What Is A Trampoline System of Maintenance & Do I Need One?
Whenever we hear the phrase "system of maintenance" it usually refers to equipment owned and maintained by organisations such as companies, councils and the like.
Most homeowners will not need a strict system of maintenance for their trampoline, but having some general guidelines on what to check and when will certainly be helpful for the safety of your kids and the longevity of the trampoline.
A system of maintenance refers to an organised plan or method of looking after plant and equipment designed to keep everything running optimally, minimising downtime and extending the usable life of components and machinery.
When taken in the context of outdoor toys, most councils for example would have a system of maintenance for their playgrounds, trampoline and recreational areas.
The benefits of a system of maintenance for your trampoline include:
1. work that gets assigned gets done
As the old Chinese proverb tells us "a dull pencil is better than a sharp mind."
Once tasks and activities are written down and assigned they get done. The appropriate checks are made, and any weaknesses or inefficiencies can be spotted early and worked on to be resolved.
In the home, it can pay dividends to have a mental checklist that you will check the trampoline for example -
- after a storm or heavy rains,
- after any extended period where the trampoline has been unused,
- after a party or if the trampoline has been extensively used over a period of time.
2. you will have a checklist of the key points to note
With a system of work it will specifically list and refer to the aspects of the equipment that need to be checked, how those components should be checked, what is their condition, and whether any remedial work or follow on work is required.
For most home trampolines the key things to look at are -
1. the condition of the safety net, including the safety poles, attachments joining the safety net to the safety poles, the entrance/ exit for the trampoline.
Safety nets tend to sustain the most damage during storms, particularly if the trampoline is not anchored or breaks free from the anchors during the storm and is toppled by the wind.
2. the condition of the springs - the springs will normally only snap or break if the trampoline has been overloaded, however you need to be really careful if any springs have snapped as once one spring breaks it puts more tension on the remaining springs.
If your trampoline has damaged or broken springs the trampoline should not be used until those springs have been replaced.
3. the condition of the jump mat - again damage to the jumpmat can be caused by overloading the trampoline and sometimes when the trampoline has been overloaded the D-rings running around the exterior of the jumpmat will get ripped from their harness.
If your trampoline has a damaged jumpmat it is important that the trampoline is not used until the jumpmat is replaced for the following reasons -
(a) when the jumpmat is not properly fastened in place in the way designed by the manufacturer, it may become dangerous to use,
(b) by continuing to use a trampoline that has a damaged jumpmat it is likely that you will further damage the components of the trampoline including the springs and jumpmat.
4. the condition of the trampoline padding - the padding around the trampoline jumpmat is one of the most critical pieces of the trampoline and is designed to protect users from colliding with either the metal frame or the springs of the trampoline.
Both of which could cause significant injury. Do not underestimate how important it is that your trampoline and particularly the padding is in good condition, and continues to cover both the springs and the trampoline frame.
5. the condition of the trampoline frame - the trampoline frame is typically the most hard-wearing part of the trampoline and premium quality trampoline frames typically last for ten years or more.
When checking the trampoline frame, we just recommend checking that no parts have become bent or twisted, and that all of the parts meet in the way that they have been designed at the joints.
We occasionally work with schools, residential care homes and other public organisations and the difference is that they systematise looking after equipment, because they know that if they don't do that - that the work won't get done, and the checks won't be made.
In the home your trampoline or other outdoor toys won't get the same wear and tear as they might get if they were installed in a school, but equally the condition of the equipment might not get checked either.
The intention of this article is simply to highlight the importance of regular checks on the condition of your trampoline and other outdoor toys to ensure maximum safety for your kids, and to extend the life of your investment.