Ideas That Work: Cheap Roller System and Ditching Metal Shavings

Every month, we pick the top Ideas That Work submitted by you, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers. These ideas can't be found in any code or guidebook and are only learned or devised through years of experience and thinking, "There's got to be a better way to do this!" Please remember, the ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety standards have been fully adhered to.

Now, without further ado, here are this issue's Ideas That Work!

‘Slick’ rollers

I have an idea related to the moving of large electrical equipment. Due to severe headroom constraints along the ingress path on a project, my supervisor proposed that we use lengths of ¼-inch-diameter slick rod as a roller system. Slick rod is commonly available because it is used in great quantity to support overhead conduit and boxes. By carefully levering up one side of the gear, we easily placed several lengths of slick rod under a section of switchgear. The rods’ small diameter allows for complete control of the load at all times. Now you can easily push the gear along smooth concrete, moving rollers to the front as they are ejected from the rear.

Anthony Basso
Half Moon
Bay, Calif.

Idea Igniter

This month’s Ideas That Work winner responded to our June Idea Igniter about large electrical equipment. Now, we are looking for innovative ways to eliminate or reduce metal shavings. This is a common problem we have in the electrical industry. The shavings can create issues such as eye injuries, damage to electrical equipment and costly time spent during cleanup. We are looking for ways to reduce or eliminate metal shavings and for best practices to contain metal shavings when necessary.

Anton and Jesse Mikec

IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA that has saved you time or money on the job, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR ­readers would like to hear about it. Be sure to include a good photo of your idea—hand sketches are often hard to interpret. Note that some similar ideas are submitted by more than one person. In these cases, the one that is more clearly written and includes a photo is given precedence. Send your letter and photo to Ideas Editor, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5372, e-mail, or use the online submission tool at


Each published author in Ideas That Work receives a $50 American Express gift card from ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. In addition, each month’s FIRST PLACE winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Zoro, to be used at

DISCLAIMER: The ideas presented in this article are for consideration only. Before using such ideas, make sure codes and safety issues have been fully adhered to. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR disclaims any liability from your use of these or any other ideas. ­ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR reserves the right to reprint the words herein at its discretion.

About the Author

Anton Mikec

Ideas That Work Editor
Anton Mikec is the Ideas That Work editor for Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact him at .

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