Linde Material Handling
New Linde Reach Trucks Take Shape with Eaton Preformed Hose
Eaton’s Synflex® preformed thermoplastic hose is helping Linde reduce hose installation time, increase production throughput, and a whole lot more.
Hydraulic hose is considered by Linde Material Handling of Basingstoke, U.K., as one of the most vital components on its newly developed X-range reach trucks—and for good reason.
Approximately 30 feet of hose are required to funnel hydraulic fluid throughout each of the compact, high-efficiency forklifts that are specially designed for high lift work in narrow warehouse aisles.
But Linde isn’t using just any old hose. The global, materialhandling player is relying on Synflex thermoplastic hose from Eaton’s Hydraulics Group, including preformed hose that meanders through each truck’s mast and load handler.
The preformed assemblies are carefully crafted to curve and wind around reach truck components. They perform their fluid conveyance work without being painstakingly bent by hand and clamped into place like straight hose.
Linde has been using conventional Eaton Synflex hose on its forklift and reach trucks for over 10 years. When the company began design work for the compactly built X-range models, new challenges for hydraulic hose became apparent, says Eaton’s Ian Brazier, business development manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
“Linde engineers said that hose would need to be installed in tight clearance areas, since the mast and load handler would be very compact in design,” Brazier says.
“At the same time, the hose would need to flex so that it could be routed around or between components easily.”
Brazier also learned that the reach trucks would be designed to operate up to 1,000 hours without the need for service and up to 23 hours of continuous use, posing a test of the hydraulic system's endurance.
With all design requirements identified, the case for Synflex preformed hose became apparent. Sales and engineering personnel at Eaton’s Gembloux, Belgium, facility went to work to put together a proposal that explained why preformed hose fit Linde X-range models to a tee.
The proposal explained that even though the hose would be preformed, it would remain flexible enough to be installed in and around tight or hard-toreach areas more easily than conventional hose or bentmetal tubing. And once installed, the hose would maintain its flexibility and act as a vibration absorber, thereby reducing system fatigue significantly and helping eliminate premature failure. The proposal went on to explain that the flexibility of the hose would make the preformed assemblies easy to remove from installations or to push aside to service other system components.
Also pointed out were the 250-bar working pressure, 280- bar relief pressure and long flex-impulse life of preformed hose—characteristics that would enable it to stand up to long hours of continuous service.
The team didn’t stop with just fit and functionality facts. It went on to explain how preformed hose would provide value-added benefits. “We explained to Linde engineering and purchasing personnel that because preformed hose is quick and easy to install, it would reduce installation time and increase production throughput,” Brazier adds.
“We also stressed that preformed hose could reduce or eliminate the need for bent metal tubing and hose and tubing combinations, as well as scrap since each hose would fit exact specifications.”
After listening to Eaton’s justification for using performed hose, Linde representatives realized that the functionality of the product, combined with its value-added benefits, made a solid case for equipping all four of its X-range reach trucks with preformed hose.
Following prototype development work, Linde approved eight Synflex preformed assemblies for each reach truck.