Cord Reels are a very popular method of electrification systems for the smaller capacity hoists and cranes. They offer an inexpensive method of bringing power to moving equipment and most models permit installation in the center of the track to double the effective length of the cord reel cable travel. Special reels are available for extreme lengths up to 500 feet or more and may be the only type of electrification for outside installation of Gantry cranes where standard overhead electrification systems have no method of support.
Large capacity reels with high amperage ratings, long lengths, or reels with many collector rings may be as expensive as more efficient conventional insulated conductor bar systems. Larger systems should be closely evaluated before choosing this type of electrification. Contrary to popular usage, cord reels may not be desirable for light weight electric hoists mounted on push type trolleys. The spring tension of the reel can pull the hoist back, even with light loads. Moving the hoist on the track can also be a struggle against the pull of the reel, particularly when the cable is near its extended length.