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Cable Drum Transport

Last Modified: November 29, 2022
Cable drum transport takes careful consideration and planning. Reach out today for a quote and see how we can help get your product from mill to plant and beyond.


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September 16, 2020
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Choosing the right method of cable drum transport is essential to getting your product from manufacturer to warehouse to end user. Why? These large, bulky items require special handling to prevent damage to both the cable and the drum or reel. Working with a strategic partner can help you get your product on the road with the right equipment.

When looking for a partner for cable drum transport, you might keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Handing
  • Experience
  • Equipment

The right cable drum transport partner has access to the equipment needed to safely haul materials. The right transport partner also has experience handling this kind of product and can ensure safe treatment from pickup to delivery.

What Is A Cable Drum?

What is a Cable Drum

A cable drum is a round object shaped like a spool that electrical cables and fiber optic cables are wound around for transport. Cable drums are used to move and store all kinds of wire products as well as fiber optic cables and electrical cables. Drums can be made of wood, plywood, steel, or plastic. 

Plywood cable drums are normally made of poplar wood. They are light and cannot handle heavy loads. Commercial electricians and the building industry usually use them, as they can handle lighter loads and are a cheaper option to other cable drums.

Plastic cable drums can only handle lightweight. They are environmentally friendly as they are often made from recycled plastic.

In the wire and cable industry, steel drums are preferably used as compared to the traditional wooden drums. They are more solid and have much more durability than wooden reels. They also have a longer life and are therefore less expensive over the long run. Steel drums are preferred by people in the cable industry instead of wood or plastic because they cannot be easily stolen. They can also carry any type of cable or wire, whether light or very heavy.

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.

How Are Cable Drums Transported?

Flatbed carriers generally transport cable drums. Cable drum transport might involve a lowboy truck and trailer or other option.

During transport, the drums are properly supported with a through shaft and spreader bar when lifting with a crane to prevent damage to the drum and cable. The drum is handled correctly and lifted from the right direction when lifting with a forklift. When transporting, the cable drums are strapped adequately to avoid rolling and to make sure that they are secured to the vehicle.

Drums are secured with chains or cargo belts to prevent movement during transport. Loading is done with the first drum leaning towards the front edge and from the front. Attention is also given to the axle weight restrictions. Drums are tied from the center with at least three belts. Flanges are kept straight against one another when drums are in-line to prevent flanges from harming the cable itself. Wooden blanks are also used between drums for better security.

How is steel shipped? Learn more about moving this heavy metal.

Tips For Handling & Shipping Cable Drums

Tips for Handling and Shipping Cable Drums

Cable drums are heavy and difficult to handle manually. For that matter, they should be handled with care, assessing every risk possible when handling.

Wooden cable drums are not meant to be rolled over significant distances, and plywood drums should not be rolled on the ground.

When rolling drums, you should consider the following first:

  • The drum's mass 
  • How visible is the direction in which the drum is being rolled?
  • Is the ground smooth, hard, and flat?
  • The direction of the cable on the drum
  • The drum's condition 
  • Special care should be taken with full cable drums.
  • Appropriate lifting equipment rated for the load they are to carry should be used when lifting drums.

Cable drums can be stored outdoors and it will require the ground to be clean and even. Damage to the wound goods or cable should be avoided at all costs.

Accidental rolling away of cables should be prevented. Drum flanges of cables that are close to each other should never be allowed to touch any items that are wound. During storage or transportation, cable drums should always stand on the neighboring flanges. The cable drums must not be pushed along the ground, standing on the flanges, as doing that may weaken them.

When rolling, do not roll in just any direction. The arrow printed on the drum flange shows you the direction you should roll it so that the wound goods do not loosen up around the drum.

When uncoiling the cable, it should be at a tangent and never over the flange. the resulting torsion will damage the cable, and therefore laying it will not be possible. And that’s why you should have faultless cable ends.

Cables that do not have paper as insulation should have cable ends that cannot be penetrated and are pressure-tight. Being careless when it comes to this can lead to the penetration of moisture which causes a drastic deterioration in the electrical transmission rate. This results in power failures.

Compressed air sealing stoppers and cable end caps can help make cable ends impermeable.

Did you know paper, like newsprint, can be transported on drums, too? Learn about shipping Georgia Pacific paper.

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.

Transporting Cable Drums With R+L Global Logistics

When you need a partner for cable drum transport, look to R+L Global Logistics. We have the skills, expertise and carriers needed to move your freight. Regardless of whether you’re looking for full 3PL services or just freight shipping, we’re here to help.

You’ll find that R+L Global Logistics only works with the best carriers on the road today. We’re ready to leverage our relationships to find capacity, affordable rates and offer more than 99.5% on-time delivery. This means we provide service you can count on every mile of the journey.

We’ll handle everything needed to ensure your cable drum transport goes smoothly. From getting the right equipment to load and unload to protecting your flatbed freight from the elements, we promise smooth service. We can even help with forklift transportation services. Let us show you what sets us apart from the rest.

Are you ready to book your freight? Start the process by reaching out for a truckload shipping quote today. We have live, friendly agents standing by to provide freight shipping solutions for your business.

Need to book flatbed freight?
R+L Global Logistics has the equipment you need.
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