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Beginner's Guide to Hydraulic Pump Drives

Hydraulic Pump Drives BANNER
3 Pad Durst Pump Drive 3 PD08

When you begin working with hydraulic pump drives, they can be a bit overwhelming. But, it doesn't have to be that way. Below we will dive into some pump drive basic info and review the key manufacturers.

What Is a Hydraulic Pump Drive?

Funk Single Pad Direct Drive Pump Drive 28105 Picture

A hydraulic pump drive(also referred to as a pump drive) is a device that connects a prime mover to a hydraulic pump. There are several different sizes & configurations available. There are also several different input options, which we will go into more detail about later.

The multi-pad pump drives have a gear train in them to drive the pumps and can be a 1:1 ratio or an increasing or decreasing ratio to drive the hydraulic pumps at the optimal RPM while running the engine at its optimal RPM.

There are various terms used in the field for pump drives. If you hear any of the below nicknames, they are likely referring to a hydraulic pump drive.

Hydraulic Pump Drive Nicknames:

  • Pump Drives
  • Gearbox
  • Splitter Drive
  • Pump Mount
  • Mount
  • PTO

What Applications need a Pump Drive?

5 Pad Funk Pump Drive 565 L Dimensional

Hydraulic pump drives are found in various applications, with the most common being marine, cranes, drilling rigs, construction equipment, and agricultural applications. They can power hoists, boom cylinders, outriggers, drill heads, and power the machine through hydraulic motors.

Why is a Pump Drive Important?

As machines have gotten more complex in recent years, they now need power for multiple actions during use. Therefore, it is much easier to design a system that drives these loads hydraulically than drive the loads mechanically.

That is where the hydraulic pump drive comes into play in various applications. Additionally, pump drives are pretty simple, comprised of a gearbox with an input, bearings, gears, and outputs to mount with the hydraulic pumps.

What are the Ranges of Sizes of Pump Drives?

2 Pad Twin Disc Pump Drive AM220

The simplest pump drive available is a single pump direct drive, consisting of a flex plate and bell housing plate coupled to one hydraulic pump. Pump drives come in a variety of output sizes, going up to five outputs.

Hydraulic pumps can also be stacked one behind the other to create even more options for selecting the correct pump drive for your application.

Twin Disc red i10 web

What are the Input Options?

The most common input style is a drive plate input that bolts to the flywheel and housing of the engine. The sizes that are available all abide by the SAE flywheel and SAE housing standards for industrial engines.

There are remote inputs, with the most common being keyed input shafts or flanged input shafts. Lastly, there are clutch inputs, with the most common being a mechanically engaged clutch. Palmer Johnson has the resources to also offer pneumatic or hydraulic engaged clutch inputs for pump drives.

Pump Drive Manufacturers:


The most common pump drive manufacturers are Funk, Durst, and Twin Disc. All three manufacturers offer a full array of pump drive sizes, ranging from one pad all the way up to a five pad option.

Funk Drivetrain Comp Logo

In addition, they all offer an expansive list of input and output options as well as several ratio options that vary depending on the particular pump drive model.

Palmer Johnson is an authorized distributor for Funk, Durst, and Twin Disc with decades of experience supporting these product lines. So whether you need a pump drive for a brand new application or need to replace an existing pump drive that is in use, Palmer Johnson has you covered!

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