Hose reels are a relatively simple piece of machinery. However, the individual mechanisms within each reel are what individualize each reel. You can find a reel built specific to any industry or application – the possibilities are truly endless. In the event that a reel manufacturer does not carry a reel model tailored to your exact needs, a custom-built solution, available by some manufacturers, can be implemented to meet your exact needs.
There are several different specifications that you will need to know prior to requesting a custom reel:
- Product to be handled (water, air, gas)
- Temperature and pressure of product
- ID, OD, and length of the hose
- Size and thread of the outlet
- Finish type and color
- A variety of optional accessories/upgrades: hose stops, guide rollers, etc.
Custom reels can even be built to accommodate:
- High-pressure hoses
- Large diameter hoses
- Heavy duty hoses and cables
- Multi-hose cable lines
Above all else, collaboration with the customer is the most vital step in the custom design process.
It may sound obvious, but before contacting a reel manufacturer, do your best to gather as much information as possible and have a detailed idea of exactly what you want your hose reel to accomplish, and in which specific environment.
In a nutshell – the best path to getting the perfect reel combines both collaborative problem solving and independent contemplation with the manufacturer’s internal engineering team, to produce a strong, practical, beautifully designed product.
When purchasing an industrial strength hose, cord, or cable reel, it may come as a surprise that many of the big-name manufacturers do not sell direct. It is all too common to be referred to a local or online distributor. This may seem like a hassle at first, but there are actually many advantages to purchasing through a distributor to include flexibility, lower overhead, and better sales support.
Distributors are in the business of being competitive, especially when working with manufacturers that sell directly. As a result, sales costs are generally transferred from the manufacturer to the distributor, not added. Because the distributor can spread the costs of these value added services across a wide inventory, the total cost to you ends up being much lower than if you purchased directly.
Another clear advantage of purchasing through a distributor is they are able to maintain extremely low overhead costs, directly translating to lower costs for the customer. Because distributors do not have the need to maintain expensive equipment, machines, and supplies, they are able to maintain lower overhead costs than manufacturers.
An additional advantage that distributors offer is the ability to choose products from a multitude of competing manufacturers. This ensures you’re getting the best product for your specific, unique needs at a competitive price.
Lastly, distributors can offer better customer service and sales support than manufacturers can, sell in smaller quantities, and allow the ability to mix and match products from different manufacturers. What is often overlooked is the high level of support distributors can offer across the board. Manufacturers specialize in engineering and production, but can lack the personal touch and understanding of support that distributors are built on.
Purchasing a hose reel and/or reel accessory through a distributor may seem like an unnecessary inconvenience; however, distributors are disguised with value-added offers and benefits. It is well worth the additional step.
Metals are an incredibly versatile material – they are both strong and flexible. However, if used improperly or in a potentially hazardous environment, they can become surprisingly fragile. When it comes to metals, saltwater locations are among the most unforgiving due to the inevitability of corrosion.
What causes corrosion? Corrosion occurs when metal atoms react with their environment. Rusting is a common form of corrosion, created when iron reacts with oxygen molecules to form iron oxide.
Salt water speeds this process by forming an electrolyte solution. Metal does not even have to be fully immersed for this process to take place, as increased humidity and salt spray can provide the necessary electrolyte contacts for corrosion. Even exposure to the air alone can be enough to corrode some metals, like steel. This is because in all but the very driest climates, there is enough moisture in the air to accelerate the process of corrosion.
What is the best method to prevent corrosion? In especially harsh environments, such as marine and other salt water areas, choosing the right metal for your machines is crucial.
For hose, cord, and cable reels, stainless steel offers varying levels of corrosion protection. Like all steel, stainless steel is mostly iron, but it also contains nickel and chromium. These are not just a protective coating, but are melted into the steel itself. The mixture must contain at least ten percent chromium, because it is the chromium that protects stainless steel from corrosion. As long as there is sufficient chromium present, the chromium oxide layer will continue to protect the stainless steel and prevent it from rusting.
Corrosion is a frustrating process that we have been fighting for as long as we have been using metals for machinery. By choosing the right type of stainless steel for your hose reel, you will have very little hassle maintaining your hose reels’ durability for years to come, especially near harsh salt water environments.
"Buy American!" might sound like nothing more than a slogan advanced by American manufacturers to sell products made in the USA, but the truth is that there are many reasons to consider buying American-made products:
SAFETY – Foreign labor standards are often subpar to American labor and safety laws. When you purchase foreign products, you could be indirectly supporting unsafe working conditions or possibly child laborers.
SUPPORTING THE US ECONOMY – Profit earned from orders shipped abroad rarely benefit the American economy. When you buy products made in the USA, you help keep the American economy going and growing by keeping your dollars here working for you!
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION - US manufacturing processes are typically cleaner for the environment than some in other countries. Many products sold that are produced in other countries are manufactured using dangerous, heavily polluting processes and chemicals.
FAIR WAGES - Many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low. The United States is one of the few countries with regulated wages.
FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE - The huge US trade deficit leads to massive, unsustainable borrowing from other countries. When you purchase domestically made products, you are actively helping to reduce the US’s trade deficit!
HIGHER QUALITY – Many people specifically look to purchase overseas in order to obtain lower pricing. In order to provide these products at lower prices, many overseas suppliers use lower quality products.
SECURE FUTURE - It's not always just about finding the lowest price. It's about keeping jobs here in America and our ability to provide for ourselves and our families.
We all can help America’s economic problems is in our own backyard. The answer is: buy American.
The reel industry is established and well developed, with reels maintaining their fundamental design for over 60 years. As with any long-standing industry, trends cycle and response can be slow. For the last few years the major trends seen in the reel market have been a demand for quality and a drive toward increasingly specialized products.
With the ever increasing influx of imported products, the market saturation with lower quality goods is growing and people are noticing the difference. There is now a consistent trend of users who demand high quality, well designed and manufactured products. As a result, product development is trending more toward product improvement in terms of reliability and quality rather than the drive for cost reduction, as is the focus of many companies.
The other trend being seen in the marketplace is the desire for application-specific products. Where in the past it was common place for the customer to use a generic reel for most applications, we are finding more and more that customers desire small adaptations specific to their application. Customers are demanding personalization and customization as the line between consumer and creator continues to blur.
More than ever in the past, customers wish to have their individual needs and whishes considered in any business relationship, and converted into products and services that address those needs and whishes effectively. Recent customer trends in the reel industry are indicating that end users are willing to pay a little more for their reel in exchange for higher quality, often custom products. Overall, quality reel products are catching consumers’ attention now more so than ever. Understanding that the service provided to the customer will remain in the customer’s mind long after the product he’s purchased has run its course is key to success in the industry.
Brass as a construction material is an alloy primarily composed of copper and zinc. Brass hose fittings are in high demand because of many inherent properties which make them superior to other materials (for example: stainless steel).
Brass is the best fitting option for hose reels for a multitude of reasons. Let’s examine a few of the most relevant examples:
· Brass offers excellent corrosion resistance from both water and heat and resists attacks from salt water, which is perfect for those reels used in close vicinity to salt water.
· The brass metal is relatively soft and the texture of the metal provides for a tight seal with every application and ease of installation upon first use.
· Copper fittings are an obvious competitor; however, brass fittings for your hose reels offer the very same advantages, only with a heavier wall for added strength and durability.
· Many hose reel users believe that brass fittings are best for uses strictly involved in water, commercial plumbing, and OEM applications, but it is also commonly used in oil, gas, and steam applications. Brass fittings are much more diverse than they are often given credit for.
· Many OEM’s are making the switch from traditional iron and galvanized fittings to brass due to the longevity, durability, and superior corrosion resistance.
Overall, brass hose reel fittings outlast others commonly used and do not gall when being screwed together or unscrewed. Brass fittings for your hose reel have proven to be amongst the most effective available for industrial use. Careful consideration should go into selecting the best and most reliable hose reel fittings. A proper fitting choice will not only enhance the efficiency of your hose reel, it will also undoubtedly extend the life of the device.
For getting large quantities of water to a fire, a fire hose reel is indispensable. Easily bridging large distances up to 30 meters can make the difference between minimal damage and bankruptcy. The saying, “do more with less” is most certainly not applicable when discussing safety and organization in our fire stations. When lives are at stake, the right apparatus can make all the difference.
Responding to a distress call within the community and accurately responding in a timely and organized manner is crucial to the success of our fire departments. Firefighters and the communities they serve will find comfort knowing that the fire department is equipped to deal with any kind of emergency at any time – the proper hose and cord reels are most certainly not an exception.
Hose reels are used for a multitude of different applications in the fire department, including but not limited to: power cord hose reels to charge the electronics on the fire rescue vehicles, air hose reels to fill the tire on rescue vehicles, and reels mounted to the walls to assist with wash down procedures inside and outside of the station.
Hose reels provide an invaluable measurement of safety in fire stations and rescue vehicles. Fire fighters are under massive amounts of pressure in emergency situations and the proper reels equipped on and off the trucks provide the necessary safety and organization required to reduce the stress level in an emergency situation. Ensuring firefighters have the latest quality reels enhancing safety and fire station organization is critical to the maintenance of fire apparatus.
One concern when purchasing industrial machinery is the safety of the equipment. No one wants to buy (or sell) a product that has the potential to malfunction and harm the operator or manufacturer. Because of this concern, various organizations have been created to ensure the safety of products. UL’s (Underwriters Laboratories) standards and certifications are universally recognized as important indicators of product safety and reliability. The vigorous tests conducted by UL Laboratories are essential to helping ensure public safety and confidence, reduce costs, and improve quality of market products and services. Millions of products and their components are tested to UL's rigorous safety standards with the result that consumers live in a safer environment than they would have otherwise.
Specifically discussing reels utilized for electrical purposes, safety is an utmost concern. It is extremely beneficial for any power cord reels to include a UL stamp of approval. UL Laboratories will test power cord reels for deficiencies such as fire and shock hazards, incorrect or missing markings, or misapplied components.
When a reel manufacturer sends their electrical products and accessories to be tested with Underwriters Laboratories, you can be certain that returning, approved products will meet necessary safety requirements. A UL listing also signifies a manufacturer’s commitment to the safety of users. The commitment to the customer should never end after the finalization of a product purchase.
Hose reels not only save wear and tear on hoses, extend hose life, but also save time in deployment and retracting. It is incredibly important to choose the correct reel for the application at hand, but it is also important to secure the best accessories to achieve maximum efficiency. Guide rollers are an increasingly sought upon option for manual and motorized hose reels.
The primary purpose of a hose guide is to help direct the hose both off and back on to the reel. A hose guide helps keep the hose on the spool during rewinding. There are several types of hose guides available. Some incorporate rollers, while others do not. A level wind feature actually guides the hose back onto the reel in a hands-free manner but is usually not used on manual rewind hose reels.
Spring driven reels often feature four-way guide rollers. Large frame reels do not usually ship with guide rollers, but they are available. The guide rollers greatly reduce friction and extend the life of the hose. They also soften the transition the hose makes in the event that it is pulled at a sharp angle. Hose guides serve additional purposes as well. They have also been known to turn into more of a grab handle for the user to hold onto while rolling the hose back onto the reel.
There is no question that trips, falls, and other workplace injuries are still common even in the most heavily regulated work environments. All different types of workplaces utilize hoses and cords for any number of applications, each one carrying potential safety risks. Fortunately, hose reels provide an invaluable opportunity to significantly minimize the workplace hazards created by unmaintained hoses and cords. A hose reel will most certainly be a positive addition to any workplace. However, there are vital features to look for when purchasing a hose reel and these features have the potential to significantly reduce the possibility of workplace injury and may even save a life. One of the most important factors in maintaining a hazard-free workplace is to ensure your reel is operating at a safe rewind speed.
Reels are designed to properly and effectively store and maintain hoses and cords in commercial industrial settings, as well as many types of service trucks and work trucks. Many users overlook the most important benefit hose reels have to offer: operator safety.
Traditionally when conventional spring driven hose reels are used in the workplace, there have always been instances where the operator will pull the hose from the hose reel, lock it off, use it and when finished retract it in an uncontrollable fashion not following safety practices. Unless carefully controlled by the user at all times, there is the tendency for hoses to retract at an unsafe speed, especially is the hose is under significant tension. In this situation, there is also the possibility of the hose whipping around and potentially damaging nearby equipment, the reel itself, or even injuring personnel.
If you are looking for the safest way to retract hoses at your workplace, always consider a reel with a built in safety system that ensures the reel retracts at a safe and steady pace. This feature acts as the ultimate control for hose, cord, and cable whip hazards and will increase productivity and safety in any conceivable application. After all, who isn’t in the market for a safer and more productive work environment?