Why Lure Motors Are Not Guaranteed
INJOY cannot guarantee the lure machine motors because we have no control over the conditions under which these motors are used or, in some cases, abused. If a motor is run continually after it gets hot, it will burn out. We have seen a motor start to smoke and stop running after one hour of practicing dogs...one right after another with no break to let the motor cool-down. The motor got so hot that it melted the solder in the motor which broke the electrical connections. That motor was not defective...it simply was asked to do a job that it was not designed to do. Or, as our supplier told us (smooth talking devil that he is) "if you ride that motor hard and put it away wet, don't call me when the horse dies!"
INJOY no longer stocks or sells the Ford Long Shaft Motor (FLS) which was the original starter motor we sold with all our equipment and which Tom wrote about below. We now carry and sell a motor that is more suited for use on lure machines, but the information that Tom originally wrote about the FLS motor is still applicable with the new motors. Even though the new motor that INJOY sells now is better suited for the lure coursing application it still, if not used properly, will overheat and the motor can become inoperable. Where this motor can be over taxed is with CAT trials using only one machine where dogs are run right after another without giving the motor the opportunity to cool down.
History of the Lure Machine Motor
In the beginning (early 1970's), lure coursing for sighthounds was conducted using a drag system whereby the string was wound onto a take up wheel. This method required a motor with a long shaft to mount the wheel. The course was re-strung by hand using a variety of means from riding on shank's mare to motorcycles. No matter what method was used to restring the course, a lure coursing trial using a drag system was a lot of work ...and time.....to complete. The time it takes to restring the course does, however, give the motor time to cool-off......this is a good thing!
By the late 1970's, sighthound clubs had begun to experiment with a continuous loop system which did not require the re-stringing of the course because the bunny was run on a belt of string that was driven by a wheel on the motor. The change to a continuous loop system allowed the lure trial to proceed at a somewhat faster pace and was certainly less work...once again proving that constructively lazy individuals are extremely creative. This is when the motors started to overheat and burnout. Why...because there was no forced timeout when the motor could cool down while the course was being restrung. You could run one course right after the other with no need to stop...or so the theory went. However, an automotive starter motor is just not designed to run continually without some provision for cooling.
While a continuous loop system does not require a long shafted motor to operate, at the end of the day you are still faced with the need to retrieve all that string out on the course. So, the long shaft is still required to mount a take up wheel to retrieve and store the string. Until 2007 (and maybe beyond), the Ford long shaft starter motor had been the standard motor for lure coursing because it: (1) has the required long shaft, (2) is battery operated, and therefore can be used anywhere, (3) basically has the power to do the job required, (4) is readily available, and (5) has a relative low cost to purchase and/or rebuild. In 2002, Tom was fortunate to locate some newly manufactured (not rebuilt) Ford long shaft (FLS) starter motors from India....these motors were fabulous. Unfortunately, in 2006, the company in India went out of business, which he found out about when he received 20 motors from his supplier in November that year that were of the worst quality he had ever seen in the 28 years he'd been purchasing FLS motors. After he returned these motors to his supplier that November, he received several sample FLS motors, both new and rebuilt, from various sources and none of them were of an adequate quality for INJOY to recommend and/or sell for a lure machine. They probably would have worked OK for their intended automotive purpose of starting a vehicle, but they were not going to last very long in a lure machine. Tom then went out and found a supplier that was able to supply INJOY with a motor designed to be used in various commercial and industrial applications. This motor is manufactured with a 6 inch long shaft.