Category: Power & Utilities

Safely Using Wire Grips in Tandem

Safely Using Wire Grips in Tandem

wire grips in tandemIn the power and utility industry, there are some distribution and transmission applications that require linemen to use two wire grips in tandem.

One application where this may be necessary is when you need to ensure the safe working load of a single grip is not exceeded. When using two grips together, the grips will share the weight of the load, increasing the safe working load limit of each grip by 1-1/2 times the lower capacity wire grip.

Another application where you may need to use two wire grips in tandem would be when the cable is at risk of being deformed. To prevent deformation, Columbus McKinnon suggests using two grips with ACSR or AAC conductors if the load will exceed either 12,500 lbs. (5,670 kg) or 40 percent of tensile strength of the conductor – whichever is less. When using ACSS conductors, we suggest utilizing two wire grips if the load will exceed 10,000 lbs. – or 40 percent of the strength of the conductor – again, whichever of the two is lesser.

How to Use Wire Grips in Tandem

  1. First, secure the two grips to the conductor. They should be attached approximately five feet apart. Use shackle connections where necessary.
  2. Attach a pulley block to each grip. The pulley block should be attached to the eye of the wire grip. This will ensure that the grips share the load equally.
  3. As shown in Figure 1, attach a chain hoist to the pulley block. Ensure the hoist is the appropriate capacity to handle the load.
  4. Lastly, tension the hoist to the appropriate tension as shown in Figure 2.
wire grips in tandem
Figure 1
wire grips in tandem
Figure 2

Columbus McKinnon offers a large selection of hoist and rigging products designed for utility transportation and distribution applications. Learn more.

Need help choosing the right wire grip for your application? See our blog article.
Learn how to properly inspect your lever strap hoist here.

This article is not intended to be a detailed instructional manual for performing these procedures.  Always consult your company or industry procedures, as well as the manuals for the equipment, including, without limitation, the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines, prior to performing these procedures. Columbus McKinnon Corporation disclaims any liability, in tort, contract or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from use of the information in this article, including but not limited to indirect or consequential damages, lost profits or goodwill, or punitive damages.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

How to Safely Splice and Dead-End Wires in Utility Applications

How to Safely Splice and Dead-End Wires in Utility Applications

Whether dead-ending or splicing lines, safety is of utmost importance. To ensure you are using products correctly while performing these activities, we suggest following the procedures below:

dead-end wires
Figure 1

Dead-Ending Wire

  1. To begin, arrange your ratchet lever hoist and wire grip as shown in Figure 1. Use shackle connections where necessary.
  2. Tension the strap hoist until the cable is aligned with the cable’s ending point.
  3. After reaching the appropriate level of tension, tighten the strap a bit more to account for a loss of tension after the hoist is removed. Be sure to reference technical information to ensure the cable is not tensioned tighter than recommended by the manufacturer.
    1. To complete the dead-ending, alleviate the tension using the lever hoist handle. A drum knob can also be used to fully release the tension.
dead-end wires
Figure 2
dead-end wires
Figure 3

Splicing Wire

  1. To begin, arrange the ratchet lever hoist and wire grips as shown in Figures 2 and 3. Use shackle connections where necessary.
  2. Attach the ratchet lever hoist to each wire grip. Tension the strap hoist until you reach the desired tension before splicing. Once you reach this tension, splice the wire in line with your company’s procedures and guidelines.
  3. To complete the job, alleviate the tension using the lever hoist handle. A drum knob can also be used to fully release the tension.

Columbus McKinnon offers a large selection of hoists and rigging products designed for utility transportation and distribution applications. Learn more.
Need help choosing the right wire grip for your application? See our blog article.

Disclaimer:

This article is not intended to be a detailed instructional manual for performing these procedures.  Always consult your company or industry procedures, as well as the manuals for the equipment, including, without limitation, the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines, prior to performing these procedures. Columbus McKinnon Corporation disclaims any liability, in tort, contract or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from use of the information in this article, including but not limited to indirect or consequential damages, lost profits or goodwill, or punitive damages.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

How to Clean, Lubricate and Inspect Your Wire Grips

How to Clean, Lubricate and Inspect Your Wire Grips

Inspect Your Wire GripsTo keep your wire grips in good working condition, it’s important that you properly clean, lubricate and inspect your wire grips on a regular basis. This will help prevent issues and potential accidents out in the field.

Follow the procedures below to ensure your grips are properly cared for.

Cleaning and Lubrication

  • Step 1: Clean the surfaces of the grip jaws using a cloth or round wire brush.
  • Step 2: Spray all joints and moving parts, including the jaws, with degreaser. Then, use a round wire brush to remove any dirt from the jaws.
  • Step 3: Once clean, wipe the wire grips until they are dry. If grips are still dirty, repeat steps as needed.
  • Step 4: Lubricate all joints and any moving parts. The surfaces of the grip jaws should not be lubricated.

Inspection

To inspect the wire grip:

  • Step 1: Carefully examine the jaws for clogged, damaged, or missing teeth.
  • Step 2: Check that the jaws and other parts of the grip are aligned to ensure that there is no distortion.
  • Step 3: Open and close the grip to ensure it completely and smoothly opens and closes.
  • Step 4: Finally, check all other parts and joints for any distortion and/or wear.

During the inspection, if you find that the grip is bent or distorted, it should be thrown away and replaced. It should NOT be repaired.

Need help choosing the right wire grip for your application? See our blog article.

Columbus McKinnon offers a large selection of hoist and rigging products designed for utility transportation and distribution applications. Learn more.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

How to Properly Inspect Your Lever Strap Hoist

How to Properly Inspect Your Lever Strap Hoist

lever strap hoistWhen it comes to lever hoists, utility professionals rely on a variety of different hoists to get the job done. One of the most popular hoists for utility applications is the lever strap hoist. When using a lever strap hoist, it’s important to inspect it regularly to prevent accidents or product failures. These inspections are broken down into frequent and periodic inspections.

Frequent Hoist Inspections for Your Lever Strap Hoist

Frequent inspections are what we refer to as pre-operational inspections. In addition to these inspections, visual observations should be conducted during regular service of these hoists to check for any damage. Any deficiencies should be carefully examined and a determination made as to whether they constitute a hazard. During the inspection, check:

  • All functional operating mechanisms for maladjustment interfering with proper operation
  • Hooks and latches for deformation, chemical damage, cracks and wear
  • Hook latches for proper attachment and operation
  • Levers for bends, cracks or other damage
  • Damage to the support of the hoist

Also, at the beginning of each shift, the web strap should be visually inspected to identify any major damage that could cause an immediate hazard, such as melting or charring, weld splatter, broken stitching, damaged eyes, etc.

Periodic Hoist Inspections for Your Lever Strap Hoist

Periodic inspections are thorough, detailed inspections that may require complete disassembly of the hoist. These should be performed by an appointed person. These inspections should include:

  • A designated person determining whether conditions found during the inspection constitute a hazard and if disassembly is required
  • Checking fasteners for evidence of loosening
  • Checking the web strap, suspension frame, levers, yokes, shafts, pins, rollers and locking/clamping devices for evidence of wear, corrosion, cracks and distortion

Special care should be taken when inspecting sections of the web strap for rapid deterioration, including sections:

  • In contact with saddles, equalizer sheaves or other sheaves where web strap travel is limited
  • At or near the ends where broken threads or cuts may be evident
  • Subject to reverse bends that are normally hidden during visual inspection, such as sections passing over sheaves

For a full lever strap hoist inspection checklist, click here.

 

Henry Brozyna

Henry Brozyna is a Corporate Trainer specializing in Rigging & Load Securement for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

4 Steps to Select the Right Wire Grip for Your Application

4 Steps to Select the Right Wire Grip for Your Application

Wire GripWhen working with wire in utility applications, safety is of utmost importance. That’s why it’s critical to choose the correct wire grip for the task at hand. Here are four steps to help you choose the best grip for your application.

Step 1: Determine what type of wire is being used.

What wire size are you pulling? If you’re pulling aluminum conductor steel reinforced (ACSR) cable you may want to use a different wire grip than if you’re pulling extra-high-strength cable (EHSC).

Step 2: What size wire (AWG, MCM or diameter) are you using?

When pulling wire, it is critical that the wire grips are properly sized to avoid slippage and safely maintain temporary tension until the wire or cable can be permanently terminated.

Step 3: What is the maximum required working load limit (WLL)?

It is important that you choose the right wire grip for your rated working load capacity. You will not need a wire grip rated for 20,000 lbs. if the maximum working load is 4,500 lbs. However, you must ensure the grip can handle the maximum load you’ll be pulling.

Step 4: Pick your wire grip.

Use the specifications you selected in steps one through three to select the grip you need. When choosing your grip, you may want to consider these factors as well:

  • Will this grip be used on hot lines?
  • Do you need a grip with spring-loaded or non-spring-loaded gates?
  • Is a notched handle preferred? A notched handle on spring-loaded models locks the grip in the open position for placement on or removal from wire, then releases instantly.

To see the full line of Little Mule Wire Grips, click here.

Christie Lagowski

Christie Lagowski is a Communications Specialist for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.