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Iowa Fluid Power offers an entry level customer training class specializing in Industrial and Mobile Hydraulic Equipment. This class is intended to address the needs of both maintenance and design personnel to establish a basic understanding of hydraulics.

This training class is highly recommended for those who are new to hydraulic system design, maintenance, and operation. The course also offers valuable insight for those who already have experience in these areas. We cover the general principles of hydraulics throughout this class in a clear and concise manner to provide good groundwork for anyone working with hydraulic systems.

                               Instructor: Jack May                                
Training Class at McNeilus Trucks


By the end of the IFP Hydraulics Class, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand the basics of schematic symbol reading for better troubleshooting and understanding of the machine's operation.
  2. Understand the differences between the various  types of pumps used in hydraulics. Learn how to design and maintain good, cost-effective pumping systems.
  3. Understand the various pressure control valve types including their schematics and function.
  4. Understand the importance of hydraulic system filtration and contamination preventative maintenance.
  5. Become familiar with hydraulic system accessories and their purpose.
  6. Learn the basic framework of troubleshooting and follow a prescribed method of preventative maintenance and system repair.

1.  Hydraulic Schematic Symbols
Schematic symbol reading is a vital troubleshooting skill. Schematic symbols and schematic drawings are very popular in the field of hydraulics.

  • The schematic provides a symbolic way to show all the components and connections in a hydraulic system.
  • A schematic also allows a skilled reader to understand much of the engineering and operating principals that the machine’s designers intended.
  • Your objective is to be able to interpret schematic elements as used in components and system drawings. You’ll learn the basic hydraulic system symbol sets:
    • Line styles
    • Connected & crossing lines
    • Shapes
    • Operators – Operators attach components to indicate the methods by which that component is controlled.
    • Extra Symbols; i.e. accumulators, cylinders, orifice/flow control, Tank/reservoir, variable or adjustable springs, component rotation, cartridge/logic valve, ball valves and more.

2.  Pumps (positive & non-positive pumping systems)

Positive and Non-Positive Pumping tackles the differences between the two types of systems and the design and maintenance needs of each. Cavitation and aeration are addressed as special concerns.

Pump Startup (7 key steps)

  1. Rotation
  2. Gauge
  3. Fill the case
  4. Block system
  5. Bump
  6. Lower the pump setting
  7. Set the relief valve

3.  Valves

  • Pressure relief valves; understand direct acting balanced and pilot operated relief valves plus basic relief valve concepts.
  • Pressure reducing valves; understand the basic valve functionality.
  • Sequence valves; understand their purpose, design and working principles.
  • Unloading valves; learn the differences and similarities of each.
  • Counterbalance valves; these valves allow raised loads to be lowered safely with a minimum of wasted energy.
  • Directional Control valves; a valve that starts, stops and changes the direction of the fluid. You will learn the types, operators and how they work.

4.  Cylinders & Motors


  • Types of cylinders
  • Special applications
  • Cylinder parts
  • Accessories


  • Common types of hydraulic motors (low/high speed)
  • Motor applications
  • Key points when specifying

5.  Accessories

  • Pressure gauges
  • Desicant breathers
  • Heat exchangers
  • Pressure switches
  • Accumulators

6.  Troubleshooting Process

  • Pump evaluation process
  • Filtration/function, application, installation techniques
  • Reservoirs/function, application
  • Basic hydraulic system operation
  • Cleaning of hydraulic systems
  • Hydraulic lubrication principals
  • Proper PM techniques for hydraulics