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Evolution of the Hydraulic Hose Assembly Industry

Hose and Fittings products have been around since the 1800’s. The Hydraulic Hose Assembly with crimped, swaged or press on style hose couplings did not surface until the invention of the Hydraulic Brake just prior to the 1920’s.

1920’s    The Industry leaders for Hydraulic Brake Hose Assemblies in the 1920’s were              Eastman MFR and the Weatherhead Company. Both companies

            produced a variety of hose couplings for the growing Automotive Industry.

 

 

1930’s    The production of automotive hose assemblies continued. Hydraulic

            operated machinery and aircraft generated a new market for hydraulic brake

            hoses. In addition a new demand arose for hydraulic hose assemblies.

            Companies such as Eastman MFR and Weatherhead began to meet those

            needs with reusable and crimp style hose couplings. Eastman became the

            leader we believe in the off road market and Weatherhead more so in the

            Aircraft and Automotive Industry. The Parker Company also became a

            growing presence in the 1930’s. Primarily as a Tube Fittings supplier.

 

             In the later Part of the 1930’s Anchor Coupling was created. The company

            became a major manufacturer of high pressure hose couplings. Eastman MFR

            and Anchor Coupling played a major role in the advancement of hydraulic

            hose couplings in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Fittings at the time were swaged

            not crimped as they are today.

 

1940’s    World War II played a major role in the advancement of the Aircraft Hose

            Assembly business. Companies such as Aeroquip were born to support the

            War effort. Parker, Weatherhead, Anchor, and Eastern Manufacturing were all

            instrumental in this effort as well.

 

            After the War ended there was a construction and road building boom in the

            USA. Companies such as Eastman Manufacturing began producing a 1 piece

            brass hose coupling for use on the SAE 100R1 type hose. Some industry

            professionals refer to this fitting as the Trepan Brass Fitting. Eastman MFR                called it the GB series. This style hose coupling could be manufactured with

            1 piece of solid brass bar stock. The manufacturing time to create a male

            pipe hose coupling was 6 seconds. This hose coupling is still used today for

            3/16 grease whip hoses. The coupling has also been used on Kubota

            Tractors.

 

1950’s    This decade laid the foundation for the future. Large companies such as

            Gates Rubber began marketing Hydraulic Hose and Fittings to Distributors

            and Dealers. Distributors at the time were primarily selling reusable hose

             couplings only. Swaged or crimp style hose assemblies were manufactured by

            companies referred to in the Industry as “Hose Couplers”.

 

            Start up companies with screw machines began emerging as important

            Entities in the birth of a new industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1959     Major “Hose Couplers” such as Aeroquip, Weatherhead, Anchor Coupling, and

           Others created an association called “The National Hose Assembly

           Manufactures Association.”

 

            It is believed that the association was formed as a co-op to apply pressure to

           Hydraulic Hose manufacturers such as Goodyear, Republic Hose and Uniroyal

           to provide consistent and uniform hose pricing amongst the association.

           Eventually many of the “hose couplers” purchased or built their own hose

           manufacturing plants during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

 

1960’s   The 1960’s have always been labelled as the decade of rebellion and change.

           The same could be said for the Hydraulic Hose and Fittings Industry.

 

           Companies such as StratoFlex that were established in the 1950’s began to

           grow and did a good job of setting up new distributors.

 

           Dayco an old rubber company purchased Ramco Industries a “Hose Coupler”

           and became a new force in the industry.

 

           Eastman Manufacturing and Imperial Brass became Imperial Eastman.

 

           Aeroquip purchased Republic Hose and began manufacturing their own

           Hydraulic Hose.

 

           Caterpillar starts a Hose Manufacturing business to meet their needs of a

           growing construction market. Cat Spiral Hose becomes the industry standard

           by the 1970’s.

 

           Hose crimping machines start to emerge into the distributor markets.

 

            Weatherhead develops a hose crimper now known as the model T400. The

           crimper eventually becomes the most popular hose crimper ever sold. The

            crimper was the first positive stop crimper that changed the industry forever.

           The crimper is still sold today.

 

           Couplamatic distributes large amount of swage style crimpers to the Ag

            market. Couplamatic was the first company to successfully get swaggers in

           the hands of small business owners.

 

           Screw Machine Products now known as NRP Jones builds a sound reputation

            As a 2nd tier fittings supplier to the Gates Rubber Company.

 

           Distribution of thermoplastic hydraulic hose begins.

 

1970’s   SAE 100R7 style hose becomes a hose of choice by many Ag manufactures

           due to low cost.

 

            Companies such as Samuel Moore / Synflex develop new products.

 

            Parker enters the thermoplastic and swage coupling market.

 

           The Electric Hose and Rubber Company founded in 1896 is sold to Dayco.

 

           Aeroquip develops the AQP hose products line.

 

           The StratoFlex Company reaches it’s peak and begins its decline.

          

            Caterpillar becomes a huge MFR of spiral hose and supplies many companies

           such as Parker, Gates, and Weatherhead with hose products.

 

1980’s   Anchor Coupling is bought then sold by Goodyear. Eventually Anchor became a

            subsidiary of Caterpillar.

 

            Parker enters the crimp fitting wire braid and spiral hose market. Until this

           point Parker only sold reusable couplings for 100R1 and 100R2 applications.

 

           The Crimpmaster Hose System was created and marketed. The Crimpmaster

           was a machine that reused Caterpillar Hose Couplings and also reconditioned

           used hose couplings. The machine also was designed as a universal crimper.

 

           Goodyear enters the hose and fittings market for the first time. Then leaves

           abruptly within a few years.

 

           The Hosecomatic Company began.

 

           Hose distributors and manufacturers gain large profits.

 

           The sale of hose crimpers to end users begin to impact the industry.

 

           Import Suppliers such as Pirelli start to gain recognition and credibility.

FLASH BACK MEMO

           The distribution of Hose Assemblies today is much different
           than it was back in the 1950’s.

           Today it is the expected norm that your supplier produces a
           matched hose and hose fitting system. In the 1950’s it was
           common practice to mix and match hose and fittings.

           Rubber and Hose companies such as Goodyear, Uniroyal, and
           Electric Hose and Rubber manufactured hose products. Fitting
           companies produced hose couplings. The “Hose Coupler” or
           hose assembly companies would fabricate the Swaged style
           Hydraulic Hose Assemblies. These assemblies were sold to
           OEM’s or dealers as needed.

           Distributors of hose and fittings used reusable fittings. Access
           to Hose Crimpers or Hose Swagers were limited.