This article focuses on improving PDF (Pseudo Derivative Feedback) controller and employing it in electro-hydraulic position servo system of pump-controlled cylinder. Based on PDF theory, the derivative controller has been improved according to zero-placement theory. System’s stability has been analyzed. Moreover, the improved PDF is compared to 1DF PID and traditional PDF through simulation using an approximated dynamic system model of a higher-order hydraulic system, which consists of PLC, digital valve, hydraulic cylinder and optical sensor. The results show that the improved PDF controller provides satisfactory control performance on contrast with 1DF PID control strategy and traditional PDF controller in hydraulic system.