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Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables

To: <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables
From: "Peter Voelpel" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 05:12:33 +0200
List-post: <">>
I helped to install LUSO towers at DL3KO together with LUSO engineers.
All the tower cabling was lubricated with grease after erection and should
be repeated regularly. .

Peter, DJ7WW

-----Original Message-----
From: TowerTalk [] On Behalf Of Jim
Sent: Mittwoch, 5. September 2012 03:20
To: Gene Fuller;
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] NOT lubricate your cables

-----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

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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