Making an important decision is never easy, and choosing the right hydraulic pump is no exception. As with any major decision on equipment, the functionality of the item is the most important thing to consider and base your choice on, because if you select a hydraulic pump that does not fulfil all the functional requirements it will turn out to be a bad investment. Knowing exactly what the hydraulic pump is expected to do makes it much easier to narrow down the choices. Some applications of hydraulics require a consistent and large force, for example lifting a heavy weight or opening a big metal gate. Some others require two stages of force, a metal fabrication plant being a good example of this. Bending and punching metal sheets requires a hydraulically powered ram to make contact with the sheet, and then exert a much larger force on contact and in these cases a two-speed dual piston pump is a better option than a single piston pump. Some applications require constant force, and others need more intermittent power. Knowing what sort of power is required can narrow down the shortlist considerably, as these units are made specifically for either continuous or intermittent power output. The size of the equipment that the hydraulics needs to fit in also play a large role in determining the best hydraulic pump to use, and there are micro packs less than 10cm wide that will fit inside smaller machinery, the automatically opening gate being a good example here as well. For hydraulic lifts and height access equipment a mini pack is a great choice, as it is still reasonably small in order to fit into the workings, but more powerful than a micro pack, generating a good amount of power for the size. The flow rate or capacity of the hydraulic pump is also a major factor in making a decision. Knowing what the output pressure needs to be is vital when selecting the right unit, as it is very easy to find a hydraulic pump that is the right size, has the right power drive and number of pistons but which is either too powerful or not powerful enough in practice to run your equipment. Too much power may not sound like a bad thing, but excessive pressure in a unit can cause serious damage to the internal components and even degrade the hydraulic fluid used. These three factors are equally important in choosing a hydraulic power unit. The last thing that may make a difference to your choice of hydraulic pump is the hose inlet and outlet sizes, which should, by design, be the correct size to handle the power output of the pump. In space-limited environments there may be a reason why wide hoses are not suitable, and if this is the case then that issue needs to be addressed before proceeding further with the purchase of a hydraulic pump. Hydraproducts can also create a bespoke hydraulics system, so if there is nothing on the market that quite meets your requirements, don't settle for a solution that is nearly good enough and risk repairs and a lack of capacity. Instead, take the time to get a hydraulic system that is exactly fit for purpose and leave any worries that the off-the-shelf system may not perform as needed behind you. It is also good to bear in mind that our standard hydraulic power units are a power unit and pump combined, but that the micro and mini packs still require a separate motor, which we can advise on.