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Roping Electrical Equipment

By Phill Feltham

How synthetic ropes show results for heavy lifts

BY BILL PUTNAM, Yale Cordage

Years ago in Oklahoma, an investigation ensued after a pole-mounted transformer dropped thirty feet off a wire winch line and onto the foot of a line worker during a routine maintenance operation. Initially thought to be an unexpected failure or an issue with the line itself, interviews revealed that the truck equipped with the line had been out on multiple back-to-back shifts a week prior to the accident, repairing poles broken by a tornado that had barreled through the area. In the end, it became clear not only that the line had been overtaxed, but also that it was overdue for inspections and maintenance.

Through the process, the utility ultimately fostered a relationship with their winch line manufacturer, who took the time to understand the type of lifting their ropes were tasked with, and helped them institute a repair and replacement schedule that could be followed in the field.

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