Factors to consider for hose reels on mobile service trucks

Most lube trucks are customized to meet the buyer's specific job requirements. It is recommended that companies work with a professional, licensed lube truck or truck body manufacturer when outfitting a mobile service truck.

When equipping a lube truck with hose reels, there are several factors that should be considered. First, the customer must analyze the fleet to be serviced to determine what fluids will be carried onboard. Once the fluids are determined, the appropriate equipment can be mounted on the service truck.

Typically, lube trucks use spring-rewind hose reels. A heavy duty reel featuring welded construction and rated for outside use should provide maximum service life.

The climate in which the truck will operate also is an important factor. If the outside temperature is very cold, reels should have a heated enclosure. The fluid tanks may need heaters to keep fluids at an appropriate temperature for ease of transfer.

If the hose reel is not enclosed, customers should choose a powder-coat painted model to help withstand outdoor conditions and to minimize rusting, chipping and fading. In addition, it would be beneficial for the hose reel to have a weatherproof, enclosed spring canister to prevent moisture and dirt from entering.


The determination of where to mount hose reels on the truck is based on user preference. Hose reels usually are mounted on the rear of the truck.

If the customer uses hand-held meters, it is advisable to have a bracket or other provision to secure the meters while the truck is traveling to the service site.

When placing hose reels next to each other in the lube truck, sufficient space should be maintained between reels to allow for convenient removal of a single reel should one require servicing.


Hose length and diameter should be determined by flow rate requirements. Be sure that hose ratings accommodate the working pressure for the type of fluids being dispensed. Standard specification is a 50' by 1/2" diameter hose. However, if the user requires a higher flow rate, a 3/4" diameter hose may be used.

Exceptions to the standard specification would be for fuel and used fluid evacuation. Fuel reels are generally 1 to 1.5" in diameter. The used fluid evacuation hose should be no longer than 30' and should be 1 to 1.5" in diameter.

The customer may want to consider a four-way valve for used fluid evacuation. The valve will allow the used fluid to be extracted from the vehicle being serviced and then can be reversed to empty the tank for proper disposal.

These are a few factors to be considered when outfitting a mobile service truck with hose reels. When a lube truck is manufactured using high quality components and with the customer's applications in mind, it should provide many years of service.