Isobaric Hose…real deal or no deal?

Many of the leading hose manufacturers seem to be pushing the “Isobaric” hose on distributors and OEM’s. A distinct advantage for them is that this hose must be married to their couplings. For decades, the hose on our shelves in North America has been constructed using SAE specifications for the most part. An SAE100R12 rated hose told you that it was built to meet a common standard. You could, if necessary, crimp an Aeroquip fitting on a Goodyear hose, or Gates on Parker, etc.

Ya, ya…It’s not recommended. So on the contrary, Mr. Manufacturer would recommend the client leave his asphalt paver in the middle of an intersection? Perhaps the bulk cargo carrier will wait in port for weeks or months for the stainless fitting they need to build hose assemblies to offload the ship. The mindset at the top overlook the needs at the bottom. I don’t think the Eaton’s, the Parker’s, the Gates’, or the Ryco’s are in tune with the dire needs of the small guy or the level of competition at the distribution level. I feel like the new Isobaric product is based on needs and relationships far larger than distributors and end users.

Manufacturer relationships with large clients like Caterpillar, John Deere, Liebherr, and Terex. They design something and then crank out machine after machine. They know what their requirements are months ahead of time. The aftermarket fitting manufacturers have been able to provide distributors and OEM’s with crimping information for SAE constructed hoses for as long as I can remember, small OEM’s and distributors depend on it to keep things running. Specialized industries such as maritime and offshore present a need for stainless steel crimp fittings on the end of their hydraulic hoses. I have been around for a few years in this industry and have yet to find a hose and fitting manufacturer with decent lead times on stainless crimp fittings, especially for 1.5” and 2” 5000 psi. It has always been easy to purchase stainless fittings from aftermarket manufacturers that specialize in it, but now with this new hose…good luck.

Of course, the manufacturer promises answers and solutions that never seem to come. Europe appears to have avoided this trend as the SAE construction specs were never benchmarked over there, but here in North America, they seem to be going out the window. Is it because our leading hose and fitting manufacturers have lost significant market share to the aftermarket manufacturers? I think this may be it. What better way to secure your interests?

As a distributor, I am frustrated with it and can’t believe the answers I’m given as to lead times. My customers would laugh and hang up. They have worked on the flexibility of these products, and many sales reps seem to tout this as the key advantage. What they don’t tell you is that you must use their fittings as they are the ONLY fittings with crimp specifications to use…and if they’re out, you’re out.

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