A hose protector is an apparatus that is designed to shield a hose. The two main reasons hose protectors are used are to protect the hose from damage and to protect people from tripping over hoses. There are two different types of hose protectors: ramp and point of contact.
Without hose protectors, hoses would be exposed to damage from many sources, including extreme weather conditions. High temperatures and extreme cold can cause a hose to crack. Sun exposure, namely ultraviolet rays, weakens rubber hoses, which may cause them to burst.
Unprotected hoses are also subject to damage from vehicle and foot traffic. A car, truck, or forklift could crush a hose to a point where it splits. Metal tracks on military vehicles could obliterate a hose. Even seemingly light things, such as a wheelchair or foot traffic, could also damage a hose.
Hoses on workplace floors or in outdoor walkways can pose a safety hazard to people. The most obvious danger is that someone might inadvertently trip over the hose. An unprotected hose also has the potential to get out of control and snake wildly, which can be a threat to the well-being of people in the immediate area.
Ramp hose protectors are used to reduce damage to the hose, as well as to ensure the safety of people around hoses. The ramps allow vehicle and foot traffic to cross the hose safely. A ramp hose protector is typically bright yellow or bright orange with reflective stripes, which increases the visibility for drivers and pedestrians during the day and at night.
The term ramp hose protector is interchangeable with the term ramp and tunnel hose protector. This type of hose protector is constructed with ramps in the front and the back, and has a tunnel where the hose passes through. The tunnels typically fully enclose and protect the hose.
Some ramp and tunnel hose protectors house more than one hose at a time. In that case, multiple tunnels run under the same ramp. Ramp and tunnel hose protectors can accommodate hoses that are up to 6 inches (about 15.24 cm) in diameter.
The type of traffic in the area of the hose also plays a factor in buying a ramp hose protector. Some ramp hose protectors are designed for foot traffic that would be typical at a carnival or festival. Others are rated up to 21,000 pounds (about 9,525 kg), and can withstand the weight of cars and heavy machinery, such as fire trucks.
A point of contact hose protector is also designed to protect a hose. When a hose repeatedly rubs against metal or other rough surfaces, the hose can begin to wear and could develop a crack or hole. A point of contact hose protector wraps around the hose, creating a barrier between the hose and the surface.