unspooler project

Have an upcoming job where we'll be spooling out several thousand feet of 1~1.5" HDPE duct and waterpipe.
Such arrives on big reels, typ up to 9' dia and 40+ wide, with a
3" dia. pivot hole. Weight up to 2500#. We need an unspooler.
Most places use a special trailer, but we lack same. We do have the use of a local large off-road forklift. (There's also a HD11 dozer, a smaller dozer, backhoe, road grader, a lowboy, a ditch-witch and other toys...)
So I am envisioning something like this.
Assume the forks are 5" wide, and 1.5" thick. (I'll get someone to measure them...)
Take 2" sq hollow rectangular stock, cut 6" long piece. Split it half lengthwise. Cut 5-6" piece of 3.5" ID pipe.
Weld the half-squares to pipe:
_______ _______ [ ]
where they are spaced apart to slide over the forks. Then drill/tap stock, or weld nut onto half-square so you can run bolt into fork, wedging in place.
To use: Straddle reel, slide on brackets, run 3" pipe through both brackets and reel. Lift and tighten bolt.
What say folks here... is there a better approach?
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On Fri, 29 Oct 2010 05:26:42 +0000, David Lesher wrote:

Forty FEET wide? How about a couple of sets of rollers; maybe big casters mounted upside-down, and rest the flanges of the spool on them?
You might need some mechanism to keep it centered.
Have Fun! Rich
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Sorry; the " unit got morphed in cyberspace. The reels are about forty inches wide.
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On Fri, 29 Oct 2010 18:33:31 +0000, David Lesher wrote:

Whew! ;-)
I've seen pipe like that made and spooled, but the only time I've seen anything get unspooled, the rig was already in place.
How about just an A-frame?
Or, if you're trenching, just roll the spool over the trench. ;-)
Cheers! Rich
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Does not work well at all- reel wants to roll at the rate the rim of the reel is going, but the pipe pays out at a considerable lag because it's smaller diameter than the part on the ground. Uncooperative (and 2500 lbs of uncooperative can get to killing in short order....not to mention that it will fall in and wedge in the trench.
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On Fri, 29 Oct 2010 19:45:12 -0400, Ecnerwal wrote:

Yeah - I was hoping with the winkie-smiley, I could forego the </joke> tag. ;-)
Thanks! Rich
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Ecnerwal wrote:

Or go rolling down a hill and kill someone.
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David Lesher wrote:

Get a piece of rectangular tubing to fit over one of the forks. Get a piece of round pipe to go through the spool and weld it to the rectangular tubing.
John
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John wrote:

It's interesting that I watched the crews build the Road Runner fiber optic internet backbone along the Central Florida highways around here for almost a month and never saw one fork lift. The first crew trenched and buried two colors of plastic conduit. (One for RR, the other for telephone). Another crew dug holes and installed the equipment vaults. The next crew pulled in the RR fiber, nd the next group installed the equipment and terminated the fiber.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

I guess they didn't have all the modern technology in Florida.
Learn to use what you have access to or have a big budget to buy or lease the stuff that is designed especially for the job at hand.
I designed and built a machine to lay cable when I had a job to run a 500 ft line to a new equipment building. It took me a day to build the machine out of scrap lying around and about 5 minutes to lay the cable and cover it.
John
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john wrote:

Find the company they hired and tell 'them' how to do their job.

Wow! 500 feet? You could have just rented a ditch wich for a little job like that. They built 'thousands' of miles with their method. That fiber backbone covers most of the US for all the cable TV companies that offer broadband.
What good is a forklift in an open ditch along a busy highway? The dirt was already soft, and there wasn't much room in the right of way. they trenched the area they were working, then backed the trailers off the road just ahead of where they were working and pulled it back to the previoous vault location including under driveways and side roads. The crew I talked to said it was down six feet or more, and that the bottom of the equipment vaults was a little over 12 feet below ground.
The tubing and fiber both had to be fed in as straight of a line as possible. The only place a forklift could have been used was on the highway.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

You have their address?

I was considering using a Ditch Witch but in very sandy soil the ditch will cave in and you get a mess. The machine I designed and built did several other projects too. I build the machine for installing wire to my own building.
> They built 'thousands' of miles with their method. That > fiber backbone covers most of the US for all the cable TV companies >that offer broadband. > I am sure that more than one company laid the cable and they all did not use the same exact method. With a six foot ditch if you don't use shoring OSHA will have a field day with you. The soil type determines the method of operation. South Florida is loaded with coral and can be a real problem digging trenches or even setting electric poles.
John
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John wrote:

That was over 10 years ago. They have moved on to some other part of the country, but if it bothers you so much, track them down. You think you know everything, so how hard can it be for you to get that information from RR?

Then you don't know how to use a ditch witch, or which version to do the job. The bigger versions will pull the conduit or pipe into the trench as it works. Watch one put a drain pipe to a septic tank some time. 12 feet deep and hundreds of feet is no problem for them. OTOH, if you have the smallest version that was made to put a phone or CATV wire 12 inches into the ground, it's hopeless.

Cites?

And Cincinnati requires dynamite to make holes for power & phone poles.
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This is literally "over the field and through the woods..."
The Prong looks interesting except the load will be WAY out there. I worry about CG.
I don't see I'll need to straddle the ditch as much as run parallel to it.
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David Lesher wrote:

Gee. That's why they use multi axle trailers instead of forklifts. The total weight is spread over a longer and wider base, with less weight per square inch on the tires. The forklift weighs a lot more than a trailer, and has a much smaller base. have you ever seen the results of someone rolling a forklift? It happened in Leesburg Floridda a few years ago, at one of the juice plants. There was another forklift accident at a company in Ocala that made mobile home window components. That accident closed the plant for good.
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wrote:

Then there's this - not caused by rolling, but a spectacular forklift fuckup nonetheless:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8ZmOgMlyRE

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Rather hard to change out reels....
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David Lesher wrote:

No kidding. It would likely take another forklift. That's why the pros use custom trailers. :)
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

You guys have obviously no knowledge of what is called a prong for forklifts used to move any type of roll or spool with a central hole.
http://www.bremco.com.au/product_info.php?cPath !_33&products_id7
With this device it is a one man operation to move cable rolls, no come-alongs no manual pushing and shoving. The cable can be held on the prong and unspooled or could be put on a trailer with the prong.
I suggested making a prong for the rough terrain forklift. The spool could be held over the ditch and cable played off the spool.
John
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John wrote:

Moving and safely unspooling with 0% damage are two very different things. We never had a forklift in the CATV business. Rolls of cable were rolled down a ramp by hand from the delivery trucks.
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