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Thread: Hydraulic Lift Table Question

  1. #1
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    Hydraulic Lift Table Question

    I recently picked up a hydraulic lift table for moving things around the shop and providing extended support when/where needed. I've never had one of these before and curious if it is common for them to "leak down"? If I have a stack of lumber on it, it will sink overnight. Not sure if that is a defect or not.
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  2. #2
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    Is this a harbor freight cart? I had a used harbor freight cart that would "leak down" as you describe it. Wasnt ever a critical issue. My Felder FAT 300 doesnt change elevation, and ive left several hundred pounds of lumber on it for prolonged periods.

  3. #3
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    Pretty much all hydraulics other than uber high end will leak off at some rate. Quality, age, etc. will affect how much. You can install valves on either end of the lift cylinder if possible to eliminate leakage through the valve body however there is still the high likelihood that there will be leakage by the piston in the cylinder.

    People will argue that in a perfect world there should be zero leaking off but its far from the norm.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  4. #4
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    I'd guess you have a harbor freight cart? I have a harbor freight motorcycle lift and it bleeds off, poor tolerance's and inefficient seals, but what can you expect for the money?? Every other quality piece of equipment that I own from jacks to tractor hydraulics, none of them bleed off to where I can notice.
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  5. #5
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    Same thing happens to my HF lift. Always wondered if replacing the cylinder with a higher quality one would be worth it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Monson View Post
    jacks to tractor hydraulics, none of them bleed off to where I can notice.
    If you've got a low hour/low use tractor maybe so but Ive said it here before. Take a full scoop in the front bucket of an end loader and raise it up 6' in the air and hook your tape on the bucket. I will guarantee you if you cant hear it, its leaking down quietly. Excavators, backhoes, floor jacks, even house jacks, leak off. Its why a jacking crew using hydraulic jacks raising a home or structure crib up the structure if its going to sit for any period of time. You raise the building 12" and leave it sitting on the jacks and in the morning it will be a varied amount less than that because each jack will leak off a different amount based on load and wear. Some may leak back to zero.

    Ultra high end hydraulics (cranes and so on)... different game. Load checks, high quality from the get go, uber maintenance.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  7. #7
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    I'm in the camp that no new equipment should leak down. You have either undersized ram, low quality seals, or a nick in a seal from assembly. Common? Probably. Acceptable in a cheap Chinese table? That's up to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I'm in the camp that no new equipment should leak down
    Cant say Ive ever asked, or seen a spec., but it would be interesting to know what something like (what John Deere calls mid-sized) a John Deere 350 (maybe quarter of a million dollar machine?) is spec'd at for acceptable drift over some given period of time. I can only imagine its not zero.

    Most any hydraulic application that must have zero drift seems to move away from hydraulics or is dynamically controlled. Seems to me that other than applications that are very lightly loaded or super critical (heavy engineering) there is pretty much no way given the laws of physics to not have drift. Other than a brand new high tolerance cylinder there is simply always going to be some leakage by the internal piston seals even if at some infinitesimal rate. With any amount of use it will increase. Its just the nature of the beast.

    Time span between rebuilds would relate to maintenance cost, and how critical the application is. Even in something as crude as raising a structure, if static hold is critical? You dont use hydraulics. Its just the nature of the beast.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Cant say Ive ever asked, or seen a spec., but it would be interesting to know what something like (what John Deere calls mid-sized) a John Deere 350 (maybe quarter of a million dollar machine?) is spec'd at for acceptable drift over some given period of time. I can only imagine its not zero.

    Most any hydraulic application that must have zero drift seems to move away from hydraulics or is dynamically controlled. Seems to me that other than applications that are very lightly loaded or super critical (heavy engineering) there is pretty much no way given the laws of physics to not have drift. Other than a brand new high tolerance cylinder there is simply always going to be some leakage by the internal piston seals even if at some infinitesimal rate. With any amount of use it will increase. Its just the nature of the beast.

    Time span between rebuilds would relate to maintenance cost, and how critical the application is. Even in something as crude as raising a structure, if static hold is critical? You dont use hydraulics. Its just the nature of the beast.
    I learned enough to know better than respond last time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I learned enough to know better than respond last time.
    Spit beer on monitor when I read this response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Bruette View Post
    Spit beer on monitor when I read this response.
    You and me both!!!
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  12. #12
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    So, it’s actually a Vestil lift table (not harbor freight) which I thought was a half-way decent brand. Not as expensive as a FELDER/FAT table but more than the harbor freight. The leak down isn’t the end of the world, but it is slightly annoying and disappointing.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  13. #13
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    Weird, I’d expect the Vestil to perform very well.

    I will measure my cart elevation tonight. It has a 102” by 42” Sapele table top chilling on it, which isn’t a feather.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I'm in the camp that no new equipment should leak down. You have either undersized ram, low quality seals, or a nick in a seal from assembly. Common? Probably. Acceptable in a cheap Chinese table? That's up to you.
    better not get on a farm web site , lots of comments about how equipment leaks down unevenly $200,000, $600,00 as well as $25,000 equipment all listed
    John Deere, Case-Ih, New Holland all does it some worse than others

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    I recently picked up a hydraulic lift table for moving things around the shop and providing extended support when/where needed. I've never had one of these before and curious if it is common for them to "leak down"? If I have a stack of lumber on it, it will sink overnight. Not sure if that is a defect or not.
    Hi Tom, it’s the get what you pay for syndrome.

    I have an inexpensive one as well and it leaks down also.

    The commercial ones at work do not, however they’re several times more expensive.

    The Felder FAT tables don’t leak down either....Rod.

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