Although only a handful of historic bowling alleys still use manual setters, the bowling alley mechanic/pinsetter is vital to a bowling center's smooth operations. A bowling center can only generate revenue on lanes that are operational, and these employers use a dedicated mechanic or pinsetter to ensure lanes are functional and working properly at all times.
One of the main roles of this employee is to regularly maintain and inspect pin-setting and ball-return machinery. These pieces of equipment typically have many moving parts, and it is up to the mechanic to ensure that necessary cleaning and lubrication of machine parts takes place and is logged. Additionally, the mechanic must troubleshoot and resolve any problems in an efficient manner.
Because of the nature of bowling alley machinery, safety is a key element of the bowling alley mechanic's job. Pin-setting systems typically consist of heavy cogs and gears in motion. Ball-return systems operate with the use of conveyor belts. The mechanic must be fully versed and trained in how to safely repair this equipment. Additionally, most bowling centers also use computerized scoring systems, and the mechanic may be responsible for keeping these running well. In these cases, much of the repair work consists of replacing rather than repairing faulty or damaged parts of the system.
To work as a bowling alley mechanic/pinsetter, a person typically must have completed some sort of vocational training in mechanical repairs. Most bowling alleys look for some experience as an assistant or in an entry-level position in a bowling alley as well. The mechanic typically works at the bowling alley during regular business hours, although major repairs or installations may require early-morning or late-night work.
Bowling Alley Mechanic / Pinsetter Tasks
Clear out pinsetter jams.
Ensure the pinsetter machinery is clean and working properly.