A station hose can be up to 18 feet in length. Sometimes, to reach the fill opening of their vehicle tanks, motorists stretch the dispenser hose out to its full length. One end of the retractor cable is connected to a reel. The other end is connected by a clamp to the hose.
When the motorist finishes filling his tank and returns the nozzle to the dispenser boot, the spring-loaded retractor reel winds in the slack portion of the hose. There are two types of hose retrievers in common use today: Spring operated and Counterweight operated.