What are standard cable drums weights and dimensions?

Cable drums come in many different sizes and weights depending somewhat on the materials they are made of. Usually materials include plywood, timber, plastic or metal, depending on the weight and type of cable they are expected to support and whether they are designed to be reusable and/or returnable. Additionally, the choice of material for the drums may depend on whether the drums and cables are being stored indoors or outdoors.

Drum sizes are typically determined by the flange height or drum diameter (D), the drum barrel or drum core (d), the width of the drum (B), and the inside width (b). See the diagram below for typical timber drums used by Eland Cables.

Drum size diagram & table

How should electrical cable drums be stored?

The appropriate storage of cable drums and the electrical cable it contains will depend on both the type of drum and whether or not the cable itself is designed for indoor or outdoor use. The following points should be noted:

  • - Plywood drums are not suitable for outside storage unless protected from moisture.
  • - Wooden drums are not suitable for long-term storage outdoors unless protected from moisture.
  • - Cable drums should be stored on firm and well-drained ground.
  • - Cable should be covered from direct sunlight.
  • - Protective lagging or covering should be used to protect against UV and weathering effects.
  • - Any cable stored outdoors should be sealed to protect from water ingress.
  • - Cables should be protected from mechanical damage.
  • - Drums should be stored on their edges and never on the flanges.
  • - Drums should be secured and prevented from rolling into one another, causing damage due to misalignment.

Correct Cable Drum Handling

Incorrect Cable Drum Handling

Cable Drum Storage - from the top

(Source: BS8512 is the British Standard for code of practice for handling, installation and disposal of cables on wooden drums.)

Return to FAQs

Icon - Cable

Cable Portfolio

View our comprehensive range of power, data, control and instrumentation cables and accessories

Icon - Lab Black

Cable Testing

Read more on the different tests we conduct in our Cable Laboratory

the Tests
Case Studies Icon

Case Studies

Read about some of the projects we've worked on, spanning all industries

Read on