How Hydraulic Jacks Work: A Deep Dive into Cable Assemblies

Hydraulic jacks often rely on a complex system of cables and hydraulic fluid to lift heavy objects or vehicles effortlessly. As hydraulic jacks are pivotal to conducting various ground operations, having an understanding of the various elements of such equipment can be beneficial for use and maintenance. In this blog, we will cover the inner workings of hydraulic jacks with a focus on the crucial role played by cable assemblies, including ribbon cables, cable harnesses, power cords, and even the lesser-known throttle cables.

The Basics of Hydraulic Jacks

Hydraulic jacks operate on Pascal's Law, which states that when pressure is applied to a confined fluid, it is transmitted equally in all directions. In the case of hydraulic jacks, a force is applied to a small piston, which pushes hydraulic fluid through a system of tubes and into a larger piston. This action results in an amplification of force, allowing the jack to lift heavy objects with ease.

Cable Assemblies in Hydraulic Jacks

Cable assemblies are integral components of hydraulic jacks, responsible for transmitting power and control signals within the system. Now, we will take a closer look at the various types of cable assemblies used and their specific functions:

Ribbon Cables

Ribbon cables, with their flat and parallel conductors, are commonly used in hydraulic jacks to facilitate communication between the control unit and various components. These cables are known for their flexibility and space-saving design, making them ideal for the tight confines of a hydraulic jack.

Within the ribbon cable, multiple conductors are organized side by side, each conductor serving a specific purpose like transmitting signals to adjust hydraulic pressure or controlling the direction of the jack's movement. Ribbon cables play a critical role in ensuring precise and coordinated movements, preventing mishaps during operation.

Cable Harnesses

Cable harnesses are essential for maintaining order and reliability in hydraulic jack systems. They are composed of multiple cables bundled together, often with additional protection such as insulation and outer jackets. Cable harnesses serve as an essential system for the hydraulic jack, ensuring that power and control signals reach their intended destinations without interference or damage. Additionally, the cable harness prevents tangling and abrasion, enhancing the durability and longevity of the cables within the system.

Power Cords

Power cords are a cornerstone of any hydraulic jack, as they provide the necessary electrical energy to drive the hydraulic pump, which in turn pressurizes the hydraulic fluid. This pressurized fluid is then used to lift heavy loads, with power cords typically connecting the jack to an external power source, such as an electrical outlet or a battery.

In terms of construction, power cords are robust and designed to withstand the rigors of frequent use, featuring high-quality conductors, insulation, and connectors to ensure a consistent and reliable flow of electrical power. Without these power cords, a hydraulic jack would remain inert and incapable of performing its lifting duties.

Throttle Cables

Throttle cables, though less commonly known in the context of hydraulic jacks, are crucial for controlling the speed and direction of hydraulic fluid flow within the system. These cables are analogous to the accelerator pedal in a car, allowing operators to regulate the jack's movements with precision.

When an operator activates the throttle cable, it adjusts the flow of hydraulic fluid, thereby controlling the rate at which the jack extends or retracts. This precise level of control is essential when lifting delicate or unevenly balanced loads, as it helps prevent sudden jolts or accidents.

The Interplay of Cable Assemblies

In a well-designed hydraulic jack, these various cable assemblies work together harmoniously to achieve the desired lifting operation. Here is how the interplay of these components occurs during the lifting process:

Control Signals: The operator engages the control unit, sending signals through the ribbon cables to the hydraulic pump, these signals dictating the direction and speed of hydraulic fluid flow.

Power Transmission: Power cords deliver electrical energy to the hydraulic pump, which begins pressurizing the hydraulic fluid.

Hydraulic Force: The pressurized hydraulic fluid flows through a network of tubes and hoses, pushing the larger piston upwards or downwards, depending on the operator's commands.

Throttle Control: Simultaneously, the operator can fine-tune the throttle cable to adjust the flow of hydraulic fluid, ensuring a smooth and controlled lift.


Hydraulic jacks use the power of fluid dynamics and cable assemblies to hoist massive loads, making many challenging lifting tasks easily achievable. If you are in search of a trusted online distributor that can dependably source and ship top-notch ribbon cables, power cords, throttle cables, cable harnesses, and other similar items, we have you covered on Click Aerospace. With an ever-expanding inventory and a robust supply-chain network spanning across the world, you no longer have to worry about long lead times, unfulfilled requirements, or confusing procurement processes. To learn more, get in contact with a team member today, and see why customers routinely choose us for their part needs.


February 17, 2023

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