Yesterday, when I was blogging about the Fox™ cord cover, seeing its picture reminded me of another cable protector that has a similar general appearance, but is meant for almost unimaginably tough environments. This is one cord cover that isn’t on my mind often, but when it is, I almost can’t believe how massive it is and what it’s built to handle. It’s for mining and other extreme industrial applications, but you don’t have to be a miner or an engineer to be impressed: meet the Crossover™ Extreme Duty Cord Protector by Peterson Systems.
When I make this next statement, I’m in no way putting down standard heavy duty cable protectors (they’re designed to do a job of a specific size, and they’re great at what they do). But here’s the thing: hearing a weight impact capacity of 10 tons (around 20,000 lbs) just isn’t that impressive anymore when you see that the Peterson Crossover can handle regular vehicular impact loads of up to 350 tons. 350 tons. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. I’d love to get an up-close look at the vehicles and machinery these are designed to stand up to.
To accomplish such a monumental feat, you’ve probably guessed that they’re manufactured a just a little differently than your standard cast polyurethane cord cover. While the Crossover™ does incorporate two different grades of Peterson’s proprietary Hiperthane® high-performance polyurethane (one for abrasion resistance, the other for impact resistance), it also works graphite and encapsulated expanded steel into the design for good measure. Overall, the Crossover is nonconductive, non-sparking and self-extinguishing, so it’s safe around all types of machinery in a wide range of abusive conditions.
A few extra features include molded-in receptacles for stands or flags, a custom-molded cable cap that allows you to completely enclose cables or hoses that are dropped into the protective channel, and half-inch proof coil chains that make it easier to drag the Crossover out of mud or sand when it needs to be moved.
It’s not sly or sexy, so I’m not sure why they call it the Fox™, but you have to admit – this cord cover has a simple, straightforward design that just has a certain appeal. What makes the Fox different from other medium to heavy duty cable protectors? As I was reminded as I traipsed over an endless sea of cord covers at a local Fall festival a few days ago, the first obvious difference is that they don’t have the standard hinged, flip-open tops of most other rugged cable protectors on the market. And secondly, they don’t have the “easy-to-kick-out-of-place-if-it’s-not-actively-anchored-down” dropover design that’s characteristic of many medium capacity cord covers. It like a perfect best-of-both-worlds hybrid of the two. Let me tell you what I mean.
The Fox cable protector has a heavy duty polyurethane body that encloses cables all around and sits firmly on the ground, just like a high-capacity cord cover. But on the other hand, its interior is made up of a single, unsegmented channel, and it’s incredible simple to load, just like most medium-capacity cord covers. Mix those seemingly opposing attributes together, and you get a cable cover that can withstand just over 10 tons (per axle) of vehicle run-over weight and some pretty heavy pedestrian traffic, but is as easy to use as running your hoses and cables through the narrow, flexible open channel along the top.
Flexible, open channel? Of course – how else did you think you were going to get your cables in if there are no hinged lids? The Fox’s cable entry point is a narrow lengthwise channel with flexible sides that let you easily push in or pull out cabtles without the need to open and close covers – it’s really pretty cool, and a perfect solution if you don’t need multiple channels to keep several different cables separate along their path.
Based on our frequent use of them around the office, as well as feedback from customers, everybody loves how easy light duty flexible cord covers are to use. They can go just about anywhere you need them, they’re lightweight, and they’re made of flexible extruded plastic, so they can be rolled up for storage without any problem. If they’re too long, you can cut them to length with a razor knife, and they provide plenty of cable protection for everyday home and office situations.
Just one problem. They can only withstand light traffic, and they don’t hold much.
Typical light duty cord covers are great if you have just an extension cord and maybe a couple of Ethernet or phone cords, but beyond that, conditions can get cramped and lead to crushed cables, which is what you’re trying to avoid in the first place… right? And don’t even think about subjecting light duty covers to high-volume foot traffic, or rolling anything larger than an office chair or small cart over them. They’re not built for that kind of rough treatment.
Up to now, if lightweight, flexible cord covers weren’t quite enough to deal with the kind of abuse your particular application would be dishing out, the only obvious next-step-up would be molded polyurethane or heavy duty rubber cable protectors, both of which are great, but have a tendency to be tough to store (they can’t roll up) and more expensive. Luckily, there’s a new big and flexible cord cover in town.
Meet the Super Duty cable cover, a sort of next-gen hybrid that combines the simplicity and flexibility of a light duty cord cover with larger size and increased toughness than lean more toward the high capacity end of the spectrum. Basically a flexible extruded plastic cord cover on steroids, the Super Duty is far better suited to life in warehouses, garages, special events and industrial settings than their smaller residential and office-friendly counterparts, thanks to longer length, larger wire channels, and 1/4 inch thick inner columns for improved support.
As with many of its light capacity counterparts, the Super Duty cord cover comes unslit, so you can decide exactly where and how you want to create cable entrance points along the flat bottom surface, using just a basic utility knife. One feature that I really like is that there are three different score marks running along the bottom of the cover, so that once you find a slit location that will work for you, there’s a guide to keep your knife straight and provide a cutting reference.
Filed under: Cord Covers, Raceway, Duct and Conduit
ADA Compliance: it’s so important and so necessary, but it can also be a tough pill to swallow for business owners and facility managers who are on a tight budget. ADA compliance can be as simple as laying down some paint and installing signage to designate accessible parking spaces, or building a relatively inexpensive ramp to make an entranceway more easily traversable for mobility-challenged individuals who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and crutches to get around. But what if you have cables that lay across indoor pathways on a pretty much permanent basis?
Floor-level cords are a notorious tripping hazard even for people who are able to get around without any trouble. But add things like wheelchairs or crutches into the equation, and those cables not only become an obstacle to roll over, but also threaten to snag walking aids, which can cause the individuals using them to lose their balance and fall. Not to mention that rollovers and pedestrian trampling of any kind can crush and otherwise damage the cables. It’s a situation that you can’t ignore.
Several cord protector manufacturers have solved the problem of ADA compliance in the presence of floor cords (and even hoses and air lines) by creating a variety of heavy duty polyurethane cable covers with gently sloped sides that are textured for traction and accommodate wheelchairs without a problem. They’ve also come up with modular rails that can be attached to ADA-compliant cord protectors to create clearly marked crossing points that have the added advantage of providing hand-holds for people who’d like a little extra stability.
These are all outstanding products, but have the drawback of being a little too expensive, bulky and intrusive for environments like smaller retail stores, offices, and school media centers. While they’re perfect for large outdoor events, concert venues, and other large-scale applications, the heavy duty polyurethane products would just be overkill in situations that don’t include crowds in large, open spaces.
Enter the OFR Over-Floor Raceway by Legrand Wiremold. It’s every bit as ADA-compliant as its bulky counterparts, but with a scaled-down, low profile steel design that’s appropriate for just about any indoor business or educational environment. It can be installed over any type of flooring, and when all is said and done, it only rises a half inch above the floor surface, with sloped sides that ease the crossing of pedestrians, wheelchair users, and even small carts. People are protected, cables are protected, and no one goes broke in the process. You’ve gotta love that.
Tip-overs always happen so unexpectedly. Like when you’re standing in line at the airport, and the heavy purse or laptop bag that’s lashed to the handle of your tiny wheeled carry-on makes things top heavy, and the whole stack tumbles. Or when your full-grown-adult coffee bar coworker decides, instead of grabbing a stepladder, to climb stock shelves like a monkey to retrieve the lone bag of espresso beans from the very top. Or when another full-grown-adult decides to build up some momentum and ride on, instead of push, an almost-empty grocery cart (“But it worked in the Staples commercial!”).
Yep. I have experienced all of these scenarios firsthand, but for the record, I was merely a horrified onlooker for the second two. But all that aside, tip-overs pretty much suck, no matter what the situation – and there are a lot of possibilities. Take, for example, the fiasco that could unfold if you were carting around a seemingly stable load of 10 or 20 cable protectors. I’m not talking about the flexible, lightweight plastic ones that coil up and can be carried as comfortably and easily as, say, a couple of folded towels. I’m talking about the hardcore polyurethane models that weigh a small ton and can cause quite a ruckus, and possibly pain, if they derail from their wheeled storage cart at an inopportune moment.
While cable protector carts have always sounded like pure genius to me, there are some that, when not fully loaded, run the risk of tipping over as soon as the heavy side gets the better of things. That’s because like some folding-chair carts you may have seen, these wheeled cable cover racks load vertically instead of horizontally. The vertical orientation isn’t a problem, per se, unless the cart is partially loaded, and its weight isn’t balanced. But shouldn’t a cord cover cart be balanced all of the time?
I happen to think so, and that’s why I’m so digging this Cable Guard Transport Cart. Sized to hold up to 25 heavy duty cable protectors, this cart remains stable even if there are only 3 or 8 or 12 actually loaded onto it. That’s because this cable guard cart carries cord protectors horizontally, so matter how many or how few you’re dealing with, their weight is always evenly distributed – leaving you free to let go of the cart at any time, with no fear of tip-overs.
I love balance.
Once again, it’s almost time for the holiday that leads to more juvenile dental fillings than any other: Halloween. Driving around town over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spotted some pretty elaborate yard displays, with everything from cute candy-corn string lights to slightly more sinister mechanized zombies. Is it just me, or are Halloween decorations now giving Christmas lights and animated figures a run for their money? It’s like everything you see plugs in, lights up, and swings a Grim Reaper scythe in your general direction. I’ve still got quite a way to go before I hit middle age, but I’m starting to feel dated, here. Back when I threw pillowcases over my shoulder and went pounding the pavement for fun-size Snickers bars, it was all Jack-o-Lanterns (you know, the Old School kind with real candles instead of “flickering” LEDs?), Indian corn and the occasional spooky cardstock window decorations. The only things wired for power were the front porch lights.
But I digress – the point here is that Halloween displays have tons of power cords, and that can be a problem, being that the “fun” houses are the ones that attract all of the trick-or-treaters. In their hurry to beat a path to the front door and spoils awaiting them, it’s not hard for costumed kids to trip over cords that may be running across the lawn or front path. Darkness is great at making power cords invisible, especially to preoccupied kids who are juggling candy bags with often too-long costumes. Since you’re the responsible grown-up in the picture, think about protecting the neighborhood kids about to come trampling across your well-decorated property with outdoor-friendly cord covers, like Rubber Ducts by Electriduct.
Rubber Ducts are a little heftier weight-wise than their plastic counterparts, so they stay in place much better, and being made of rubber, they provide great grip and traction for pedestrians, so the chances of anyone slipping are cut way down. And they’re available in black or brown, which means that they blend into their surroundings after the Sun goes down. So keep your trick-or-treaters from becoming trip-or-treaters… after all, it’s always more fun to hand out candy than ice packs.
Filed under: Cord Covers, Tools and Cases, Workplace Safety
Ever picked up a heavy-duty polyurethane cable protector? They’re heavy – sometimes really heavy. Depending on its width and the amount of “ramp” area it has, a typical cord protector can range anywhere from 20 to 100 lbs. Granted, for that type of product, heft is a definite selling point, because it means that the cord protectors aren’t going to be pancaked or pushed around when pedestrians and vehicles go over them. But think about the fact that you almost never need just one cable protector, and that they’re often used on a temporary basis.
Add it all up, and that means some serious cable protector hauling every time you need to set up, break down, or just change configuration. Not that having to break a sweat every now and then is a bad thing, but seeing as how most cable protectors are at lease 3 feet long, they can be a little unweildy to schlep, considering their weight. Moving more than one at a time is, in most cases, not advisable. Now, I know that there are a few people out there (I may or may not be one of them) who think that making multiple trips is lame, and would rather overload themselves in the name of efficiency than have to go back a second or third time. These people tend to end up in pain shortly after entertaining these thoughts. These people need to get a cable protector transport cart.
You heard me. The Yellow Jacket Cord Protector Cart. It can hold up to 12 of the biggest and baddest cable protectors at once, but lets you roll them from Point A to Point B in comfort, instead of juggling them like an idiot and sweating like a pig. And in the event that you just need to store the cord covers for a while instead of immediately setting them up in another location, the cart doubles as the perfect storage rack. When it’s time to put the cable protectors back in action, just wheel them wherever you need them. I hate to say it, but sometimes the “lazy” way really does end up being the smarter way.
If you’ve ever wanted to build your very own parking lot, now’s your chance. I’ve never thought of speed bumps and parking blocks as something you can just go and order online, but we’ve just added them to the website, so I guess you can! Personally, I have no immediate use for parking lot fixtures, but I think it’s pretty cool that they’re easily available if the need ever arises.
While most of us are used to speed bumps and parking stops being molded out of concrete or asphalt, these Eagle products add a neat new twist to things because they’re made out of high-density polyurethane, and are both movable and reusable. This makes them perfect for temporary parking areas at schools, parks, and special events – you can custom-configure them to plot out traffic flow and parking, so everything is safer and a little more organized.
And here’s another thing I like about Eagle speed bumps that you won’t see with the run-of-the-mill asphalt kind: they also do double-duty as cable protectors! Each speed bump has 2 cable channels molded into its underside, so if you need to run power cords or other types of cables across a vehicle path, it’s no problem. Just cover the cables with the speed bumps, and they’ll be protected from crushing while you, at the same time, limit vehicles to a safe speed.
A decade in South Florida may not have gotten me a tan, but it did something even better: desensitized me to the presence of reptiles. A random gecko or two in the house? No problem. An iguana lumbering across my front walk? Bring it on. And a giant, bright-green anole in the backyard mango tree? Awesome!
I feel so liberated that I can now sleep at night, even knowing that there may be a lizard loose in the house (true, those geckos may be tiny, but still: progress is progress). There’s just one problem: even though I’m finally able to harmoniously coexist with lizards, I still have a major aversion to snakes. I’m not even talking about the various Asian and African pythons that are slowly strangling the life out of the Everglades. I’m taking about garter snakes. They’re generally puny and pathetic as far as slithering wildlife goes, but they keep trying to sneak into the house through my side door, and at that I take great offense.
Ever since I found that baby garter snake hanging out in the middle of my hallway late one Friday night, I’ve begun cringing involuntarily at the sight of anything that’s black and yellow striped and has a tendency to arrange itself in a wavy, s-like shape. I shiver to imagine such things. But I think I may have found something that will get me over that…
Strangely enough, it’s a cord cover, but one of a most peculiar sort. You know how garter snakes are slithery and striped with black and yellow in a bad way? Well, the SideWinder Cable Protection System is both of those things as well, but in a very, very good way.
Most cord protectors are rigid, and have the tendency to run only in straight lines unless you connect them with specially-manufactured angles and bends. Every twist and turn you make is extremely deliberate, and you have to plan ahead and purchase accordingly for them. But what if you could protect ground cables with something that was both incredibly tough and flexible, that you could just snake around obstructions as needed, without any special planning or parts. You can, with the SideWinder.
The SideWinder system is made up of a long line of articulating 1.5″ segments, which are hinged together to form a single, continuous cord protector. Need to round a corner or work around a column, platform, or other obstruction? No problem – just bend the SideWinder to follow any path, no matter how full of turns it may be. It can even be customized for length: just snap on or remove extra pieces, and you won’t be stuck with too much or too little coverage. Talk about great cable protection that won’t cramp your style…
Ever since I got into the cable management business, I’ve come to think of heavy duty cord covers as being essential wherever pedestrians, vehicles, and ground-level cables need to harmoniously coexist. They keep wires and hoses from the irreversible damage that happens when they’re trampled underfoot by pedestrians (or run over by carts, cars and trucks), and they protect people, too – any of you ever tripped over a power cord?
There’s just one small hitch – heavy duty polyurethane cord covers can require a hefty startup investment if you need more than a few. Say that you belong to a small organization (like a school, church, or not-for-profit organization) that needs to put on a special event. Say that at this special event, there will be power and data cords running all over the ground, to hook up speakers, computers, video displays, and maybe the odd cotton-candy machine or two. Add to those cables a bunch of event attendees who probably won’t be looking where they step, and you have some serious liabilities on your hands. You need industrial-grade cord covers to keep things safe, but don’t have the budget to actually purchase them. What do you do?
We realized that the Need vs. Cost issue can be a problem for some organizations, so we’ve come up with a solution: rentals. If your business is located in the greater Fort Lauderdale/Miami metro area, you now have the option to rent Electriduct Hawk cord protectors on a daily basis. No paying full purchase price or footing hefty shipping bills – just reserve the number of cord protectors you need, drop by our warehouse to pick them, and bring them back when you’re done. Be sure to check out the details – it’s an option you won’t want to pass up!