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The Difference Between Open and Closed-Center Hydraulics

There are two types of hydraulics you will most commonly find in tractors on the farm today: open-center and closed-center hydraulics.

Open-center hydraulics are usually found in older tractors because of the economical advantage as well as being a much simpler design. With this system, tractors would typically use gear pumps designed to provide continuous hydraulic flow to each tractor function. The drawback to this system is that it supplies unregulated flow to each function and these pumps typically generate lots of heat.

Closed-center hydraulic flow is most commonly found in today’s larger tractors and also provided by our HydraBoost PTO pump. In this system, a single pump is used to supply closed-circuit flow based on the demand of each function. Many modern planters' functions, such as DeltaForce and some vac fans, also require closed-center flow hydraulics to function correctly.

Our PTO pumps are pressure-compensating, meaning the pump can sense a drop in pressure instantly responds by pumping more hydraulic fluid to that function within a fraction of a second.

In short, there is a good reason closed-center hydraulic pumps are becoming far more popular than gear pumps as they provide flow much more efficiently and require little to no effort for the operator. In the case of the HydraBoost, simply turn on the PTO and you are ready to hit the field!

Randy Seed

Sales Representative

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