Every spray rig features at least one reel for storing a hose. In the course of a normal work day, most if not all of a long length of hose is unspooled and taken up repeatedly. Time is money in the lawn care business, and that hose must be protected from damage and monitored for tangling so it can easily be redeployed at the next stop. A reel is the principal tool you can use to work towards those goals, so it’s important to choose the right one and keep it in good working order.
CHOOSING A REEL
According to Hannay, one of the world’s leading reel manufacturers, there are two basic types of reels:
In addition to storing the hose, a live hose reel allows fluid to flow through the hose when it’s on the spool. In other words, this kind of reel allows you to spray without unwinding the entire length of hose.
By contrast, the hose must be completely removed from the spool of a storage reel for fluid to flow. These reels have fewer components and are therefore cheaper, but they add a little more time to every service call. This type will clearly be the choice of anyone whose primary concern is budget, but the constant use of a reel in a critical role makes it an unwise place to cut corners.
Various models of reels allow rewinding by a spring, a crank, or a motor. Motors may be hydraulic, electric, or pneumatic.
It’s obviously important that you choose a hose that is compatible with your reel (or, conversely, that you choose a reel that’s the right size to store your hose). Fortunately, there’s no need to be concerned about matching a reel with a vehicle. Any reel can be mounted on any truck, trailer, or spray rig used in your business.
Reels look simple to operate, and they are, but when using any piece of mechanical equipment it’s important to take precautions. Wear goggles and gloves, and keep your fingers away from moving parts. If your reel is powered by a motor, make sure that the circuit breakers are the appropriate size. If you have a spring-rewind reel, make sure the lock is disengaged before you start rewinding and hold the base of the reel during the process. Following the manufacturer’s safety guidance will protect not only your hose but also you and your employees.
MAINTENANCE AND TROUBLESHOOTING
You and your techs can hardly avoid keeping one eye on hoses every time they are unspooled and rewound, but it’s still a good idea are to set up a schedule for regular inspections given full attention. These examinations are also a good time to carefully observe the reel’s operation.
Every Graham product comes with lifetime support. If you encounter a problem that you can’t easily address, or if you have questions about reels or any other topic related to spray rigs, call us at 770.942.1617 and we’ll do our best to help. We can address most common issues over the phone. You can see our selection of reel motors and other parts at GrahamSE.com. Parts orders placed before 3:00 pm Eastern Time will be shipped the same day.