Hydraulic Wheel Motors
Hydraulic wheel motors are built into wheel hubs. They supply the power needed to rotate the wheels and move the vehicle. Hydraulic wheel motors can impel the wheels to move backward or forward, depending on the direction the hydraulic fluid is pumped.
A hydraulic wheel motor can operate a single wheel or multiple wheels, depending on the power of the motor and the size of the machine. In cases in which the motor supplies power to more than one wheel, the motor is connected to sprockets and each sprocket is connected to a wheel. Through this setup, power is distributed to the wheels. Hydraulic wheel motors use hydraulic cylinders to convert hydraulic energy into mechanical power. In a hydraulic cylinder, fluid from the reservoir is pumped into one chamber; this action pushes the piston inside to its fully extended length. The linear motion created provides mechanical power. Finally, the fluid in the upper chamber returns to the reservoir so that the cycle can continue. Although they can be used in multiple applications, hydraulic wheel motors are most common in construction equipment.