Placement of aerial cables can be downright frustrating especially because installation is done above ground. However, aerial equipment has been of paramount importance in ensuring quality installation. This equipment enables efficient pulling of cables and negotiation of bends without causing damage to the cables.
Aerial equipment when combined with proper handling procedures ensures that the cable does not experience sags, twists or bends. Otherwise, if not used properly, the transmission defects of the installed cable may reveal themselves long after completion of the cable installation process.
Different types of equipment are used for various stages of the installation process. Most of these tools are made from stainless steel or are galvanized. They include:
Aerial lift truck: The driver in the aerial lift truck controls the movement of the aerial lift truck bucket by communicating with the rest of the personnel. The personnel in the bucket directs the operations that require using the lift.
Cable trailer: It is used to transport and pay out the cable.
Pulling eye or grip: It establishes a connection between the pulling line and the cable.
Cable blocks: They are used where reel-carrying vehicles cannot move majority of the cable distance or route.
Cable suspension clamps: They are tightened at least a span ahead of lashing to prevent tension build-up.
Aerial cable guides: They are used to straighten and guide cables when they are being pulled into lashing positions.
The list of equipment is not exhaustive. Other aerial construction tools enable the ease of aerial cabling projects.
While installing overhead cables, the personnel must be familiar with safety regulations. Safety regulations should be reviewed before commencing work and should be strictly observed during the installation process. Before installation begins, aerial equipment should be inspected for any weaknesses or imperfections that may cause injury to personnel and/or damage to the cable when paying out the cable.