Mafia Secrets
Trick my … gladhand?
Bet you didn’t think that there are plenty of ways to dress up or hide those hoses, lines and connections.

By Bryan Martin, contributing writer

I gotta admit, never thought I’d write a “feature” on trailer hoses and electric cords. But when you start talking about the various styles of hoses and cords, and add in the other options and array of related parts, the topic warrants more discussion than I initially thought.

Hoses and light cords
Ever think of kicking it up a notch beyond the standard ol’ red and blue coiled trailer air hoses and the normal curly green light cord? You have a couple of neat options. One is a 3-in-1 trailer hose, where both air hoses and the trailer light cord are molded into one cord for a clean no-muss, no-tangle look that is hard to beat.

Another look that was popular in the ’70s and ’80s was to have straight black hoses and light cord, then braid them together for an extra bit of flair. This style isn’t seen much today and is another sharp option you might like to consider.

Gladhand handle grips
These are an inexpensive item (under $20 a pair) that not only make hook-up easier by providing more leverage, but are also color coded red/blue for quick identification. The durable polyurethane versions are the most popular, but anodized aluminum models are available.

Air line boxes
An air line box is basically a box that sits on top of your deck plate or frame cover and provides a more decorative connection point on your truck for your hose connections. There are a lot of really cool versions to pick from. You can get one made out of polished stainless steel, diamond plate aluminum, or even smooth aluminum if you prefer to paint one to match your truck color.

You can get high-profile – which is the most common – or a low-profile model for a trendier, more sleek look. There is also the recessed model of air line boxes that actually put the hose connections down below the surface of the frame cover of your truck in a V-shaped trough, which really provides a unique appearance.

Quick connects
Another thing you may want to consider is adding a quick coupler to the truck end of your hoses. For times when you are bobtailing, this handy feature allows you to remove your hoses and light cord in about 30 seconds and throw them in the tool box or sleeper compartment. This eliminates worrying about them bouncing around, scratching your frame cover, or dragging down the highway – or the need to secure the loose hoses with a tarp strap and such.

Rear chassis connection
If you consistently pull the same trailer and seldom have to pull other trailers, you may want to add hose and cord connections at the rear crossmember of your truck for an ultra-clean look. You can then upgrade your trailer with hose connections near the landing gear and completely eliminate any hoses/cords between the sleeper and nose of the trailer. This modification is usually doable in most shops for under $500 parts and labor.

Full custom connections
Over the years we have built and seen some really innovative “one off” trailer cord setups. If you can dream it, describe it, sketch it … you can bet there is a fab shop that can build it for ya.

Until we chat again, stay hooked up and keep the wheels-a-turnin’. From what I see and hear, this summer oughta be a good one as freight is jumpin’ and things are lookin’ up. LL