Get longevity out of your boom hose!
We are all in business for one reason – to make money. Making money on the job site is only part of the program though. You can also make money by saving money! As the old saying goes, “If you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.” This simply means that maintenance equals less downtime and less downtime equals more opportunity to make money.
I’d like to talk about what I’ve done to get longevity out of our boom hoses. We all know this hose is expensive, ranging anywhere from $20 to $40 a foot or more. So, how do we make boom hoses last longer to get our money’s worth?
From my experiences, this is how:
Turn your boom hose 1/4 every month. When your boom hose is hanging from your boom arm, the debris going into your tank is constantly hitting the same portions of your hose. This constant “sandblasting” will slowly, but surely wear these spots thin eventually causing it to tear and split. Also, the bends created from being cradled in your boom arm, can form “memory” in the hose making it harder to rotate. So, moving it periodically will alleviate this problem as well.
TIP: By turning the boom hose 1/4 turn every month, you’re allowing even wear inside the hose.
Here is the easiest way I have found to do this:
Un-rack the boom arm and swing it out to the side of the truck and remove your dig tube (if still attached). Scope the boom arm out to full extension and then lower it down pulling the end of the hose away from the truck so it stretches out as much as possible. Do not lower it so that it pinches the hose against the floor.
Go up top (wear your proper fall protection!) and simply relax the clap at the rock head. Leave it loosely attached around the hose flange to help hold it in place and prevent it from sliding down the boom arm. With help from other co-workers, work in unison to turn the tube a quarter-turn. You can mark it with a felt pen for reference if needed. This may take a bit of force because the tube has formed to the bend from the last time it had any attention.
Some tricks to making this easier include using a chain wrench with rags stuffed under it so it will not mark the hose. Also, using a heavy ratchet strap around the hose with the ratchet handle as your lever works too.
Done! It’s that simple!
A few minutes once a month and you will increase the life of your boom hose, therefore saving you money.
TIP: If you really want to get even more life from your boom hose, I suggest that you take the hose off your truck every 6 months and switch it end for end. The end that you were attaching your dig tube to will now be the end at the rock head.
You can do this with most Hydrovac trucks manufactured in North America, so this is definitely not brand specific.
Following a few simple tricks like this will make sure you don’t get “hosed” on costly repairs and down time.
Tanks and dig on!