Tom’s Tips

Com­pres­sor hose reel

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Agood, re­li­able, high-ca­pac­ity air com­pres­sor is a musthave item on ev­ery farmer’s wish list of work­shop equip­ment, and here’s how to get the most out of it.

While most think of us­ing them for pump­ing up tyres and clean­ing fil­ters, the well-or­gan­ised op­er­a­tor also uses air pres­sure for clean­ing down ma­chin­ery at the end of each sea­son.

Spray paint­ing and sand­blast­ing also fea­ture, but my favourite is op­er­at­ing the ever-in­creas­ing list of air-op­er­ated tools.

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery tool that was tra­di­tion­ally pow­ered by elec­tric­ity now has a com­pressed-air-driven equiv­a­lent. In most cases, air com­pres­sors are heavy and awk­ward to move around, and seem to have a ten­dency to want to tip over on un­even ground.

Un­for­tu­nately, the wheels are of­ten way too small to ef­fec­tively carry the load with any sort of sta­bil­ity and while you may get away with­out in­ci­dent on the smooth ce­ment floor in the work­shop, it can be an ab­so­lute night­mare out­side on rough ground.

With that in mind, the most sen­si­ble place to po­si­tion your air com­pres­sor is where you can get most jobs done with­out hav­ing to move it.

That sounds sim­ple, but in re­al­ity it isn’t so easy to put into prac­tice. Most com­pres­sors only come with about six to 10 me­tres of hose, while the job could be 20 or even 30 me­tres away from the work­shop.

My tip to solve this is­sue is to buy a re­tractable air hose reel, mount it on the out­side wall of your work­shop, and at­tach it to the com­pres­sor to pro­vide an in­stant source of pres­surised air.

Most hard­ware stores stock a va­ri­ety to se­lect from. Prices ap­pear to vary from around $50 for a 10m model up to around $350 for a good qual­ity 30m-length reel. Check to make sure the kit in­cludes a good qual­ity wall bracket and is man­u­fac­tured from UV-re­sis­tant ma­te­ri­als.

Ob­vi­ously the longer the length the bet­ter, so you can clean up ma­chin­ery or blow dust out of fil­ters or trac­tor cab­ins a good dis­tance away from the shed to avoid fill­ing the work­shop with a cloud of dust.

BONUS TIP

Mount a box on the wall next to the hose reel to store all of the air com­pres­sors ac­ces­sories for easy ac­cess. It should in­clude a good qual­ity tyre in­fla­tion noz­zle with built-in pres­sure gauge and var­i­ous dust-blow­ing noz­zles.

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