Daily Cable Inspections
A high-quality cable ratchet winch hoist is designed to last a long time if it’s used and maintained properly. There are many inspections related to the hoist itself, but daily cable inspection is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the longevity and safety of your hoist.
What should you be looking for when conducting daily cable inspections? Several things:
- Drum Crushing and Spiraling
A drum crushing or spiraling cable is spiraled and sometimes fraying at the ends, almost as though each individual strand of the cable is unraveling. This type of cable damage is usually the result of constant overloading of the hoist beyond its rated capacity.
- Cut Cable
A cut cable is just as it sounds: cut or split completely in half. The condition of the cable indicates it has been cut by a sharp object of some sort. You can tell that the cable has been cut because several of the cable strands appear to be the same length.
- Broken Wires
Broken wires are pieces of cable that are fraying upwards as individual strands begin to slowly break off. This issue is usually caused by abrasion, which can happen in a hoist operation if the operator allows the cable to come into contact with another surface. The cable isn’t destroyed in most cases, but it is considerably weakened.
Kinks in your cable often result in improper unspooling and uncoiling, or they can simply form during hoist operation. Cable loops can occur in a slack line or a line under tension. If a loop occurs, it should be removed immediately. If you continue to use it, the loop can be pulled through when tension is applied to the line and form a permanently deforming kink. Cable kinks are always dangerous because they create unequal tension in the rope and the strands.
Daily cable inspections are critical to the longevity and safety of your cable ratchet winch hoist. Cables exhibiting damage must be removed from service immediately. A hoist with any of the above cable conditions should not be used under any circumstances, and the cable must be replaced before the hoist can be safely operated.