DLO Cable: Diesel Locomotive Wire and Cable

DLO Cable, or diesel locomotive cable, is a flexible single conductor copper cable used in motor and power leads. DLO cable can also be used to wire diesel locomotives, transit and railroad cars, oil and gas drilling rigs, telecom power supply, storage batteries and various types of earth moving machinery. Standard DLO Cable carries a (2KV) 2000 volt rating. It is rated at 90 degrees Celsius. Sizes range from 10awg to 1111 MCM.

DLO cable is resistant to oils, acids, alkalies and heat. It has excellent impact and abrasion resistance. Combine these factors with its high strand count making for high flexibility it is a very popular product used frequently in many types of mines including coal, gold, diamond and copper.

Diesel locomotive cable is approved by MSHA (www.msha.gov) which is the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Your DLO cable should always have MSHA printed on the cable. DLO insulation is typically a thermoset compound either EPDM or EPR. The jacket is also thermoset with the most popular constructions being CSPE or CPE for it. To the layman, it looks and feels like rubber. A key difference from DLO cable over other mining cords and welding cables is its conductors are tin coated copper. This provides an additional protection of corrosion resistance. Another important note is that sizes 1/0 and larger are CT (cable tray) rated on DLO. This means you can legally add this product to cable tray when it is 1/0 or larger in size. DLO cable is rarely found in any jacket color other than black.

DLO Cable Tips to Think About before You Buy:


You can identify the size someone needs if you know the ampacities required for the job. For example, if you require 420 amps to power your machine, you would want a DLO cable at least as large as 4/0.If your job requires additional voltage (over 600 volts), MSHA rating or increased flexibility that a welding cable can’t provide, DLO is the better option.

If you need additional corrosion resistance for your copper conductors, you should consider using the tin coated DLO product over a similar single conductor mining cord such as a Type W which has many of the same construction and ratings as a DLO cable. However, DLO cable can be an expensive option. The high strand copper count gives it its flexibility but that increases the cost and so does the process of applying the tin coating to the conductors.

In addition, the thermoset insulation and jacket are more expensive to manufacturer than most thermoplastics.