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Month: September 2019

Why You Need to Be Repacking Your Hydraulic Cylinders

Repacking hydraulic cylinders should be a regular component of any organization’s annual preventative maintenance routine. The process is relatively simple and serves to keep machinery running in peak condition at all times. Most hydraulic cylinders eventually begin to leak oil from their seals. Repacking the cylinders serves to keep costs down and machinery operational. Taking the time to repackage hydraulic cylinders fixes broken links and extends the cylinders’ life span. That translates to benefits for the professionals who rely on them to complete critical work. If teams fail to assess and repackage their hydraulic cylinders regularly, they could lose out on both profitability and efficiency in the workplace.

The Importance of Repacking

Repackaging hydraulic cylinders is a key component of using them effectively and responsibly. When hydraulic cylinders show sign of leakage, it’s more cost-effective to repair or repackage them than it is to buy new hydraulic cylinders altogether. The average hydraulic cylinder repair will cost a company about $200, while a new one can go for thousands of dollars, which could lead to extensive savings. The repackaging process and other preventative maintenance steps are also a more eco-friendly solution to component issues than making new purchases. Organizations interested in performing their own hydraulic cylinder repacking process will need a handful of tools and conditions to ensure that work runs smoothly:

  • A repacking kit
    • Repacking kits contain replacement parts for various components of the cylinder
    • Often, parts are damaged upon disassembly; it’s important to keep replacement parts on hand so the lift can be reassembled and used immediately
  • A supply of new hydraulic oil
    • Contaminated oil has the potential to damage the new packing
  • A container to catch the used oil
  • A clean workplace
    • Select an area which will not be damaged should any oil spill

How to Repack a Hydraulic Cylinder

Repacking a hydraulic cylinder is a simple process. Working through each step thoroughly will ensure top-quality work and peace of mind once machinery is operational again. The process begins with releasing the cylinder pressure and unhooking the hydraulic lines from the cylinder to remove any remnants of pressure. Then, it’s time to remove the gland and pin from the rod-end of the cylinder before taking the piston rod out as well. It’s crucial to be extremely careful here—rods are easily contaminated and damaged. Once the rod has been removed from the cylinder, the piston must be taken out of the rod. Keeping parts in order during this process will make things easier down the line; some people even take pictures at each step to ensure they remember how the disassembly process worked. From here, the seals and O-rings on the piston and gland can be replaced one at a time. Make sure you stay organized and perform changes one at a time. This is the only way to ensure that each part goes back into the correct space. Check for debris and remove any signs of it while you clean and switch parts. Then it’s just a matter of reassembling the piston to the rod, replacing the hydraulic lines, and testing for leaks. There are a number of maintenance steps you should take before and after repacking a hydraulic cylinder:

  • Inspect the cylinder for corrosion and wear and tear
    • Immediate action should be taken is corrosion or uneven wear and tear appears
  • Physically inspect the piston and cap
  • Properly filter oil to keep it clean
  • Rotate cylinders regularly and inspect cylinder internals
  • Pay attention to accessories too—not just the cylinder—and look for worn brackets, pivot pins, and ball joints

Does Your Hydraulic Cylinder Require Servicing?

Metro Hydraulic is a distributor of numerous top hydraulic cylinder brands, including Enerpac®, SPX, and Simplex. Our cylinders see regular use in construction and manufacturing applications; countless organizations count on our products for a range of heavy-duty industries and applications. If your hydraulic cylinder requires servicing or you’d like to learn more about our products and services, request a quote from us today. A knowledgeable member of our team will work with you to determine your project needs.
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The Most Common Hydraulic Jack Problems

Hydraulic jacks simplify the movement of large or heavy items. The jack’s hydraulic system multiplies a worker’s efforts, enabling one person to successfully lift and maneuver heavy loads with little physical strain. Jacks are also used to suspend heavy objects in midair to provide maintenance access with minimal exertion on the operator’s part. Though they’re built to be tough, hydraulic jacks can sustain damage from heavy use, improper maintenance, environmental elements, and other factors that compromise their ability to perform. Regular hydraulic jack repair and/or maintenance mitigates the damage caused by these issues by identifying signs of damage early and allowing for fast correction of any problems. This is especially crucial for older jacks that have been operational for many years.

Signs That Signal the Need for Hydraulic Jack Repair

Regardless of the type of jack or the application, there are some issues that are common within this tool category. Maintenance problems can compromise a jack’s ability to operate efficiently and negatively impact operator safety. If your equipment exhibits these signs, it is important to coordinate jack repairs right away.

Jack Does Not Fully Extend or is Slow to Release

Hydraulic jacks depend on fluid-driven pressure to create movement. When the flow is compromised, it can cause problems with lifting mechanisms.

Squeaky or Damaged Wheels

Excessive noise issuing from your wheels could mean it’s time to replace those parts. Often, the application of heavy oil provides enough lubricant to prolong the life of metal support structures.

Damaged Frame

Without a structural sound frame, your entire unit could literally fall apart under a heavy load. This type of damage typically cannot be repaired and requires the purchase of a new hydraulic jack.

Foamy or Milky Oil

Discolored or frothy oil means water has infiltrated the system. If not remedied quickly, this condition will cause irreversible internal corrosion.

Handle Kicks Back

Stop using your hydraulic jack immediately if the handle kicks back up after a down stroke. This condition is extremely dangerous for operators. Fortunately, a repair professional can restore the unit’s function.


Depending on which fluid is leaking from your unit, this sign could indicate a range of potential problems. A thorough examination of the unit is necessary to decipher the issue.

Rams Won’t Lift

When rams won’t respond properly, this usually points to a lack of hydraulic fluid. Simply add more fluid, turn the jack to its release position, pump a few times to release trapped air, and then refill the reservoir. Once the seal is replaced, the unit should function properly.

Overloaded Jack Trips Safety Valves

If the load is too heavy, the jack’s safety valves will engage, which will cause the jack to stop lifting. Refer to the user manual to identify the safety valve and follow instructions to reset it.

Professional Guidance from Hydraulic Experts

Hydraulic jacks are an essential part of many industrial and commercial operations. From warehouses to production floors, these devices enable the simple and efficient movement of massive products and components. However, hydraulic jacks are not indestructible. Like all machinery, attentive maintenance and prompt repairs are both key to prolonging the life of the unit. Many common hydraulic jack repairs can be performed by novices or those with little mechanical skill. However, proper correction of many issues will benefit from professional input. Metro Hydraulic Jack Co. provides hydraulic jack repair services that support your commercial or industrial operation. Our repair shop and testing facility are fully equipped to evaluate, service, and repair your hydraulic floor jack. Contact us to find out how our hydraulic jack repair services can help lift your profit potential.  
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How Hydraulic Systems Power Waste Management Operations

Many industries rely on the effective use of hydraulic power tools to build, maintain, and repair their structures and appliances. Hydraulic power tools see use in a diverse range of industries, which include:

  • Construction
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Railroads
  • Automotive and aerospace manufacturing
Recently, tools powered by hydraulic processes have seen an explosion in use by waste management professionals. These tools generate fewer emissions than similar, nonhydraulic processes, and they more efficiently perform the lifting and compression tasks central to the waste management field. Consequently, more and more waste management companies are switching to the use of hydraulic tools for their applications.

Powerful Waste Removal Applications

Hydraulic systems can easily perform tasks that are otherwise impossible with other forms of power transmission. The waste and recycling industry presents several opportunities for hydraulic tools to outshine their competition. Many hydraulic tools form parts of greater hydraulic hybrid systems. These systems often act as the primary power source for waste removal vehicles like:

  • Garbage trucks: Hydraulic systems make it easier for garbage trucks to load and transport solid waste. Hydraulic systems also appear at dumpsites and landfills to lift and dump garbage.
  • Trash compactors: High-efficiency motors drive hydraulic systems in compactors, which take advantage of their superior compression abilities to create more space-efficient waste.
  • Street sweepers: Hydraulic systems to power motors to rotate street sweeper brushes. Hydraulic systems also create atomized mists of high-pressure water, which use less water than other types of power washing tools.

Why Choose Hydraulic Hybrid Systems?

Hydraulic hybrid systems assist in a variety of problems faced by waste management and disposal professionals. They can capture as much as 70% of the kinetic energy released by their regenerative braking systems, which store and release hydraulic energy.

How Hydraulic Hybrid Systems Work

In a hydraulic hybrid system, one pump is powered by a truck’s engine to pressurize the system. The remaining two pumps connect with one rear wheel each, which enables them to capture braking energy and use this stored energy to accelerate the vehicle later on. Special components called accumulators are responsible for the actual capture and release of braking energy. When a truck driver depresses the brake pedal, the two pumps connected with the rear wheels convert the moving truck’s kinetic energy into hydraulic power. The conversion process causes the truck to decelerate, and the resulting hydraulic energy is stored in the accumulators for later use. When the accelerator pedal is depressed, hydraulic energy is released from the accumulators to propel the truck forward.


Using a hydraulic hybrid system in waste management and disposal applications comes with many benefits, which include:
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced wear and tear on the engine
  • Extended brake life
  • Reduction in noise levels
  • Brake recovery energy capabilities
  • Fuel savings

Ready to Order Your Hydraulic Tool?

Let’s face it—waste removal applications are rough on every system, including hydraulics. That’s why you should partner with a certified hydraulics expert when you’re updating your equipment. Metro Hydraulic Jack Co. is one of America’s premier hydraulic cylinder suppliers. We’ve repaired and distributed cylinders and other hydraulic tools to waste management businesses across the country, and our products take part in many of the daily applications essential to this field. From hydraulic cylinders and pumps to hydraulic valves and jacks, Metro Hydraulic has a proven track record in designing the most optimal equipment for your needs. If you would like to learn more about how partnering with our team will improve your waste processing capabilities, contact us today.
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