My Tractor Forum banner

12 VDC hydraulic power unit

8313 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Tractor-Holic
Has anyone used a 12 VDC hydraulic power unit to operate a hydraulic lift bucket? I have worked on liftgates on pick ups and big rigs and it would seem a natural fit for a small tractor.

Would need to beef up the electrical system with a larger battery but I see no reason why it would not be doable. The price for a hydraulic unit starts around $400.00

Hoses, hydraulic cylinders, etc could be fitted to a small framework on a garden tractor. I have seen some on the forum using a winch to assist with the lift but hydraulics makes a lot more sense and is versatile in how you set it up to operate.

On a commercial unit, lift and bucket speed may be an issue but for a homeowner just moving dirt and trying to save his back I don't think it would be.

Anyone done this so I don't reinvent the wheel?
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
Not so long ago, we rented a 5 ton straight truck with a large cargo box that had a tailgate loader on it. The tailgate loader was powered by an electro/hydraulic unit just like the one you are talking about. Right next to the switch that operated the tailgate was a decal that warned users to keep the engine running while operating the tailgate multiple times.

This diesel truck had three heavy duty 12 volt batteries in parallel. Those electro/hydraulic systems draw a huge amount of amperage every time you operate them. Before going down this road, you need to find out the size of alternator in your engine and what the current draw is for the electro/hydraulic unit you're considering. Ignore that and you will constantly have battery issues.
I looked into these briefly sometime earlier this year. The 12VDC power units offered by northern tool draw around 200 amps. Most lawn and garden tractors only have a 15Amp alternator. It may work if you add on another "truck sized alternator", but unless you do that, the battery will be dead quickly.
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.