Success Story: Materials Handling

Rather than carrying multiple spare parts, this materials handling equipment provider came to us to develop a solution that would work on any machine…

A materials handling service solution provider, with an extensive hire fleet and field service vehicles and technicians, required assistance with designing some improved hydraulics solutions that would help it comply with ever-changing regulations and reduce lead times for customers.

“Hydraulics Online has a vast knowledge of their technology and of system design.” Chris, Technical Director

This leading supplier of rental and reconditioned forklift truck had a slightly unorthodox introduction to Hydraulics Online.  When its Technical Director spotted a Hydraulics Online service vehicle around nine years ago, he was just setting up a new technical department at the business.  The driver of the van was Hydraulics Online’s founder Mark Tonks and the pair got talking.

Technical Director, Chris, was assisting UK- based forklift truck dealers comply with new EU and UK legislation before the manufacturing plants could implement design and production changes.  He required a solution to retrofit a hydraulic consent system to hydraulically holding forklift truck attachments in order to comply with, what was at the time, new EU legislation.

Within two weeks, the Hydraulics Online team went back to Chris with a solution.

Chris says: “Hydraulics Online are the only company we’ve come across where we are able to give them these problem scenarios and they come back to us with a solution.  They have a vast knowledge of their technology and of system design and, because they are independent and not tied to any one manufacturer, I know they are giving us the best solution and the best products for that solution.”

A Profitable Partnership

Our customer had an immediate order from a major materials handling equipment and forklift manufacturer to retrofit its hydraulic consent system and, in the nine years since, has sold thousands of the units in the UK and Europe.

Chris says: “The solution Hydraulics Online helped us to develop has opened up doors for us with the technical departments of these major manufacturers, strengthening our relationships and generating steadily growing income for us.”

Our customer continues to work with major international manufacturers manufacturing outside Europe to retrofit the original solution Hydraulics Online designed.  Since then, Hydraulics Online has gone on to work with the business on a further five product lines, some in response to an immediate market need, like the consent valve, and others on a more speculative basis.

“With Hydraulics Online’s technical help we are able to react much faster to legislation and other change.  As well as ensuring compliance, this enables us to exploit market opportunities with the major suppliers,” says Chris.  “Our service work for one major manufacturer has seen a 25% year-on-year increase – and that’s all products Hydraulics Online supplies us with.”

Materials Handling Business Transformation

One transformative solution developed by the two companies has been the design of a generic and variable hydraulic system that could be adapted for all makes of forklifts.

Chris explains: “We wanted a system that would suit almost every forklift truck manufacturers product range, rather than having to order in specific parts to suit specific OEMs; something we could keep on the shelf, knowing we could modify it to suit.  Hydraulics Online designed a solution that could do this for us and overnight we went from having a six-week lead time – as dictated by the ordering and delivery of parts – to being able to offer a lead time measured in hours.”

This solution is now carried by all of the business’s service vehicles so that its team of technical engineers can offer a rapid, effective, high-quality solution to its customers when required – whatever the type of vehicle; helping to improve service to customers while keeping costs down and stock lean.

… because they are independent and not tied to any one manufacturer, I know they are giving us the best solution and the best products for that solution.” Chris, Technical Director

Chris says: “Hydraulics Online are very good at quickly understanding the problem and coming back with a solution design – including the products.  This is testament to their vast technical knowledge.  Technical support is absolutely crucial for us and the technical and customer support Hydraulics Online offers is fantastic and really valuable.  Their knowledge and their independence put them ahead of everyone else.”

How can we help you?

Testimonial: Procurement Management

Praise from a customer in West Africa, who offers services and general procurement management for companies in the mining, engineering and construction equipment and parts industry:

We will definitely be sharing with you enquiries from our customers for Hydraulic Pumps, we really appreciate your service.

Click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Testimonial: Tree Surgery and Forestry Contractors

It’s all in a day’s work for the technical team, with praise from a company who carries out all aspects of tree work and hedge cutting after recently ordering a Vivolo gear pump:

Thanks for a very prompt and knowledgeable service, I would certainly use your firm again.

We supply a wide range of hydraulic pump types including: Gear pumpsrotary vane pumpsfixed displacement pumps / screw pumpsbent axis piston pumpsaxial piston pumps,  radial piston pumps. If you’re up against particularly tight time scales or budgets we can offer direct equivalents to many of the better known hydraulic pump brands, and then there’s our hydraulic pump repair service which may also provide an alternative cost-effective solution for you.

Click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Testimonial: Cattle Breeders, USA

“This has been one of the best experiences we have ever had trying to find parts for our farming operation. Ian was extremely helpful with our purchase across the pond… a new experience for these old farmers.

Thanks to everyone for the fast and quality service.”

Some lovely feedback we received from Beefmaster cattle breeders in Tennessee, USA after they took delivery of a KYB hydraulic gear pump!

Hydraulics Catalogue

Visit our catalogue to see some of the hydraulic components we have within our range. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then call us or go to our Contact page to enquire online.

Parker Gear Pump

Even before becoming part of the Parker Group, Commercial Hydraulics was thought of as one of the world’s biggest names in gear pump manufacturing. And now with the Parker name behind them, Commercial Hydraulics continue to lead the way – the Parker gear pump series regularly referred to as the industry standard against which others are measured.

Parker Commercial Hydraulics

A Parker gear pump is still made to the same demanding standards set by Commercial Hydraulics – the only difference being that the old Commercial product codes are now preceded by “PG” (for Parker Group).

The Parker gear pump / motor range comprises:

Parker gear pump P30 P50 P75

  • P30, M30, PGP30, PGM30, P31, M31, PGP031, PGM031;
  • P50, M50, PGP050, PGM050, P51, M51, PGP051, PGM051;
  • P75, PGP075, PGM075, P76, PGP076, PGM076.

Designed for high-torque applications, the P30, P31, P50, P51, P75, P76 Parker gear pump series offer a wide variety of drive shafts, with unique pressure-balanced thrust plates contributing to optimal performance. Manufactured with hi-tensile grey iron, such a Parker gear pump can be supplied in single and multiple section configurations, with a choice of (relief) valve options.

Parker Gear Pump P315 P330 P350 P365

  • P315, PGP315, PGM315;
  • P330, PGP330, PGM330;
  • P350, PGP350, PGM350;
  • P365, PGP365, PGM365.

The PGP / PGM 300 Parker gear pump series delivers superior reliability and performance in even the most demanding of heavy-duty hydraulic applications. The three-piece cast iron construction with large area, low-friction bushings means that this Parker gear pump series provides strength, high efficiency, and long life in severe operating environments. The design includes an advanced thrust plate and seal configuration, which optimizes performance even in high temperature and low viscosity conditions.

Here at Hydraulics Online, we know that time and money are precious commodities, and that in a “real time” world that never sleeps, you can often find yourself needing something “yesterday” … with a budget under pressure to stretch ever further. Again. That’s why we also offer a range of completely interchangeable, direct equivalents to the Commercial Parker gear pump range. Built and tested here in the UK, you can be assured of a quality product that can more often than not be dispatched within 24 hours.

Our experienced technical sales team are a lovely bunch and will be more than happy to advise you on Commercial / Parker gear pumps if you are looking for more help and technical guidance… Or even a miracle!

Parker gear pump P76And in the meantime we’ll close with this unsolicited “thank you” from a new customer, received after they took delivery of their Parker P76 gear pump. They have since ordered another to hold as a spare:

Dear Ian,

I write to thank you for your assistance in delivering a replacement Parker tandem pump for our vessel “Adeline”.  The pump was installed on the main engine reduction gearbox this morning and has been successfully tested in all operating modes.  Your help was much appreciated, good weekend to you and your team.

Technical Director – Worldwide ship management services company.

Hydraulic Cylinder

Whether you’re looking for a single or double-acting, tie-rod, marine, subsea or welded hydraulic cylinder, something standard or made-to-order, we have it covered…

Better still, you can relax knowing that you’re dealing with a company with over 75 years’ technical experience, backed by ISO 9001 accreditation… and that means that you’re in safe hands. We never compromise on quality on a hydraulic cylinder. Ever.

… I searched for ages to find the right size hydraulic cylinder and you guys came up trumps. Excellent service… really helpful.

If you’re looking for a “standard” hydraulic cylinder, then hop over to our catalogue where we showcase some of the more popular hydraulic cylinders we have on offer:

Hydraulic cylinder catalogue

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always contact one of our hydraulic engineers – they love to talk – or go to enquire online go to our Contact page. If you’re looking for something a bit different, then our Bespoke Hydraulic Cylinder Design Form will help you capture the information we need to design a custom-made hydraulic cylinder tailored to your specific requirements and operating parameters. Just fill in as much as you can… we can work through the rest together afterwards.

Let’s take a quick look at the different types of hydraulic cylinder design available…

Tie Rod Cylinder: Tie rod style hydraulic cylinders use high-strength threaded steel rods to hold the two end caps to the cylinder barrel. This technique is most often seen in industrial factory applications. Small bore cylinders usually have 4 tie rods, while large bore cylinders could need as many as 16 or 20 tie rods to be able to keep the end caps under the extreme forces generated.

Welded Cylinder: A welded body hydraulic cylinder doesn’t have tie rods. The barrel is welded directly to the end caps; the ports are welded to the barrel; the front rod gland is then usually threaded into or bolted to the cylinder barrel. This enables the piston rod assembly and the rod seals to be removed for service.

Telescopic Cylinder: The length of a hydraulic cylinder is the total of the stroke, the thickness of the piston, the thickness of bottom and head and the length of the connections. If this total length does not fit in the space available, then a telescopic hydraulic cylinder enables the piston rod to also be used as a piston barrel housing a smaller second piston rod.

Plunger Cylinder: A plunger cylinder can only be used as a pushing cylinder; the maximum force is piston rod area multiplied by pressure. This generally means that a piston cylinder has a relatively thick piston rod.

Differential Cylinders: A differential hydraulic cylinder moves like a normal cylinder when pulling. However, If the hydraulic cylinder has to push, the hydraulic oil from the piston rod side of the cylinder is not returned to the reservoir, but instead is forced to the bottom side of the cylinder. This means the cylinder moves much faster, but the maximum force the cylinder can give is like a plunger cylinder. A differential cylinder can be manufactured like a normal cylinder, only a special control is added.

Rephasing Cylinders: Rephasing hydraulic cylinders are a combination of two or more cylinders plumbed in series or parallel, with the bores and rods sized such that all rods extend and/or retract equally when flow is directed to the first, or last, cylinder within the hydraulic system. In “parallel” applications, the bore and rod sizes remain the same, and the hydraulic cylinders are always used in pairs.

Single and Double-Acting Cylinders: A double-acting hydraulic cylinder is a cylinder in which the working fluid acts alternately on both sides of the piston. It has a port at both ends, provided with hydraulic fluid for both the retraction and extension of the piston. A double-acting hydraulic cylinder is used where an external force is not available to retract the piston or where high force is required in both directions of travel. With a single-acting cylinder, when fluid flow is applied to a port in the closed end, the shaft extends until the collar or piston reaches the shaft end. When an external weight or load is placed on the shaft, the shaft will retract into the chamber until the piston or collar reaches the closed end. The cylinder generates an output force at the shaft end in proportion to its internal closed end area multiplied times the pressure potential of the fluid power system.

Can you let the boys know that they are providing us with great service, parts and information in all our locations. Your service is prompt and reliable; you’re our “go to” guys when it comes to hydraulics.

We’ve supplied hydraulic cylinders to customers all over the world, literally, in a vast range of markets…

Hydraulic Cylinders… including an international refuse and waste management services company who needed a number of 3-stage telescopic, double-acting hydraulic cylinders, and a power transmission equipment manufacturer who needed a complete hydraulic system and hydraulic cylinders for a tipping hopper application.

Welded Hydraulic Cylinders

Then there was the new overseas customer, a leading product design and manufacturing company within the renewable energy industry, who contacted our technical team needing support on a new product development project. Having used a tie-rod cylinder within one of their product designs before, they wanted to prototype a welded construction hydraulic cylinder instead. The cylinders (pictured right) were made to order for the customer… Remember that bespoke cylinder design service we spoke about?


These bespoke double-acting hydraulic cylinders pictured were designed as part of a bigger system design project for a new prototype machine for a British Original Equipment Manufacturer. We love bringing ideas to life!

And finally… If you’re just looking for technical information, then the good news is that we have a number of articles that may be of interest: how hydraulic cylinders work, hydraulic cylinder maintenance, hydraulic cylinder seals, hydraulic cylinder testing, hydraulic cylinder repair and hydraulic cylinder storage.

Hydraulics Catalogue


Visit our catalogue to see some of the hydraulic components we have within our range. If you can’t find what you’re looking for then call us or go to our Contact page to enquire online.

10 Ways to Ensure Effective Oil Analysis

Unplanned downtime disrupts business operations; effective oil analysis plays a vital role in looking after your machinery…

With 70 to 80 percent of all hydraulic failures being down to fluid contamination, it’s not exactly rocket science to say that ensuring regular, effective oil analysis should always be high on the agenda.

System DesignHydraulic component contamination is categorised in three ways: gaseous, liquid or solid. Gaseous contamination can damage a hydraulic system’s lubricating properties, creating wear and increasing the chances of other types of contamination. Liquid contamination not only alters the capabilities of the lubricating properties, but also causes rust. Solid contamination can cause valve blockages, substantial pump damage and blown seals and gaskets. All of these causes are completely avoidable.

Effective oil analysis – ten ways to keep your oil clean:

1. Monitor – Hydraulic fluid should be monitored routinely and sampled on a quarterly basis.

2. Identify – Identify what sort of contaminant may be present (solid, liquid or gas) to ensure that the right kind of analysis in undertaken.

3. Find the source – By identifying the source of the contamination, preventative action can be taken. This may include contamination as a consequence of the equipment manufacturing process, air borne contamination or contamination produced as a result of the equipment in operation.

4. Neutralise – Offset the causes, and minimise the consequences of contamination either through: oil transfusion, installing extra air filters and replacing worn or damaged components.

5. Benchmark – All oil analysis codes are based off a code: ISO 4406. The relevant benchmark depends on the application in question.

6. Filter – Using hydraulic filters and filtration equipment can, in many cases, stop oil contamination. Determining flow rates, viscosity and pressure are necessary to finding the right filtering system. As a leading hydraulic filter supplier we have widespread, competitive access to both leading and niche hydraulic filter manufacturers from around the world. Some of the hydraulic filter manufacturers and brands that we can supply include: Argo HytosDonaldsonEaton Vickers, Hydac, Ikron, MP Filtri and Parker hydraulic filters. Our technical team will be able to determine which filtration equipment is most suitable for your application.


Hydraulic Filters - Effective Oil Analysis


7. Analyse – In order for oil analysis to be reliable, an in-depth inspection will need to be carried out. This may be in a laboratory environment through microscopic particle count and gravimetric testing, or through a mobile particle counter installed on the machine.

8. Predict – Recording results will allow you to spot trends and identify possible future risks. This is hugely important to lessen unexpected machinery downtime and schedule future inspections in good time.

9. Prevent – To help prevent contamination:

  • Always make sure oil is filtered;
  • Change oil filters every 12 weeks;
  • Take oil samples every 12 weeks to check cleanliness level;
  • Install air breathers to reduce contamination.

10. Invest – There is, of course a cost involved in ensuring effective oil analysis, but it is  nothing compared to the cost of a replacement pump or even a complete system, lost production and goodwill.

And don’t forget…

Hydraulics Online have a wealth of experience in hydraulic system design and components. If you’d like to make an enquiry or you’d just like more information, you can call or send and email to one of our friendly technical team. If you’d like to see another blog on hydraulic systems design, click here.

Testimonial: Maritime Services

It’s true when we say it’s hard to think of an industry or market that we haven’t been involved in… On land, in the air or at sea!

After providing a Dowty equivalent pump to our customer, a supplier for marine hydraulics with an urgent order in the busy period before Christmas, we were delighted that our efforts were rewarded with a lovely thank you email!

All orders for ships become urgent in the run up to Christmas so once I knew you had the order packed and ready to go, I came over to collect them and pass them onto our freight forwarders who were tasked with getting the pumps out to Egypt.

We were in plenty of time and once collected from us I relaxed – ‘Job Done’! But I had not reckoned with the Christmas rush and we learned after Boxing Day that our consignment had been offloaded at Heathrow on Christmas Eve with a 3 day delay on the shipment. Normally consignments for ships are respected and fly as scheduled, however I gather it was the weight/shape of our pumps that caused the problem. Anyway, all’s well that ends well, and our pumps did make the vessel’s schedule.

Normally we only get involved with hydraulics when they are attached to our own equipment such as fin stabilisers, but this was an exception to the rule and as always try to say ‘Yes’ to our customers, coupled with the speed of your response, it was a winner all round.

We will consider whether there might be other opportunities for our mutual benefits.

Whether you work with a large PLC or in your own small business, you can be sure that our team always pull out all the stops to source hydraulic equipment or complete hydraulic system design work on time and to budget – no matter how challenging that may be. For more information on the hydraulic pumps we supply, click here or you can read more testimonials here and see more of what our customers are saying about us.

Catalogue Logo

Our catalogue shows a small selection of the hydraulic pumps that we regularly supply, but don’t worry if you’re not sure on what sort of hydraulic pump you need; our experienced team can help determine the one that will be best suited to your application.

Testimonial: Marine and Industrial Engineering Company

Could you reply with a list of all the equipment ordered from you to do the recent job on our vessel? It has been a success resulting in more power, speed and a quieter running system and we now intend to do the same job on another sister vessel.

Click through on the following links if you’d like to find out more about us and our customers, the markets and hydraulic manufacturers that we deal with and the hydraulic products and services that we can provide.

Remember, if it’s hydraulic we can design it, supply it, solve it or repair it!

Oil Control Valve

Thank you… your service was excellent, we will use you again in the future.

These were the words from a new customer that were emailed in to the team this morning. As one of the world’s leading suppliers to the commercial and military aerospace market our customer was looking for a Rexroth valve – or specifically many of the hydraulic Oil Control valve range.

Oil Control was founded in Italy in 1973 when it began production of motion control valves. In 2005, the Oil Control Group became part of the Rexroth Group and changed its name to Bosch Rexroth Oil Control S.p.A.  The acquisition of the Oil Control Group and integration of its product range in its own enabled Bosch Rexroth to position itself as an even stronger player in the mobile machinery systems market, with products to cater for virtually every conceivable OEM need.

The Bosch Rexroth Oil Control valve range now includes:

  • mechanical cartridge valves, solenoid cartridge valves (on/off and electro-proportional) and high pressure cartridge valves (mechanical, solenoid on/off and) electro-proportional;
  • proportional pressure reducing valves – remote control manifolds;
  • sleeve valves for line mounting;
  • Oil Control insert valves;
  • Load holding/motion control valves;
  • Oil Control modular/directional valves;
  • Flow diverters.

Whether, like our customer here, you work within a major PLC or run your own small business, we understand the importance of increasing the value of your brand and staying a step ahead of your competition at every turn. We provide Original Equipment Manufacturers with whatever level of support they need to ensure that their products are well-positioned in the marketplace – from upfront hydraulic systems design consultancy, through to prototyping and pre-production manufacturing, or as an ongoing production and service parts provider.

With our competitive access to an extensive range of hydraulic equipment manufacturers from around the world, many of our customers choose to rationalise their supplier base and work with us as their single source of supply… allowing them to focus on their products, their customers, their markets.

So look no further… You can trust us with your design ideas and brand. You’re in safe hands.

“Can you let the boys know that they are providing us with great service, parts and information in all our locations. Your service is prompt and reliable; you’re our “go to” guys when it comes to hydraulics.”

Blog & Case Studies

Our Winning Streak Continues!

We’re delighted to be able to share more news of H

October 17, 2018 read more

Strictly Award Winning

We’ve always known that our operations director, H

October 3, 2018 read more

News Archive

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