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Uses of Hydraulic Systems in Machinery

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Did you know that hydraulics are used in heavy machinery to help with the movement and operation of various parts? It’s an essential component in many machines and plays a big role in the machining industry. In this blog post, we will discuss what hydraulics are, why they are important, and how they work. We’ll also take a look at some real-world examples of hydraulics in use!

So what are hydraulic systems?

Hydraulics is the application of the concept of pressurized fluids to power and move machinery. The fluids used in hydraulics are not compressible. This means that when you apply some force at one end of the fluid, the other end will also apply that force. Sometimes you’ll see hydraulic systems in heavy machinery and sometimes you’ll see them in consumer products. Incredibly, you can even see a hydraulic system as intricate as the one found in our smartphones. The hydraulic system is made up of a series of cylinders, pistons, and containers that mount on moving parts and are used to press, pull, and twist different parts the machines they are attached to. This is a fascinating system that is used in some of the most advanced machinery on the planet, but that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted.

The ‘so what?’

The use of hydraulics in heavy machinery is an essential component that plays a big role. Hydraulic systems are used to help with the movement and operation of various parts like valves, pistons or cylinders by using fluids under pressure through tubes, pipes, or hoses. This fluid pressure allows for more effective control over how much energy can be applied to the machinery. When you press on your brake pedal, or look out of the plane window to see the flaps of the wings move, that’s hydraulics at work. This process is used in heavy machinery and small intricate machines alike.

Examples of hydraulic machines


One of the most common heavy machines that uses hydraulics is an excavator, which has a boom arm and bucket at one end and tracks or wheels on the other. The arm with the bucket can be raised and lowered as well as moved from side to side by controlling the flow of oil into and out of its hydraulic cylinders. This gives the excavator a lot of flexibility and allows it to do things like digging, moving earth or demolishing buildings. These machines can weigh up to 1000 tons and move several 1000’s of tons of earth for large scale construction projects.


bulldozers also use hydraulics to move earth and rubble. The blade on the front of the bulldozer is raised and lowered by a hydraulic cylinder, which allows it to scoop up earth and push it in front of the machine. The treads on the bottom of the bulldozer are also driven by hydraulic motors, which give it the power to move forward or backward. With the ability to move thousands of pounds of earth, these machines are critical in road building as well as play an important role in the mining industry.


Cranes also use hydraulics extensively to move heavy loads around by using a system of levers and pulleys. The crane operator can control the movement and placement of the load by varying the pressure on the hydraulic cylinders. These are used to a great extent in the shipping industry as well as the building industry too.

When hydraulics systems face issues

So as you can see, hydraulics are a pretty important part of heavy machinery! They play a big role in the movement and operation of various parts, and allow machines to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do without them. It’s no wonder that so many industries rely on these systems to work efficiently and effectively. But this also means that when something goes wrong, it can be costly.

Failure of hydraulic machines

When a hydraulic system fails, the cost of repair doesn’t have to be huge, but the downtime in business can be a huge loss. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about an excavator or bulldozer – any downtime on your equipment will result in lost productivity and revenue for your company. There are many ways that these systems can fail: from leaks in pipes and hoses, to a pump that has burnt out due to overheating. Sometimes the failure of one system can cause another one nearby not function as well too!

Things to look out for

Some of the most common problems with hydraulic systems are:

  • leaks in pipes or hoses
  • worn seals on pumps and valves which can cause oil to leak out
  • contamination of the oil with dirt or water, which can reduce its effectiveness and even cause it to freeze in cold weather
  • overheating of the pump, which can damage it

How to prevent hydraulic system failures

Remember that preventative maintenance is always preferrable to reactive maintenance, and will save you in the long run. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent these problems from happening:

  • keep your equipment well maintained, so that there aren’t any leaks or worn seals
  • check the oil level in your machine regularly to make sure it stays topped up and doesn’t get contaminated with water or dirt (a hydrometer can help you do this)
  • if possible, use an automatic filter system which will reduce the amount of debris and contaminants in the system
  • always be aware of your fluid levels and make sure your hydraulic fluid is topped off with the correct grade
  • listen to unusual or sudden noises that should not be there

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