Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


How do Hydra-Slide skidding systems work?
Our skid systems are a simple, effective tool for moving heavy loads horizontally. The load, whether it is a transformer, heat exchanger, or some other heavy commodity, sits on skid shoes on a guided track. The skid shoes (with load) are then pushed along by hydraulic cylinders. The tracks have a “ratchet” design, so when the cylinders are retracted they will automatically reset into the next position ready for the next push cycle.
What makes Hydra-Slide skid systems different than other Jack and Slide systems?
Hydra-Slide Skidding systems are Engineered for function and convenience. Through years of hands-on experience in the field, we have perfected the tried-and-true method of skidding loads by designing simple, effective, easy-to-use systems. We offer a top-quality, North American product available either off-the-shelf or customizable. All of our systems are Engineered and come with a Stamped drawing. They have been proven in over twenty five years of actual usage.
How safe are these systems?
Hydra-Slide skidding systems are one of the safest methods for moving heavy loads horizontally. The tracks are very low profile keeping the load close to the ground and moving along a guided path. The load is never freely suspended. When used as intended, they don’t require any winches, holdback or other external force/restraint of any kind. They are controlled by a single operator and there is no need for any personnel to be close to the load while it is moving. Our systems are designed based on a 0.15 – 0.20 friction coefficient. The relatively high friction values increase the safety of the move by virtually eliminating any risk of uncontrolled movement or runaway.
What are these skid systems made of?
All of our systems are fabricated using only the highest quality materials, components and workmanship. The LP-150 and LP-400 systems have UHMW-PE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) sliding pads moving on a smooth steel surface. The HT-300 and HT-500 systems have a graphite-coated steel sliding surface.
How fast do they slide a load?
The speed of a skidding operation is almost totally determined by the flow rate of the hydraulic pump being used. For example, our HT-300 and LP-400 models given a flow rate of 1 gpm per cylinder will move the load at a speed of approximately 89 feet per hour (27 meters per hour).
Why don't you use longer stroke cylinders?
Wouldn’t they be faster? Longer stroke push cylinders would move the load at almost the same speed as shorter cylinders. A cylinder that is twice as long takes twice as long to extend and twice as long to retract. Our shorter cylinders take up less unusable space on the track which could be very important in tight areas and they automatically realign at the end of each stroke reducing the risk of uneven movement and binding in the track.
Can the track sections support the weight of the load over a span?
The HT systems have a very strong track that can support heavy loads over a considerable span. (distance dependent on the weight of the load). For a guideline on these span distances please refer to the Track Capacity Charts by clicking on the following links: 300 ton | 500 ton. The LP models require full support with any load. They are intended for usage on flat, well-supported surfaces such as concrete, beams, timbers, etc.
What if I skid the load too far and have to move it back?
All Hydra-Slide system tracks are bi-directional and can move the load in either direction. With the XLP-150, the cylinder assemblies will push or pull the full load capacity and the direction can be reversed by simply turning the cylinder over. For the LP400, HT300 and HT500, to reverse direction just move the push cylinders to the opposite end and push back.
How much do the Hydra-Slide skidding systems weigh?
The LP-400 system features all components weighing 125 lbs or less and the complete standard system including 30 feet of double track and the storage/shipping container is about 2750 lbs. The HT-300 system track weighs approximately 125 lbs/ft and the complete standard package including 50 feet of double track weighs about 14,000 lbs. The HT-500 system track weighs approximately 195 lbs/ft and the complete standard package including 50 feet of double track weighs about 22,000 lbs.
Why don’t you make the track sections out of aluminum, so they would be lighter?
It is a common misconception that something built of aluminum will always be lighter than if it were built of steel. Our “HT” track sections are designed to be not only strong but more importantly to be very stiff. The result would be that if we wanted to maintain the same stiffness properties of our tracks, we would have to use 3 times as much aluminum material. This would mean they wouldn’t be any lighter (but they would be much more expensive).
Where is this equipment manufactured?
Hydra-Slide Ltd. contracts local manufacturers and fabricators to build all equipment and supports local suppliers. This not only strengthens the local economy but allows for superior quality control and equipment customization.
What is the lead time on an order?
We make every effort to work with your project schedule. The lead time on an order is normally a maximum of 8-10 weeks. We try to keep inventory of most of our products, but some larger orders and customized systems may take a few weeks to fabricate.
What kind of maintenance is required? And what about servicing?
These systems require very little maintenance. They should be kept clean and handled carefully so as not to damage any parts or sliding surfaces. When not in use they should be protected from the environment. The sliding surfaces of the LP systems should be wiped with an oily rag once in a while to remove any dirt/dust and to maintain a light film of oil on the surface. The HT systems require an occasional reapplication of graphite. The graphite is applied in liquid form with a paint brush and dries very quickly. We use only high quality hydraulic components such as Enerpac, PowerTeam and TK Simplex that have a worldwide network of Dealers and Service Centers. We are always available to answer your questions or offer our advice.
When I order a skid system, what is included?
Our standard skid system packages included everything needed to move a load except the hydraulic power unit and hoses (which we offer separately): you receive the track sections, skid shoes, all connecting hardware and hydraulic push cylinders. The hardware and cylinders are stored in a steel Toolbox (included).The LP systems also include a storage container for greater protection and portability. We can accommodate most requests for additional components or different track lengths, etc.
Which skid system is the best?
Both our Heavy Track (HT) and Low Profile (LP) skid system models offer a very safe and effective way of moving heavy loads but depending on your intended application a particular model may be better for you. We are always happy to provide you with the necessary information to help you choose. The LP design is perfect for moving loads where there is restricted access or overhead clearance and good surface conditions, for example inside a plant or moving loads over a well-supported surface. All components are hand-portable and easy to transport. The HT systems are excellent for moving loads in rougher field conditions, or where the track may need to span unsupported distances, such as moving loads from railcars to transporters, or across open areas or on uneven ground.


What kind of power unit do I need to run Hydra-Slide equipment?
Hydra-Slide skid systems, turntables and jacks and climbing jacks will operate with most 10,000 psi double-acting power units. We recommend use of only high quality power units to ensure safe operation. Our systems work best with Synchronous (or unified systems). We offer a complete line of both synchronous and conventional power units to suit almost any need.
What is the difference between Synchronous and conventional power units?
With conventional power units there is a single oil supply circuit. It may be split into more than one outlet port but they are connected and so act as one. The pressure will remain constant in all lines but the flow rates may be different. If the load is heavier on one side, the cylinder with the least load will advance more than the heavier side. When jacking, it is necessary to jack only one end at a time and ensure that the load can never tip. When skidding, it is necessary to ensure that both cylinders advance at nearly the same rate. Our conventional power units are equipped with flow control valves to help control the flow rates to each push cylinder. With Synchronous power units, there are multiple but independent oil circuits. The circuits are not connected to each other and will give equal flow to each line regardless of the weight of the load or the pressure in that circuit. We accomplish this by using specially designed piston pumps, valves and control devices. This allows the user to raise almost any load straight up, safely and equally at all points without fear that one side will raise faster than the other. We have also employed special devices on the return side to ensure that the load can be lowered evenly and synchronized and always slow and under control.
What size of power unit should I get?
The size of the power unit that you need will be determined by your expected type and frequency of usage. If you anticipate only light or occasional usage a small non-synchronous unit may suit your needs very well. We offer a 5-1G model that is very portable and works very well in limited situations or as a backup unit. If you expect to use your equipment frequently or in more demanding situations, you may want to consider a synchronous power unit. We offer 4, 6 or 8 port units in diesel, propane or electric models. We are always available to discuss your needs and help you make an informed decision.


Do you offer a lighter alternative to regular steel jacks?

Hydra-Slide supplies both Steel jacks in capacities ranging from 50 tons to 200 tons as well as Aluminum jacks that are about half the weight of standard models (50-150 tons). you can see the specification sheet on our Aluminum jacks Here. We also offer Climbing Jacks in various capacities.

When would I use a Climbing Jack?

Climbing jacks are most advantageous in situations requiring higher lifts or where you want to jack using single blockpiles. Climbing jacks require only a single blockpile for each jacking point as opposed to conventional jacking that requires a jack pile and a separate support pile. This also eliminates the effect of timber piles compressing and expanding as the load is alternately put on and off the piles.

How do they work?

A climbing jack incorporates an inverted double-acting cylinder inside a special wide housing. The rod has a wider foot attachment.

As the cylinder is extended, Ekki timbers are placed under the sides of the housing. The cylinder is then retracted and more Ekki timbers are placed under the rod foot. The cylinder is extended again and this time a row of Ekki is placed under the housing but at 90⁰ to the first row. This sequence is continued until the load reaches the desired height. For lowering a load the above sequence is simply reversed.

To view Climbing Jack Procedure click Here.


What if I need to rotate a load?

We provide Engineered heavy load turntables for rotating items such as transformers or generators during handling or installation with capacities from 150 to 500 tons. They incorporate a reversible, hydraulically powered rotating mechanism for precise control.


What is the difference between Ekki wood and other traditional jacking timbers?

This wood has exceptional strength and resistance to crushing or bending and is ideally suited for jacking and blocking applications. Ekki is a West-African hardwood that is over 3 times stronger than white oak or fir. It is naturally resistant to insects, is non-porous and does not rot. Our timbers are a standard size of 10cm x 10cm x 1.0 m and weigh only about 11kgs each. (4″ x 4″ x 40″ x 25 lbs). They are much smaller, lighter and easier to handle than conventional timbers. See the Comparison Chart between different woods Here.

Is Ekki more expensive than other jacking timbers?

As an initial investment Ekki is more expensive than other traditional woods, however it will last for years without becoming structurally compromised, and they save time by being much lighter and easier to use for blocking and jacking applications.

How do I order Hydra-Slide equipment?

We deal directly with all of our customers, both Nationally and Internationally. Give us a call or email us and we can help you make an informed decision on which equipment would best fit your needs. We also are happy to coordinate the logistics of shipping to your facility at no charge.