Dugout Benches are usually not given much thought when the purchase time arrives. However, there are number of very important questions to ask before the purchase. The answers to these questions will help guide the buyer to the type of bench that best suits the needs of the facility within the given budget. Failure to ask the proper questions could result in overpaying for unneeded features or spending too little and not receiving the bench features that the facility needs.
The most important questions to ask before the purchase of Dugout Benches are listed below. What are the pros and cons of different materials used in the construction of the benches? What type of climate will the benches be exposed to and will that include rain and snow? Should the benches have a back or no back? Should the benches have a shelf at the top of the back that will serve as seating or temporary equipment storage? What are the ages and experience levels of the bench users? Do you want the bench colors to match the team or school colors? How often will the benches be used? Will the benches be portable or permanently mounted?
Dugout Benches can be simple and portable. An example would be a no back wooden bench with metal tubular legs. This simple bench would be easy to move from one location to another but it would not have the longevity or features of other benches. More advanced benches help keep the dugout and player areas organized. Usually equipment can be stored under the bench and on the bench ledge or bench shelf. Other benches have a two tier design so the players can sit on either tier with the upper tier offering a better view of the game. This two tier design is the traditional or classic design for benches that are placed on dugout floors that are below the playing field surface. Modern benches are also designed for safety and most will have no-slip surfaces and end caps.
Dugout Benches made from wood have the shortest life spans. Other benches are frequently made of expanded or perforated steel and then covered with a protective layer of thermoplastic. This vinyl coating tends to be cool in summer and sheds rain and snow. It does not crack or peel and is a very durable and long term protective coating.
Dugout Benches have three mounting options. The simplest is the portable mount which is actually no mounting at all. A portable mount is simply placing the bench in the desired location. The bench can be moved at any time and is never anchored into the ground or floor. A bench can be surface mounted, which is the installation of anchor bolts into the tile or concrete floor. The bench is then bolted into the anchor bolts for a semi-permanent placement. However, they can be easily unbolted and moved to a different location. An in-ground mount is the most permanent mounting method and is typically done in grass or dirt. However, the same method could be used with concrete floors if theft deterrence is a great desire. With this mounting method holes are dug into the ground (or concrete floor) to a depth of 12 to 18 inches and filled with wet concrete. The legs of the bench will have permanent leg extensions fabricated or welded to the traditional legs. The leg extensions are then lowered into the wet concrete and the concrete is allowed to cure.