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8 Most Common Hydraulic Cylinder Applications

8 Most Common Hydraulic Cylinder Applications


Hydraulic cylinders are utilized for a number of different equipment types and systems, providing the essential power for them to operate appropriately. There are many different hydraulic cylinder uses along with many different cylinder types. And with so many implementations, the hydraulic cylinder industry is worth quite a lot. In fact, as of 2020, the hydraulic cylinder market was worth $13.4 billion. And with so many emerging projects and industries implementing hydraulic applications, it’s only expected to grow.

Wondering if one of the types of hydraulic cylinders can benefit your business? You’ve come to the right place. To assist, we are breaking down the top applications of hydraulic cylinders.

#1. Construction

One of the most prevalent industries for hydraulic cylinder usage is construction.

Construction sites are home to many different tools and equipment types, many of which rely on hydraulic systems. For instance, a hydraulic cylinder can assist in powering essential tools, such as forklifts, excavators, and bulldozers.

In fact, hydraulic cylinders are often used from the very start of construction, providing the focused energy needed for the completion of your project. This is because hydraulic cylinders and pumps are often used in material handling equipment, concrete, and brick molding machines. So, they help lay the groundwork for your project. It’s not the only place hydraulic cylinders are needed - you’ll see them throughout construction sites as projects come to life.

#2. Waste Management

hydraulic cylinder usage

In the waste management industry, hydraulic cylinder applications are seen in various equipment and systems such as loaders, collection equipment, and lifters. Hydraulic cylinders are commonly used here as they help provide the necessary torque to control these large machines.

Additionally, trash compactors use hydraulic cylinders and motors to compact waste, conserving space within the truck and allowing for more waste removal in the process while limiting fuel consumption.

Hydraulic cylinders are also seen with street sweepers, helping to rotate the brushes. Plus, they are beneficial for sweepers that use water, helping reduce the water needed for a high-pressure mist for cleaner roads.

#3. Food Industry

Another common application of hydraulic cylinder systems is in the food industry. In many cases, different types of hydraulic cylinders are needed to power equipment in this industry. For instance, a hydraulic pump can power equipment, such as forklifts to transfer materials.

Occasionally, conveyor systems will source power using hydraulic cylinders helping them process, package, and position food products. This often requires a more powerful hydraulic cylinder and the help of a professional.

Additionally, hydraulic systems help ensure consistent torque for important equipment in the industry, such as procedures involving shaping, cutting, separating, transferring ingredients, mixing, and dicing.

Ultimately, hydraulic cylinders are essential to the food packaging industry to keep food fresh and achieve precision, and much of the industry's success depends on hydraulic cylinders.

#4. Mining

Another popular hydraulic cylinder use is in mining, especially when it comes to an essential piece of equipment - the stacker reclaimer.

A stacker reclaimer is a large mining machine involved in handling bulk materials. Since it can move multiple thousands of tons of aggregates every hour, it needs regular maintenance. This is where hydraulic cylinders come in, assisting in lifting the unit when things such as bearings need replacing.

#5. Infrastructure Repairs

Hydraulic cylinders are beneficial to use in different infrastructure repairs, including everything from lifting buildings to leveling bridges.

To lift large structures, such as buildings, hydraulic jacks are used in tandem with lifting systems to lift these heavy buildings. This is beneficial when the foundation of a building is in need of repair.

Another use is to lower and level structures such as bridges. This involves a bar lowering method, using single-acting high-tonnage cylinders and synchronous control units to control the bridge down and level it out.

#6. Metal Production

Another hydraulic cylinder used is in metal production. Often, hydraulic presses containing hydraulic cylinders are used in metal production. These cylinders exert force on metal, allowing it to be cut, bent, drilled, and assembled into pieces. Some of the hydraulic-powered machines that make this happen are grinders, planners, honing machines, and gears.

Due to the complexity involved in metal products, more robust hydraulic cylinders are required to make it possible, making consulting a professional on the different types of hydraulic cylinders more important.

#7. Marine

types of hydraulic cylinders

Hydraulic cylinders are used in the marine industry in several ways, including handling equipment and placing heavy loads onto a ship.

For instance, in cases where the slew bearing needs replacing on a ship loader, the upper structure needs to be lifted. To do this, double-acting cylinders are used in tandem with a lifting system to make this possible.

When it comes to controlling a ship in the water, hydraulic cylinders often play a critical role. It’s essential that loads remain even, with even weight distribution. In order to address uneven ships, a lifting system and double-acting cylinder help slowly lower cargo into the vessel.

#8. Agriculture

When it comes to the agriculture industry, a multitude of machines are controlled by hydraulic cylinders. This includes everything from tractors, to loaders, spraying equipment, ballers, heavy machines for planting, weeding, and harvesting, as well as skid steers.

With so much of the industry relying on the application of hydraulic cylinder equipment, hydraulic cylinders have become essential to the process of planting crops and rearing livestock. Plus, hydraulic cylinder usage is also seen with equipment such as wood splitters, making it a truly unavoidable addition to your agricultural projects.


From construction and mining to the food industry, there’s no limit to the hydraulic applications and the benefits they have on your industry. To ensure machines are properly powered and running smoothly, the different types of hydraulic cylinders can make a world of difference.

Still have questions like, “what does a hydraulic cylinder do?” or "what are the other hydraulic cylinder applications?". Our experts at Cylinders Inc. are here to help. As a leading hydraulic cylinder repair company, we can ensure your systems run smoothly with the right hydraulic cylinders in place. To learn more about hydraulic cylinders and our offerings, contact us today.

Cylinders inc. team



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