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Many people have heard the term hydraulics in relation to their cars or some other type of vehicle or machinery, but most people have very little idea of how hydraulics actually work. They may have a vague concept of water being used to do something, but that’s about it. Hydraulics are actually very interesting in how they use water to do what they do.

Hydraulics can be a term used for the study of liquids and how liquids function, but most people think of its use in engineering when they hear the term. Hydraulic systems work by using pressurized fluid to power an engine. These hydraulic presses put pressure on a small amount of fluid in order to generate a large amount of power.

Here’s a basic idea of a hydraulic system: water in a contained system has pressure put on it from one side. That pressure forces it against a piston on the other side of the container.  This transfers the energy into the piston, forcing it upward to lift something. Because the pressure on the water will not let it flow backwards, the piston can never move in the opposite way unless that pressure is released. This means that whatever the piston is lifting is secure until the system operator allows it to be released. For example, if the pistons raise the forklift’s prongs, they would remain raised until the hydraulic pressure was released.

Hydraulic systems are made up of four main components. These components contain the liquid, apply the pressure, and convert the energy generated into mechanical energy for practical use.

  1. The Reservoir: this is where the liquid is held.  The reservoir also transfers heat into the hydraulic system and helps remove air and different types of moisture from the stored fluid.
  2. The Pump: the pump is responsible for moving mechanical energy into the system. It does so by moving the fluid in the reservoir. There are a number of different types of hydraulic pumps available, and each works in a slightly different way. However, all pumps work on the same basic principle of moving fluids through pressure. Some of these types of pumps include gear pumps, piston pumps, and vane pumps.
  3. Valves: the valves in the system are used to start and stop the system and direct where the fluid moves. Valves contain a number of spools or poppets. They may be actuated through electrical, manual, hydraulic, pneumatic, or mechanical methods.
  4. Actuators: these devices take the generated hydraulic energy and change it back to mechanical energy for use. This may be done in several different ways.  The system may use a hydraulic motor to generate rotary motion, or it could be done using a hydraulic cylinder to create linear motion. There are also a few different types of actuators that are used for specific functions.

Some people assume that a hydraulic system uses water, and that may have been true at one point. However, there are other fluids that work much better because in addition to transmitting energy, they also lubricate the system and self-clean themselves. Here are a few of the different types of hydraulic fluids used today:

  • Water-based fluids: these fluids are very fire-resistant. They do, however, have to be watched closely because they don’t provide as much lubrication as some other types of liquids.  They may also evaporate at high temperatures.
  • Petroleum-based fluids: these fluids are the most popular today. They can actually be customized to the system by adding different additives.  For example, these fluids can be modified to include rust and oxidation inhibitors, antiwear agents, anticorrosion agents, and extreme pressure agents.  They are fairly inexpensive, too.
  • Synthetic fluids: finally, there are man-made lubricants that are also very useful in high temperature and high pressure systems. They can also be fire resistant and help lubricate the system.  However, synthetic fluids are artificial and may contain toxic substances.  They are also usually more expensive than other types of hydraulic fluids.

Hydraulic equipment is most often used to lift or move heavy loads since it’s fairly low-cost but can generate a lot of power. Even though the idea behind hydraulics is very simple and several hundred years old, because it works so well, engineers have only been able to improve some of the components of a hydraulic system rather than completely replace it with something new.

Muncie Power

Although known for their robust line of power take-offs, Muncie Power Products is also a provider of hydraulic components for the work truck industry, and a variety of other hydraulic applications. To date, they offer a wide breadth of products including: power take-offs, pumps, cylinders, motors, valves, reservoirs and filters. These products can be used in a variety of applications, from utility trucks to dump trucks to walking floor trailers; just to name a few.

Muncie Power also offers snow and ice control systems via our Snow & Ice Division. These systems are not only efficient, conserving salt and saving on monetary cost but outfitted with the latest technology to combat winter weather to keep our customers’ systems running, and their trucks on the road.

At Muncie Power Products, they understand the important role our power take-offs, fluid power components and snow and ice control systems play in our customers’ applications. For this reason, they are dedicated to delivering value to their customers and have been for more than 80 years. Muncie delivers value each day by meeting customer needs and the demands of today’s society with easy, trouble-free solutions.

Force America

Buyers Products Co.

Buyers engineering, manufacturing and assembly takes place in the USA where they were founded in 1946. By taking care of their customers, staying on the cutting edge of innovation and offering incredible value, they have grown from a modest distributor of truck parts – into a leader in the truck equipment industry.

Buyers stands behind their brands with the power of a strong family of companies working together to offer the broadest range of products in the industry. Because they design, fabricate, forge, rotationally mold and powder coat components themselves, they’re determined to provide value to their customers.

They are constantly re-designing processes, products and materials to keep up with a more demanding world.  Their state-of-the-art engineering facility houses new product development and prototyping, allowing for unmatched speed going from the drawing board – to showroom. Buyers doesn’t let up, because the world won’t slow down.

Kurt Hydraulics

Kurt Hydraulics has been leading the industry of hydraulic hose manufacturers since 1959. Headquartered in Lyman, Nebraska, their manufacturing facility produces superior quality SAE hydraulic fittings and SAE hydraulic hose for a broad spectrum of industrial applications. Kurt Hydraulics is a division of Kurt Manufacturing, a vertically integrated, multi-division company which leads the nation in the manufacturing of close tolerance parts and assemblies.

Unlike many hydraulic hose manufacturers, Kurt Hydraulics offers a comprehensive line of SAE hydraulic hose products and components that are designed to create total hydraulic system solutions. Their offerings included thousands of different SAE hydraulic hoses, SAE hydraulic fittings and a variety of related products in a variety of sizes and configurations. Kurt utilizes years of experience with top-of-the-line equipment and technology to produce the highest quality products in the industry.

At Kurt Hydraulics, they’ve maintained their position as a leader among hydraulic hose manufacturers because of their dedication to making their products and processes even better. Kurt is committed to customer satisfaction through continuous improvement.

Certified Power Inc

Certified Power (CP) definitely has the experience to do the job. From the operator to the fleet manager, they understand what you need. That’s why the entire StormGuard product line, top to bottom, is the best available when you compare safety, reliability, durability, and ease of maintenance. CP’s engineering staff consistently proves that it is the most innovative in the industry. They can help you design systems and controls that will do your job right, and do it well. 

Whatever your specification or design for your equipment, Certified Power’s hydraulic systems use the best products, integrated in the most efficient manner, to provide you with a hydraulic control system that enhances your equipment’s performance and control.


The DewEze Hydraulic system provides the best mobile hydraulic power. Since the belt-driven pump is independent of the transmission, the operator has complete freedom of movement with his truck.

When you have a fleet of trucks waiting for a kit install, the last thing you need is a part that doesn’t fit or fits poorly. DewEze brackets are machined cast, which means installation goes lightning quick. No working to make the part fit, no fiddling with belt alignment. That kind of efficiency means major savings for you and your organization.

When you combine their Poly-U or stainless steel valve tank with a DewEze clutch pump kit, you get double the value: ease of installation and protection from the elements keeping you on the road.

We build DewEze clutch pump kits to go the distance; but, if something does go wrong, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered by a one-year warranty. Also, if you do need service, know that DewEze is tops in customer service.

DewEze is proud to have the most extensive, knowledgeable and service-oriented dealer network of any hydraulic kit manufacturer. Our dealers have the experience and know-how to help you tailor a kit for your needs and budget.

MailHot Industries

Mailhot has been very successful in understanding the various challenges their customers face by going into the field and utilizing data gathering devices on pieces of equipment; this provides recorded information on the application in real time. This data gathering system measures parameters such as:

  • Hydraulic system pressure
  • System temperature
  • Various load conditions, such as side-load to the cylinder
  • Cycle counts of cylinders (extension-retraction)

Mailhot is able to remotely connect directly to the vehicle’s computer system to access parameters such as running time, RPM range, temperature and fuel consumption of the engine.  The data gathering device also tracks the vehicle’s movements and speed using GPS.  The collected data helps them to analyze the root cause of problems so that they can apply the appropriate solution to improve durability and overall performance of the product.

Worldwide Fittings inc

From it’s founding in 1950 as World Wide Supply, World Wide Fittings (WWF) has grown into a global manufacturer of steel and stainless hydraulic tube and pipe fittings. Initially, World Wide built it’s reputation as a supplier of cold formed hydraulic tube nuts & sleeves as well as SAE O-ring boss plugs which are produced on conventional screw machines. 

In order to meet the resulting increase in business, World Wide opened distribution warehouses throughout the USA, and will continue to add facilities to meet the demands of their OEM and distribution customers. Currently, WWF has branch locations in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Operating now from eight facilities on three continents allows World Wide to offer a consistent, high quality product to customers around the globe. Their in-house test capabilities which include burst, impulse, salt spray, and cleanliness, combined with their strong commitment to and involvement with the SAE committee that sets fitting standards, help to illustrate their ability to be your Quality Source.


Stucchi is an “ISO 9001 / Vision 2000” certified manufacturer of hydraulic quick disconnects based in Brignano, Italy with U.S. operations in Romeoville, IL. Their solutions-based approach meets the demanding requirements for a variety of applications spanning multiple markets including Construction, Agriculture, Automation, Chemical, Off-Shore / Land based Oil & Gas, Pulp & Paper, Plastics, Public Utilities, and many others.

Stucchi is a recognized global leader in the design and manufacturing of quick-coupling products providing a variety of sizes and port configurations ranging from 1/8″ to 2-1/2″ sizes to accommodate a wide field of application requirements. Their pressure capabilities extend to 10,000 psi working pressure, port configurations include imperial & metric standard in stock, materials from Brass to 316 Stainless Steel, and an assortment of seal options.