Hydraulic lift systems are tools used to lower or raise work platforms and other surfaces. Powered by hydraulics, which is also sometimes called liquid mechanics, hydraulic lifts are able to support, lift and move heavy or large objects that could not be moved by manual labor.
Different types of hydraulic lifts are used for varying applications. For example, hydraulic lift tables are used to position work materials at an access point that is ergonomically beneficial to the worker. Aerial lifts and platform lifts, on the other hand, are used to lift workers to heights that could not otherwise be accessed. The manufacturing industry is a major user of hydraulic lifts, especially in warehouses requiring both personnel lifts like scissor lifts as well as material handling lifts such as pallet lifts. However, many other industries utilize hydraulic lifts as well. The construction industry uses them in roofing applications and during masonry work. The automotive industry makes extensive use of lifts, particularly Rotary® vehicle lifts, during vehicle repairs and inspections. Small hydraulic lifts are also used during automotive parts repair. In aviation, lifts are used as passenger and luggage elevators. Hydraulic lifts are even used in private residential contexts to improve handicap accessibility (some small consumer lifts can be electric as well).
There is a wide variety of hydraulic lift types, although some types are more common than others. The most common types of hydraulic lifts are aerial lifts, scissor lifts, platform lifts, vehicle lifts and pallet lifts. While aerial lifts are most often a type of scissor lift, they are able to extend to dramatic heights, typically between ten and fifty feet in the air. This type of hydraulic lift is beneficial for personnel in warehouse buildings requiring access to high shelving units. Scissor lifts, perhaps the most common lift variety, raise by means of a crossed, accordion-like base. As the base extends, the platform or basket on top of the scissor lift is elevated to the desired height. Platform lifts, also referred to as elevated work platforms, are conceptually similar to hydraulic lift tables. Platform lifts, however, are much larger than table lifts and are used for larger-scale lifting tasks. Vehicle lifts are used to lift vehicles in automotive repair and inspection bays; vehicle lifts are among the strongest hydraulic lift varieties. Vehicle lifts not only raise and lower vehicles such as cars and trucks; they can be used to lift school buses, dump trucks and other very large vehicles. Pallet lifts are used for material handling and shipping applications in which pallets are involved. Also known as transporters, pallet lifts raise pallets from a ground position to a raised position when moving a pallet-loaded object.
While hydraulic lifts are most commonly used in industrial and many commercial and residential applications, they are not the only type of lift available for use. Other types of lifts include electric lifts and pneumatic lifts. Electric lifts are powered by means of electricity instead of by compressed fluids. This type of lift is often utilized in industries such as electronics fabrication, healthcare and consumer products contexts for small materials handling applications and for accessibility improvement. There are other cases in which hydraulic lifts are impractical or insufficient to meet the needs of a task. In the case of skyscrapers and other very tall structures, no hydraulic lift would be suitable for performing outer maintenance tasks like window washing or repair; such tasks would be restricted to cranes and pulley systems, which suspend rather than lift and are limited in their axes of movement only by the length and strength of their cables. Lifts are better suited to tasks that are above ground but not too far from the ground.
The various types of hydraulic lifts all are powered in the same way even though they may function differently due to design or size. Based on the principle of hydraulics, hydraulic lifts utilize force that is applied to a hydraulic fluid in order to transfer energy from one area to another. During this process, the force is multiplied, making hydraulics a powerful movement generation method. The transferred energy is used to drive the hydraulic cylinder within the lift to provide the required energy to raise or lower an object. Hydraulic lifts must be constructed from materials that perform well under pressure, including stainless steel, woven wire and rubber. Hydraulic lift manufacturers make some lifts mobile with attached wheels, much like a forklift, while other hydraulic lifts can be mounted as part of a process line. Smaller hydraulic lifts are often used for holding and moving products in a manufacturing setting. Hydraulic lifts can be automated, partially automated or completely manually operated; this quality depends on the configuration and intended application of the equipment. It is important to consider the strength and durability of a hydraulic lift as well as its size and height restrictions. Such considerations are essential to safe and effective hydraulic lift use.
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smooth part of landing or car entrance area.
- The complete up and down action of a lift table.
- A vessel of fluid with a shaft and piston that moves in response to a decrease or increase of pressure.
- Lift in which the cylinder is directly attached to the car.
- Unit that provides the power and applies the necessary energy to raise and lower a lift.
- A cylinder, laid horizontally, used for compaction as part of the winch.
- Used to move equipment or materials from one level to another.
- The study of ways to reduce injury and increase ease of physical activity through correct training, posture and product design.
- Moved or operated by pressurized fluid, often in a tube or valve.
The combination of a piston and ram, which creates a push and pull force on a part.
- A substance that is used in hydraulic pistons to create pressure and as a lubricant.
- A water pump that uses the flowing water to force a small amount of that water to a pool at another level.
- A surface for work designed with a permanent position for the unloading and loading of lift devices.
- A rating of a load on a hydraulic lift or scissors lift relative to the application of an evenly distributed load.
- Hydraulic cylinder for raising and lowering, usually on a bucket or dozer.
- Braces used to stabilize equipment through hydraulically controlled means.
- Cylinder using hydraulics to control the tilt of a bucket.
- A device that allows the transfer of hydraulic fluid made of two parts, one attached to the operating mechanism and one to the undercarriage of the machine.