Running Cable Drops
Tips for Running Cable Drops quickly.
This is a topic that came up in our forum by member Rombus. Running drops is just a step below wallfishing in the level of difficulty and tediousness. There are easy, straight forward drops and there are difficult drops through trees, hopping from pole to pole or through trees, pole to pole to a midspan.
Take everything with you. Hangers, clamps, zip ties, tags, etc. Be efficient. If you must go back to the truck, take something back with you. Ladder, spool, or garbage. If the drop is running through trees, tie on to the old one and pull the new one through. Just take your time and do it right at first, the speed will come.
True. When running cable drops, or any task really, always try to limit your amount of trips back to your truck. You dont want to bring every tool you own to the pole, but there is a core group of tools you need and a few extras that you seldom need. These are the ones that have you running back and forth. Extra span clamps, extra ty-wraps, terminators, address tags, the little things you assume are in your pouch.
When running cable drops I try to do everything on the pole side down at the van. I pull the messenger back, make my loop, put the fitting and tag on it, and then I tie it off on the span clamp. I find it easier to do all that on the ground. Then, I pull it up the ladder with me and just clamp the span clamp on and hook it up at the tap. I’d say it probably takes me about 15 – 20 mins. to get a drop up (going from the pole straight to the house). Multiple poles are a little longer.
Seems simple enough. I subscribe to this as well when running cable drops depending on where the truck is and what I have to do to get to the pole. Just walking up the ladder with a prepped hanger and hooking it on the clamp, screw onto the open port and BAM. Your off the pole already.
Try to prep your housebox when you pick up stock. More often then not you are installing a housebox at a new install. Open them when you get them and pack them with a groundstrap, groundwire. address tags, drop hangers and a groundblock. This saves you the time of digging through your trucks bins or your ditty bag when you pull up to an install. Grab your toolbelt, a reel of cable and the housebox and you have all you will need.
Great idea as well. Nothing like being prepared. This goes back to removing uneeded steps in your task. Being a bit more efficient and even challenging yourself at each job. It will make it more of a personal competition then a task you are just trying to get through.
Above all keep it safe. Sometimes when we hurry we neglect to think things through. Remember your hardhat, for the love of god remember your safety belt and strap. This is something you will never forget to do if you’ve been involved in just one tech fall. Wearing a safety belt gives you a little more confidence to monkey around on the pole and make some moves that you wouldnt think of doing without it.
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