Weatherhead T-460 "Coll-o-Crimp" hydraulic hose crimping machine & dies, $180.

One of the most profitable areas you're going to find is the area of small industrial equipment. As a rule, this area is populated by low-production tools that are miserably expensive to buy new, which naturally means that people are always looking for used examples to save money. The more you know about this area of opportunity, the more money you're going to make, which means that taking a little time to familiarize yourself with this area of opportunity will pay off sooner than you may think!

Made in the U.S.A. by Weatherhead, a subsidiary of the Dana corporation, this hydraulic hose crimper is a great example of the specialty tools you're likely to run into. This tool's sole purpose is to secure the metal ends onto hydraulic hoses that are used in all sorts of industrial applications. Where are these hoses found?

Well, I guess the most obvious place to look for them is on those big undustrial vehicles we see all over the place. Those "cherry pickers" that lift workers up in the air to work on the power lines are powered by hydraulic cylinders. You can also see these cylinders on garbage trucks, as well as on those big pieces of earth moving equipment you see at construction sites.

Those huge buckets and lifting arms are powered by hydraulic pumps that send hydraulic fluid out through hoses to the hydraulic cylinders that actually do all the work. It's amazing to watch these machines lift guys way up in the air, or handle thousands of pounds or dirt and rocks at a time, all made possible by fluid moving through hoses no bigger around than your finger.

How can so much power be transferred through such a little hose? The answer is pressure. Hydraulic hoses aren't just any old hose - they're made to work with pressures in the thousands of pounds per square inch. And since all those cylinders are constantly changing position as the machinery works, the hoses must be able to bend and flex along with the equipment.

But how do you connect a flexible ruber hose to the metal pump at one end and the hydraulic cylinder at either end, so that it will withstand those astronomical pressures without leaking? That's where hydraulic hose crimpers like this T-460 comes in. These machines use great pressure to squeeze, or "crimp," threaded metal ends onto the bare hydraulic hose, so that each end can be securely screwed into place on the pump and cylinder and operate at the required pressures without leaking.

An excellent example of what I'm referring to is in this crimper itself. Look at the T-460 in the photos, and note the hose running from the bottom, where the hand-operated pump is located, up to the cylinder at the top. As the handle is pumped, hydraulic fluid is pumped under great pressure to the cylinder at the top, which pushes a piston down, crimping the hose. Granted, without the hose to be crimped and all other parts in place, it's probably hard to imagine how all this works, but what's important here is that you understand what this machine is used for, and why people would want it.

Most hose crimping machines are big electric units that are used back in the shop. But what happens if something happens out in the field, and it's impractical or impossible to go back to the shop for repairs? The answer is the T-460, which is manually operated and completely portable, and can be taken anywhere.

When I first saw these fittings in the box on the floor, I had no idea what I was looking at, but I was interested. Then... I picked up a folded paper out of the box - a price list - on which I saw some pretty astronomical prices:

Portable Coll-O-Crimp $1355.97
1/4 V-series collet $110.50
3/8" V-series collet $110.50
1/2" V-series collet $110.50
3/4" V-series collet $114.18
Silver spacer $41.65
Yellow spacer $38.98

Those figures got my attention! And as you probably already know, expensive new can often mean expensive used. Due to the high cost of these items, I'll probably sell the unit separately from the dies. If I can get my $180 back on just the dies, anything I get from the unit itself will be pure profit.

An interesting thing to note here is that the seller initially wanted $200, so I offered him $100. He countered that he was 'firm' on his asking price. But when I offcered him $180 and stuck the cash in his face, he took it. To him, the $20 difference meant just coming down on his price a bit. But to me, twenty bucks is always worth trying to save, no matter how much I'm paying for something!  

The press sold on eBay for $510, and the dies sold separately for $225.

Photo of Weatherhead T-460 Coll-O-Crimp hydraulic hose crimper