When faced with overwhelming choices and a short timeline to get a machine built, it’s no surprise that mistakes can be made when specifying and buying hoses.
- Don’t buy on price alone. One of the most common mistakes we see is when customers consider only the price of the hose when making a selection. Hose pricing can vary rather dramatically, which can add to the confusion and lead customers to either select the cheapest option, or choose a hose with a middle-of-the-road price without realizing what they are getting. A standard product will likely be the cheapest option, but would it be worth it to buy a premium product if it provided two times the lifespan? What if it provided five times the life span compared to the standard hose? Suddenly, it’s not all about price.
Abrasion considerations. Another mistake is to buy a hose without considering the most common causes of hose failure. The first is abrasion. Look at your machine design—is your hose at an elevated risk for abrasion? If so, look at options for adding abrasion resistance to help the hose last longer.
- Take care not to over- or underestimate covers. Covers can be another potential mistake for many buyers. Covers typically come in levels—good, better, best—and there’s a lot of variation between and within the levels. Can you reduce costs by buying a standard hose and paring it with a premium cover? Maybe, but the combination will not match the lifespan of the premium hose. If your application needs the protection of a cover, it might be worth it to spring for the premium product, which may not need as much additional protection.
- Don’t risk losing warranty guarantees. Finally, not considering the warranty can be a big mistake on the buyer’s part. It’s not uncommon to see hoses mixed and matched with fittings from a variety of manufacturers. This is sometimes cost driven, but frequently, it’s a timing issue. A customer needs to replace a hose or fitting as quickly as possible—if the right hose or fitting isn’t immediately available, they might choose something that will work in the moment just to get the machine back up and running. This can cause leakage, leading to downtime and maintenance costs. Depending on the manufacturer, a warranty might be available on the assembly, but is typically valid only if the hose and fittings in the assembly are both from the same manufacturer.
Ultimately, selecting the right hose can be a struggle, but knowing what you need to consider can help cut through the immense number of options. By selecting the right hose from the outset, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can help customers optimize their investments and lower the cost of ownership. Avoiding maintenance and warranty issues also helps improve the bottom line of the OEM, while maximizing the number of usable hours on the machine.
This content was provided by Eric Durrant, senior global product manager, Hydraulics Business, Eaton. For more information, visit Eaton.com/hose.