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Hydraulics? What’s Your Pleasure? ben lee

Which machine would you point to as the best example of the use of hydraulics? Judging on raw power, you might point to a shredder. They can suck things in, chew them up and spit them out within seconds.


Alternatively, you might be under the impression that the bucket wheel excavator is the most outstanding example of hydraulics at work. It’s got serious power as it excavates at a rate of 10,000 yards of earth each hour. Unsurprisingly, your neighbours wouldn’t be happy with the 20ft wide swath at 8 ft deep if you drove one of these down your street though.


Something that many consider to be one of the most awesome machines is the tunnel borer. It can bore through rock at a rate of 22ft in diameter wherever it’s headed – through mountains or under the sea, lakes or rivers:  Think Channel Tunnel.


However, I wouldn’t choose any of these; I’d go for the conveyor. Although you may not associate that with a hydraulic, the conveyor can be very powerful. Although the majority of conveyors have an electric motor to power them with either a chain or a belt drive, it’s not the case for all of them.


The hydraulic motor is far smaller and lighter than an electric motor that can deliver the same amount of power. They can also operate at lower speed and aren’t dependent on a belt, chain or gear drives to assist. This is what puts hydraulic motors in front, as this means that they need very little space.


These types of conveyors would be used in a fishing boat. In fact, one that we are aware of can process over 50,000 fish per hour in an environment that has a lot of wash-down. Not a great place for an electric motor to operate.


With hydraulic motors it’s possible to locate them inside the head pulleys of conveyors. There are no external drives, although they are really around the same size as the idler pulleys of the conveyors. If you weren’t aware of the hydraulic hoses that are connected to the pulleys, you’d be puzzled as to how the conveyors are powered.  Impressive stuff!


Which hydraulic powered machine most awes you?

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