Many customers look at hoses as very low-tech and consequently many grounds keepers simply make their own replacement hose when they have a failure. Nothing is more convenient than to measure off a piece of hose, cut it, crimp on the couplings and replace the old hose.
But as with any replacement part, there are several reasons why Toro engineers specify different hoses on different machines for different applications Engineers have to consider:
- Surge loads
- Bend radius
- Material strength
Do you want to risk damaging the machine or leaking oil on the turf by saving some time? That's a lot of responsibility to accept.
Some maintenance shops do a good job of duplicating specified hoses but what usually happens is that "home-made" hoses ending up costing more time and money in the long run. For example, a 5/8" hose may be replaced with a 1/2" hose figuring that the diameters are close enough. But even that small difference can cause a restricted oil flow or may not be able to handle the back pressure which can result in a hose failure.
Another big issue with hoses is that they must be strong and durable since they are subject to a wide range of motion: From up and down to straight to compound curves to 180-degree bends.
Like any maintenance program, routine maintenance plays a big part on reducing hose failures. On most machines, Toro recommends replacing moving hoses every two years. To make it easy, Toro uses a single part number for ordering a Hose Replacement Kit that will include all the hoses for a particular model.
A lot of times hoses are cut a little longer than the original. If the hose is too long, it may bend in the wrong place or may kink.
A 2 or 3-wire hose may be replaced with a 4-wire hose. A 4-wire hose is stiffer and can't bend as well which could be critical in key areas on the machine and lead to hose failure.
Couplings are important elements on hoses as well. One of the biggest mistakes made is not using the right length couplings when making your own replacement hose. For example, an original 12-inch hose may be equipped with a 1" coupling on either end. Perhaps you may only have 2" couplings in stock and will use them on the ends of the hose. Here' the problem: Now a hose that was specified with 10 inches of flex only has 8 inches which could result in a blown hose.
Don't forget, O-rings need to be replaced every time a hose is changed to maintain a proper seal and prevent leaks.
Here are the key points when it comes to Genuine Toro Hydraulic Hoses:
Durability: Genuine Toro hydraulic hoses are made to stand up to chemicals, moisture, heat and ultraviolet light. Some replacement hoses don't have these same properties.
Specific Applications: Toro hoses are designed for specific applications. Will-fitters will spec generic replacement hoses that will not meet specific Toro standards. In addition, do-it-yourselfers may not know the specifications to make a hose that will meet all the criteria for a specific application.