Damaged cable reel

Not Always Common Sense: What to do when receiving, handling, and storing cable

Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by Paige DiAntonio

It is always alarming to receive a damaged package.  I automatically think that if the box is damaged then it did not do a very good job protecting whatever is inside. The same thought should cross your mind when receiving a reel of wire or cable. The reel is essentially the “box” and there are a few easy signs indicating whether or not your shipment of cable could be damaged. Here are some of the most common red flags:

  • A reel is lying flat on its side
  • Reels are thrown together and poorly stacked
  • Cable end seals are removed or broken
  • Packaging material covering the cable is removed or appears damaged
  • Foreign objects like staples have been driven into the reel flange

If your shipment of cable comes in clear of all these damages, the next step is to handle the reels properly. It seems pretty self-explanatory, but cable reels should always be rolled in the direction indicated by the instructions on the flange. If the reel says “roll this way”, then roll that designated way. Following this simple instruction prevents the loosening of the cable turns, which in turn prevents issues from arising during cable installation.  When lifting reels with a forklift they should only be lifted from the sides and only if the forks are long enough to support both sides of the flanges. Reels must remain balanced in order to prevent slipping and dropping during the transfer process.

Once the reels are received and checked for damages, they should be stored on a hard dry surface. If the reels must be stored outdoors, they should be supported off the ground and protected with a waterproof material.  Remember, always store reels in an organized fashion so they can be accessed easily for lifting and moving.   

Safety first!


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