Toy truck eases cable installation in cable tray or ceiling

April 1, 1996
Technicians sometimes face unique challenges when they are installing cabling in manufacturing facilities, processing environments, warehouses and occupied offices. They have to be careful not to interrupt the customer`s work, especially when fork lifts are navigating on the shop floor 25 feet below. Setting up and moving high lifts or ladders every 10 to 15 feet to get the wire or pull string placed can be a slow, labor-intensive and dangerous process.

Rick Nicholson

Cincinnati Bell Telephone

Problem

Technicians sometimes face unique challenges when they are installing cabling in manufacturing facilities, processing environments, warehouses and occupied offices. They have to be careful not to interrupt the customer`s work, especially when fork lifts are navigating on the shop floor 25 feet below. Setting up and moving high lifts or ladders every 10 to 15 feet to get the wire or pull string placed can be a slow, labor-intensive and dangerous process.

Solution

The use of a $50 Radio Shack remote-controlled toy truck to place the pull string in the cable trays or ceiling can increase productivity. Instead of setting up high lifts or ladders every 10 to 15 feet, you can use a single setup to yield pulls of more than 250 feet, without interrupting the work groups below. This procedure is especially productive in office areas where it is necessary to pull in cables over another tenant`s occupied space.

Procedure

1) Identify the safest location and the clearest path to set up the vehicle.

2) Connect the pull string to the rear of the vehicle; depending on the model of the vehicle, a small bracket may be needed or a hole may need to be cut into the design to connect the pull string.

3) Slowly power the vehicle along the cable tray, pulling the string to the required end point. In some difficult-to-see areas, it may be necessary to set up at a midpoint. By establishing this point and then pulling each way, it is easier to navigate difficult acute turns. Connect string from an end point for the final cable pull.

4) When pulling cable above dropped ceilings, remove the first and last ceiling tiles. By placing a light at the last tile, all obstacles in the path become apparent, and navigation of the vehicle will be much easier.

5) For long dropped-ceiling pulls, attach an inexpensive continuous-tone beeper to the vehicle or use a pull string with feet markers. Both solutions can speed up the recovery process of this valuable tool, should the vehicle get stuck.

Click here to enlarge image

A remote-controlled toy truck used to place the pull string in cable trays can increase productivity. Instead of setting up high lifts or ladders every 10 to 15 feet, you can use a single setup to yield pulls of more than 250 feet without interrupting the work groups below.

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