Key Principles for Cable Drum Handling and Storage

Cable drums are primarily meant to protect the cables from damage and to store cables properly for use. We have summarized some recommendations below for drum handling and storage as we employ these same methods in our factory and warehouse.

It is important that cable drums are handled and stored correctly to prevent any unwanted impact or damage to the cables. Damaging cable drums due to mishandling can void your warranty with manufacturers if the cables were compromised as a result. So it is important to take precautions.

keystone cableHandling Drums

  1. Never attempt to move a cable drum by dropping the drum, such as from the transport vehicle directly. This will potentially damage both the drum and cable. Always use proper lifting equipment such as cranes or forklifts when moving drums.
  2. When hoisting cables, use a spreader bar so that the lifting chain does not press against the drum directly, otherwise it creates unnecessary friction that can weaken the chain or damage the drum.
  3. When using forklifts, under no circumstances should the forklift forks come in contact with the cables. Lift the drum at 90° to the flanges and ensure the forks extend past both flanges to make a safe and complete lifting of the drums.
  4. Drums should only be rolled, where necessary, for short distances and only in the direction where it would not loosen the cable in the drum. Else this could cause potential kinking and tangling of the cable. 

Storage of Drums

  1. Drums should be stored on a hard surface with wedges or barriers to prevent the drums from rolling.
  2. If the storage surface is soft or not flat, eg. soil, it is important to elevate the drum off the ground to prevent the possibility of subjecting the drums to continually damp conditions that could damage the cable or the drum.
  3. Avoid storing cable drums lying flat on the side as this creates unwanted stress to the cable layers at the bottom. Drums should be stored upright.

Uncoiling of Cables

  1. To uncoil cables, support the drum on a jack stand or the equivalent. When using a stand, always be mindful to pull the cable from the top and not from the bottom where the cable can scrape against the floor. 
  2. As aforementioned, avoid laying drums flat on the side. In the same token, avoid uncoiling cables from drums that are laid flat as this could cause unwanted scratches to the cables against the drum flanges during the uncoiling process. 
  3. If a cable length has been cut from the drum, the exposed cable end that is remaining on the drum should be resealed immediately with a heat shrinkable end cap to prevent any ingress of moisture or water. The drum’s protective covering should also be restored where possible.

We hope these simple principles help with your drum handling and storage, feel free to access a more expanded visual guide by clicking the button below.

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