Tips on unrolling heavy armoured cable off a drum

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Bit off a strange question to ask on here, but always surprising the wealth of knowledge on here.

Long story short I bought a big drum off 16mm 3 core armoured cable of a scrappy.
I have a strange site with wee sheds scattered about and really could do with getting power into them, and because off the distances between them need to be laying big cable to account for voltage drop.

I had almost got the job sussed after a few failed attempts to unroll the drum, ended up supporting it on pallet towers and pulling it off with the quad.
Working great until 1 side of the drum collapsed, simply rotten from lying at the scrappy s too long.

The timber is just completely shot now, really no chance off standing up the drum and getting it spinning again.
No idea how many meters on drum but pushing 1.5T if not heavier, my 5t digger can only just lift it.
In fact drum is so fragile now I can't really move it

So gong to have to just in coil it 1 roll at a time which is far from ideal, is there any way to stop the kinks? ( Well pig tails more than actual kinks)

My only thought is to attach my winch to it somehow using a swivel snatch block I have and just give it a slight pull as i unravel a coil and hope the swivel will allow the cable to spin when it has a slight tension
No idea if it will work as dealing with fairly long lengths 100m odd being shoetest length.
I will likely have to drag the cut lengths with quad to get to the sheds now so possibly that might straighten them out??

Just not used to working with cable esp as heavy as this and esp when u can't unroll it of the drum.

Cheers for any ideas.

Ps Does anyone know how the print the meterage on those big drums??
Does every drum start at 0?
Or would they print on the drum X meters to y meters?
The numbers are all 1400 odd I think from memory, but as I can't see wot the bottom layers are doesn't mean much at moment
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
As the cable drum is no longer sound, the best way to handle it is to build a strong vertical axis rotary table and fix the broken drum onto it, then carefully pull off the cable tangentially. Don't pull on a cable if there are as you call them pigtails in it, as that will force it to twist and this can easily damage the cable integrity.
A suggestion - make the turntable by burying an axle vertically in the ground with a hub on top and fit a large disc onto the hub using the wheel studs.
Do it right and it's easy, do it wrong and you'll regret it.

Ian
 

Jamouk

Well-Known Member
Of one side of the drum is fine could you not bury say a scaffold pole sticking up and put the drum on its side .. good side down and pull it off that way ?
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Cheers Yorric, i had considered that but the sheer weight invovled i just wasn't sure if i could make the platform steady enough (or if my welding skills were up to the job :) be a bit of pressure )
I have got an old tractor trailer axle cut in half i dug out for this a while ago but i dont have much heavy scrap lying about me for the base and just thought it was a major job and forgot about it as too busy with other things

Was hoping an old sparkys/linesmans trick for when they didn't have the proper tackle on site some way to coil it of by hand to save the above, i know when hand balling fencing plain wire u turn the roll every 5 or 6 coils and that takes the kink/wave out.

When i say 'pull the pig tails' i meant as there nice and open coils not so they'll bend tight double on theyselfs, seen u snaping fence wire by hand by doing that if u had left ur cutters somewhere.
I know badly hand balled fence wire straighten OK when tensioned but looks terrible on the deck before u pull it, but u got to watch too incasecoils/waves do go tight and snap
I'm burying the cable anyway do the pig taiils or waves wake much difference? Other than look terrible

Cheers jamo, the friction would just be to great it would never turn, all that would happen is cable cut into the coil and then topple it over, and to be honest the inside of the drum is now lost any strength it had even doing Yorric's idea i may have to assist the turntable.

Even with it suspended on my pallet towers u couldn't pull the cable off by hand, just so heavy
 

TomT3

Well-Known Member
Be careful pulling twists/kinks tight with a machine! It’s fine to pull of the drum at a very slow speed if needed ( no different from a a winch). Pulling kinks tight will damage the cable. The cable isn’t designed for installation with twists and kinks certain bend radius for the cable type and size should be adhered to. The steel wire could snap resulting in a short circuit. The outer sheath could tear resulting in the steel wire eroding. The current carrying capacity of the cable could potentially be reduced. The inner insulation of the copper cores could tear resulting in a short circuit. Avoid kinks at all costs if you can and if there is any, certainly do not pull them bow string tight.
 
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TomT3

Well-Known Member
It’s sounds like you may have a 1m drum or larger so I’m not sure if the below will work they can take a weight of 800kg though. Without seeing the drum I don’t know whether you could get it on to it. Our wholesaler uses them for damaged drums, I’m yet to try one though and they are quiet expensive.
1E7E7D2A-3336-46CA-B964-71D287E17C64.png
 

reiver

Well-Known Member
We tend to use the forks on the telehandler and a scaffolding tube and back the machine up and just unroll a little as we go rather than trying to pull a lot of a drum and drag the cable .
if the cable has sat a long time it might not be as good as you think if any moisture has got in to the cable and sheaving as well . we tend to cut a couple of meters off the start to help stop the moisture shorting the supply on old cable .

reiver
 

gonzo

Well-Known Member
A bit of mither, but....
Lay the drum on it's side and lift a couple of turns off, and lay them on the floor. Then move the drum along the ground and flip it over to the other side. Then lift off a couple more turns.
And repeat. Making sure to flip it back and forth, not rolling it over, if that makes sense?
You will then need to tease out the loops, but you only need to tease them to the flip, not all the way out to the end of the cable.

If that is not possible, mk2 is....
Lay it on it's side. Lift off some coils enough to do one run and cut that lot off. (carefull measuring!)
Then rope most of the coils together with rope/tape. You may be able to roll the cable along the ground like a wheel, leaving the un-roped loops on the floor. Re-roping as you go, to keep as much together as needed to give you a tidy wheel.
 

foxinmad

Well-Known Member
Can you put a short length of scaffold tube through the centre hole of the drum, a chain on either side and lift it with your 5t machine off the ground then the drum should be able to turn on the scaffolding tube as you pull the cable off?
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
Just hire a set of drum jacks and tube or roller bars that the drum sits in just fleet it out in a big fig 0 then you can respool it , its not easy without a power turner onto another drum , you can get them from : HSS Hire | Tool Hire & Equipment Hire . I used to be a cable monkey used them every day to pull HV/LV and Catv .telcom. etc , it depends on drum some are end of line and go down Like 1400-1 some go 01-1400 or more mts per drum .just pull off 3mts see if it go's down or if you have a part drum going up.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Cheers for the replies so far.

As I can see from photos very little if any structural integrity left in the drum.
Even the good side not looking very clever now and the middle bit has a bit off rot too.
Must have sat at mine for 2 years now just had no decent Idaeas how to deal with it with wot I had.

I can even see Yorrics intial idea of a turntable just pulling the drum to bits.
I think I will need to go down that route thou as had a cnut off a day buggering about with it.
If I go down that route I'll probably try to add something at the base I can roll my winch able round to act as a power assist.
Althou got enough or nearly there to get to the shed nearest so at least can weld something.

Even moving the drum into that pallet was a bit off a 50/50 wether it would just collapse.

River, aye I'll cut some extra off the end already cut a few hundred meter off it as all the armour was exposed on the outside layers, down to good stuff now just as the bloody thing collapsed.

Even when I initially 1st got the drum suspending it with a chain on the dangle was no good ( even after putting a spacer in so chains not fowling sides ) any force to pull the cable just pulled the drum and digger was right on its toes a few times.

In hindsight I should off just hired a set off forks in when I got it although would off needed heavier than a scaffold pole as bent the 1st 5 or 6 poles, just not heavy duty enough.

As a final last chance, and I see someone touched on it.
If I got a second ( ideally smaller drum) and set it up the normal way so it spins could I take the coils off by hand and then wind them on to the new drum???
Althou I suspect the waves/pig tails might all be the wrong way and put more kinks into it?
 
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countrryboy

Well-Known Member
A bit of mither, but....
Lay the drum on it's side and lift a couple of turns off, and lay them on the floor. Then move the drum along the ground and flip it over to the other side. Then lift off a couple more turns.
And repeat. Making sure to flip it back and forth, not rolling it over, if that makes sense?
You will then need to tease out the loops, but you only need to tease them to the flip, not all the way out to the end of the cable.

If that is not possible, mk2 is....
Lay it on it's side. Lift off some coils enough to do one run and cut that lot off. (carefull measuring!)
Then rope most of the coils together with rope/tape. You may be able to roll the cable along the ground like a wheel, leaving the un-roped loops on the floor. Re-roping as you go, to keep as much together as needed to give you a tidy wheel.

Aye so cable must be similar to fencing wire then, I thought that might work but unfortunately no chance of flipping that drum
 

paul o'

Well-Known Member
knit one , peal one , been there with a 1k beldon drum up the A2 ,I put a tube in it, turned it over then placed it on jacks , connected too a truck and drove away slowly then use a donky and lot of lube to get it in the 90 mil chamber pipes. keeping the cable overlock is the problem with a rotten drum. You could make a 4x4 Wooden cross inside the old drum like a barb wire drum then remove the rotten drum ?
 

TomT3

Well-Known Member
Mate that’s knackered how olds that drum!- is it red and black? I would literally pick up the end and walk around in a circle keeping it tight won’t take that long to pull a load off and it’s only a baby 16mm 3 core-thank your lucky stars it isn’t a 50mm or larger! Once you have to much slack just go back to the drum and start walking around in circles again
 

shakey jake

Well-Known Member
would a fifty gallon metal barrel fit in the middle? if it does pre drill for a scaffold tube and bodge a couple of A frames to support it?
 

GWP

Well-Known Member
Could you not borrow a tractor with a big bale spike fitted drop spike into center and lift till horizontal then just roll off the cable p.s. good luck
 
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