Advantages & Disadvantages of Hydraulic Systems

Updated April 17, 2017

Hydraulic systems use pressurised fluid to accomplish work with only a small amount of force. Braking and steering systems, agricultural equipment and industrial machinery often employ hydraulic systems.


Hydraulic systems work because of Pascal's law, which states that an increase of pressure in any part of a confined fluid causes an equal increase of pressure throughout the container. If you apply a force to one part of a hydraulic system, it travels through the hydraulic fluid to the rest of the system.


Hydraulic systems allow users to accurately wield large amounts of power with little input force. They also provide constant force, according to the National Fluid Power Association. In addition, hydraulic systems are safe in chemical plants and mines because they do not cause sparks.


Hydraulic systems contain highly pressurised fluid. This can cause burns, bruises or the accidental injection of fluid into the body, according to Colorado State University. Hydraulic systems must be periodically checked for leaks and lubricated, and filters must be changed regularly.

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About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.