Heavy equipment is used in many different industries to help make work more efficient. Most heavy machinery runs using hydraulic power. The hydraulic cylinder is like the heart of the hydraulic system, so replacing a faulty cylinder with a new one is critical to the performance of your machinery over time.

Buying a new hydraulic cylinder can be challenging, but there are some things you can keep in mind to help make sure you end up with the right replacement part.

1. Look for a Low Viscosity Rating

You want the fluid within your hydraulic system to flow freely. It is this free-flowing fluid that helps create the power used by your heavy machinery. Pay attention to the viscosity rating of all hydraulic pumps when you are investing in replacement parts.

Viscosity is a measure of the resistance to flow, so you want a cylinder with a low viscosity. Check the horsepower rating on your old pump and invest in a replacement pump with an equal (or slightly higher) horsepower rating. This will help ensure that viscosity remains low so that your new cylinder will be able to serve your heavy equipment well into the future.

2. Check the Hydraulic Pump Curve

All hydraulic pump manufacturers make performance curves accessible for the products they manufacture on a regular basis. You should always consult the performance curve for a hydraulic cylinder before you invest in a replacement part.

You can use the pump line and speed requirements of your heavy machinery to identify the hydraulic cylinder capable of maximizing efficiency and power. If you aren't sure how to read the performance curve, your heavy equipment parts supplier will be able to help you interpret the information to identify the best cylinder for your machine.

3. Make the Initial Adjustments

Once you receive your replacement hydraulic cylinder from a parts supplier, you will need to make several initial adjustments to ensure the cylinder functions properly.

Take the time to oil the bearing housings, set the impeller clearance, and add the right hydraulic fluid before you install a new cylinder in a piece of heavy machinery. These initial adjustments make it possible for the cylinder to begin functioning with maximum efficiency from the moment it is installed in your piece of equipment.

Don't let a replacement hydraulic cylinder compromise the quality of your heavy equipment. Take the time to consider viscosity rating and performance curves when purchasing a new cylinder, then make any adjustments needed prior to installation to extend the life of the cylinder well into the future.