Hydraulic Jacks and Accessories

What is a hydraulic cylinder or jack?

A hydraulic cylinder is a mechanical actuator that gives a single directional force through a unidirectional stroke. These cylinders and jacks get power from pressurized hydraulic fluid, usually oil.  A hydraulic cylinder is made up of a cylinder barrel, where the connected piston moves up and down. The barrel is closed on one end by the cylinder bottom or "cap" and the other end by the cylinder head or" gland" where the rod comes out of the cylinder. The piston has sliding rings and seals to help move back and forth.

Types of Hydraulic Cylinders & Jacks

Pancake style: 
Pancake style hydraulic cylinders are small "low height" lifting jacks designed to lift objects that are in small, confined spaces. The low profile allows the jack to fit inside the space, offering significant lifting capacity.

Single Acting Hydraulic Cylinder:
Single acting hydraulic cylinders only extend by pressure from a pump and then retracts by the weight of the load or by an in-built spring. They can be identified by having one port on the cylinder used to connect the hydraulic hose.

Double Acting Hydraulic Cylinder: 
Double acting hydraulic cylinders extend from the pressure of a pump and then retract by the use of a second line to push it in the other direction. These cylinders can be identified by having two ports one for each hydraulic hose input.

Air Hydraulic Pumps:
Air driven hydraulic pumps are an alternative to conventional electric motor or engine driven hydraulic pumps. Using compressed air to generate high fluid pressure has been used for many years. Advances in sealing technology and high-pressure system components have allowed for the development of highly efficient, powerful, and flexible air driven hydraulic pump systems.

Electric & Gas Powered Hydraulic Pumps:
A hydraulic pump or HPU power unit is made up of 4 main components: a prime mover (either a gas powered engine or electric motor), a pump, a valve, and a reservoir. The components develop fluid pressure which activates the hydraulic cylinder.

How to Select the Right Hydraulic Cylinder or Jack?

1) Measurements!

You should understand what you are trying to move or lift! This includes how heavy the object is, how big the item is (balanced or unbalanced) and how high the object is to be lifted.

2) Consider the Mount!

Cylinder mounts can be divided into two basic categories: pivoted and straight line. Selecting the right mount for an application mainly depends on the desired movement of the load. Pivoted mounts can be used where a load needs to move through an arc. Straight line mounts are used when the load only needs to move in a linear direction.

3) Working Conditions!

It is important to know what type of environmental working conditions your cylinder or jack will be operating in. This information is important for selecting the appropriate materials, seals, and finishes.