Best practice for wire rope handling?

I’m getting conflicting advice on how to handle wire rope in high rise situations. Some say to weight wire rope ends with a sandbag (or similar) when lowering from roof to connect to platform on the ground, to dampen cable motion & minimize contact with/damage to building. Same technique would be used when disconnecting platform & raising wire rope, of course.

Others say that sandbags are NOT good practice, & it’s best to let the wire rope hang free & hope for no wind gusts.

Similarly, I’ve heard advice that wire rope ends should be duct taped or protected with foam, while others lower & raise with raw cut ends.

Can anyone point to a standard or published best practice that deals with handling wire rope so as to protect curtainwalls on a high rise?


Cable should never have a raw cut end, should have a braizex or bullet type weld.

Most use cable wonders so no cable is hanging.

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Thanks to Jhans & Rockward: unanimous on welded ends.

Any help on whether wire rope should be weighted or hang free when raising/lowering?

I would not weight the cable, this may cause tension in motor? Cable while feeding in/out of motor does spin, cable with weight tied wont allow it to spin out at bottom and kink.

If your concern is the wire whipping at ground, eliminate excessive on ground, areas should be barricaded off below. Never had an issue where it would damage building.

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Thanks, jhans.

1–no concern @ ground. Area is fully cordoned off, no damage or other issues.

2–complaints originated with tenants in 40-story building who reported unloaded wire rope banging into facade panels & windows. Video captured some incidents. Some of the damage clearly came from cut ends, which can be welded & taped, but some was caused by impact from middle sections of wire rope.

3–I haven’t calculated weight of 400’ of 3/8" cable, but a 20# or 30# bag on the bottom would be a tiny incremental add, which should not strain the motor. Additionally, the rope would still be free to rotate, & intuitively the weight would help prevent kinking, not cause it.

My logic may be wrong here, which is why I’m inquiring about others’ experience…but if so, a solution to the wind-whipping damage problem is still needed. Thanks.

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