Tips for Choosing Cable Carriers


Cable carriers, also known as cable tracks or cable chains, are systems designed to guide and protect flexible cables, hoses, and wires. The use of cable tracks can significantly reduce wear, prevent conduits from becoming tangled, and reduce trip risks for equipment operators. The question is, what type of cable carrier will be the best option for any given application? Read on to find some tips for choosing the right one.

Understand the Uses of Cable Tracks

The primary concern when purchasing cable carriers is how they will be used. Industrial cable track is often found in manufacturing facilities where it won’t be subjected to the elements but may need to carry heavy loads, to give just one example. However, cable tracks can also be used in outdoor applications. Some are even designed for use in extreme environments such as oilfields.

Define Priorities

Before deciding on a material or configuration, take the time to define priorities. Is easy access to the conduits important, or will they need extra protection from wear and tear? In the first case, an open track will be the best option. In the latter example, a closed carrier is a better fit. In other words, no one type of cable carrier is right for every application.

Follow the Rules

There are rules and regulations defining proper cable layouts and carrier specifications for good reasons. Choosing a carrier that isn’t rated to support the weight of heavy cables may seem like a good way to save a few bucks, but it will cost much more money in the long run. Depending on the cable carrier’s intended use, there may also be additional industry regulations regarding materials, carrier types, and the positioning of conduits inside a cable track.

Pay Attention to the Bend Radius

Every cable carrier has a minimum bend radius, which refers to how much space will be required to make turns. Buyers should note that the minimum bend radius for the cable track should conform to the specifications for the largest cable, hose, or wire contained within it. Trying to force a cable or set of cables into a track with a bend radius that’s too small will lead to unnecessary wear and shorten usable lifespan.

Prioritize Safety

Utilizing cable carriers is a great way to improve worker safety and avoid unnecessary damage to equipment, but only if buyers purchase the right kind of track for a given application. For heavy-duty applications, metal cable carriers are usually better than plastic alternatives. Heavier loads usually require side links that feature an interlocking tongue-and-groove design.

Of course, the environment can also affect safety concerns. Extreme heat or cold can weaken plastic materials used in some types of light-duty cable tracks, for example, and open carriers may leave workers dealing with significantly more maintenance than closed tracks if there is a lot of dust or debris. The potential for chemical contamination should also be considered in relevant manufacturing facilities.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask a Professional

If there’s one tip to remember, it’s this one. Don’t be afraid to ask an industry expert for help with choosing the right cable carriers. Just be prepared to offer information about the specific application to make sure a given cable carrier will truly be the best fit for the job.


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