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Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables

To: "Gene Fuller" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables
From: "Jim Thomson" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2012 18:20:06 -0700
List-post: <">>

-----Original Message----- From: Gene Fuller
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 7:18 AM
To: Jim Thomson ;
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables

I"m surprised we haven't heard from at least one ex-navy man who might be
familiar with their cable care  routine. I know they have "oilers" whose job
it is to lubricate/grease the ships cables. There are probably other jobs
that involve cleaning and inspection?????

For we who are land bound I would certainly guess that environment would
play an important part of what the care should entail. In my case I have a
trolley with a cable that goes  up across the top of the tower. The first
cable was largely ignored, i.e. not much lubrication, and lasted "only"
about 10 years. The second, and still present, I have oiled and/or greased
at least every two or three years. It's now about 30 years and still looks
like new. I'm sure it helps that I have virtually no blowing dirt or sand
and no salt water atmosphere.

Gene / W2LU

### I think the point UST is making is to not use GREASE, etc on the cables, as it will just attract dust + dirt. Pre-lube 6 is NOT grease. It soaks through to the inner strands, which is the portion of the cable that requires the lube. It’s the inner strands rubbing against each other that will trash the cable.

## Having said all that, I noticed that the indoor-outdoor, overhead slide out crane lift we used at work, at one of the telco's I looked after, uses loads of grease on all the cables. It was located on the 2nd floor, just inside the double steel doors. The over head tract would extend outside. 4 x huge pully's at both the top at bottom of the assy, and .375" winch cable used. We used it to lift all sorts of stuff, like steel, and also 4 x 170KG batteries on a single pallet (1500 lbs). All the maintenance on that assy is logged....and no where in the log I can ever see the cables being replaced ! That log goes back 20 years too. Those things had to be govt inspected once per year. All sorts of other stuff replaced, like
control units  etc, but never the cables.

## interesting to note, I didn't see one bit of dust or dirt on any of the greased cables, but they reside in a clean environment. It was rarely used. Just out of interest, I checked the elevator cable used on our main down town office. Its an industrial sized service elevator, used to haul equipment etc, up to the various 4 x floors. 8 ft wide x 13 ft deep. The myriad of cables used are ALL greased ! All the air in there is filtered. None of em had dirt or dust, debris on them.

## I wouldn't be using grease on UST tower cables any time soon. However, Pre-lube 6, 9, 11 etc, is just fine imo. It wont attract dust since it dries on the outside anyway. Pre-lube 6 is NOT grease, so I wouldn’t worry about its use on cables outdoors. Esp after seeing pallet loads of 55 gal drums of the stuff being used at all the local ship yards for their huge cranes.

## speaking of cranes. I have used 20 ton cranes, etc, for various tower projects since 1980.....and they ALL have something on their cables, none of em are dry ! Its NOT grease either, so it must be pre-lube 6 etc. Im getting a crane over here for another project pretty soon, so will ask the fellow about the cables, and what they use on em.

Jim  VE7RF

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jim Thomson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 4:22 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2012 17:22:15 -0700
From: Jim Lux <>
To: Steve Maki <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables
from US tower

I suspect that rigging companies and crane ops also do regular inspection and cleaning of those cables too, just like the ones on gondola and chair lifts.
On Sep 3, 2012, at 17:05, Steve Maki <> wrote:

I wonder why crane companies keep their cables (on million dollar cranes) lubed religiously?

On this particular topic, I would not place much faith in the manufacturer's edicts, unless you're looking for a reason to keep busy replacing the cables more often than otherwise needed.

-Steve K8LX

## all the local ship yards around here have 55 gallon drums of pre-lube 6, 9, + 11. This stuff is literally poured onto those cables, right at the drum, via an oiler device. Its just penetrating oil, to lubricate the inner strands. Nobody is changing cables every 3 years. UST also wants me to check the oil in the gearbox every month, and also change it out every 2 years. Turns out those hub city gear boxes were never meant to be used for lifting applications. They were designed for stuff like conveyor belts, etc. They are actually called ....speed reducers. They were never intended for a hoist application. The UST control box on the tower is not water proof nor is enclosed in anything remotely close to a nema box. Whoever designed their anchor bolt configuration + rebar cage on the HDX-689 was clueless. Neither meet any spec here in town. If you put a 14 foot mast out the top of their tower, you can kiss that 70 mph rating goodbye. I wouldn’t be using the UBC-97 exposure B specs either, use exposure C, or use the RS-222 rev g specs....if you can find em.

The story I got from the crane and ship yard folks is... without the use of the various grades of prelube slopped onto the cables, the inner strands can rub together..and break. You cant see internal damage from the outside.

It would be nice if UST provided detailed instructions on how to re-cable their towers. They insist you recable their towers, but then wont provide the info. Check out their info on how much torque required for both the anchor bolts +
leg bolts..... answer,  snug fit.   What kinda  BS  answer is that.

Jim  VE7RF


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