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Category: Hydraulic Systems

How Hydraulics Transformed the Agriculture Industry

A century ago, a vast majority of the US population lived and worked on farms to raise crops or cattle for personal use and profit. Initially, all agricultural operations were performed manually and required significant manpower. However, the introduction and use of modern agricultural machinery, including hydraulic devices and equipment, allowed farmworkers to complete tasks faster, reducing the number of farmhands required for day-to-day operations. This decreasing demand translated to an increasing number of people migrating from agriculture to other sectors. As it stands today, only about one percent of the US population works in agriculture.

Hydraulic power was one of the key factors in the transformation of the agriculture industry. In addition to increasing efficiency and productivity in agricultural operations, hydraulic equipment offers a host of other benefits.

The Impact of Hydraulic Power

The introduction of hydraulics significantly changed the agriculture industry, especially regarding the method and manner of production. By adopting hydraulic equipment, industry professionals:

  • Reduced the amount of manual power needed (both in terms of workers and work animals)
  • Lowered the risk of injury (due to the lower number of hours spent working in the field)
  • Limited the amount of downtime between agricultural operations
  • Increased individual and overall efficiency and productivity
The impact of hydraulic power is still visible in the agriculture industry today, especially in domestic and international commercial agricultural systems. From crop planting to harvesting and cattle breeding to slaughter, a wide range of agricultural operations relies on hydraulic systems. As farming and livestock operations are reliant on small windows of opportunity dictated by the seasons and market conditions, work disruptions are detrimental to a farmer’s profits. Hydraulic equipment is especially beneficial in limiting downtime and maintaining high productivity.

Critical Applications of Hydraulics

Some of the typical agricultural machines that utilize hydraulic power are:

  • Tractors, the workhorses of the modern farm, initially used hydrostatic transmissions. However, today, hydraulic drives are common. Depending on the type employed, they may feature a hydraulic wheel motor or track drive motor.
  • Sprayers are used for uniform distribution of fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals. Although they can be towed and mounted on trailers and tractors, some sprayers are designed for self-propulsion. Many of the self-propelled sprayers employ hydrostatically powered wheel motors to achieve independent movement.
  • Combine harvesters and forage harvesters, as their names suggest, are used for harvesting. Forage harvesters are used for gathering fodder for cattle, while combine harvesters simultaneously reap and thresh while harvesting crops. Both of these harvesters can be self-propelled. Like sprayers, they also use hydrostatically powered wheel motors.
  • Track loaders are used on the farm for loading operations. These slow-moving machines use hydraulic track drive motors to produce the slow speeds and high torque necessary to drive the tracks.
In addition to the ones listed above, there are many other types of agricultural equipment that use hydraulic drives and transmissions to power and drive their operations, such as muck spreaders, feeder mixers, irrigation systems, and forestry machines.

Contact the Agricultural Hydraulic Team at Metro Hydraulic Jack Co.

At Metro Hydraulic Jack Co., we have supplied hydraulic equipment and parts to a wide range of industries for over 75 years. Our hydraulic product offerings include pumps, valves, cylinders, and jacks suitable for use in agricultural applications. To support our products, we also offer the following services:

  • Engineering assistance
  • Hydraulic jack repair
  • Hydraulic cylinder repair
To learn more about our product and service offerings, contact us or request a free quote today.
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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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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.

Benefits

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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