What type hydraulic cylinder used for forklift ?

When you think of a forklift, the first image that probably comes to mind is its stout frame, pronged lift, and robust wheels designed for navigating warehouse aisles. However, within this machine lies a system that is vital for its operation – the hydraulic cylinder. This essential component, though often overlooked, plays a crucial role in the material handling capabilities of a forklift.

Understanding the Role of the Hydraulic Cylinder

Hydraulic cylinders, commonly referred to as "forklift cylinders" or "lift cylinders for forklifts," are the heart of the lifting mechanism. They harness the power of hydraulic fluid under pressure, converting it into mechanical energy that raises or lowers the forklift's prongs. In simpler terms, these cylinders empower the forklift to lift heavy loads with precision and control.

The operation begins with a pump, which pushes hydraulic fluid into the cylinder. As the fluid enters, it pushes against a piston inside the cylinder, causing it to move. This motion is transferred to the forklift's lifting mechanism, enabling it to hoist or descend loads.


The tilt cylinder is a double-acting hydraulic cylinder, meaning it can both push and pull its load. Generally, there are two tilt cylinders on the forklift, connecting the left and right stationary rails of the upright assembly to the frame. This feature provides uniform control when tilting forward or reverse and prevents the upright from flexing from side to side when the forklift is operating.



The power steering cylinder is a double-acting cylinder that is able to exert equal force in opposite directions. This is necessary to push the wheels in two directions for left or right turns. In electric forklifts, the power steering hydraulic components operate off a separate pump. In internal combustion forklifts, the power steering components operate off the same pump used for the other hydraulic components.

When selecting a hydraulic cylinder for forklift applications, factors like the weight of the load, lift height, required speed, and specific application needs (like tilt functionality) play a crucial role. The hydraulic systems, inclusive of the cylinders, are pivotal in ensuring the forklift operates safely and efficiently, so choosing the right type is of paramount importance.

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