Supply chain challenges have wreaked havoc across the nation. The increase in out-of-stock items is the new normal. When a part breaks and production is stopped money is on the line. Longer than average wait times and out-of-stock items can be detrimental to business. What if there was another way to get back to work? Finding a reliable and experienced vendor specializing in equipment repair and custom machinery can be a great solution.

Repairs

Working with old equipment can be frustrating. Add in a lack of part inventory, and the stakes are even higher. When a part that’s essential to keep the business running breaks, a solution is needed – and fast. Sometimes a new part isn’t going to get production back on track as quickly as possible. Partnering with a quality machine repair company is a business fundamental… It can mean being able to source a repair quickly and even having the option for an on-site visit for a mobile on-site repair. Time is money and having multiple repair option scan save you both. A repair can be more cost-effective than waiting for an out-of-stock part, but the right repair resource is key.

Custom Machinery

If a part is damaged beyond repair and supply chain constraints simply mean there is no way to get the part in a timely manner, custom machinery can get business back on track. A custom machine shop can create the exact part and eliminate the need to wait on an out-of-stock part to become available. As a local machine shop with expertise in custom machinery we typically have shorter wait times and can get your project quoted quickly. When you choose custom machinery, you get the exact part or machine that will provide the best solution to your problem.

Reliable Vendor

When times are tough and you are fighting out-of-stock shortages that can stop your business, choosing a reliable machine shop is important to get the work done quickly and within budget. When emergencies arise, and the work has to be done out of house to get operations back on track, having a partner you trust with expertise and industry knowledge is essential.

At Yarbrough, we utilize all the tools in our toolbox to keep our customers’ operations on track. Partnering with a local machine shop is a great solution to get quick repairs or custom machinery. Stop worrying about out-of-stock surges and call the expert team at Yarbrough Industries for a free quote today.

Ready to discuss your next project?

Searching “custom metal fabrication near me” is not enough to find a qualified and reliable vendor. It’s time-consuming to find an experienced vendor capable of providing the right services, especially when you need more time designing and building products. When custom machining services are needed, finding a vendor that provides quality metal fabrication and exceeds expectations is essential. Production times, false guarantees or receiving complex parts short of the necessary spec qualifications can drag projects out, leaving engineers juggling tighter project timelines between vendors and clients.

Instead, we’ve put together three ways you can review a custom machining services and quality machine repair service vendor, including top qualities to look for to get the quality custom machining services you need.

1. Review Prior Experience

A great starting place is asking, “Has your team worked on a project like this before?” While it may seem simple, experience is a great teacher. Benefits include vendors who foresee problems, efficiently execute projects and accurately provide complete timelines for projects. A shop that provides various industrial services is more likely to have the techniques and experience to create exactly what is needed for custom machine parts while anticipating any potential problems. An industrial services vendor’s range of products and services provides the first clue of what their team is capable of managing. Ask about experience, not only for the size of the project but also about customization levels. While a smaller shop may specialize in custom machining, they might not have the ability to produce at a high enough volume for another project. Likewise, many high-volume plants lack the ability to create custom parts as the volume of production cannot be interrupted. Either way, it’s best not to assume and hear for yourself about their prior experience as it pertains to current capabilities.

At Yarbrough, we provide industrial services from expert metal fabrication, machine maintenance, engineering, part sales, and in-shop or on-site heavy equipment repair. We’ve also been doing this for over 75 years – giving our teams the experience and expert knowledge to become a one-stop shop for any project. Our high-tech equipment and expert-level knowledge in metal forming and bending has allowed us to work on various projects, from custom machining services to quality machine repair. We offer intricacy in designs and customization of parts — we consult directly with our clients to ensure we successfully execute any and all complex projects.

2. Discuss the Project Specs

The scale of a project for custom machining services greatly affects how vendors approach projects and can also have a large impact on the ability to give attention to details and produce high-quality parts. Some engineers default to high-volume plants for larger projects, but this is not always the best approach. Since these shops deal with many customers, they cannot provide the same quality level of parts and are more liable to produce parts that don’t meet the spec standards set. Yes, it may save a smidge of the budget, but the time spent to have to reevaluate with the spec standards aren’t met is much more costly. Smaller shops are an excellent resource for large projects since they have the same resources to get the work done but have the ability to evaluate complex instructions with more attention to detail.

At Yarbrough, our capabilities extend beyond simple fabrication. Our on-site hydraulics and machining divisions can produce the same volume as larger shops, but can also provide complex, custom machining services and quality machine repair.

3. Consider Project Execution

When dealing with complex custom parts, it’s important to understand the standard operating procedures and processes a vendor has in place to produce what you need accurately and on time. Quick reference guides, project checklists and quality control standards are all great topics that should be brought up for deeper conversation.

At Yarbrough, we pride ourselves on technical precision and efficient workflow. When these two combine, the result is that projects are executed to meet all specifications while delivering on project deadlines.

With a long-standing reputation for excellent customer service, Yarbrough is committed to listening to your needs and executing projects with precision. We build long-standing relationships with our customers as they grow to rely on us time and time again. A Yarbrough partnership means you can redirect your focus where needed most while we focus on the work.

Ready to discuss your next project?

Engineers are problem solvers. They find a way to create something that meets a need through ingenuity and technical expertise. However, a new problem arises when trying to figure out how to bring the concept into the physical world. How to find the resources to make the custom components?

1. Figure Out Where

Many engineers have searched for ‘custom metal fabrication near me’ and see numerous results. But parsing through those results can be quite cumbersome. Parts might come from contract plants, machine shops, in-house services, or even brokers looking to connect companies. Local machine shops provide the most options for genuinely custom machined parts. Unlike contract plants that often use assembly lines or in-house shops with less equipment, a machine shop will host a wide range of tools and technology to meet any customization need, like a custom metal laser cutting machine. Their ability to use a range of machines and methods means buyers aren’t limited to just small custom machined parts but can add functionality like hydraulics without using a second location.

2. Ask About Timing

Machine shops know that time is essential and often spread between many projects at once. It’s important to be confident that the part is right the first time and meets the exact specifications required. So while timing can vary by project, some vendors will consult with clients to establish a timeline that won’t make false promises and helps efficiently get work done right. Fast turnaround time is essential, as is high-quality work. An up-front and in-depth discussion between client and supplier helps ensure both are provided.

3. Check The Work

Vetting vendors can be a time-consuming process, and the last thing busy managers need is to do this process repeatedly, trying to find quality work. Touring facilities and consulting with fabricators are significant steps in ensuring trust in the process. Through these discussions, companies can rule out any potential issues and make sure every design step is understood and in good hands. Vendor reputation can also be a valuable indicator of quality.

Custom machined part orders can have much more detail than the drafted design. In addition to size and shape, there are product qualities like material and grade, product finish and construction style and type. Translating a sketch or even a 3D rendering into a completed product can require considerations that are not always immediately apparent. A vendor with knowledgeable technicians will watch out for these factors, and one with a wide range of equipment protects against assembly line inaccuracy.

No matter what parts a company is looking for, the right vendor is critical to ensure that the full design is done well. The right vendor will work with clients to understand their needs and source a project appropriately, whether that is obtaining parts from a manufacturer or creating them through custom fabrication.

Need parts or services delivered on your site?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of service options or replacement parts to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

It is no surprise that with the global shortages that continue into 2022, finding quality hydraulics with optimal lead times can be challenging. When sourcing hydraulic repair shops or simply ordering parts, buyers want to find vendors that offer a one-stop shop for all their needs. We have listed three key ways to vet potential vendors to ensure that they meet every need.

1. Research the Vendors

Research vendors in the area to find vendors with the bulk of products needed to cut down on the number of orders placed and therefore the number of lead times and orders to track.

Also, look into a vendor’s warranties and policies. If you can find a hydraulic machine shop that sells high-quality hydraulics with extended warranties that can service those parts if and when needed, you can greatly cut down on spending while not sacrificing quality.

2. Know the Difference Between an OEM and a Parts Distributor

An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) builds an entire machine. They are more than likely only fixing and selling those parts related to the hydraulic systems of the machines they manufacture.

A Parts Distributor is an authorized reseller of pieces and parts for many different machines. Distributors sell the components – pumps, motors, valves, hoses, seals – for all makes rather than just one specialty brand or product.

Sometimes hydraulic parts are purchased from these companies, but if you lack the ability to perform the labor, finding a Parts Distributor with a hydraulic machine shop can be beneficial since they are full service and specialize in hydraulics.

3. What is Considered a Better than Average Lead Time?

The million-dollar question as global shortages continue is how long is the lead time? Even when finding quality hydraulics, ensuring they will be delivered on time is equally important.

One to two weeks is an impressive turnaround time for products in hydraulic sales to arrive. To minimize tight timelines and wrong lead times, ordering as early as possible is always the best bet. Because of global shortages, some lead times are up to 42 weeks.

Ask potential vendors prior to purchasing what their lead time is for any given project. Make sure that you understand fully how long a part will take to arrive and therefore how any delays could impact your project. It may be just the thing needed to help choose between two potential vendors as well.

When purchasing hydraulic parts, buyers need a company that makes the process as seamless as possible. From ordering to servicing, that is what Yarbrough Industries specializes in. Yarbrough’s expertise allows them to provide quality hydraulics with an experienced service team so that a one-stop-shop can be obtainable.

Need parts or services delivered on your site?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of service options or replacement parts to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

When machines go down during a project, time is of the essence. Halting production means extending project timelines resulting in opportunity cost of missed time as well as the potentially high costs of repairs. And despite hand-picked teams of heavy machine operators, stonemasons, electricians, and other skilled tradesmen, many construction managers simply do not have hydraulics repair technicians on their roster. Getting hydraulics up and running quickly is essential to bringing projects in on time and under budget.

Hydraulic Equipment

This is not as easy as it may first seem. The operating conditions for hydraulic equipment can vary widely, even within the same location. Machines can differ on many components including fluids, pressure, and temperature. And the construction of these devices is complex and multi-layered, with over 16 different hose types and numerous fittings from multiple manufacturers.

With so many variables to account for the problems that can lead to breakdowns are numerous. Some of the most common issues include hoses blowing off, cracking, bursting, or leaking. Simple everyday use can result in bends or kinks that damage the hose beyond repair, and even a regular maintenance schedule won’t eliminate the possibility of breakdowns. Normal wear and tear also gradually lowers the cylinder’s efficiency, so repair is beneficial to the machine even without a breakdown. Issues with the hydraulic cylinder can also damage the surrounding system components. In these cases skilled and vetted technicians step in.

From Emergency Repair to Quality Repair

Many services offer emergency repair, but they are often ill-equipped to deal with hydraulic repair. These services often fail to fix the issue on the first visit and instead need to return with more equipment. When you’re operating on a project schedule, this back and forth simply won’t cut it. On-site services solve this problem by bringing everything needed for even advanced repair right to the breakdown location. They carry an expanded collection of hoses and fittings to accommodate any repair type that might be needed.

Not every hydraulics system is built the same, and some suppliers do not share the same standard for hoses or fittings sizes. In these cases custom fabrication can be done on the spot, resulting in the right size and shape for any job need. Using top of the line Aeroquip custom materials, these hoses can be made quickly while you wait, eliminating the need to outsource or wait at a store. While common practice is to replace a hose with a duplicate, technicians can determine the cause of failure while performing repairs. And if standard use led to a hose breaking down earlier than anticipated it is possible to replace it with a superior option. Quality tests are always run to ensure that all repairs are up to the highest standard.

The Yarbrough Difference

On-site service is the difference between getting hydraulics repair done and getting hydraulics repair done fast. The capabilities and selection of Yarbrough Industries mobile services ensure that technicians arrive on location with whatever tools and parts are needed and can get right to work. Every nuance of selection, repair, and even fabrication is taken care of. With expert technicians ready to work right away, machine breakdowns no longer have to grind production to a halt.

Need parts or services delivered on your site?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of service options or replacement parts to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

When construction equipment breaks, time and money rely on quick response. Project managers scramble for answers of who, how, and where to fix heavy equipment, but revenue ultimately depends on when construction equipment repair service can take action to find parts and labor to get a crew building again. 

Yarbrough Industries utilizes a team of experts to operate safe, efficient, and fast solutions for heavy construction equipment repair. The mobile repair service can arrive within hours on-site to fields and factories where equipment may lockdown. With two service trucks packed with parts, cranes, generators, testing equipment, and even welding gear,  the Yarbrough team is prepared to get most machines moving again. 

Machines

The mobile repair service at Yarbrough Industries is designed to service manufacturing and construction equipment on site. The repair team provides routine maintenance to fleets of equipment, service check-ups to manufacturing machines, and full on-site heavy construction equipment repairs. The team specializes in hydraulics with over 50 years of experience in diagnosing, repairing, and rebuilding key components of construction equipment that utilize hydraulic power. 

Parts

The mobile-service trucks at Yarbrough are prepared for quick fixes and loaded with common parts for construction and farm equipment. The truck has a crane prepared to lift a machine or remove heavy top components to access the inner mechanisms that need attention. The truck also carries a generator for power, and testing equipment to measure the power output of specific components. 

For hydraulic repairs, testing equipment is crucial for diagnosing problems and replacing specific parts that may be the root of the issue. The repair team keeps common part replacements for valves and hoses and also carries hydraulic oil. The team also can perform small welding jobs as needed. The mobile truck can have construction equipment ready to work within hours of arrival. 

If less common replacement parts are needed, the mobile service team can utilize the extensive inventory at Yarbrough Industries. The main service center is stocked with thousands of parts to replace components on demand. When a piece is not in stock, the Yarbrough team has an extensive network of partners and wholesalers that can help locate and ship rare and sometimes discontinued pieces to help keep work crews in motion. 

Parts purchased from Yarbrough Industries or installed by mobile repair teams are guaranteed for one year of service. 

Service

Yarbrough Industry is a small shop that brings midwest hospitality to every repair site. The repair team has over 50 years of experience with hydraulic equipment and additional years of service with small components and large machines. The mobile repair team provides a range of services from regular maintenance to large fleets of heavy construction equipment to on-demand urgent repairs to farm equipment. The repair team proudly serves the region to keep their neighbors building great things for families and communities. 

From bid to completion, the Yarbrough service team brings professional experts to projects that keep our clients building bigger and better communities. 

Need parts or services delivered on your site?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of service options or replacement parts to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

Few problems can derail project timelines as quickly as equipment breakdowns. Heavy construction equipment repair can be a challenge, especially when a hand-picked work crew of the best engineers, architects, and craftsmen are on schedule to build. Mobile construction equipment repair can supplement skills and fill a gap in crew experience to ensure projects continue on time and under budget. 

Many construction managers turn to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) when breakdowns occur, but a local repair service can offer fast and affordable repairs without sacrificing quality in parts or experience in service. 

Mobile construction equipment repair services offer four key benefits to improve operations.

 

Experience

Technician knowledge is essential not only for on-site safety but for proper installations that endure. Mobile services employ skilled and highly trained repair staff who prioritize site safety and project timelines. Local repair service technicians have years of on-site experience working with agricultural and heavy equipment varieties with in-depth knowledge of hydraulics.

Mobile construction equipment repair from a local service center makes good sense. Local partners have a network of retailers to find and ship the right parts faster and consult with experts to troubleshoot common problems or solve complex issues. 

 

Convenience

On-site repair service means the repair team arrives prepared to get heavy equipment moving. When large construction equipment breaks down, moving a machine to an OEM is impossible. Often teams work to break down large machines to extract a part that is perceived to have failed, but guessing which part needs replacing can be a frustrating game. 

Specifically, when working with hydraulics, a range of problems can hide the real issue. Most would guess a breakdown is related to the motor because the motor stops moving, but the actual fix can be different. A hydraulic motor will stop working when the pump, hose, or valve fails to perform efficiently. A mobile hydraulic repair service provider can quickly assess issues and holistically repair hydraulics with years of service to the industry.  

Independent shops offer a large inventory of factory-guaranteed parts. On-site repair teams keep standard valves and hoses in their repair vehicles. The repair vehicles also have a crane to help maneuver equipment or lift a hood or cover to better access internal components of heavy equipment. The team also brings hydraulic oil and testing equipment to measure the performance of hydraulic components. The repair team can even do minor welding work on-site. In short, a mobile equipment repair service arrives in any field or factory site prepared to get heavy equipment and work crews moving again. 

 

Saving Time

The ultimate convenience to work crews is time saved. Crews can lose time when working to diagnose and troubleshoot complicated repairs on their own. Technicians can arrive on-site to fix breakdowns within hours and eliminate extended wait times and part replacement challenges. 

Independent shops maintain a warehouse of quality parts, so there is no need to wait for shipping from the manufacturer. Instead, independent wholesalers can rapidly dispatch to a location with all the necessary tools, drastically cutting wait times and getting construction crews up and running again.

 

Lower costs

An OEM often charges maintenance fees, as well as opportunity costs for longer repair times. The longer a machine is down, the longer a production crew waits to complete projects that bring in revenue. On-site technicians can get the job done for a lower price, saving added expenses or budget headaches down the line. 

Bonus! Good Service

Dealing with OEMs can be impersonal. With on-site repair services, each project gets personalized attention. Independent services providers are neighbors and community members; they thrive on word of mouth and strive to satisfy every customer. Local equipment repair providers produce better service because they work one-on-one with friends, family, and neighbors to repair heavy construction equipment and get a community-building again. 

So why choose mobile services?

While it’s easy to default to OEMs, other alternatives can better match a construction manager’s needs. Mobile services offer quick and reliable solutions by skilled technicians with a personal touch. And they do so for less money and significantly less time to ensure projects come in on time and under budget for optimal performance in operations. A mechanical emergency may shut down production, but work crews no longer have to worry about production shutting down for long with mobile construction repair services. 

Need parts or services delivered on your site?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of service options or replacement parts to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

WHERE CAN I FIND A QUALIFIED VENDOR IF AN EMERGENCY ARISES? 

In the event of a mechanical emergency, promptly finding a qualified vendor to handle the repair is essential to getting production schedules back on track in a reasonable amount of time. While original equipment manufacturers (OEM) may be able to get the part needed, independent facilities can offer quality solutions in a fraction of the time and frequently at a reduced rate. 

There are many reliable industrial equipment repair services that specialize in customer and emergency services that can provide excellent assistance and warranties on their parts. When looking for a qualified vendor in an emergency, keep an eye out for highly-rated businesses that offer warrantied parts and services in your area. Many dependable companies offer nationwide services and can accommodate emergency repair no matter the location. Other valuable resources are local hydraulic repair shops and teams offering construction equipment repair.

HOW CAN I QUICKLY GET HEAVY EQUIPMENT FIXED IN A PINCH?

Defective heavy machinery can not only slow down production schedules but halt it all together. When equipment breaks down in the middle of a job, a quick response is vital to move projects forward.

Without a backup machine, time is of the essence, and a local or mobile service may be a time-saving option to handle equipment repairs. Not only will an independent repair shop avoid the maintenance fees associated with an OEM, but will target breakdown causes faster with repairs done on-site by locally employed technicians. 

Independent service shops can offer faster labor, lower prices, and increased access to reliable replacement parts. If using the OEM, specialty parts may need to be tracked down and will likely be hard to find within a short timeframe. Independent shops can speed up the repair process by offering a warehouse of options in quality parts and components in stock instead of shipping pieces from an equipment manufacturer. With a customized fit to each machine, a locally sourced replacement part efficiently gets equipment back up and operating!

 

WHAT TYPE OF EXPERIENCE DOES MY VENDOR HAVE WORKING ON CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT?

Working with heavy machinery requires a high level of expertise that skilled workers are trained to handle. Ensuring that a vendor has the required knowledge to provide equipment repairs is essential for both worksite safety and mechanical longevity.

Many industrial equipment repair businesses have impressive reputations that champion safety, efficiency, and most importantly propriety while repairing heavy machinery. When deciding on a local industrial equipment repair service, be sure to consider the reviews and reputation of the provider to avoid any unnecessary headaches. 

IS IT WORTH USING A 3RD-PARTY VENDOR OVER THE OEM? 

So, who is more reliable when immediate assistance is needed: a 3rd party vendor, or the original equipment manufacturer? 

While OEM repair options may seem like a reliable option for sudden breakdowns, taking this route may significantly increase the time equipment spends in the shop. When emergencies arise, and a quick repair is needed in a short time frame, an independent facility will likely have the skilled labor and the quality parts to offer the best solution to put heavy equipment back to work. 

Need help finding the right hydraulic parts?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of hydraulic products and offer diagnostic, testing, repair, and replacement services to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

If you use and maintain hydraulic equipment on a regular basis, you’ve more than likely found yourself running into a repair job that could have been easily fixed if you or your technicians had the right parts on hand. 

Instead, you’ve probably found yourself scrambling to find a vendor with the right part(s) in stock, rush ordering, and holding onto hope they’re able to get it to you sooner than later. Sound familiar?

While storing an excess of hydraulic spare parts does not make a whole lot of sense, having the right ones to keep your equipment up and running plays a big role in having an effective maintenance plan. But where do you start?

Here is a closer look at how to effectively manage your part inventory and what hydraulic parts you may want to keep around in case a machine goes down. 

Analyze & Identify Hydraulic Parts

One of the toughest challenges of managing an effective part inventory is having the right type of parts available when you’re troubleshooting your system and have to stop production.

Knowing your machinery and which parts are critical to its operations is the first step in creating an effective spare part inventory. This can include having everything from extra cylinders, pumps, and motors to extra valves, hoses, seals, and even o-rings. 

So how do you figure out which parts you should keep handy? 

To get a good idea, you should begin by analyzing past equipment and part data. Everything from past maintenance records, inventory adjustments, purchase orders, and downtime logs will provide invaluable insight into what spare parts will be the most beneficial and economical to have available at a moment’s notice. In addition, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your maintenance technicians and purchasing agents to see if they have any further insight or recommendations based on their experience with the equipment. 

Having this information will help you better forecast and identify exactly what type of parts to have on hand in case a machine’s hydraulic system fails

Here are a few spare hydraulic parts and components we recommend keeping in stock: 

  • Pumps
  • Hoses
  • Valves
  • Filters
  • Cylinders
  • Belts
  • Gaskets
  • Actuators
  • Fan Motors
  • Seals and O-rings

Remember, it is often more cost-effective to repair old hydraulic parts and keep them as spares than it is buying new ones. If you have old broken parts lying around, working with an experienced hydraulic repair technician can help you salvage them so they’re good as new and ready to use. 

Not sure whether to repair, rebuild or buy new hydraulic equipment? Check out this article we wrote. 

MAINTAIN YOUR HYDRAULIC PART INVENTORY

If you have a solid maintenance plan in place and are taking care of your hydraulic equipment on a regular basis, ideally spare parts should not have to be used too often. However, as the saying goes – it’s better to be over-prepared than under. 

That said, you don’t want a cluttered inventory full of unnecessary spares taking up space. 

To manage your part inventory and help determine the most economical quantity of parts to order there is a formula known as the Economic Order Quantity Formula (EOQ).

The EOQ Formula can help you prevent both loss and waste in your inventory by calculating an annual order quantity that minimizes costs and maximizes your order efficiency. You can find out more about the EOQ Formula here

EOQ Formula

Here is a simplified example:

Annual Demand: 200 units
Order cost: $5.00
Holding Cost: $1.25
Calculated Order Amount = 40 units

While having a formula is helpful, there is no equation that will help you maintain a perfect inventory at all times. There are too many variables and unforeseen circumstances that come with maintenance and repairs. That’s where having a reliable hydraulics vendor comes into play. 

A reliable vendor will effectively help you manage your part inventory by understanding your equipment needs, help you save time and money, and be able to get you out of a pinch when circumstances call for it. 

When it comes to hydraulics, a reliable vendor should have hydraulic repair experience and a diverse inventory of products available. They should be able to supply you with a wide variety of high-pressure hydraulic products, including pumps, cylinders, valves, clamping components, and also any related hydraulic products, including pneumatic and lubrication products.

Overall, maintaining the proper inventory of spare hydraulic parts can be the difference between extensive unscheduled downtime or same-day repairs. Analyzing and identifying these parts, keeping up on routine maintenance, managing your inventory, and having a reliable go-to hydraulic shop will all help you speed up repair times, minimize downtime, and eliminate excessive costs when equipment goes down. 

Need help finding the right hydraulic parts?

At Yarbrough Industries, we have a large selection of hydraulic products and offer diagnostic, testing, repair, and replacement services to help get your operations back up and running in no time.

Material Handling is a necessary part of most manufacturing processes. It involves lifting, moving, and dumping products, ingredients or different components. Although a lot of material handling equipment is still powered by humans, such as carts and dollies, there is also a component that relies heavily on hydraulic-powered equipment. Hydraulics can improve safety, function and power in material handling equipment. In fact, hydraulics make much of the material handling machinery you currently know possible. Even the smallest production or distribution facilities use hydraulic power.

Pallet Jacks

Pallet jacks are the perfect example. Shipments are strapped to pallets when they are too large for humans to lift and carry independently. The simplest pallet jack is able to lift and move the wooden skids around using a hydraulic bottle jack. Although it is often considered a human-powered cart, it can lift anywhere up to 5,000lbs or more due to the incredible power of the hydraulic system.

That isn’t the only part powered by hydraulics, however. The pallet jack employs a single-acting bottle jack mounted atop the pivoting steering wheels. A lever remotely operates the two-position valve within the handle, and when flipped forward allows pumping action to occur. The simple up and down reciprocating action of the handle sends fluid into the ram, lifting the pallet a few inches off the ground to facilitate easy transport. Many variations of the pallet jack provide a full selection balancing price with productivity. Some units employ electrically driven hydraulic pumps for easy and rapid lift, while others gain electric wheel drive to aid operators with heavy loads.

Fork Truck

Oftentimes, a manufacturing or distribution center will have a storage system that towers over where a simple pallet jack could reach. When this is the case, it is inevitable that a fork truck is part of the equation. A small fork truck, called a stacker, is able to do higher lifting because they use hydraulic levers or electronic joysticks, and their short profile allows the stacker to fit into tight spaces. Stackers do tend to have more limitations in both height and weight capacity, when compared to the forklift, however.

Fork Lift

Forklifts are where you see hydraulics begin to proliferate. Where a pallet jack has a single bottle jack, your forklift never runs with less than three hydraulic functions. What many people don’t realize is that a forklift that only allows for up and down motion would be a tremendous challenge. In order to make stacking pallets a little easier in the hard-to-see, hard-to-reach places, a forklift must also have a side-shift cylinder to move the lift laterally.

Bin Tipper

Bin tippers also use hydraulic cylinders to lift, tilt and dump the contents of bins using a fork truck. This means the hydraulics must be able to move the mast angle forward or backward to place pallets and remove them, as well as maintaining the center of gravity.

Hydrostatic Transmission

For those more fortunate, we can add another dimension to the forklift with a hydrostatic transmission. This provides both forward and reverse operation by tilting the control mechanism in one direction or the other. A pump powers the wheel motor in either direction in a smooth, controlled fashion. This is especially helpful when it comes to high capacity forklifts.

There are many more places you might find hydraulic power within your facility. When you take a moment to look around, I am sure you can place several. Hydraulic fluid power is the perfect partner in a material handling environment. Whether you are handling pallets or working with a custom manufactured product, every manufacturing, distribution and industrial environment can benefit from hydraulics. 

Keeping your equipment in working order is imperative for success in your industry. Yarbrough Industries so our expert technicians can get you up and going in no time.

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