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Cable Protectors

How to Protect Coaxial and Fiber Optic Cables from Damage


Many of our customers use coax cables and fiber optics for communication, and these two types of cables are notoriously more fragile than they seem.

Common damage to coaxial cables is caused by:

  • A well-placed high heel, which exerts an enormous amount of PSI
  • Creep deformation from repeated stress or pressure, such as foot or vehicle traffic
  • Crimping due to excessive bending
  • Improper coiling techniques
  • A hard knock from any heavy object
  • Age of the cable
  • Water or moisture damage
  • Heat above 150 degrees, which can compromise the protective coating
  • Connector damage due to loose soldering, blunt force trauma, tarnishing
Coaxial Cables
Spools with coax cables on cellular compound

Common damage to fiber optic cables is caused by:

  • Excessive bending or deforming, which can crack or break the core
  • Animals chewing on the cables
  • Heavy vehicles driving or parking on the cables
  • Vandalism
  • Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, exposing buried cables
Fiber Optic Cables
Fiber Optic Cables
A fibre-optic cable drum and orange pipes for fiber optics in a large city road construction to connect high speed internet

Cable guards keep fragile cables protected and out of sight

Dropover cable guards are convenient for indoor applications, however fully-enclosed cable protectors are better suited for heavier-duty outdoor applications where vehicles and equipment will be passing over cable set-ups on job sites or other temporary work areas.

Case Study: Cox Communications

Steve Mieska from Cox Communications, faced a difficult challenge: how to move a 150-ton truck across an area covered with expensive and delicate cables without damaging the cables?

The obvious choice would be to cut the power, disconnect the cables and move them. Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, as is often the case in jobsite situations, that just wasn’t possible due to time and cost constraints at the worksite. We all know that slowing down production always increases costs and headaches.

Elasco MG5200 Five-Channel Cable Protector
Elasco MG5200 Five-Channel Cable Protector

The solution was the Elasco MG5200 Cable Protector, a solid-cast polyurethane cable protector designed to withstand vehicle and pedestrian traffic of all types while protecting the cables passing through the internal channels.

Steve later said, “After the 150-ton truck rolled across the ramps, the portion of the cable that was within the channels was unharmed…we were thoroughly impressed as neither the cables or cable protectors were damaged. We feel comfortable that whenever needed in the future, we will use Elasco Products cable guards to protect our coaxial and fiber optic cables.”

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