Basic Components of a Hydraulic System

Basic Components of a Hydraulic System

Hydraulic systems rely upon pressurized fluids for power generation to perform heavy lifting or other rugged tasks, providing precision for repetitive applications. To work efficiently, hydraulic systems are made up of various parts that facilitate fluid transport, heat transfer, pressure control, energy creation, and more. Learn about the individual components of a typical hydraulic system, and how they work together to provide high-performance functionality for a variety of applications.

The Components of a Hydraulic System

Each part of a hydraulic system is important to the functionality of the whole. If one piece fails, the entire system can lose pressure and fluids, or even produce too much pressure. Situations like these are dangerous when heavy machinery, lifts, or other equipment are involved. Water-, petroleum-, and mineral-based hydraulic fluids, as well as synthetics, are the vehicle for energy transmission through multiple parts of a hydraulic system, as well as thermal transfer and lubrication. 

Reservoir Oil Tank

The reservoir oil tank acts as the storage vessel for hydraulic oil. It also prevents oil contamination for optimal system operations. Internally, these tanks help fluids cool and allow solids to settle and air to escape.


Pipes carry fluids so that they may efficiently reach varying parts of hydraulic systems. The success of these systems depends on pipe type and maintenance, as they must withstand various pressures and have strong seals.

Hydraulic Pump

Utilizing a vacuum at its inlet, a hydraulic pump pulls system fluid from the reservoir and transports it through the system, generating hydraulic energy from mechanical energy. There are multiple kinds of available hydraulic pumps, including gear, piston, and vane pumps.

Power Source

Hydraulic systems generally receive power from an electric motor. The motor helps the system achieve fluid flow.


Working with hydraulic cylinders or motors, actuators effectively transform hydraulic energy back into mechanical energy in the form of linear or rotary motion, respectively.


To maintain proper pressure as well as flow direction and rate, actuated valves consist of spools or poppets to start or halt fluid flow. Some valve types include control valves, shut-off valves, and pressure-relief valves.


Filters safeguard hydraulic systems against potential blockages or equipment failure by catching contaminants in the fluid flow.

Applications of Hydraulic Systems

When precise, fast, or repetitive movement is necessary or a task requires heavy lifting, hydraulic systems offer that capability. A wide variety of industries utilize hydraulic systems for diverse tasks, including the automotive, industrial, marine, mining, and mobile hydraulics sectors. Some applications for these industries:

  • Processing machinery for metals, plastics, paper, textiles, and more
  • Automated production lines and material handling equipment
  • Presses and crushers
  • Construction equipment like backhoes and earthmovers
  • Agricultural machinery like tractors

M&M Hydraulic Company Offers Multiple Hydraulic Capabilities 

To function as expected in these varied applications, hydraulic system parts all require some level of maintenance over time. If you need your hydraulic systems repaired or replaced in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, or Iowa, look no further than family-owned and -operated M & M Hydraulic Company. 

We are a full-service repair shop with prototyping, engineering, machining, assembly, teardown, rebuilding, and testing services for standard or customized hydraulic pumps, cylinders, valves, and more. M & M Hydraulic also offers mobile services. Our skilled team will make a site visit, diagnose your problem, and complete reliable repairs. We stand by our work, which is why we offer a six-month warranty on pumps, cylinders, and motors after delivery.

With more than four decades of experience, our experts can assist you with your hydraulic system needs, no matter the scope of your project. Contact M & M Hydraulic to get started with your repairs.

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