How does the Hydra-Slide XLP Skidding System Work?

How does the Hydra-Slide XLP Skidding System Work?

Hydra-Slide XLP30 hydraulic cylinder from LGH
Hydra-Slide XLP30 hydraulic cylinder.

Moving heavy loads horizontally can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with delicate or oversized equipment. Traditional methods often involve complex setups, multiple operators, and significant safety risks. However, LGH recently partnered with Hydra-Slide to introduce a game-changing solution: the Hydra-Slide XLP Skidding System! In this blog post, we’ll dive into how rigging slide systems work and take a closer look at the revolutionary XLP Skidding System itself.


Jobsite pic of the Hydra-Slide XLP150 hydraulic skidding system in LGH green.
XLP150 moving a large load on a jobsite.

What is a Skidding System?


Before discussing the specifics of the XLP System, let’s understand the fundamental concept of hydraulic skidding. Skidding is the process of horizontally sliding a heavy load along a guided path, typically at ground level. A skidding system, also referred to as a jack and slide system or rigging slide system, allows the rigger to move jobsite loads with greater control and accuracy. These systems are ideal when there is limited clearance and/or access. Hydra-Slide’s hydraulic skidding systems provide you an efficient and safe way to accomplish this jobsite task.


Basics of the XLP Slide System


Picture of the Hydra-Slide XLP storage box at the LGH warehouse.
The XLP storage box is lightweight and incredibly portable.

Jack and slide systems are sort of like giant LEGO sets for adults. (Of course, they are not a toy, but they are easy and satisfying to build.) XLP means “extra low profile”; these XLP systems are simple to build (like a LEGO set) and move smaller loads than the Heavy Track Systems. The XLP is incredibly portable and comes completely contained in a storage box that can easily fit into the back of a pickup truck!

The XLP30 can push or pull up to 30 tons, while the XLP150 can push 250 tons and pull 150 tons. Despite their capacity differences, they are very similar in their construction and operation. First, the parallel track is constructed. The track surface must be plumb and free of obstructions. Make sure the first track slide is completely straight. The second track line should be spaced center-to-center with the width footprint of your load. Slider plates, also referred to as skid shoes, serve as the interface between your load and the track. The slider plates sit on top of the track; the load then sits on these slider plates.


Hydra-slide XLP push-pull head attaching to cylinder.
Push-pull head attaching to cylinder/


Push-pull heads are then placed on both sides the track, acting as an interface between the hydraulic cylinders, the skid shoes, and the track. Your load must always be in direct contact with the front plate of the push-pull head. If the front plate is unable to maintain contact with the load, cribbing can be used to avoid damaging the push-pull head. The push-pull cylinders are then placed on both tracks. These cylinders simply slide into the push-pull head and lock into place with a pin. Hydraulic hoses are then connected to the cylinders on one end, and a hydraulic power unit on the end. (Thankfully, Hydra-Slide offers their own power units, which work perfectly for this system!)


The Components of the XLP30 Skidding System


Both XLP Skidding Systems come complete and neatly contained in a storage box, ensuring that all necessary components are readily available. Inside this box, you’ll find:

  1. Track sections:

    Steel tracks with UHMW high-density polyethylene plastic for smooth sliding.

  2. Slider plates/Push-pull heads:

    These support the load and have a stainless steel polished bottom surface.

  3. Push-pull cylinders:

    These are responsible for pushing or pulling the load.

  4. Manual:

    An instructional guide for system setup and operation.

  5. Track lifting handles:

    To aid in track placement.

  6. Connector bars:

    Used to secure the track sections together.


Setting Up the Skidding System

To ensure a successful skid operation, careful setup is crucial. Here are the key steps:

  1. Choose a clear, obstacle-free path for the skid operation.
  2. Ensure the ground where the tracks will be placed is straight, level, and suitable for load and track safety.
  3. Connect the track sections securely using the provided male and female ends, along with track connection bars.
    Animated GIF of the hydra-slide XLP30 track connection
    XLP30 track connection.
    Animated GIF of the Hydra-Slide XLP150 connection track.
    XLP150 track connection.


  4. Maintain parallelism between track lines. Place the slider bars onto the track.
    Animated GIF of the XLP30 slider bars being placed on tracks.
    XLP30 slider placement on tracks.


  5. Place the push-pull head onto the track.
  6. Connect the push-pull cylinder with the push-pull head.
    Animated GIF of the Hydra-Slide XLP cylinder attaching to the push-pull head.
    XLP cylinder attaching to push-pull head.
    Animated GIF of the XLP150 cylinder connection.
    XLP150 cylinder connection.


  7. Confirm that the load makes direct contact with the front face of the push-pull heads to prevent damage.
  8. Connect hydraulic hoses to a compatible hydraulic power unit, maintaining cleanliness to prevent contamination.
  9. Double-check the setup for accuracy, as proper setup is the most critical aspect of hydraulic skidding.


Operating the Skidding System

How do I operate the XLP skidding system? Can I switch from push to pull mode? Once the system is set up, operation is relatively straightforward:

  1. Turn on the hydraulic power unit.
  2. Shift the directional control valve to “A” for extension (push mode) or “B” for retraction (pull mode).
  3. The cylinders will push or pull the load along the tracks, automatically resetting in the next ratchet slot.



Key Features of the XLP Skidding System

The XLP Skidding System offers several advantages:

  1. Low profile design:

    Keeps the load close to the ground for added safety.

  2. Ratchet track system:

    Automatically resets the cylinders for the next push cycle.

  3. Off-the-shelf solution:

    Fully engineered and easy to use, eliminating the need for complex setups.

  4. Safety and compliance:

    Meets stringent safety standards and CE requirements, with a focus on operator safety.

  5. High friction coefficient:

    Ensures controlled movement and minimizes the risk of uncontrolled motion.

Jobsite picture of the XLP150 from Hydra-Slide in LGH green.
Hydra-Slide XLP150


Common Applications

What are some common applications of a jack and slide system like the XLP? These systems are incredibly versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Moving loads from railcars to transporters or trucks.
  • Installing equipment inside plants.
  • Handling sensitive or delicate machinery.
  • Sliding equipment to reach cranes for removal or installation at height.
  • Moving equipment on elevated platforms.
Jobsite picture of the XLP skidding system from Hydra-Slide moving a load.
Hydra-Slide XLP on a jobsite.

Equipment That Can Be Moved

This rigging slide system can be used to move various types of heavy equipment, including:

  • Transformers
  • Boilers
  • Generators
  • Gas Turbines
  • Bridge sections
  • Injection molding machines
  • Compressors
  • Heat exchangers
  • Substation components
  • Storage tanks, and more.


Hydra-Slide HT skidding system spanning an unsupported gap.
The Hydra-Slide HT system spanning an unsupported gap.


Other options

LGH also stocks the Hydra-Slide Heavy Track. This 500-ton capacity hydraulically powered HT system is incredibly rugged and versatile. Additionally, you can even span unsupported jobsite gaps with the Heavy Track system (see sidebar picture).



The Hydra-Slide XLP Skidding System makes pushing and pulling heavy loads a breeze compared to traditional methods. The XLP is more accurate and controllable, ensuring your load ends up exactly where it needs to be. With its user-friendly design, safety features, and wide range of applications, it has become a game-changer in the industry. Whether you need to move delicate machinery or oversized equipment, the XLP Skidding System offers a reliable and efficient solution for all your load movement needs.

Contact LGH today for more information and a free quote on the Hydra-Slide XLP30 and XLP150 Skidding Systems!



LGH is North America’s largest single organization devoted exclusively to the provision of lifting and moving equipment for rent. LGH holds the most comprehensive inventory for hoisting, rigging, jacking, pulling, material handling, and safety equipment. With over 90,000 pieces, discover your next project solution at

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