. The feeding hand (the piece that delivers the ball between the wheels) had to be changed so that it would consistently feed the ball regardless of the angle of the machine. The casting for the feeding hand that delivers the balls to the wheels was changed to accomplish this and several other goals. The change allows our machines to throw a consistent pitch regardless of the speed or angle of the machine without adjusting the feeding hand!
2. Furthermore, the casting change restricts the way the ball is delivered to the wheels so it hits them exactly the same way each time. This increased the accuracy of the pitch while virtually eliminating the need for periodic adjustments. Once it is set, it is set for good!
3. In addition, we created the viewing slot so the batter can now watch the ball for a full second before the pitch (approximately 18") all the way through delivery. This gives the batter the best possible timing of the pitch. Unlike an arm machine where the arm disappears at the critical moment of delivery, the ball is constantly in view before, during, and after the mechanism accelerates the ball.
4. Furthermore, The ball counting mechanism was place in the new casting to nearly eliminate the potential for miscounting the number of pitches. This once again eliminated a normal maintenance item making the machine more efficient.
Goal Two - Provide the speed and height of pitch relative to the customer's skill level
Having refined the speed control to exactly monitor the speed on the wheels when we developed the digital speed control, we knew that we could determine how fast the machine was pitching. The Ultimate Trainer uses a true micro-processor that not only monitors the speed but can be programmed to automatically reset the speed to any of four preset speeds to within 0.1 MPH.
It automatically has the machine return at the start of each cycle to the preset height for that speed to within 0.01 of a degree. The result is the ability to have the customer select the speed they want when they want it in from the coin box.
Furthermore, they can adjust the height of the pitch to match what they want from either the coin box or the left hand adjustment box. The machine automatically resets to the standard height at the start of each cycle so the next customer is assured a perfect strike. However, if the same customer wants to hit again at their customized height, all they have to do is to press the adjustment buttons the same number of times. see photos below The machine uses seven positions three above and three below the starting position that each move the ball 8" each. The result is 4' of available adjustment to match any batter's height choice!
Goal Three - To provide this service with the least amount of wait for the customer
Each station of the Ultimate Trainer 3000 offers up to four speeds of baseball and four speeds of softball for the customer to choose from. see photo below From little league to college level can now all hit in the same station. We pre-set the speeds at 40, 50, 60, and 70 mph speeds at the factory because they are the most common selections. Higher speeds can be set (up to 95 MPH!) But we suggest making that an adult only restricted cage for safety.
After the coin/token is dropped, the baseball and softball selection buttons start to alternately flash. After being chosen, the selected pitch burns solid and the other goes out. The speed selection switches start to flash together indicating to the batter to choose a speed. Once selected, it also burns continuously so that the batter and any spectator can easily see what ball and speed the machine is going to pitch. In the event of a mistake, the red stop button can be pushed ending a cycle immediately. see photo below
With eight different types of pitches in each station, now every cage you have is available to all hitters. They can customize the speed and pitch height to get what they want where they want it.
Goal Four - Keeping machines operational at all times so they are available for customers
What we didn't realize was that once we went to a level of computing power that would allow the machine to reset the speed itself on demand, that it would also be able to eliminate many of the usual daily and weekly adjustments of the standard machines. Depending on a variety of factors, motors will have internal drag over the course of time slowing slightly the speed of the motor/wheel. The Ultimate Trainer 3000 monitors the actual RPM of each motor and gives the motor additional power to maintain the speed to within one tenth of a mile per hour. This means that it automatically is making adjustments for normal wear and tear, weather conditions, and temperature. The Ultimate Trainer makes sure the machine you set in February is still throwing your customer a good pitch in August.
The Ultimate Trainer 3000 not only monitors the wheel motors but virtually every potential problem of the system. If the machine should ever be prevented from pitching the pitch selected to preset RPM to within one tenth of a mile per hour or the machine angle to within one hundredth of a degree, it automatically stops pitching and signals for an attendant to check the machine. Unlike our old machine or any of our competitor's machine, it doesn't leave you guessing what went wrong. The Ultimate Trainer 3000 has a two line digital display that tells you where to look for the problem! Now, even if your newest employee is running the cage, they can read the display and locate the problem.
Even though the Ultimate Trainer 3000 has as much fuse protection for electrical shorts as our standard machine, it also has circuit monitoring technology that sends the system into standby before the surge or short can blow the fuse 90+% of the time. It incorporates amperage limiting technology to help prevent damage to the board and allow you time to read the action display and fix the problem quickly. The end result has been a drastic reduction in down time for our customers and a reduction in calls to our technical support department.
Our goal is to help you get your machine back in operation as quickly as possible reducing down time to minutes not hours or days. The Ultimate Trainer has had no main computer boards damaged since it was first introduced in 1999!
The biggest improvement to the Ultimate Trainer 3000 over previous models is the LCD display and the four button- menu driven settings and diagnostic panel on the outside of the box. Now all adjustments, nearly every diagnostic solution, and all settings are down without your help ever accessing the actual electronic panels. Furthermore, the system can be easily locked by the owner/manager to prevent their employees from "playing with the settings". The Ultimate Trainer 3000's LCD display and four button operation gives them access to fix all problems but not change the settings without ever being able to get inside the box.
Goal Five - Have enough stalls available to meet the volume of business during peak times
In traditional cages, the biggest problem was having the right machine available for the second batter that showed up. Because you will have a big influx of batters of the same relative abilities show up around the same time (just before their league starts when they are trying to make the team), in traditional cages it is very common to see one or two stations with a line while most of the cages stand empty. Customers want to hit, not wait! With the Ultimate Trainer 3000, you can avoid having:
•A call where a customer wants to know if his speed cage is working
•A customer ask if his speed cage will be available in the next 15 minutes since it is currently rented
•That same customer leave without hitting and upset that he took the time to stop by for nothing!
With The Ultimate Trainer 3000 all cages can be available for all batters at all times!
Goal Six - By starting the cage as economically as possible while still meeting the rest of these criteria
The number of stations that you need to put in to meet the needs of your customer base has dropped significantly. In six cages, the Ultimate Trainer 2000 can service 48 different batters. This would have taken at least a 24 station cage using our competitions cages!
Because of this versatility, our average cage has shrunk for a nine station to a six station in everything except the very largest markets. If you have less that 300,000, a six station is good for you. Markets with under 100,000 can go with a four or five station. The result is less land used and less total cost to build the cage.
Working with our staff, we can help guide you towards the right size cage base on your demographic market.
Main Goal - Make More Money
Because Of It's Versatility, The Ultimate Trainer 3000 Has Consistently Increased The Revenue Per Station By Two To Three Hundred Percent! When the machine has been put in cages with standard machines either initially or as a retro-fit, they have often more than tripled the revenue of the standard station even at the same location! Customers want the pitch they want, not what they use to have to settle for!
A patented machine, the Ultimate Trainer 3000 is an advantage our competitors can't match.
For The Record:
MYTH #1 - The Ultimate Trainer 3000 is Uninsurable.
• The Ultimate Trainer 3000 is insurable and it does not increase your insurance to throw multiple pitches. If this is a problem, why do all of our competitors offer a dual machine which at least throws two kinds of pitches? The answer is that options for the customer translates into cash for you!
MYTH #2 - The injury rate and risk to your customers has not changed with the Ultimate Trainer 3000.
• Safety has indeed been improved because of increased pitch accuracy and the built-in monitoring of the pitch.
MYTH #3 - The machine is much harder to maintain.
• FALSE! We judge the problems our customers are having by the number of times they have to call for help to fix a piece of equipment. We have experienced an 80% to 90% decrease in calls for tech support over any type of machine we make, especially pitching machines!
MYTH #4 - The Ultimate Trainer 3000 doesn't significantly effect your revenue.
• In locations where the customer retrofit the Ultimate Trainer 3000, we have seen increases of up to FIVE TIMES THE REVENUE over their standard machines.
For more information on what the Ultimate Trainer 3000 and what it can do for you, don't be deceived by our competitors, ask any of our many Ultimate Trainer 3000 users both old and new. They know that it is the competitive advantage that generates more money and less problems. For a list of all our Ultimate Trainer 3000 customers, contact us at UT2000@amusementproducts.com or 1-800-438-3558.
Thank you for considering the Ultimate Trainer 3000. In today's competitive market, it is the advantage that you can not afford to pass up!