A winch cable is the braided steel cable that runs from a crane’s cable drum, through the mast, and onto the hook.
A winch cable is the braided steel cable that runs from a crane’s cable drum, through the mast, and onto the hook. The cable is made up of thousands of very small diameter steel wires that are braided together to make it very strong. A winch cable can also be located on an electric overhead crane operating on an I-beam section. In either case, the hoist cable provides the lift and is also responsible for the hoist’s lift rating.
When braided together, steel wires or wires become extremely strong and durable. Cable is easily wound onto a winch drum and rolled up when required to lift and move a load. The handle usually has a large steel hook attached to it. This hook is placed on a lifting sling or chain that is placed around the object to be lifted. The hoist cable is then wound back onto the winch drum, which causes the load to rise.
Although the hoist handle is traditionally made of steel wire, technology has created fiber handles and ropes that are equally strong. The advantage of a fibrous cable over a traditional winch cable is the safety factor. Fiber cables generally do not injure workers as they wear out. Wire ropes wear out and produce small, very sharp wires that can cut and injure a worker’s hands. Many of these frayed pieces of cable can penetrate protective leather gloves.
A hoist handle made from fiber rope does not produce the steel shards that cause injuries. Fiber cable is also much lighter than steel cable of comparable size. This allows a worker to move and manipulate the cable much more easily than its steel counterpart. Fiber cable is often much more economical than steel cable. This makes it a popular choice for a cost analysis as well as a security analysis.
When used on an overhead crane, fiber cable is often preferred over hoist wire rope due to its smaller diameter. The smaller diameter fiber cable allows the crane’s spool to be much smaller and compact than a wire rope design. This, in turn, allows for a smaller overall crane size in an often crowded work area. Fiber cable is often a much quieter cable than rust-prone steel cable, which tends to squeak and creak under the stress of a heavy load.