In this blog we will be investigating hydraulic lifts; how they operate and why they are a cost effective, reliable alternative to other forms of lift power. Along with traction lifts, hydraulic lifts are a popular choice for residential, corporate and construction applications and have a number of benefits over their traditional traction based counterparts. As with any type of lift, hydraulic based lifts need to be maintained at regular intervals to ensure they operate reliably and effectively. Oil is a key part of the hydraulic set up as it is pumped from a purpose built oil reservoir through a hydraulic cylinder to operate the piston, which, in turn propels the lift. Oil cleanliness is paramount for this operation and is recommended to be checked at regular service intervals. The key working components, i.e. the pump and oil reservoir are often situated in a machine room, commonly found in the near vicinity of the lift itself. This enables easy access for any maintenance engineer to check that things are working correctly with the lift and its components. Operating the lift – In order for the lift to work correctly, the lift piston, which sits below the lift enclosure itself and controls its movement, must work in harmony with the oil that is pumped into the cylinder which controls the piston itself. In order to get the lift to rise, the pump valve will need to be in the closed position, thus pushing the oil from the reservoir into the cylinder. The effects of gravity then come into play and the piston is pushed up, raising the lift in the process. To lower the lift the opposite takes place, where the pump valve is opened and the oil is released back into the oil reservoir, thus allowing the piston, and the lift, in turn, to lower. Advantages of using Hydraulic Lifts – Firstly, using a hydraulic lift will work out cheaper than its traction based equivalent, as it uses less components. There are no cables to set up along with other parts of machinery which are commonly situated above the lift shaft itself. This makes it a cost effective solution in general if a person is looking to meet a tight budget. Speaking of cables, another advantage hydraulic lifts have is that they don’t rely on cables to operate making them a safer equivalent; if something were to go wrong with a hydraulic lift, it would lower at the same speed as the oil leaving the cylinder, thus reducing the likelihood of sudden drops. If space is a key issue then hydraulic lifts are ideal as their main machinery is typically situated to the side of the lift in a machine room, as mentioned at the start of the blog. This leaves the lift shaft itself free from any space consuming machinery, which ultimately aids in the planning process. At Hydraproducts, we specialise in a range of power packs and units that are suitable for lift applications and to support this, we have recently opened our Component Division, which offers a range of components from hydraulic pumps to cylinders to fit your bespoke unit. Feel free to browse the rest of our website to find out more about our products.