I've used life orb Hippo, but with sand force instead. He gets more power with that ability, but the merit from double sand cannot be denied. The impressive bulk coupled with life orb is excellent, it still checks unboosted physical sweepers and is able to hit hard. That base 112 atk is very good to abuse. You also use 84 HP / 252 Atk / 144 Def / 28 Spe spread on that hippo to be more physically defensive. I can see the need for sandstream more, as tar can be easily trapped by genedug therefore sand force on hippo can be seen to be worse option in this meta.
I've had quite a good use with the standard hippo set, but without sandstream. I've run a sandforce def hippo in sun to act as my physical wall, sr setter and good check against sand hard hitters. I saw it in a thread about using mons you wouldn't normally use in a certain weather, such a sun kingdra. I have to admit the sun hippo team of mine did good, and hippo pulled its own weight.