Hydraulic Steering

Objectives

  • Define hydraulic steering
  • Describe how hydraulic steering works
  • Explain the various uses of hydraulic steering
  • Demonstrate how to troubleshoot a hydraulic steering system

What is Hydraulic Steering?

Hydraulic steering, also known as power steering, uses a hydraulic system to increase the force applied from the steering wheel input to the steering axle linkage.

Power steering can be controlled with hydraulic or electric actuators, but in this lesson we will be talking about full hydraulic power steering for industrial and mobile applications.

Before power steering was invented, it took quite a bit of strength to steer heavy duty vehicles. Power steering has made operating vehicles a lot easier.

A typical power steering circuit consists of a steering wheel, steering valve (orbitrol, HMU), and an actuator such as a rotary actuator or cylinder(s). This will be part of a system that also has a pump, relief valve, filters and other components that are standard in a hydraulic system.

Open center systems are supplied with oil from a separate fixed displacement pump. In systems with variable displacement pumps, oil flow can be supplied to steering systems as well as other systems, in which case a priority valve ensures that the steering gets first priority.

The steering valve is the only part of the system that is unique to steering systems.

Steering Valve
Steering Wheel
Steering Cylinder
Steering System
Steering Valve
Steering
Wheel
Steering Cylinder
Pump
Tank
Steering System Schematic

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