Hydraulics 101 : Learning The Basics

Basic Hydraulics 101

Have you ever looked at the word hydraulics and tried to understand what it all means? Well, there is a way to break it all down, so you can understand it a little more.

To get started, you need to know that the basic idea behind a hydraulic is that it produces flow. And that when there is resistance to flow, pressure is created.

Something really cool that you should know about Pascal’s Law that pertains to hydraulics is that when more than one hydraulic cylinder is being used, you’ll find that each cylinder is going to lift at its own rate, this is all dependent on the force you need to move the load.

Always Use a Gauge

Something you should know when it comes to lifting or pressing in hydraulics, always use a gauge.

Using a gauge also applies when one is pressing in hydraulics. A gauge is a great tool in hydraulics because it lets you see what is going on in your system, also known as a “window.”

Know the Power of the Force

When it comes to hydraulics, power is always a good thing.

However, you should always know the power of the force.

Keep in mind that the amount of power that a hydraulic cylinder can produce is the amount of hydraulic pressure (x’s) within the “cylinder effective area”.

You can simply use this formula to determine either the pressure, force, or effective area, if you know at least two of the variables.

Cylinders that have a lighter load are going to move first and cylinders that have a heavy load will move slower.


Keep in mind that you need the cylinders to have the same capacity.

When you want all cylinders to operate at the same level, control valves OR a synchronous lift components need to be added to the overall system.

Let’s Talk Cylinder Capacity

Last, but not least, when it comes to hydraulics, you need to understand the volume of oil required for a cylinder. The formula for this is the Cylinder Oil Capacity= Hydraulic Working Pressure (x’s) Cylinder Effective Working Area.

All you basically need to know about hydraulics is that these hydraulic pumps take the fluid from the reservoir to the actual hydraulic system.

When you think about it, the fluid is what makes the hydraulic system come alive.

When you transfer fluid from the reservoir to the actual hydraulic system, you are also transferring the energy level of the fluid because you are actually increasing the pressure.

Don’t forget that the motor is the actual power source to the pump.

Obviously, the overall concept of hydraulics is simple, but it can get more complicated.

There are different types of hydraulic valves involved, open and closed systems, and even various cylinder types.

Stay tuned to dive deeper into the world of hydraulics with us.