Hedley Hydraulics Blog

Managing Director, Steve Davies celebrates 40 years service!

Julia Jagger | August 8, 2019

Hedley Hydraulics recently honoured the Managing Director, Steve Davies, for 40 years of service with the company!  Steve joined the company in the late 1970’s as an Engineering Apprentice.  He was working in all aspects of the engineering department; such as machining, fabrication and hydraulic fitting.

Starting his first leadership role in 1999 as Project Manager and later in 2006 taking on full Directorial responsibilities.  Steve’s length of service from grass roots through to management, means he is very knowledgeable in his field, a great asset to our company and the fluid power industry in general.

 As a company we wish to congratulate Steve on his fantastic innings and it is amazing to think he started his career as an apprentice when he left school.  The way he has worked his way up in the company is an inspiration to all of our employees and shows that his hard work and dedication have earned him results.  We look forward to many more successful years.

Steve Davies said ‘On the 6th August 1979, I arrived with my boots, overalls and sandwich box ready to start work at a small, local Hydraulic Engineering company, grateful to have job and hoping that I might learn a trade, or a least it would do until I could find something better.

40 years on I have stopped looking for something better; I never got the time.

Thanks to everyone involved with Hedley Hydraulics, staff and customers alike.’


Steve Davies (MD, right) and John Massey (FD, left), 1992.               Steve Davies celebrates his 40 years of service.

Why Choose Hydraulics

Julia Jagger | August 1, 2019

There’s nothing like an inquisitive four year old mind to get you thinking.  The latest question was; 

‘How does my water pistol work?’

When I gave it some thought, it’s basically a simplified version of a hydraulic ram but the liquid is water.  So I tried to explain it simply so he would understand. I said; 

‘When you press the trigger, it forces the water through the pistol to the narrow hole at the end and the water squirts out fast’.


If you are considering using hydraulics, it is worth thinking about; how hydraulics work, the application you are using it for, how much power you need and how fast.  So if you think back to my crudely simplified explanation of the water pistol, a large force at slow speed is applied to a trigger, water is forced from a reservoir, down a narrow barrel and out of the nozzle.  This works because liquids can’t compress. 

But to describe a hydraulic cylinder or ram, it’s the reverse of a water pistol. When force is applied to the small piston, it tries to compress the oil in the small cylinder. But oil is incompressible, and the force is then transmitted through it to the disc of the big piston and moves it upward in its cylinder.

What are the benefits of hydraulics verses their pneumatic and mechanical alternatives?

POWERFUL: Hydraulics can create more force, in a controlled way and with variable speed. 

RELIABILTY: Hydraulics are very reliable and work as a sealed unit, keeping dirt and moisture out. 

ECONOMICAL: Hydraulics have low running costs, with easy installation and maintenance, which can offset the larger setup cost.

VERSATILE: Hydraulics are versatile because there are lots of options and they can be designed in a bespoke way.  Hydraulics can offer mobile solutions in remote locations.  Hydraulics can offer low noise pollution, for example in the case of lifts, the noise source can be placed out of the way in the basement.  Hydraulics can be used in situations where you have restricted space, because Pneumatic options would usually be larger to create the same force.


An example of hydraulics in practice, we installed this Helicopter landing pad that simulates a ship landing deck. There is one hydraulic cylinder commanded by a 6-port proportional valve.  This is a good example of how much force one cylinder is capable of.  It’s not until you really look, that you realise how many things actually use hydraulics and they are a very efficient choice.  You should definitely consider using hydraulics in cases where you have a heavy load and you need a smooth transit.




Addressing the skills gap

Julia Jagger | July 2, 2019

In the manufacturing sector there is a growing skills gap. The government introduced The Apprenticeship Levy and investment into technology institutes in May 2017. But what else could be done? Could there be more targeted promotion and incentives for young people doing the Engineering GCSE or apprenticeships, improve the image of the industry and promote the job prospects.

Industry 4.0: The importance of getting more efficiency out of the manufacturing process

Julia Jagger | June 15, 2018

The Annual Manufacturing Report (AMR) 2018, published by Hennik Research and produced by The Manufacturer and supported and sponsored by lots of top industry names.  Discusses the need to future-proof your business, in-order to evolve fast enough for the end consumer.

From a hydraulics perspective, it’s interesting reading about Industry 4.0 and the opportunity we must take to advance.  However, I can see how it can be quite a daunting prospect and it is a long road yet. (more…)