Versatile Versatail unveiled

Victorian supplier ERTH Hydraulics says its new Versatail system allows users to “pick and fix” hosetails, ferrules and machines’ port ends to suit different applications. ERTH Hydraulics managing director Greig Mooney said the idea for the new system stemmed from frustration with supply problems from overseas suppliers.“About three years ago my father [Wayne Mooney, founder of the Enzed and Total Hose hydraulic hose businesses] died and I took over Total Hose,” Mooney told CIN’s sister publication Contractor. “When we first amalgamated the companies together one of the biggest problems we had was the supply of the product. “When we were buying out of Europe there didn’t seem to be too much of a problem, but then when the manufacturers started to source [hose fittings and adaptors] out of China and the subcontinent we went from a 98 per cent full rate on our orders down to about 45 per cent.”“I got in touch with a retired designer who used to work for the company when we owned Enzed – he’s had thirty years designing product.”I said ‘I want to be able to make my own fitting in the truck. I want to be able to make the decision in the field where the job needs to be done and I don’t want to have to buy a dedicated fitting’.“So we designed it, then tested it to see if it could actually work. Once we had established it could take the loads required, we applied for a federal government innovation aid package and we won that award last year.”ERTH received that government money – nearly $684,000 – in the nick of time, as the Commercial Ready Grant program was axed soon after. Mooney said Versatail met or exceeded DIN standards, which were probably the toughest in the industry. “We’ve got sizes from quarter inch to two inch, which covers all but a few specialist hydraulic applications,” he said.ERTH says the heart of the Versatail system is the hosetail, which accommodates a wide range of hose ferrules, on one end, and a machine port adaptor (usually female NSA thread) and matching cone seal on the other.Straight, 45-degree and 90-degree hosetails are available in standard, high pressure and extra high pressure. “You can make up any combination you like, at the coalface – no other fitting can do that,” Mooney said. And the stock reductions are massive.“Or we’ll assemble them for the client if he wants us to.”Mooney said the Versatail concept was partly motivated by the desire to reduce the amount of stock carried by mobile hose repair trucks.He said a mobile technician would currently have to carry nearly 3000 stock items in the field, but with Versatail that stock number reduced to around 350.One of Total Hose’s major competitors is already sold on the Versatail concept.“They can definitely see the potential in the product and they are mobile as well,” Mooney said.“We’ve had global interest, a lot of interest from Germany – the Germans loved the whole concept. We’ve taken it to the UK and had a lot of interest there.”But I’m more keen to establish it here first, get the production processes in place so we can deal with demand, and then look further afield.”Now that Versatail is market-ready and patented globally, Mooney has turned his fertile mind to developing another modular idea – a range of adaptors called Clic.“It’s unique, because adaptors are usually bought as a final item, but these you can build whatever you want,” he said.“So you can have a 90-degree adaptor with a BSP [thread] on one side and a Komatsu male on the other – no one makes that. Because you make it in the field, yourself, you can make it any combination you want.”How it works“Take a standard straight hosetail from stock. Select a ferrule to suit the hose you are using. Pick a seat adaptor (USA) and nut (USA) to match the machine port you want to connect to. “This gives 48 combinations for one size of straight hosetail. This becomes 240 combinations if you use elbow tails as well. “Versatail grows to 2160 combinations if you make them in all nine sizes.”– From the Versatail selection guide.

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