Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why you should be aware of your internal commercial aluminum flagpole cable assembly

Beautiful Saturday morning, FlagRunners were called out to help fix a 75 ft. commercial aluminum internal cable system flagpole (EC70IH Deluxe Internal Halyard 70' Satin Aluminum Flagpole) in Highland, Indiana. No matter what system you use to fly your flags, some preventative maintenance can go a long way for your flagpole and flag life. Some weeks ago, the stainless steel aircraft cable holding the 20 ft. by 30 ft. US Nylon Flag snapped at the top of this massive commercial aluminum flagpole.

"We heard a loud pop and all the sudden the flag dropped straight to the ground and over the highway out front." The manager explained, "We ran outside and stopped traffic, pulling the flag in as fast as we could."

So what happened?
Lets start by talking about the cable assembly. Your standard cable assembly consists of stainless steel aircraft cable attached to a self-locking winch one one side (at the base) and travels through the center (or internal) shaft of the flagpole, up through the truck/pulley and is finished with a crash ball, crimp, thimble, swivel connector and quick link. All of these parts can be purchased separately to either build your assembly, or repair you assembly.

While all the drama of a 20 ft. x 30 ft. US Nylon Flag falling across a highway may last all of a few minutes, this story actually started years ago. It began with the hardware of the flagpole. 1/8" thick internal stainless steel aircraft cable is used to hold this flag on the flagpole. But the strength of the cable itself becomes compromised at certain contact points (click here). In this video, FlagRunners show you how to restrengthen the cable by removing the warn out cable section without having to buy a new internal cable assembly for your commercial aluminum flagpole.

What do we recommend?
Take a look at your flagpole. If you notice a problem or if a problem already exists, don't just try and fix it with a piece of hardware layout around (like a hasp nut in this video). Use the Flagpole Finder tool to find your flagpole. See the "Included Accessories" section to know the exact parts you need. See if it makes more since to buy the parts new or if it makes more since to repair.

In the case of fixing a cable assembly, you will need a crimping tool. These can be very expensive, but you can also rent them for a reasonable price. Better to repair now when you can raise and lower the flag, than later, when you need a lift.