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Find The Right Reel Trailer

Purchasing the right tools for the job at hand is always the best way to ensure quality and consistent results in the workplace. One of those tools we would like to talk about Is a Reel Trailer or Cable Trailer. Seems pretty simplistic in its nature for tradesman in the field, I need to pick up this reel and put this cable or duct/fiber in that trench! Nowadays it's not that simple, job complexities are constantly pushing the envelope of what's possible with equipment like the Reel trailer. The explosion of Fiber optic private networks and expansions of communications has driven the need for safe, reliable transport and installation of materials to a new level never seen before. When you're the person writing the check for that simple trailer it's important to make the right decisions to boost production and efficiency in every possible way, while covering your bases with growth and future needs. With all that said I would like to layout a few simple categories of items to consider when seriously looking at specifications to match your need.

First and foremost, one of the biggest questions that's needed to be ask is what specific size spools are you working with? Within that question lies more questions, what is the height in diameter? what is the width? what size spindle hole is in the center? How much does the material weigh that will be loaded on the spool. Do I need this to be a self loading trailer or will I use outside lifting equipment to load Reels? These 6 questions must be answered with factual information. All too often I'm told" Oh it's about 6ft tall, 5ft wide and it only weighs about 3000lbs max", but after all the digging and prying for information the tape measure actually comes out and that weight tag is read on the reel, its factually 8ft tall 54" wide and weighs a whopping 6500lbs. That guessed information could lead to an unpleasant and possible dangerous situation for everyone involved, not to mention the disappointments when a unit purchased doesn't fit the fundamental application it's there for in the first place. Until this information becomes facts it's impossible to expect good results from a purchase of a Reel Trailer.

Once this is all sifted through and documented I like to add a 15% increase to the specified weight that I'm given for material manufactures mismarks and stated weight specs that often are, let's say off a little. This also allows the spec'd-out trailer to have some room for that next project that's a little longer runs or a little heavier product and doesn't constrain the use case of the trailer to one specific application or job. The above-mentioned circumstance with guessed reel information was in fact real life just yesterday. In that case adding 15% moved this trailer requirement to a larger model with the next class of capacity and GVWR. One great thing I like to think here is I took a trailer that would be spending 95% of its life hauling its maximum capacity and replaced that situation with one that will be working in its lower 60% capacity and avoid excess wear and tear and be a safer vehicle to control on the roadways. Also giving room to expand the customers job capabilities in hauling more material at a later time, instead of meeting the restriction faced with the smaller class unit.

Tow Vehicle?

The next very important question is, what is the capacity of the Tow vehicle? Do you have the capability with the vehicle or vehicles you intend to use for transporting this trailer? With the stated loads it can handle. Will this investment require another investment in upgrading to a larger tow vehicle to stay within the needed limits for general safety and for state, DOT or federal highway laws?

What is Towing Capacity?

Hydraulic Power Winder?

The next area to address is do I need a Hydraulic Power Winder for the Reel trailer? Is this investment really going to be worth it on the jobsite? My opinion to this Is "Yes"! What I really mean is that if you are in any kind of Fiber or cable installation, short of having an army of workers to manually spin off cable to figure 8 or otherwise, then this investment is a must. Its versatility for other applications of material can save a great deal of time in a lot of jobsite circumstances. The common misconception about these apparatuses I have experienced with my customers is that its thought to be a puller. I only speak to our own manufacturing design and units here, but this is not intended to be a puller by definition, instead a make-up winder, although in talking to a variety of users of these it is often used to pull fiber threw ducts with no issues, due to the low resistance of pulling most fiber runs. You should always consult with cable manufactures and know your products applications and limits before attempting to pull fiber with this type of unit to avoid damages to fiber cable. Pullers and tensioners are a completely separate class of equipment and should not be confused with a Hydraulic Power Winder mounted on a Cable Trailer.

Cable Trailer Reel Brake?

Figure 8 Attachments?

Pipe Tamer Attachments?

pipe tamer mounted on UMI8500 Utiliquip trailer
Utiliquip Pipe tamer attachment

reel trailer with power winder and figure 8 attachment
Utiliquip UMI12000PWE with Figure 8
Reel Trailer with Power Winder
Utiliquip UMI12000PWE

In closing, I strongly suggest doing your homework when planning to invest in this type of equipment, or better yet ask us for the advice you need, ask a lot of questions about things you or I may not have been exposed to in the industry yet. This is how we all expand our knowledge base and provide the best possible outcomes for our customer to create the safest work environments we can.

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