Handling and Storing Cables - the dos and don'ts.

Samantha Koch, Applications Engineer for Anixter, highlights the dos and don'ts of handling and storing cables to protect against damage, increase longevity and decrease down time.

Handling and Storing Cables Transcript

Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. My name is Samantha Koch, and I’m an applications engineer with Anixter.

Today, I’m going to be talking about the proper handling and storing of cables. This topic is important as the correct handling of cables will protect against damages, increase longevity and decrease downtime.

Before accepting a shipment, all reels should be inspected for damage. Check if a reel is laying flat on its side, has damaged wrapping or lagging, loose ties, interlocking flanges or loose nails.

Once the initial inspection is completed, proper unloading of reels from delivery trucks must be followed. Unloading must prevent any transfer equipment coming into contact with the cable or the protective covering of the reel.

Cable Handling Dos and Don’ts

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  • Always load with flanges on edge and chock and block securely.
  • Lower reels from trucks using hydraulic gate, hoist or forklift.
  • Cradle both reel flanges between forks.
  • Reels can be hoisted with a shaft extending through both flanges.
  • When rolling reels, secure the end of cable and roll counterclockwise to how the cable is wrapped.
  • Only stack light reels directly on top of each other using 2x4 spacers or pallets under the bottom flange. For heavier reels, store on surfaces with the flanges vertical. When reels need to be stored for an extended time, use railroad ties to tie them in place.
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  • Never drop reels.
  • Never allow forklifts to touch the cable surface or reel wrap.
  • Do not lift by the top flange.
  • Leave out the spreader bar as the flanges could bend.
  • Roll clockwise or in the direction that unreels the cable.
  • Do not stack hazardously.


Reels should be stored indoors on a hard, dry surface. If the cable needs to be stored outside, the reels should be placed on a hard surface, preferably in a well-drained area.

The cable’s exposed end should be resealed with plastic, weatherproof caps or tapes. Keep in mind that some cables are not sunlight resistant and should only be stored indoors.

If you have any further questions on cable handling and storing, contact your local Anixter representative. Thanks.