When a new office design is in its initial stages, it is critical to consider proper handling of utilities, power water and cabling inside the walls and ceiling. For cabling, it is necessary to use hooks to hold the cables above the drop ceiling. When the installation of cable involves large numbers of cables traversing lengthy expanses, it is normal to install cable ladder trays up in the ceiling to carry the bulk of the cable along the main corridors of the office. Cable ladders vary in quality and cable handling capabilities. The amount of cable and the budget of the project will determine the type of cable ladder that will be built.
A higher quality cable ladder will, in the long run, save time and money during the installation phase of a cabling project. The alternative to a cable tray is to install cable conduit. Considerations in choosing to use a cable ladder tray system include the following:
- Safety Features
- Space Savings
- Cost Savings
- Design Cost Savings
- Material Cost Savings
- Installation Cost & Time Savings
- Maintenance Savings
I was inspired to write this article because we are currently working on a project that includes a cable tray that was installed by the general contractor. They settled on using basket tray for the cable ladder. Basket tray is for supporting cable in the subfloor of a data center. It can also be installed as a cantilevered solution along a wall. It is ideal in situations where you are laying the cable. It is not designed to enable pulling cable from below because the basket design does not leave large enough openings from below. They also cut the basket tray with bolt cutters and left some very sharp edges. It is going to require more effort to secure the cable within the tray and the sharp edges have damaged some of our cable which requires pulling new cables.
Unfortunately, their savings is our loss. So, we have to work with what they put in but in the future we will need to be more careful in assisting our clients in making sure that the general contractor uses cable ladder tray and that they install it properly.