Hydraulic Pump

How the Innovative Technology Behind Hydraulic Doors Works

How do hydraulic doors work? You push a button and the hydraulic door opens. You push it again and the hydraulic door closes. Pretty straightforward, right?

Schweiss Hydraulic Doors at a Winery

As effortless as it is to operate a hydraulic door, the technology that powers it has taken millennia to perfect. In fact, the first automatic door was created all the way back in the first century by Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria, who used water pressure to open massive city gates.

We've come a long way since antiquity, but the principles of hydraulics remain the same. No, you don't have to call on your city's temple priest to heat water, wait several hours and hope the door lifts when you want it to - but a fluid is still doing the heavy lifting. If you've ever found yourself wondering how hydraulic doors work so smoothly, read on to see what makes it all possible.

Opening the Hydraulic Door

Schweiss Hydraulic power pump

Initiating the opening or closing of a hydraulic door sends a signal to the hydraulic power unit. To prevent malfunctions, Schweiss units use standalone electrical control boxes that house all electrical components separate from the motor itself. This ensures simple component replacement when maintenance is required.

A signal reaches the motor, which uses a single gear driven pump to adjust pressure in the door's hydraulic cylinder. Schweiss motors are completely enclosed and fan-cooled to ensure continuous reliability. What's more, overload protection helps to prevent a sudden hydraulic door failure. As the motor adjusts hydraulic pressure, the cylinder reacts accordingly, extending or retracting as needed.

We searched around and ran across Schweiss. The doors are amazing with fail-safes built into the hydraulics. We cut half the side off the bus and built a structure to support it and rebuilt the back door opening. When I first opened the doors I wasn't quite sure how it was going to go. When it opened up, it was just unbelievable. We were kind of blown away with the size of the doors. The system is awesome. If I ever have any other big projects to do, it will be with no one else but Schweiss.

Jim Baysinger
Jack's Overhead Doors
Portland, Oregon


Think of the cylinders as the biceps of the door. As hydraulic pressure increases, they lift and support the large hydraulic door in its open position. The reverse is also true - less pressure means less support, which closes the door. Schweiss doors incorporate spherical bearings at each end of the cylinders to reduce pressure from the hydraulic doorframe and prevent bending.

When it comes to hydraulic cylinders, size matters. Just like a larger bicep lifts heavier weights with ease, so too do larger cylinders.

If you're thinking about installing a hydraulic door system, this is an area where you do not want to cut corners. Most hydraulic doors are massive and react to the winds around them. It takes a large and powerful cylinder to support a hydraulic door that reacts like an airplane wing to its surroundings.

Hydraulic Door Cylinders From Schweiss


Not all hydraulic doorframes are created equally. You can predict the lifespan of a doorframe simply by looking at its construction method. Some frames mix wood with steel, which is a recipe for structural failure.

Schweiss hydraulic doors are made completely from steel, which adds to their reliability and structural integrity. All-steel hydraulic doorframes feature strong fastenings and zero material shrinkage - things that can't be said about wood frames.

So what to do about wooden hydraulic doorframes? Many buildings have them, and you might think you're out of luck if that's what's in place at your facility. Fortunately, Schweiss hydraulic doors come with pre-assembled steel frames that make installation simple. No on-site welding is necessary, and you never have to worry about subpar building materials leading to structural issues down the line.


There are plenty of engineering tricks that go into how a hydraulic door works, and when they all work in tandem, it's a sight to behold. Improving automatic hydraulic doors might seem like reinventing the wheel, but there is a huge difference between a consistently unreliable hydraulic door and one that rarely fails.

When you need a hydraulic door that won't let you down, contact our experts. We will set you up with a custom one-piece hydraulic door for your building. Schweiss' hydraulic door technology leads the industry, and you can depend on our team to equip your structure with state-of-the-art solutions.

Need some inspiration? Check out our gallery of completed projects to see what we can do for you.

If your power goes out, Schweiss Hydraulic Doors have a Backup for you

Power outages seem to always happen when you least expect them. If you are a farmer wanting to get your expensive equipment in or out of your machine shed, a pilot who needs to hangar his plane or maybe you don't even have electricity to your structure, Schweiss Doors has the answer to getting your hydraulic door moving. It's as simple as using a Schweiss battery backup system and you are ready to go. All you have to do is simply pick up the battery power backup remote, press "Up" or "Down" and your Schweiss hydraulic door opens or closes.

Schweiss Red Power Pump

The county is very pleased with the building and the door. The door went up very quickly and operates the way it is supposed to. There wasn't a whole lot for us to do on our end for it except to provide the supports for the door. The hydraulic pump is tucked away in a storage room about 30 feet from the door.

Julian Andrade

This simple, clean, reliable design puts you in control. The DC battery backup includes battery operation - it's all in its own auxillary self-contained pump and motor. Schweiss hydraulic doors offer three other backup systems. Standard Hydraulic tractor fittings, drill-driven backup using a 7/16" hex head, or you can still close your large or small hydraulic door with just a turn of a screw on the hydraulic pump unit - it's that easy! And there's no mess, all oil drains back into the tank closing your hydraulic door at a safe and controlled speed.

Hydraulic Door Backups That Shut the Door on Failures

At Hydraulic Doors, we take every possibility into consideration from the very beginning of the design process - including scenarios involving a hydraulic door failure.

Our main goal is to prevent your hydraulic door from getting stuck in the first place, but we also include a number of redundant fallback options to get things moving again if your hydraulic door is stuck. Learn how to fix a stuck hydraulic hangar door with these backups if the unexpected happens.

Schweiss Hydraulic Pump conviently placed out of the way


The first hydraulic door backup option to consider in the event of a jam is the spare 12-volt DC battery we include with our doors. Events like power outages are unpredictable, so our DC battery backup control stations provide extra assurance - even when neighborhood power lines go down. Operating these backup DC batteries couldn't be easier. With the push of a button on a backup controller, you can open or close your jammed hydraulic door just as you would normally. The DC battery backup comes with an auxiliary self-contained pump and motor, giving you everything you need to get out of a jam.


If you're using your hydraulic door for agricultural purposes, a stuck hydraulic door is more than an inconvenience, it hurts your productivity. While the DC battery backup nearly always works as intended, we have incorporated an alternative fallback option for farmers to use their tractor to open or close a hydraulic door. Standard tractor fittings can be found on every Red and Green Power Pump, giving you the means to connect your tractor hydraulics to the door's power source. Simply make the connection with your tractor and revive your door.


In the highly unlikely scenario that the above options fail, our products feature another solution for stuck hydraulic doors. If you own a handheld cordless drill, you can use it to instantly power your auxiliary pump, which is gear-driven. Even if the power is out, your battery is dead, and your tractor is out of commission, you can place your drill at the top of your DC motor and make a connection with a 7/16" hex head. Just start drilling to activate the motor quickly and easily.


Let's say the power goes out, you don't own a tractor, your cordless drill won't hold a charge, and you don't know where to turn to get your door moving. We provide yet another backup option for ultimate protection. There is a screw on our hydraulic pump units that you can simply turn to get your equipment working again. What's more, turning this screw doesn't lead to a messy situation - all of your oil will drain back into the tank and not onto your floor. Your hydraulic door will open or close at a controlled speed, adding safety to this backup measure.

Schweiss seems to be the door to have. I love the automatic latching system the best - you just hit the remote button and open the door. It works beautifully. With help from a couple of friends, and a little clarification on a couple of things, we installed the hangar door ourselves. We started looking at a couple of other door manufacturers, but the Schweiss bifold door was beautiful because of where it hinges; it tucks in nicely; some of the other doors don't do that.

Dr. Robert McLeod
British Colombia, Canada


Building a reliable hydraulic door involves expert engineering and detail-oriented design. Our team strives to create reliable hydraulic doors that don't fail in the first place, so you don't have to worry about fixing a problem that could have been avoided. With advanced door features such as powerful pumps, standalone control boxes, strong cylinders, and stress-reducing spherical bearings, the chances of an operational failure are low.
If your door stops working, it will most likely be due to external factors like power outages. Even in these frustrating situations, our fallbacks provide the peace of mind you need.


At the end of the day, you just need a hydraulic door that works. It always pays to prepare for the worst, and our team has already done that for you. You never have to worry about getting stuck inside or outside of your building with our hydraulic doors.

Contact our team to find a door that won't let you down!

Before you Buy, Know more than most

A building or hangar is only as good as it's "Door" The door you choose is a huge decision, let Schweiss help you make the right choice. Do you want or need a one piece hydraulic door? - It pays to explore the different hydraulic door designs. Schweiss is willing to share with you the detailed door comparison of each hydraulic design so you can make the correct decision and select the hydraulic door that works best for you. If you're thinking about buying a hydraulic door we are happy to educate you on many important features and decisions you have control of. There are no insider secrets with Schweiss Hydraulic and Designer doors - we put all our cards on the table.

Schweiss Doors' better  pump help customer choose a Hydraulic Door

Building manufacturers sometimes do not offer you choices in doors. Did you know that a custom-built hydraulic door for your building or aircraft hangar does not cost as much as the structure itself? The word custom can be deceiving. Some major building manufacturers quote the price of the door they happen to sell included in the overall building quote. Knowing about different door and building designs can save you thousands of dollars. Have your building company separate the door package prices from the building quote.

Schweiss wants you to have an affordable new hangar or building with a beautiful automatic hydraulic door of your choice. We don't want you to find out later that you could of bought the exact same building from the same manufacturer less the door and saved thousands. If someone overcharges you thousands of dollars for the door alone you should at the very least be given a choice in doors. It pays to do your homework and do some door shopping on your own.

R&M Steel told me I didn't need to go anywhere else than Schweiss to get a quality door. The Schweiss door actually went up too easy. We used a forklift and set the top half into the hinges and popped the pins in. Then both of us carried the bottom half of the door underneath the top half and popped the pins in there also. It was way too easy. When you build the building the right way the door goes in well.

Ron Sterba
Salem, Oregon

Some building designs may be under-built and end up costing the end-user of the hydraulic door and building more money. Schweiss will work with you, your architect, contractor or building supplier to ensure a perfect fit on your building. We supply a full set of detailed Spec Sheets that provide the weights, engineering data, windload specifications and design specs to make certain you have all the necessary information needed for the design of your building. It's important to build the building endwall or sidewall to accept the hydraulic door of your choice. Thinking about headroom and planning for the future can also save you big money down the road. If you max the building out and need more headroom at a later date, you'll find it hard trying to elevate the building because your rafters are not high enough from the start.

Don't forget about safety features. Schweiss hydraulic doors are built with safety in mind and contain many standard safety features like velocity fuses in the hydraulic cylinders to prevent the door from closing in the event of a hose or line breaking. We also offer safety devices such as top override jiggle switches, electric photo eye sensors, door base safety edge, warning lights and horns and emergency backup systems to name just a few.

Let Schweiss Doors explain how you can save money on installation or the many advantages and facts about our hydraulic doors. Putting a high quality hydraulic door on your aircraft hangar or building could save you thousands on your prefabricated building cost alone! Schweiss Doors holds no secrets ... everything is explained up front.

Canadian Forces military base training school orders seven doors

Schweiss Doors has been supplying hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors for military bases around the world. Canadian Forces Base Borden an hour drive north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada expanded its training school with a new 16,000 sq. ft. Mechanical Engineering and Training Building used for training mechanical and electrical engineers.

Schweiss Doors is chosen by Canadian Military forces at Base Borden

Canadian Forces Base Borden, north of Toronto, installed seven Schweiss hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors for its new training school building expansion. The three hydraulic doors are 18.3' x 8.3 and 17.11' x 8.3' the four bifold doors are 18.10" x 14.5' and

The base ordered a combination of seven Schweiss doors. CFB Borden decided on three hydraulic doors; one of which was 18' 3" x 8' tall and two that were 17' 11" x 8.3." They also chose to use four identical 18' 10" x 14' 5" bifold liftstrap doors.

I like the look of the massive doors; they add a lot to the building. The quality of both style doors exceeded our expectations. The hydraulic doors are used in a tool shop. The glass doors make it easier to look into the building and it is more attractive for the military students to look in. We wanted the bifold doors for the amount of clearance they needed for the tanks to get in the building.

Justin Bourne, Project Coordinator
Carillion Construction Company, Toronto

The hydraulic doors have many of the same features as the bifold liftstrap doors and utilize 12-volt emergency backup systems for use in case of a power outage. The bifold doors are clad with glass and equipped with automatic latches, emergency back-up hand crank, remote openers, weatherproof electrical and door base safety edges. Each door is also powder coated.

"I like the look of the massive doors; they add a lot to the building," said Carillion Construction Company Project Coordinator, Justin Bourne. "The hydraulic doors are used in a tool shop. The glass doors make it easier to look into the building and it is more attractive for the military students to look in. We wanted the bifold doors for the amount of clearance they needed for the tanks to get in the building. The quality of both style doors exceeded our expectations."

Bill Stewart, owner of Wilcox Door Service Inc., noted that the installation by his company went well and that the people at Schweiss Doors were helpful by answering questions and in giving suggestions. Their Canadian Hamilton office of Richards-Wilcox Custom Systems had installed and sold Schweiss doors previous to this. Twenty Schweiss glass etched designer doors were used on the Newmarket Municipal Operations building.

CFB Borden is ideally located to service military personnel from all across Canada. Built in 1916, it's the historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force and is now home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces. They train 15,000 military personnel annually and employ approximately 3,250 military members and 1,500 civilians. Its mission includes supporting its customers in the most cost-effective manner. These customers include several military training establishments and a variety of other military and civilian organizations located on the base.

Schweiss Liftstrap doors can be operated with remote or at control station

Each of the bifold doors can be opened at the wall-mounted control centers or by remote handheld openers. Bottom-drive 575v 3 phase motors give the needed horsepower to lift these glass-clad 18.10' classroom bifold doors.

Schweiss Hydraulic doors are powered by a compact pump and held up with heavy-duty cylinders

To allow for the maximum amount of daylight into the classrooms, the three Schweiss one-piece hydraulic 18' and 17' doors are clad in glass from top to bottom. Heavy-duty Schweiss cylinders powered by a compact hydraulic pump easily lift the 18 ft. glass-clad doors.

Schweiss Liftstrap doors equipped with automatic latches, emergency back-ups, remotes, weatherproof electrical and door base safety edges.

The bifold liftstrap doors are clad on the bottom half with glass and each is equipped with automatic latches, emergency back-ups, remote openers, weatherproof electrical and door base safety edges.

Hydraulic pumps have 12-volt battery back-up systems in case of emergency

The hydraulic pump units were each floor-mounted. All seven of the doorframes were also powder coated and have door base safety edges. The hydraulic doors also each have 12-volt emergency battery back-up systems for use if power goes out.