Hydraulic hose cuts downtime in forestry equipment

Nov. 9, 2012
Tough hydraulic hose and covers help eliminate damage and malfunction, reducing downtime for forestry machinery.

Other than construction and bad driving, one of the most common things seen on the highway is broken down cars. It’s unfortunate for the stranded drivers, but a little bit of cash and a few hours of downtime is likely all they’ll have to forfeit to have an operational car again.

Forestry machinery, which is often used in extreme environments, requires tough, long-lasting hydraulic hose that can be changed out quickly and easily on-site.

In the forestry industry, however, a few hours of downtime with a stationary machine in the middle of the woods can result in thousands of dollars in losses. In an industry where uptime means everything and quality equipment is vital, companies look for the most reliable components for their logging machinery.

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural, construction and forestry machines sought to decrease downtime due to hose damage and malfunction on its tracked feller buncher and harvester forestry machines. The Hose Products Division of Parker Hannifin offered a line of hoses that proved ideal for this company’s forestry efforts.

Staying tough on the job
Parker’s Tough Cover (TC) and Super Tough (ST) covers have demonstrated strong functionality in logging machinery, including tracked feller bunchers and harvesters. Parker hose covers provide abrasion protection that can withstand 80 (TC) to 450 (ST) times the abrasion of a standard rubber cover, which is important due to the substantial amount of component movement within these machines.

Switching to Parker’s Compact Spiral and Tough Cover hose assemblies helped one of the world’s largest forestry machinery makers to increase hose life and reduce machine downtime.

The tracked feller buncher and harvester forestry machines use Parker’s 721TC 4-wire spiral hose in their hydraulic systems. The 721TC hose is notable for its durability, matching up to nature’s harshest elements and operating in temperatures ranging from –40° to 257°F (–40° to 125°C).

The 721TC hose is one-half the bend radius of standard SAE 100R12 hose, making it easy to install and ideal for the constant flexing and dynamic system application. While less durable standard hoses are available, combined use with a TC or ST cover increases hose life, which can reduce downtime in the field.

Easy installation for quick changeout
Hose assembly failure in forestry equipment is frequently the result of falling timber and other foreign objects causing damage rather than product malfunctions. As a result, Compact Spiral hose is often used in forestry applications because its reduced weight and flexibility make it easier to install as compared to industry standard spiral hose. Typically, one person can complete a replacement installation in less time and with less effort than it takes to replace a standard spiral hose.

Compact Spiral hose is tested to 2 million impulse cycles, which is two times the ISO 18752-DC standard and four times the SAE requirement. This equates to significantly longer service life in nearly all applications.

Despite superior performance and ease of installation, hydraulic hose may still be damaged in tough forestry conditions. For these extreme applications, accessories such as guards and sleeving are employed over the hose cover.

Preventing contamination is key
Contamination within a hydraulic system is a significant cause of downtime. Many OEM customers require or specify stringent system cleanliness levels that apply to hydraulic hoses as well. A preventative measure employed by Parker for forestry equipment manufacturers is the Ultra Clean system, which uses a burst of air to flush a Styrofoam pellet through the hose assembly at a high speed to remove contaminants and debris. Users with extreme cleanliness requirements may also request a solvent flush, which is also available, meeting ISO spec 4405 and ISO spec 4406.

Choosing the right hose is always important, but in the extreme conditions of forestry applications, it’s imperative to ensuring decreased downtime and related costs.

With the use of Parkers’ TC hose along with the special abrasion resistant hose sleeve, hose life can be extended by years when compared to standard cover hose. Replacing a hose in a remote location can take several hours so the use of this abrasion resistant system can save the forestry customer many thousands of dollars in savings through downtime reduction.

To learn more about Parker’s family of hoses for machines and equipment in the harsh forestry environment, visit

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