When buying hydraulic hoses for your equipment, the best bet is to follow the OEM guidelines and install exactly what the manufacturer recommends. However, depending on the operating conditions your system runs under and the environmental conditions it faces, you may occasionally need to stray from these guidelines.
In any case, if you want to support optimal equipment efficiency and performance while also maximizing hose life, you will need to make sure you get all of the following hose parameters exactly right.
Diameter: Because a hose that is too thin will increase the flow rate and a hose that is too fat will reduce the flow rate, obviously you need the exact right diameter of hose to achieve the flow rate your system was designed for. If you need to adjust the flow rate—perhaps to run equipment faster or help with overheating issues—don’t use your hoses to do it.
Length: Hose length is another factor you need to get just right. You don’t want to have to stretch a short hose to connect two components as this will stress the hose and cause it to fail faster. You don’t want to have too much play in the hose either, as this will allow for excessive vibration, possible abrasion against other parts of the system, and even over-bending of hoses, all of which can contribute to early hose failure.
Temperature Rating: When a hydraulic system runs outside its normal temperature range, the hoses can suffer. They may harden or crack. The effect is worse when the system is too hot for the hose to handle because plasticizers leach out of the hose faster at high temperatures. Be sure to buy hoses that match that ACTUAL operating temperature range of your equipment, which may not be the same as what the OEM said.
Pressure Capacity: Hoses must be able to withstand not only the standard operating pressure of the system, but also any pressure spikes that might occur. A good rule of thumb is to buy a hose that can handle 300 to 500 more psi than you think you need.
Resistances: Some hydraulic systems operate in very rugged or dirty environments, and can expose hoses to damage from chemicals, fire, excessive abrasion, UV rays, etc. Be sure the hydraulic hoses you buy have features to protect them against whichever of these threats may be relevant.
When you buy hydraulic hose direct from a manufacturer, it comes on a reel. This is great if you want to have a large stock of hose on hand for those frequent hose replacements, but it’s not ideal when you need a fast hose replacement. You can save a lot of time and hassle by getting your hoses from a hydraulic parts provider like Bernell Hydraulics. We will cut and crimp your hoses for you so they’re ready to use. If you need a lot of hoses replaced at once, or want to reroute your hoses to better protect against wear, we can even create a custom hose assembly.