strap that safely and securely mounts
to the tray. The feeder can be operated
with a handheld pendant that controls
the feeder from as far as 8 feet away. An
automatic force limiter stalls out to prevent damage to cable insulation,” he said.
Also available are accessories that
connect rope to cable, which will allow
the rope and cable to twist separately
inside the conduit; one-time use grips
that will help with pulling head setup in
less than 2 minutes; basket-type, reusable
grips rating from 700 to 9,600 pounds;
multiple types of swivels that have a rating from 2,500– 25,000 pounds; and jack
stands for holding cable reels during
pulling cable feeders.
Pulling rope and lubricants
Pulling rope is an essential component
for pulling cable, and only rope rated for
this use should be employed.
Pujari said nylon polyester double-braided ropes are available in thicknesses
of 1/2-, 3/8-, 9/16- and 7/8-inch and in
lengths of 300, 600 and 1,200 feet.
“It is recommended that, when per-
forming a pull, that pulling rope has a
safety factor up to four-to-one as com-
pared to the puller being used,” he said.
Bardin said double-braided, polyester
pulling rope has been the industry standard for many years.
“Depending on the diameter, these
pulling ropes range in breaking strength
from 14,000 to 32,000 pounds,” he said.
“Double-braided pulling rope is abrasion-
resistant and has an elongation rate up
to 10 percent.”
Southwire offers a pulling rope that
has a breaking strength of 32,000 pounds
at a 9/16-inch diameter with only a 3 per-
cent elongation rating. This rope reduces
pulling tensions and reduces the amount
of rope stretch during a pull. With less
tension and stretch, typical pulling times
decrease by 15 percent or more.
Pulling lubricants make pulls easier
and can reduce the force needed to make
a pull. However, some types of wire are
designated not to be used with lubricants.
Pujari said pulling lubricants reduce
the friction coefficient when pulling
cable through conduit. Greenlee offers
lubricants in a cream, gel and winter gel
with a freezing point of – 25°F.
“It is important to know what the
wire manufacturer recommends prior
to installation,” Bardin said. “Some wire
that does not require lubrication actually pulls easier than conventional types
of wire that require lubricants. When a
lubricant is recommended, it is important that it is evenly applied on the wire
throughout the cable installation.”
Calculators and tensiometers
Technology is making cable pulling easier and more efficient.
“New to the market is a digital force
gauge, which is a tensiometer that mea-
sures the tension of rope during a cable
pull,” Pujari said. “The G-Series Smart
Pull gauge provides electricians in the
field with information regarding pulling
force, speed and distance to enable pulls
within the limits established to prevent
damage to the cable. The gauge gives an
early warning to the end-user to pre-
vent exceeding the tension on the cable.
Stored data is a liability protection for
the contractor. This will help justify all
the pulls were done right to the build-
ing owner. This will prevent rework for
the customer. Gauge accuracy is plus or
minus 5 percent.”
Pull calculators help select the right
cable puller for an application. Southwire’s
is available on the company’s website and
the i Tunes Store. Greenlee’s is on the
i Tunes Store and Google Play Store.
“Southwire’s cable pull calculator not
only calculates continuous pulling loads
and sidewall tensions but also recom-
mends which capacity cable puller to use
for the pull,” Bardin said. “Using the cal-
culator prior to constructing a raceway
will aid in its design, helping mitigate
common pitfalls that cause excessive
Greenlee’s PullCalc App pulling cal-
culator finds the approximate pull force
needed to install electrical cable inside
conduit and helps select the correct
equipment to make the installation.
“The pull force is calculated by
‘legs’—straight runs of conduit fol-
lowed by a bend,” Pujari said. “The force
needed for each leg is found when app
users enter information regarding the
materials being used for the cable instal-
lation into calculator.”
Installing datacom cable
Conventional wire-pulling equipment
typically is not used for installing low-voltage communications cable and
fiber optic cable.
Cable jetting is a process using a
stream of air that reduces the risk of
damaging fiber during installation,
said Sumeet Pujari, Greenlee
“This installation device comes
with a handheld or stand-mounted
hybrid design that combines a
low-strain pushing force with a
high-speed air stream along micro
cable surfaces for round or flat drop
cables with outer diameters of 3 to
10½ millimeters,” he said. “Cable may
be pushed via compressed air, or
bottled air may be introduced into
the system for longer distances.
“Although designed for drops,
some cable-duct combinations can
yield installation lengths near 3,000
feet,” he said. —J.G.
GR I FFI N, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be reached at email@example.com.