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Hydrajaws Company History

Hydrajaws Limited was established in 1960 based in Birmingham. The core business until the late 1980's was the design and manufacture of workholding fixtures for the machine tool industry. Since then we have established ourselves as specialists in the development, manufacture and supply of fixings testing equipment.

From the begining

The Company was purchased by Royston Morgan in 1988 but the initial idea for the portable tension tester was designed and manufactured in 1985. Since then the manufacture and sales of portable tension testers for anchors and fixings has become Hydrajaws main business.

With the continued growth in the use of fixings throughout the building and construction industry, where they offer a quick and convenient method of securing structures, components, scaffolding, safety harness and other fittings, the need for a simple yet reliable means of establishing their strength and installation efficiency to the satisfaction of the Health and Safety Executive and local government building inspectors has become a vital necessity.

Original testing method

The testing method originally used by the industry was to erect a bridge or stool, normally fabricated with three support legs, on which was mounted a single hydraulic cylinder with the piston rod secured to the anchor by bolt or nut depending on the type. The cylinder was then connected to a hydraulic hand pump and the pressure built up monitored on a dial type gauge until the required force was reached or the pull-out strength exceeded. Clearly this was cumbersome and time consuming. Furthermore, it usually involved engaging a specialist testing consultant or representatives from the fixing suppliers or manufacturers themselves.

The First Hydrajaws Tester

Through a contact within the fixing industry, Hydrajaws Limited recognised the need for a simpler method of carrying out on-site testing, preferably using a single hand held unit which would have none of the problems associated with testing in locations with difficult and restricted access. Using our design capabilities and hydraulic experience we began formulating our ideas for a truly portable tester, lightweight and fully self-contained, which could be used by any reasonable operator on site as well as carried around by visiting building inspectors.
When our first prototype was introduced to the market in 1985, the response from the fixing industry was immediate and quite soon we were working with fixing manufacturers, carrying out modifications and improvements to the original concept based on the suggestions made.
As a result we were able to create a tester which would meet the precise requirements of the industry, taking into account installation efficiency and material strength as well as the design and mechanical strength of the anchor itself.


Over the years we have gained considerable experience in the field, and through the continued co-operation of the fixings industry, safety officers and specialist installers, we have continued our work of development, increasing the capacity range and introducing a wide choice of adaptors and load spreading bridges or stools to match the wide variety of fixings in use and our widely differing applications. Special refinements have been added to the tester itself, such as linear movement scale enabling the operator to measure more precisely the first movement of a fixing under the test loading.


As the construction industry becomes more aware and more responsible for health and safety - Hydrajaws continues to grow and develop. From a small office in Birmingham we now we now operate all our manufacturing, R&D, training and operations from our purpose built 20,000 sq ft building at 73 Kettlebrook Rd, Tamworth.