Learn how to improve hydraulic crane power
There are many misconceptions about hydraulic crane performance in systems that are run by all-in-one solutions, including that these solutions are less powerful or provide reduced performance when compared to a PTO-driven system.
But new all-in-one solutions for work trucks offer technologies and advancements that deliver the power and hydraulic performance needed to efficiently run cranes on the jobsite.
Learn more about how new all-in-one capabilities address common challenges and improve hydraulic system performance and power.
Common performance challenges
- Slow flow: A standard work truck with a gear pump only has so much flow (or speed). If the operator doesn’t need a lot of power or doesn’t have a load on their hydraulic system but the system is still performing slowly, this is a flow issue. The system is simply maxed out and will operate slower.
- Limitations on power: Crane operators rarely require heavy loads on their hydraulic systems, but even though this happens infrequently, they still need the capability. PTO systems use a fixed-pump design that can limit the available flow — resulting in a lower output and less power.
- Using multiple functions: Using multiple functions at the same time — such as adding a welding load or air compressor demand while using the hydraulic system — can result in overloading when using some all-in-ones. Running compressors off of the hydraulics in a PTO-driven truck, which is very common in work truck configurations, results in less efficient performance. This is because the hydraulics on a PTO truck need to power everything, so while the engine is large, the hydraulic PTO pump output is the same or less than that of an all-in-one system.
- Power instability: Some all-in-ones have an unregulated or uncontrolled hydraulic system. There is no regulation within the system, so there isn’t any management on the system power — which may lead to overloading the engine or erratic operation.
- Static gear pump design: Some all-in-one systems don’t allow variable power consumption of the gear pump — it’s simply on or off. The system is turning and putting out fluid flow, but there is no ability to vary the output. Without the ability to manage their own power, operators can’t tailor the output to match the application or their needs.
Solutions and new advancements
The updated EnPak® A60 all-in-one from Miller offers several technologies and design advancements that deliver the power and performance needed for optimized hydraulic operation on the jobsite.
A more efficient pump design results in more power for operators, which helps to solve the issue of slow crane performance. Also, with a more efficient pump, less heat management is needed. This reduces wear on the system compared to other all-in-ones. Also, less input power is needed, resulting in less load and wear on the all-in-one engine. In addition, PTO systems (with their less efficient pump design) need oil coolers or larger reservoirs, which take up more space and add weight to the truck.
The EnPak A60 uses a variable pump instead of a fixed pump, which delivers numerous benefits for operators:
- It provides the ability to set a higher flow output — allowing for faster operation for the majority of hydraulic needs on the jobsite, including light load movement and crane setup (including lowering outriggers).
- The system can modulate the output as needed to match the application. When there isn’t any load, the crane will operate faster, but with a heavier load, the crane will operate smoother and slower for safety, which allows for precise movements.
- The pump can also set the flow higher under lighter loads, so flow is only reduced under very heavy loads, which happens less frequently.
- If a cold weather start is needed, the EnPak A60 can turn off the pump flow to reduce losses (or friction) during cold starting. This improves engine starting in cold weather operation so the operator can get to work faster.
- It also helps with multiple load scenarios, preventing slower speeds under most operating conditions. The EnPak A60 manages the total power output of the machine, and the variable control pump allows operators to manage the load to match what is needed. Fully managed output also maintains stability through all operating conditions. Engine performance, hydraulics and power are more stable and smoother for the operator.
- Power Priority technology
Power Priority technology in the new EnPak A60 provides benefits when multiple functions are being used at once on a work truck. The system can automatically adjust where power is delivered based on system priorities, so when other loads come on, like the air compressor, it doesn’t negatively affect the hydraulic power.
Operators can modulate their crane better and get more stable performance with the pump design of the new EnPak A60. An electronic flow control valve has been integrated into the pump, so it is better able to react to system demands. This feature is exclusive to the EnPak A60 among all-in-one systems. By integrating the flow control into the pump, power loss due to pressure drops have been reduced, which allows for a more efficient system. By eliminating this loss, the EnPak A60 design delivers more power and the engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which provides more power for other operational functions.