Hydraulic Lift: What Is It, How It Works, and Customization Options

Portable Hydraulic Lift Table

A hydraulic lift handles heavy and bulky loads in a variety of applications, such as construction sites and warehouses.

Hydraulic lifts are available in different configurations, each one designed to increase efficiency and safety in its intended material handling application. All hydraulic lifts rely on a hydraulic cylinder to lift, position, or move an intended load.

At Unidex, we specialize in providing lifting equipment for every industry. Understanding the basic design of hydraulic lifts, their applications, and the types we offer will help you determine the ideal solution for your application.


How Do Hydraulic Lifts Work?

Hydraulic lifts rely on a cylinder for movement. There are different types of hydraulic cylinders-single, double acting, and telescoping. Most hydraulic lift tables use a single acting cylinder. The cylinder converts hydraulic energy into linear movement. With a single acting cylinder it uses pressure to push the rod out and gravity pressure to return. The hydraulic cylinder consists of a rod, piston, cylinder body, caps and seals.

  • Rod: The rod is connected to the piston and when the lower chamber fills with fluid it raises the piston and rod.
  • Piston: The cylinder has a piston with seals that divide the body into two chambers. The piston travels inside the cylinder body.
  • Cylinder Body: The cylinder body contains pressure between the cap and the base.
  • Caps and seals: The cap contains rod seals, wipers, rod bearing band to keep contaminates out of the cylinder and prevent metal on metal contact.
  • Pump: When hydraulic fluid is fed into the inlet port, it will exert force and raise the rod and piston. This can be accomplished with a hand or foot pump, electric driven pump or air driven pump.


Applications for Hydraulic Lifts

The following applications depend on hydraulic lifts:

  • Aerospace: Hydraulic lifts safely lift and position heavy and oversized aircraft structures, enhancing worker safety.
  • Automotive: By lifting automotive vehicles and components, hydraulic lifts provide better access to the entire vehicle for inspection, repair, maintenance, and manufacturing.
  • Construction: Lifting and transporting heavy equipment and materials on construction sites would not be possible without hydraulic lift systems.
  • Industrial: Hydraulic lifts position and transport heavy and oversized loads in industrial settings. They also provide lifting for inspection, shipping, repair, and assembly applications.
  • Marine: Marine applications like cargo transportation and handling also rely on hydraulic lift systems.
  • Mining: In mining, hydraulic lifts safely and consistently transport heavy loads like rocks and dirt.


Types of Hydraulic Lifts Offered by Unidex

Unidex offers a variety of hydraulic lifts for various applications and industries. Our selection of lifts includes:

  • Table lifts lift and transport heavy loads.
  • Aircraft lifts lift and rotate heavy or bulky parts to a more accessible and ergonomic working height for repair or assembly employees.
  • Foot Pedal-pumped lifts are manually operated lifts that are foot-pumped to raise and space.
  • Medical lifts are made of stainless steel, with adjustable height workstations.
  • Pallet lifts elevate pallets or palletized loads in warehouse or assembly line environments.
  • Personnel lifts are portable lifts for lifting personnel off the ground to perform tasks like stocking, maintenance, or assembly line applications.
  • Stacker lifts are battery operated portable devices used to lift and transport product in the work area.

Unidex offers the following types of hydraulic lift products:


Custom Hydraulic Lift Solutions

Unidex can modify standard lifts or engineer custom hydraulic lift solutions to meet the needs of a specialized industry or application. Our hydraulic lifts can be customized by:

  • Frame dimensions
  • Special lift strokes or speeds
  • Special applications (stainless steel, heavy lift, explosion proof)
  • Special materials (ESD materials, laminates, stainless steel)
  • Multi-axis rotation
  • Special height requirements
  • Add-on components (forks, tables, clamps, shelves)

Our engineered-to-order solutions are made to fit your custom specifications or use cases. For example, we custom-engineer lift tables with electrostatic discharge (ESD) lining, casters, and a grounding chain for an electronic assembly company.

We serve customers across diverse industries and can make various modifications to suit strict regulations, workplace ergonomics, or specialized applications, such as corrosive environments and cleanrooms. See the full list of clients we serve.


Partner With Unidex for Your Lifting Solutions

Hydraulic lifts offer a safe and ergonomic method for lifting and transporting heavy loads. They can also provide lifting to facilitate easier servicing and maintenance.

Since 1991, Unidex has been a leading provider of material handling solutions. We have grown into a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of custom hydraulic lifts, with most of our products being engineered to order.

Contact us to request a quote or learn more about our products and capabilities.