Can You Drive Over a Garden Hose? (Or is it ruined?)


I have an issue with getting my hose across to my garden, past my garage that causes damage to it, or my neighbors when I want to help them out and have people’s cars drive over them. Over time I had to change to get stronger hoses because there was already serious damage caused to the hoses due to the cars until I discovered other ways to protect them.

You can drive over a garden hose, but it is greatly discouraged to do so. Driving over your garden hose can cause it not to work properly as this can cause holes, flatten the hose as well as abrasion, and many other kinds of damages that may result in you having to buy another one.

Protecting your hoses from cars driving over them or traffic is important, as it not only keeps the hoses safe from abuse and damage but also protects persons and other vehicles that might cross the hose’s path. This post highlights some of the issues with driving over a garden hose and the steps gardeners may take to prevent them.

Why Protecting Your garden Hose is Important

Hoses need to be protected from several kinds of damage and should not be left in the open. The hose can be worn by traffic passing through from all sorts of vehicles, large and small – cars, dumpster trucks, tractors, and so on.

While the focus of this post is on car traffic, protecting your hose with some of the steps outlined in the post may also prove useful for protecting it from other things that may cause damage, such as harsh weather conditions – high temperatures or UV exposure, extreme cold, and water.

Friction can cause the hose to flatten

All these elements can cause several things to affect the hose, including abrasion, which happens when the surface of the hose comes in contact with car tires in a way that causes friction.

It can also cause the hose to flatten, reducing the amount of water it’s able to deliver. Holes in your hose are also another thing to take note of.

The weight of the vehicle can cause the hose to break

The hose can also burst if the vehicle’s weight is too much and if water was already passing through it. In effect, these can also be dangerous to you and the plants in your garden.

The water coming from the hose can cause leaks and moisture stress in your garden

Think of a 25-foot, 1/2-inch diameter hose attached to a faucet that supplies water at 40 psi has a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute. That is a lot of water coming from a garden hose.

If holes were to be made in the hose, or if it were to burst, that could cause water flowing at high pressure, to splash into someone’s face or another part of the body, which can cause harm.

It could also cause water to leak in your garden, giving the plant moisture stress if they get too much water.

Not caring for your hose properly may cause you to repurchase a new hose

Another factor might be the cost of repair. Why have to constantly change or repair your hose and spend money on other things like improving your garden.

How can you Protect your Hose from a droven on

To lessen the risks of repurchasing a hose and spending more money, you can look into the following tips to better protect them from being driven on.

Use a Protective Barrier to protect your hose

One of the best ways to keep hose safe from cars is to create a physical barrier against them. Something as simple as a sheet-metal guard can protect vulnerable sections against impacts.

You could also use ramps, which could be plastic, metallic, or wooden, to better protect your hose from being run over by vehicles or people.

The idea is to have the hose go underneath the protective barrier so that the cars don’t run directly over the hose.

Protective barriers you can look into for your garden hose

Several kinds of these barriers exist, but you might want to consider how strong they are and how well they may be able to suit your hose, depending on the size of your hose.

  • A Bumble Bee cable protector or hose ramp might be suitable if you need to run a hose through an area where there is light foot traffic. It is usually lower to the ground than others and not as strong as others but works great for slow-moving light vehicles like wheelchairs, bikes, or motor scooters. It also works well for foot traffic.
  • Protecting your hoses from more heavy-duty traffic might be necessary, and for this, a Yellow Jacket cable protector will do. These are weight-enduring protectors that can keep hoses safe from the larger vehicles. They are available in different sizes and strengths to meet the requirements for any kind of setting. They can withstand pressure from forklifts, tractors, and other usually heavy vehicles.
  • Asides protecting your hose from passing cars which might not happen so often, there might be instances where there are high traffic events such as a carnival, county fair, sports event, or outdoor convention. You will then need to get barriers that can handle the frequency of passing cars instead of only the weight. The Linebacker General Purpose cord protectors is useful in this regard, as they have a 21,000-pound load capacity, and can therefore handle crowded spaces.

These are very effective in protecting your hoses as they shield certain parts from coming in contact with car traffic, but they can often be expensive.

They cost about 70 – 200 dollars on average, depending on which you want to get and the quantity. So, you might want to consider cheaper options, which are provided below:

Look into using Spring Guards to better protect your garden hose

This is like enclosing for the hose. It provides some backbone that prevents external devices from reaching the hose directly.

Spring guards are wound steel springs typically zinc-plated for corrosion resistance.

They support several hoses and help prevent damage. They’re commonly used on construction equipment but are suitable for any application that needs protection against abrasion, cuts, deep gouges, impact, and accidental compression.

Spring guards and their many variations

They come in various sizes, slightly larger than the outer diameter of the hose, and are available in standard lengths or in bulk coils that can be cut to fit.

You slide it over the hose, much like you would do a sleeve. They’re also much cheaper and cost about 1-2 dollars per foot.

Pipes can protect your garden hose

You could also use protective steel or other kinds of pipe. It’s more or less like a spring guard, except that it doesn’t have as many openings. Depending on the length of the hose, you can even cover the entire hose.

Look into using Protective sleeves to protect your garden hose

These provide amazing resistance to external abrasion.

Protective sleeves are textile tubes that slide over a hose, usually woven nylon or polyester materials.

They are made in such a way as to protect the exterior and the interior by making for a smooth interior wall that lets the hose move freely inside the sleeve and prevent internal abrasion. You can also get the point-of-contact sleeve, which, rather than covering an entire assembly, can be used to cover only the parts that may face abrasion more often.

Plastic Cones can also be used to protect your garden hose

Sometimes, depending on the location and how much traffic you experience, some people may not notice that there’s a hose on the ground.

You may use traffic cones to alert them that something is on the ground and prevent them from going across it. This is usually more effective for smaller traffic like bikes, scooters, or wheelchairs, but it can also help move larger vehicles.

You can simply move the hose or keep it when note in use

These are the options you may consider to protect your hoses, but you can also take manual steps to make sure they are better protected.

Many gardeners tend to leave their hoses outside even when not being used. This increases the chances of being driven over.

So, to prevent this, what you can do is move your hose when you’re done with it. It would help if you also studied your environment to know when car traffic is most frequent to know when it might be more suitable to leave your hose out. Maybe if you have to get your garden wet at certain times, you will know how to manage better to reduce hose damage if you know when cars might pass. This also includes passing it through your garage.

Conclusion on whether you can drive over garden hoses

We’ve seen why cars should not drive over your garden hose and the type of damage that can occur when that happens. You could take several steps to help prevent this or reduce the amount of damage the hose takes, highlighted in the post. While they may be effective to different degrees, they all require money to be spent.

Sure, you might be able to spare a small amount to protect your hoses, and in some cases, they are unavoidable. Still, you should always try to minimize just how much you have to spend on fixing or protecting your hoses by doing easier things to take care of them, like simply putting them away, which many gardeners don’t do.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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