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.
I came in to work an hour early this morning, and boy, am I glad I did. No more than 2 weeks ago, I read about a really cool glow-in-the-dark cord cover, but had yet to get my hands on one. Turns out that today was my lucky day: not only is it Friday, but I got to sit in on a training session with Joe Proto from Electriduct, and it just so happens that he brought along a real live Nite Hawk (the cable protector, not the bird) to show off.
It’s easy to appreciate the functional attributes of heavy duty cable protectors - after all, they keep power cords, data cables and hoses from being crushed, even when they’re trampled by pedestrians and run over by vehicles. But the thing is (and call me shallow) they’re generally nothing special to look at. But the Nite Hawk caught my eye – it’s made out of the same super strong polyurethane as its competitors (same molded-in traction bumps and everything), but it’s a really nice dark blue, with a flip-open lid in a neutral-colored, photoreactive polyurethane.
It was good looking in daylight, but the real magic happens when the lights go out. Just like those glow-in-the-dark stars you plastered on your bedroom ceiling as a kid, the Nite Hawk’s lid “charges” while the Sun is up or lights are on, but when everything goes dark, it really starts to shine. Thanks to its luminescent “Wow, look at that!” quality, the Nite Hawk can’t be ignored, and makes for much safer pedestrian and vehicle crossings in dark environments.
Have I mentioned that I get a huge kick out of fireflies? This one’s almost as fun.