Tag Archives: dog agility equipment

Everything You NEVER Wanted To Know About Rubberizing Dog Agility Contacts!

 

Q: Have you ever wondered what it takes to rubberize dog agility contacts? Well here’s the answer!

A: The first step is to make certain the surface is securely attached to the contact’s frame. We use aluminum sheet metal that will never rust and creates an excellent surface for strength, durability and acceptance of binder and rubber granules. Before applying the rubber, the surface must be cleaned. We use an ammonia based cleaner to remove any residue, oils and grime.

Aluminum sheet metal is riveted to the aluminum structural frame.

Aluminum sheet metal is riveted to the aluminum structural frame.

The rubber granules are weighed and the appropriate about of binder is added. It is extremely important to get this ratio correct, if not, the rubberized surface can be shiny and slick. Exactly what you don’t want. You have much more control over the outcome if you work in small batches. It is more than worth it in the end!

Weighting rubber granules.

Weighting rubber granules and adding binder.

Before you apply the prepared mixture of granules and rubber, a very thin layer of binder is applied to the surface. The next step includes creating a retaining edge around the contact you are surfacing with rubber. Strips of wood can be attached with clamps to create a retaining edge or a moveable strip of wood can be used as you proceed. If you are new to this process by all means create an affixed retaining edge as shown below. It is also very important to note that the binder used is moisture cured.  If your environment is very humid the curing process will happen rapidly, but if the environment is very dry the surface area may still be tacky the next day! Also make sure that the retaining edge and slat forms are removed as soon as curing has just begun! If not you will have a very hard time removing them later!!!

Applying rubber to prepared surface without slats

Applying rubber to prepared surface without slats

Adding blue rubber granules

Adding blue rubber granules

If slats are included in the specifications for the contact surface, these should be constructed first for enhanced longevity and added strength.

Slats are added to aluminum surface area reflecting sanctioning group specifications.

Slats are added to aluminum surface area reflecting sanctioning group specifications.

Yellow slats are built on aluminum sheet metal surface of the A-Frame.

Yellow slats are built on aluminum sheet metal surface of the A-Frame. Blue rubber granules are added between slats.

The pattern for the slats is layer out with wooden strips to create the correct width and height. They are held in place with clamps or very strong tape.

Spacing for slats

Spacing for slats

A small spatula and guide for the ends of the slats are used to press and secure the prepared granules in place. A small amount of binder must be placed in the channel before the prepared granules.

Granules placed in channel to create slat

Granules placed in channel to create slat

Laying out slat pattern

Laying out slat pattern

Creating the slats on an A-Frame may also require weights to insure that the prepared granules do not drift under the forms.

Creating yellow contact zone slat for A-Frame

Creating yellow contact zone slat for A-Frame

Slats completed on A-Frame

Slats completed on A-Frame

Once the slats have been made and cured then the rest of the surface rubber can be applied (usually the next day). Use a guide to keep the prepared granules on the surface and use a trowel to press in to place.

Creating rubberized surface area between slats

Creating rubberized surface area between slats on DW

When transitioning from one color to the next, it is best to cover the completed rubber with part of a form used for the slats. This will protect that surface and provide a guide for the new colored granules. This is also easiest to do if the 1st color is either cured or partially cured.

Transition from blue to yellow rubberized surfaces on DW

Transition from blue to yellow rubberized surfaces on DW

Once all of the rubber is fully cured, it is best to reinforce the edge of the rubberized surface with a strong weatherproof adhesive. Apply in small sections and then press into granules on the edge with a spatula. Use a paper towel to remove excess adhesive. This process helps to prevent chunking on the edges.

Reinforcing the rubberized edge with adhesive

Reinforcing the rubberized edge with adhesive

That’s all it takes to get the job done! Have fun and RUN HAPPY!!!

Completed rubberized DW

Completed rubberized DW

DW plank with slats

DW plank with slats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed A-Frame surface

Completed A-Frame surface

Rubberized A-Frame surface

Rubberized A-Frame surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions, please let us know. Best Wishes.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you puzzled by the new 2014 USDAA Jump Heights?

For 2014 the USDAA will add 14″ and 18″ jump heights. This is how we incorporated them into our spread and extended spread jumps.

USDAA 2014 Jump

 

The complication is in setting the jump spread for each jump height.  The USDAA allows for a range in the spread distance.  In general, for dogs jumping 18″ and higher the jump spread can be 12-15 inches while dogs jumping 16″ and lower have a spread of 10-12 inches.  In addition the larger dogs have a parallel jump while the smaller dogs have an ascending jump.  The simplest solution is that all dogs jump a 12 inch spread.

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We have incorporated different spreads within the range for each jump height.  By doing so smaller dogs will jump a narrower spread while larger dogs will jump a wider spread. You can see that the 18, 22, and 26 jump heights all have a different spread.

Likewise the extended spread, which is ascending for all dogs, has a range of 20 to 24 inches of spread for the larger dogs.  The smaller dogs all jump a 12 inch spread.  Again we worked within the range such that only the 26 inch dogs jump a 24 inch spread while the 18 inch dogs will jump at 20 inches.

 

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Finally we make our jumps convertible to a single jump so that in competition the jumps do not need to be replaced for the performance division.  We also provide a version of each jump that does not convert.

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See our USDAA 2014 Jumps: http://shop.emmcosport.com/USDAA-Equipment_c4.htm

-Run Happy!

 

 

3 Problems You Can’t Overlook When Choosing a Dog Walk

We had a unique opportunity to really compare the EMMCO SPORT Dog Walk, side-by-side in our shop, with another manufacturer’s product while working on a refurbish project for one of our customers and we were struck by what we found and thought it would be helpful to share our findings with you.

 

Dog Walk Comparison

Dog Walk Comparison

The main problems we found where:

  • Significant flexing
  • Exaggerated twisting
  • Unwanted bounce and movement

We found that some manufacturers use bleacher planks as the basis of their construction. This may seem like a good approach until you realize that bleachers are made to be supported at regular intervals and not made to be unsupported for a 12′ span (the normal length of a dog walk plank). The width of a bleacher plank is also on the narrow side. The product we saw was only 11 1/4″ wide. In competition grade equipment the planks should be closer to 12″ wide. A wider plank on the bleacher structures would only have provided even more instability.

EMMCO SPORT Dog Walk Plank

EMMCO SPORT Dog Walk Plank

Our products are manufactured from scratch and we use strong tubular aluminum to create the supportive structure and then apply aluminum sheet metal followed by fully rubberizing the contact surface. This really makes a difference! In the video, you will see for yourself the dramatic contrast. The difference boils down to one word stability. Please take a look at the video and decide for yourself. Information is key!

Click below to view the video:

Dog Walk comparison and feature characteristics – Medium

If you have any questions, please let us know. Run Happy!!!

Do you know the origin of the rubber used on your contact equipment?

Poodle on Aframe Lap it Up

It’s important to know where the rubber on your contacts comes from. Some rubber granules manufacturers, outside of the USA, are not as stringent about making certain that foreign bodies and unwanted chemical additives are not included in or with their rubber granules. This really matters! You don’t want your dogs exposed to contaminants. Always make sure that the products you use or your agility equipment provider uses are made in the USA. The products we use are manufactured here and are also used for children’s play grounds, sports tracks and around swimming pools to improve safety and performance.

“Some agility clubs are  also using recycled crumb rubber and painting it.   That rubber has metal and fiber and claims to be 99% metal free.   Thus if you do the match backwards and say 200 lbs of rubber is used on a set of equipment … then at least two pounds of fine thread like metal is on that surface for the animals to step on, just as if we stepped on a needle.   And not to mention what oils and such the old tires had driven across and  held onto.   They don’t wash the tires prior to recycling them. TPV is a virgin material designed for athletics and my opinion is the 4 legged kind deserve the same surface. ”   Rochelle Bagwell, American Recycling Center

The colored rubber granules we use, for indoor and outdoor safety surfaces on the equipment we manufacture, have  superior UV stability.  Our canine athletes deserve the same quality products that human athletes train on everyday. The materials and binders that we use give our agility equipment the best results.  Our supplier provides us with rubber granules that are free from wire, fiber, plastic, wood, and other undesirable contaminants. Our surfaces comply with the standards adopted by the AKC, CPE, NADAC, UKI and USDAA.

American Recycling Center, Inc.,  Premium Rubber Comparison    Traditional rubber safety surfaces in the past were installed using EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).  Depending on the manufacture at the time, including those manufactures that are no longer in business today.  There was a wide range of products in the market place that ranged from top quality (produced in a plant with rigid quality standards), to those that made a product that were labeled  “Just good enough”.   These sub standard products had numerous failures, color lot issues, and even pigment releasing.  In addition to that,  EPDM rubber granules were often formulated with sulphur, clay fillers, plasticizers and heavy metals such as Zinc.   Polymer content had been reduced as low as to include only 16% of its actual name sake EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).  

American Recycling Center, Inc.  with a synergy from Rosehill Polymers in the UK has made some strategic decisions to change the quality of colored rubber offerings in North America and to utilize the advancements in technology to do so.

The advancement of premium colored rubber has been branded TPV, named after the technology  that was utilized in it’s .   Starting off with no less that 22-24 % polymer, this TPV colored rubber that is essentially a cousin to EPDM in the elastomer arena filled the quality gap that was missing in the safety surface materials.  These TPV elastomers are the high-performance elastomers that combine the best attributes of vulcanized rubber – such as flexibility and low compression set – with the processing ease of thermoplastics.  This process as well is the solution to the color range issues that have always been an ongoing issue with traditional EPDMs.   

When comparing colored rubber in the safety surface industry, make sure to clarify the source of their materials.  Currently there is only one TPV that has been tested and proven by top installers of running tracks and playgrounds.

Here’s an other real note of caution. If you are either recovering an existing contact surface or creating a new one yourself, please make certain the specifications you use for contact zones are up-to-date and clearly defined. Check online with the sanctioning body or bodies you and your dog compete in to make sure you get current specs. It’s very disappointing to work so hard to rubberize a large contact surface such as a Dog Walk or A-Frame and find out later that your source material was OUT OF DATE! So please use caution and always double check! 

If you use our U-Do-It kits or any other rubberizing kits, please always make sure the plastic bags you mix the rubber and binder in are securely closed and locked to permit you to completely mix the 2 ingredients together. It’s also a good added safety step to fold over the end of the plastic bag (with the opening), for added insurance that it stays closed as you mix the ingredients together. A fact to remember is that the binder is moisture cured and the amount of moisture in the air will determine the length of time it takes to setup. One additional caution, NEVER try to do this without using rubber gloves. The ratio of binder to rubber granules is very, very important. If not exactly proportioned the surface will be shiny and not provide the traction needed on these surfaces.

Remember rubber really matters!

If you have any questions, please let us know. We are always glad to help.

RUN HAPPY!

 

Rubberized Dog Walk Plank with Rubber Slats

Rubberized Dog Walk Plank with Rubber Slats

 

Dog Walk Version 3 – Characteristics To Look For in a DW

http://shop.emmcosport.com/Dog-Walk-D… The Emmco Sport all aluminum dog walk has the following features:

▪ Our dog walk converts from 4′ to 2′ height for training.

▪ The light weight, all aluminum construction never rusts.

▪ The no maintenance powder coat finish will retain its color for years.

▪ The rubberized contact surface provides grip and comfort.

▪ The 12′ planks are rigid yet light with no unwanted flex or bounce.

▪ Easy set up or break down in just a few minutes by one or two people.

Dog Walk Version 3 – YouTube.