While the technology surrounding modern mining and construction continues to evolve, there are some things that will always remain the same: the havoc wreaked on sites by trucks and heavy equipment. Of particular concern are the cables, lines, and hoses frequently crossing these sites and the expense required to purchase them initially and, when damaged, to replace them.
For years, many mine sites have tried to protect their cables by building an overhead system that utilizes poles secured in old rubber tires filled with concrete. This make-shift system poses high safety risks to both people and equipment as trucks can easily get hung up on the cables. Over the last two decades, the market has introduced crossover pads and ramps in an effort to protect large cables and hoses at the ground level. While some have shown promise in the short-term, most have lacked the necessary durability needed for long-term use. As such, they eventually become a safety liability instead of a reliable piece of safety equipment.
In addition, past designs have proven inconvenient to use and difficult to transport. Overly heavy and awkward to move, they have also lacked expansion capabilities.
The most common weaknesses include:
- inability to withstand extreme changes in temperature
- cracking, warping or other damage caused by frequent, heavy loads
- channel systems ill-suited to manage and protect multiple hoses or cable types and sizes
- lack of adaptability to expand or reduce the size of the crossover units as needed
Testing cable protector YJ2-400
Yellow Jacket Heavy Duty Cable Protectors were introduced in 1991. As part of this line, the Yellow Jacket YJ2-400 extreme modular crossover system was created for industrial use, including construction sites and commercial environments. Constructed of all-weather polyurethane, the YJ2-400 had previously been shown to be significantly lighter than rubber protectors but rated to last up to 5 times as long. Since the company’s inception, testing of products in real-world settings has been critical in the formulation of new uses or in the refinement of existing designs. In 2012, for example, Checkers Industrial announced the recent testing of its wheel chocks used in the mining industry. That testing, supervised by multiple engineers and safety managers, proved the ability of the chocks to hold a 400-ton mining haul truck despite a 24 percent (24%) reduction in their weight. Given the results of that testing, the company opted to test the capabilities of the YJ2-400 under similar conditions.
On May 13, 2013, testing of the YJ2-400 was completed in an outdoor environment utilizing a Liebherr mining truck weighing 374 tons on a zero percent (0%) grade. Testing of the product was supervised by engineer Greg Widgery, who reported:
“The haul truck pulled across the cable protectors with the front left wheel and parked the left rear duals directly on top of the cable protectors and stayed parked for a count of one minute. The cable protector did not deform or break in any way. Test Results: Passed”
The May 2013 tests were also filmed and photographed, evidencing the ability of the YJ2-400 to withstand the repeated pressures placed on it. View Test Video
According to specs provided by Checkers, the YJ2-400 features two channels designed to protect cables and/or hoses up to 3.75″ in diameter. The system is modular, with each protector being 36″ in length and featuring dog-bone connectors for ease of expansion while maintaining portability.
The heavy duty protector features a thicker, reinforced version of the company’s standard hinged lid, which also features diamond-plate tread surface to improve traction for higher-volume traffic by even the largest vehicles. This aids in potential life-saving benefits of the system, as it reduces the likelihood of lid fracture, cable damage and electrical wiring exposure.
In the workplace, the primary benefits of the YJ2-400 were found to be:
- Ease of installation
- Ease of transport
- No chance of snagging overhead lines with vehicles
- Unlimited linear installation, no center support needed to span long distances
- Temporary solution (no need for semi-permanent installation)
Operating temps range from 40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 48 degrees Celsius). View more details such as: load capacities, size and other specs.
Testing conducted on the YJ2-400 in a real-world setting, as well as previous product development research evidences the product to be appropriate for use in industrial, mining and military environments. Its ability to repeatedly withstand even the harshest conditions, modular construction and capacity to house and protect multiple hoses or cables as large as 3.75″ in diameter further indicates the appropriateness of the use of the YJ2-400 in these environments, making it a cost-effective solution for safety managers, engineer, and supply chain managers.