Collapsible Hose or Hard Hose - The User's Chocie
Operators typically prefer lighter weight collapsible hose. This is particularly significant when more than 100 feet of hose is needed. It is not uncommon for a jobsite to require more than 150 feet of hose. Multiple sections of hose can be coupled together to reach the farthest point on a job site and lightweight hose is usually preferable.
A clear water hose flush system on a machine can pump clear water through the hose at any time. Whenever hose is pulled out or reeled in, an empty hose is lightweight and easy to handle. Flushing with clear water also eliminates any possibility of hose clogging.
Hard hose (non-collapsible) allows a machine to be equipped with a live hose reel*. An amount of hose can be unwound and the pumping of mulch can begin with some of the hose still wrapped on the reel. This is certainly convenient. The mulch slurry flows through the piping of the reel and into the hose. Another advantage of hard hose is that it is more durable than collapsible hose and less likely to kink.
On the negative side, hard hoses are heavy. When full of mulch, a 1½” hard hose will weigh about 175 pounds per 100 feet. Hard hose is awkward to handle and transport without a powered hose reel. Further, a live hose reel* requires significantly more pumping power to provide adequate pressure at the end of the hose. Perhaps the most compelling reason not to use a live hose reel* is that clogs can easily occur in the pipes and hose of a live hose reel. Such a clog can be a major problem.
One Final Note
A live hose reel* with hard hose (non-collapsible) is much more tolerable if the machine is equipped with a clear water system AND a reversible gear pump. Both features will provide for the reel and hose being cleared of mulch at the end of every work session.
*A live hose reel has the hose connected to the plumbing of the reel so that the material being pumped flows through the reel and through the hose wrapped on the reel. Any amount of hose can be removed from the reel or re-wound back onto the reel while making an application. Historically this type of system has caused clogging. However, the use of tackifiers (providing lubricity) has reduced this nuisance significantly. Also, reels used by TurfMaker are less clog prone than typical reels.