Is Using a Remote Racking Device Safer than Racking Manually?

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Is Using a Remote Racking Device Safer than Racking Manually?

While teaching a course recently, I discussed some of the remote racking devices.

One of the students expressed concern whether the automatic devices have a clutch that can detect when there is increased resistance attempting to rack in the breaker. The student commented that one of the good things about manual racking is you can feel if there is a problem and immediately back out the breaker. He was concerned that an automatic unit would just keep racking the breaker which might lead to an electric arc. Is there any validity to his concerns? Also, is there feedback while racking to detect any problems?


All the designs we at e-Hazard have seen on the market have a clutch that clicks out and will not turn when you reach the amount of torque it is set for.  

Some of these are more sophisticated than others.  Some are computer controlled and programmed for the breakers in your plant.  Others have changeable settings you determine. But all we have seen do have a clutch.  I don’t know if any have warning lights.  I’d have to ask each manufacturer. 

The beauty is, they do have a clutch! It does take expertise to set up for the remove for the switchgear. But IF you blow up the switchgear, you don’t have a dead or badly burned employee AND burned up switchgear.

Check out remote operation by checking with your switchgear manufacturer or check out the devices on the market like CBS ArcSafeEaton Remote Racker, GE Industrial Remote Racking, Schneider Remote Racking Solutions, Seimens Remote Racking, ABB Remote Racking.

We don’t endorse any of the above, just providing info for your research.


Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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    Mindi Talley

    Thanks for the inclusion! My company manufacturers the inoRAC Universal Remote Racking device, which measures torque and breaker position throughout the entire racking process. We developed this technology to not only eliminate the risk for personnel, but to protect expensive equipment from damage. See the video here:

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