Understanding Cable Sizes with Cable Protection

yellow cable protector with different size cords and cables

One of the most important elements to consider when looking for a cable protector is the size of the cables or hoses that it is designed to house. Factors such as the maximum outside diameter of a cord or cable, or the number of channels a cable protector has are design specifications that will—in part—determine which cable protector is best suited to your needs.   

In addition to cable size, there are other factors that should be considered as well. Load rating, connector types and ADA compliance are just a few design specifications that could affect a cable protector’s utility in various environments. This guide will outline the relationship between cable size and cable protection in order to help you find the cable protector that is right for you.

Understanding Maximum Outside Diameter

Checkers Safety™ cable protectors are designed to house cables and hoses with a particular maximum outside diameter. Outside diameter (OD) refers to the total distance across the height or width of a cable or hose. Outside diameter is different than inside diameter which indicates the internal capacity of a pipe, cable, or hose. The outside diameter is measured in a straight line and should not be confused with circumference, which is the total, circular distance around the outside of a cable. Checkers Safety cable protectors include design specifications that outline the maximum outside diameter for each individual unit. This means that users should measure the outside diameter of their cables in order to find the appropriate cable protection unit.

Maximum Outside Diameter and Multiple Channels

If users need a cable protector with multiple channels to protect more than one hose or cable, it is important to measure all hoses and cables to find a cable protector that can fit the largest one. Additionally, the maximum outside diameter that is listed in a cable protector’s product description may only refer to one of the channels—usually the central one. This is because some cable protector models incorporate slightly varying channel sizes. It is also important to note that a single channel could conceivably hold multiple cables as long as the combined outside diameter of those cables did not exceed the maximum outside diameter of the channel. 

Cable Size and Load Rating

Another factor to consider when looking for the right cable protector is how the size of the cable and the size of the channel will affect the load rating of a given cable protector. Empty space between the channels of a multi-channel cable protector reduces the load rating of the whole unit. A cable protector is at its lowest load-rating when there are no cables in any of the channels. The degree to which a cable or hose can fill the channels of a cable protector—without exceeding the maximum outside diameter—will maximize the load rating of the entire unit, particularly for models with larger channel sizes.

Additional Factors to Consider

Understanding cable size is important, but it is not the only variable that will determine which cable protector is best suited to a particular need. Two cable protectors might have the same design specifications regarding cable size, but they could have entirely different applications. Here is a breakdown of some of the most important factors to consider in addition to cable size when looking for a cable protector.

Traffic. Cable protectors are used in a wide range of applications. From industrial work areas with mega-ton vehicles to outdoor public venues with mostly foot-traffic, there are cable protectors designed to function in these environments. Some cable protectors—like the heavy-duty Linebacker or heavy-duty Yellow Jacket series—are suited for industrial environments with high-load traffic like forklifts or heavy trucks.

Other cable protectors—like the Faslane series—are designed to protect pedestrians from tripping hazards while also protecting cables and hoses from light traffic. The distinction between heavy, medium and light traffic is important when considering cable size and cable protection since a user might identify a cable protector with an appropriate outside diameter specification but an inappropriate intended traffic application.

Connector Type. In addition to traffic-type and cable size, connector types are also important to consider. A connector type refers to the shape and design of the connector that locks individual cable protection units together. Different connector types have different design features and are manufactured to perform in an array of environments.

The T-connector, for example, is found on heavy-duty cable protectors such as the Linebacker, and it is well-suited to heavy traffic in industrial environments. The Dog-Bone connector is equally suited to heavy-duty environments and is the most commonly used connector type. The Grip Guard connector is ergonomically designed to fit the user’s hand for easier transportation and rapid deployment. All Checkers Safety connector types feature a modular interlocking design that allows users to extend cable protection to any length.

ADA Compliance. ADA compliant cable protection systems from Checkers Safety offer the same high-quality cable protection as other cable protectors with the added feature of ADA/DDA compliant ramps. These cable protection units feature gradual-sloping ramps that will provide a smooth transition from the ground to the top of the cable protector. These cable protectors are ideal for wheelchairs, carts, walkers or any device that would have difficulty navigating over cables as well as reducing slips, trips and falls in everyday pedestrian traffic situations. 

Find the Cable Protector That is Right for You

Checkers Safety has a wide range of cable protectors that are designed to function in many different environments, from commercial venues to military applications, office environments, and light to heavy construction. Here is a breakdown of some popular cable protection options from Checkers Safety.

5-Channel Ramp System. The most popular cable protection unit is the 5-channel ramp system that can house 5 cables with a maximum outside diameter of 1.25”. The heavy-duty Yellow Jacket cable protector is a heavy-duty example of this style of cable protector, whereas the 5-channel Grip Guard is for lighter applications. Additionally, Guard Dog cable protectors are the most popular version of the 5-channel unit from Checkers and are also available with ADA ramps for maximum accessibility.

Drop Over Models. For applications that require more rapid deployment, the drop-over model from Checkers Safety is ideal. These lightweight protectors—like the Fastlane Drop Over—feature patented 5-bar surface tread and an all-weather polyurethane construction that is ideal for light-duty applications. 

For nearly 35 years Checkers Safety has provided customers all over the world with innovative safety products. Our cable protection products are designed for a variety of applications including industrial, commercial, and public environments. Check out our cable protection options, and find the solution that is right for you.