Most methods of underground cable installation involve creating a path underground and pulling wires through it. Utility companies use a variety of equipment types to complete these steps. Installers commonly use these five types of underground cable installation tools to get the job done.
1. Plowing Tools
Plowing equipment uses blades to dig a trench hole along the ground at the depth required for cable installation. The two main types of plowing tools used for underground cables include:
- Static plows: The blade on a static plow stays still as the machine operates, resulting in an equipment option with lower maintenance.
- Vibratory plows: A vibratory plow features a blade that vibrates as the machine moves, making it easier to create a trench in tighter spaces.
2. Trenching Tools
Trenching tools work similarly to plowing tools, but they use a digging mechanism instead of cutting. Many installers will trench or plow on undeveloped land that they can easily replace.
3. Boring Tools
Boring tools drill holes in the ground when a surface such as a building requires minimal disruption. Underground cable installers tend to use one of these two tools:
- Directional boring tools: These small drilling rigs can lay cable in a shallow area with easier operation than larger options.
- Horizontal directional drilling tools: A horizontal directional drilling tool can handle projects involving long lengths of cable and deep trenches.
4. Cable Pulling Equipment
After creating a passage using a plowing, trenching or boring tool, you can use a cable puller to pull cable through it. In underground cable installation, these types of machines include:
- Drum winches: As the simplest cable pulling option, a drum winch has tension that varies based on the drum's load.
- Bullwheel pullers: Bullwheel pullers maintain the same tension and speed throughout operation for more consistent performance than a drum winch.
- Underground pullers: Many companies choose underground pullers for the included dynamometer and footage counter.
5. Reel Trailers, Rigging and Accessories
During cable installation, the reel trailer and its accessories support the cable pulling system. These components include:
- Reel trailer: Installers use both manual and hydraulic reel trailers to hold cable reels during installation.
- Rigging equipment: The rigging in a cable pulling system ensures safe and efficient installation when properly set up.
- Blocks: During installation, blocks control bending radius and the cable's path from one end of the trench to the other.
- Other accessories: Additional underground cable installation tools include rollers, jamb skids and feed tubes that make the process easier.
Get the Equipment You Need From The Cat® Rental Store
At The Cat® Rental Store, we offer a wide selection of equipment for hardworking industries. Our inventory includes many of the tools needed to install wires underground. If you don't see what your job requires on our website, we welcome you to ask us to find it for you. Learn more about our underground cable installation tools by calling us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or requesting a quick quote.
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