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Toe Lift Jack – The History Of Hydraulic Jacks

Toe lift jack equipment has become a staple of industry up and down the UK, as well as all around the world. Vital in allowing staff to move large equipment, machinery and parts, these hydraulic jacks are utilised in workshops, garages and plants. But what’s the history of these jacks?

The hydraulic jack tracks back as far as 1858 when inventor Richard Dudgeon – born in the small village of Tain in the Highlands of Scotland – introduced the world to hydraulic jacks. Although born in Scotland, he emigrated to the United States with his family. He later moved to New York where he learned a great deal about steam engines. From there, he opened his own machine shop and it was there that he began to work on many inventions – but none would have the lasting effect of the hydraulic jack. Although he wasn’t the first to utilise hydraulic power, nor the first to theorise such a device, Dudgeon saw that people required more portable and powerful lifting equipment. People had been lifting heavy ton loads with tiring and inefficient screw jacks. He originally patented the idea in 1851, which would either utilise water or other fluid – such as oil – to help produce the pressure needed to exert force. It would become known as the “whiskey jack” as whiskey was principally used in winter when other liquids would succumb to the cold weather. He would go on to improve the design some decade and a half later, but the original jack was used across many New York railroad and shipyards – paving the way for the future toe jack.

When it comes to toe lift jack equipment, our team at HTS Direct Limited have evolved and developed hydraulic jacks. Now safer, faster and more durable than ever, we’re proud to show off our ECO-Jack system. Come see it at Or if you’d like to make enquiries, just email or call +44 (0)1785-816747.

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