For more than 35 years Custom Cylinders International, Inc. has been supplying high quality hydraulic cylinder solutions to the Fluid Power user industries. The engineering and product development team is constantly adding to a broad range of products by designing job specific hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders that solve specific application challenges. Adhearance to the customer’s application requirement, product quality, dedication to quality service, and inovative production methods has enabled CCI to provide products to the recreational vehicle, medical, automotive lift, railroad, agriculture, and lawn equiopment industries since 1980. Since the beginning, CCI management made a commitment to provide quality producs, at a reaonable cost to the customer. Those basic values have not waverd since the very first day of operation. From local customers in Kentucky to national customers in ALL of the states in the USA, customers have been provided quality products at competitive prices. Customers range from the individual recreational vehicle user to major corporations that encompass a very divesified range of product applications.

The typical development of a customer’s request for a hydraulic cylinder or system is initiated with a detailed review of the application and specific operating parameters. This review includes the identification of critical information regarding operational parameters, fit, cost objectives, and performance requirements for the application. This type of objective product development has resulted in CCI’s entry into a diversified mix of OEM products and applications:

AGRICULTURE: One of the first major product areas was developed through the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee’s Agriculture Departments. CCI assisted in the development of an inexpensive pneumatic cylinder package that was sold to farmers, agriculture equipment companies, and farm equipment retail stores in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Ohio. It was during this time that a cylinder product line of the LOG HOG log splitter product line was developed for individual use by consumers, and sold in Kentucky and the surrounding states. The repair of this type of equipment continues to be a seasonal activity for the repair/remanufacture operation that eventually became a stable factor in continuing operations on a National level for agriculture and recreational vehicle customers.

MEDICAL: An early design and customer for CCI resulted in the introduction of the company to the medical industry. Hydraulic cylinders were developed for emergency room portable tables, operating room tables, necropsy tables for large animals, handicapped person beds, and handicapped person body lifts. One of the more innovative designs was developed to move an individual with no legs from his vehicle to the driver’s seat of an enclosed farm tractor’s cab. Another application was to move a paraplegic from the horizontal position to a vertical position. A hydraulic food grade shuttle cylinder was designed to use a biodegradable hydraulic fluid to operate inside a machine that coats the exterior of “pills” used in the pharmaceutical industry. The location of the cylinder was inside the vat, therefore was directly exposed to the product during the coating process.  The cylinder tube and attachment plate were machined from stainless steel, had an aluminum gland, 12MM stainless steel piston rod, food grade seal package, 30MM stroke, operating cycle of 20 times per hour, and operated 7 days per week. The CCI revised design was developed to replace the original off-shore cylinder manufactured unit.


LAWN MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT: For more than 20 years CCI has provided hydraulic cylinders to the manufacturers of lawn equipment and maintenance industry for mowing decks, front end loaders, buckets, power steering, tilting decks, boom controls, and various sizes of snow plow equipment. There are a number of hydraulic cylinder designs that have been designed and produced for several national lawn equipment manufacturers in the USA. Cub Cadet (MTD), Commercial Turf Products, Venture, and First Products were the larger manufacturers.  The designs included hardware and cylinders for power steering, mowing decks, front end scoops, snow plow attachments, and implement attachments. Sizes produced for this market range from the original deck cylinder, 717-3005, that has a 2 ½” bore, ¾” chrome piston rod, 2.35” stroke, ½” rod end mount, 5/8” rear mount, to a 1 ½” bore, 5/8” rod, 9” stroke, ¾” rod & rear mount, to a small single acting snow plow angle blade cylinder. There were approximately 50 unique hydraulic cylinder designs developed for this market.   

COMMERCIAL: Entrance into the commercial equipment industry was with the development of a hydraulic cylinder that would level the receiving dock with the rear entrance of a commercial truck trailer. This would allow the unloading of palletized boxes and skidded materials from the trailer to the floor of a receiving dock, transitioning from the trailer floor level to the dock floor level. These were single acting cylinders, but were of a very robust size and design. Snow plow, hydraulic tailgates, automobile transport trailer decks, recreational vehicle room slide-outs, recreational vehicle leveling systems, recreational vehicle roof lifts, and unique sockets that could be used with a drill motor to raise camper roofs or actuate stabilizer. Front end loaders, where several hydraulic cylinders were designed for the Yanmar loader equipment market, sizes range from a bucket cylinder with a 1 5/8” bore, 1 1/8” chrome piston rod, 1 ¼” rear & front pin mounts, 28” stroke to a robust bucket cylinder with a 20” stroke, 2 ½” bore, 1 ½” chrome piston rod, and 1 ¼” rear & front pin mounts. We also designed a cylinder for a high speed sorting machine. This pneumatic cylinder design required a stroke of ¾”, heavy duty rod, the rod is threaded with a 5/8-32 the full ID length, 21mm rod length, 21mm chrome rod, rod to have rod flats for both ends, rod extended out of each end 30MM, BSP pipe ports, and is repairable.


Another unique pneumatic cylinder was designed for flow of corrosive liquid. The spring loaded shuttle control pneumatic cylinder is spring-loaded to actuate a valve to close the flow of a highly corrosive liquid if a supply line were to fail. It has a ¼” stainless steel piston rod, 1 7/8” stroke, removable cap, internal compression spring, repairable design, 9 ½” overall extended length, .750 bore, 7MM steel cap mounting hole, and the body is machined from brass. Special piston and rod seals were designed for this application.


MARINE: Working in association with a local marine oriented development company, several designs have been developed for retractable swim platforms, small personal watercraft retractable platforms, retractable roof systems, and a retractable arch on the roof of a houseboat. In co-operation with the engineering department of the Bulova Company of New York a hydraulic cylinder was developed for a computer controlled rudder guidance system.


This hydraulic cylinder was manufactured with a combination stainless steel tube, chrome plated stainless steel piston rod, and aluminum cap & gland. The design is repairable, operated at 2000 PSI hydraulic fluid, ¼ NPT ports, and is double acting. It is the actuating component of a computerized rudder system for an ocean going fishing boat that was connected to a computer to keep the boat on course. The stainless steel and aluminum components are resistant to salt water and abuse that is encountered in the Atlantic coast fishing industry.

HYDRAULIC REPAIR: Local requests for the repair of hydraulic cylinders, equipment, and systems became a mainstay of early operations, and the ability to not only replace the seals in a hydraulic unit, but to also manufacture the damaged component provided the customer with a complete repair service. This service has grown into a national sales area, with customers sending articles and complete hydraulic systems to Kentucky for repair and/or replacement. In 2013 customers from ALL of the states of the USA were finally represented as customers, including Hawaii and Alaska.

Custom designed hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders have become a cornerstone of CCI marketing efforts, and we have enjoyed an extremely diverse range of customers. Equipment utilizing our pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders used in movies, zoos, recreational vehicles, hospitals, agriculture equipment, lawn equipment, transportation, and highly specialized railroad track repair equipment. 
Although not all inquiries become a Production cylinder, over the years there have been some very unusual requests and a few unsuccessful attempts to develop a customer’s concept or design. The development of hydraulic cylinders for an elephant cage in Ohio, and a heavy duty door opener for a rhinoceros cage in Florida were quite successful. The development of a 12” diameter pneumatic cylinder, 1/8” stroke, operated in 400 degree constant temperature; operated two times per day, held together only by the weight of the machine was not!

Industrial Prefabricated Cylinders

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