When tubing works for mobile machinery

On this planet, people have all kinds of preferences. It could be baths vs showers or apples vs oranges. Each is a personal choice and an inconsequential one at that. There is no practical advantage to your preference. With fluid power, there are inconsequential choices too. Think what colour to paint your machinery. Then there is the age-old conflict between hose and ERW tube. Is the choice here unimportant, or are there clear winners? Let’s have a closer look.

Which to use?

ERW tubeThere is a degree of comfort to hose or tube. It depends on your preference and previous usage. If you come from a place that mainly dabbles in hoses, you’re likely familiar with the speed and ease of a hose assembly. For those that have worked at a machinery OEM, it is likely you’ve made tube sections. You’d prefer the permanent, clean aesthetic of tubing.

Although, there are certain instances where it makes more sense to pick one over the other. In other cases, there will be only one choice. In many situations, you can design a whole system using only hose or tube and things will work fine. Yet, fine and optimal aren’t the same. We’re going to explain when tube proves more useful than hose in mobile machinery.


When crafted properly, ERW tube is nearly maintenance free and heavily reliable. The only time when you need to change it is when your machine undergoes upgrades or modifications. Tubes resist vibration or motion that doesn’t cause it to shake or move the actual assembly. Thanks to hose’s inherent flexibility, it can scratch, chafe, and rub against other surfaces. It will do so when not well supported. On a hydraulic hose, lots of failures happen at those points of contact. Tube can resist motion full stop so they last longer.

Up front, tube assemblies can be more work. But, they will look cleaner and possess other advantages. It is still possible to design them to remove and replace parts when you need to service everything. You’re working with utensils that have semi-flexible bends at strategic points. It is rare for you to see a straight shot of tube here. Instead, there will be an S or L shape to offer a level of flexibility. It is possible to pull and replace the assembly between two fixed locales. Additionally, tubes offer leak-free, long lasting service, especially with newer fittings.

Finally, there is the cost factor. Tubing comes with a naturally high pressure capacity. Pound-for-pound, it is less expensive to craft if you compare to hose. You can purchase tubes for very reasonable rates. As for top tier hoses with reasonable pressure ratings, they tend to be rather expensive. With size, the cost rises even more. Even including labour, tube comes out the winner here.

Everyone gets quality ERW tube from us

At Union Steel Tubes, we go out of our way to ensure every customer gets quality goods. What’s more, we work to deliver every order quickly. Stock items can be ready the next day. For urgent emergency orders, same day delivery may be available.

So, if you need ERW tube in the right size, shape, or finish, we can help. We can supply products for various needs, including different types of machinery and more.