Fifty Years Of Influence


When Pryda launched in New Zealand in 1964 (then known as AR Turner & Company), across the Tasman Australians were:

  • Expanding from basic post WWII homes to houses with second bathrooms, extra bedrooms or a rumpus room.
  • Building a number of carports as a rising number of second-hand cars/cash for junk cars put motor vehicles in the reach of more families.
  • Making use of new building materials such as laminex, plastic paints and paints from and linoleum floor coverings. ‘Bringing the outdoors in’ with a focus on natural light, patios and outdoor living areas.

Pryda milestones

  • Introducing Australia and New Zealand’s first knuckle nailplate with moveable, hand-operated hydraulic presses – pushing the nailplate teeth into the timber more quickly and with greater efficiency than standard nailplates.
  • Producing a book of standard, everyday truss designs for a variety of local conditions including low and cyclonic wind conditions and roofs with tiles and steel. The iconic manual was widely used throughout the New Zealand and Australian building industries until around 1980.


Pryda launched on Aussie soil in 1970 and hit the ground running, with Daryl Turner conducting seminars and visiting hundreds of hardware stores around the country to increase awareness of his product. During this time, Australians were:

  • Using natural materials like mud brick, straw bales and raw timber.
  • Prompted by the global oil crisis in 1974 to thinking about energy consumption and homes that considered their impact on the environment.

Pryda milestones

  • Rapidly adopting new technology such as calculators and computers, to help fabricators quote, cost and produce manufacturing data; Pryda’s first ‘electronic’ truss design takes 40 minutes to run and by 1980, this reduces to 15 minutes.
  • Founder Ray Turner inventing the angle brace, now a major commercial success.
  • Developing steel angle braces for wall framing, replacing timber. Carpenters could now quickly and simply brace walls with a small cut into the studs, fit the angle brace into the cuts and nail it off. This eliminated the time consuming process of cutting a large notch out of the studs to accommodate an expensive hardwood timber brace.
  • Launching in Australia, South Africa and Fiji.

Above: New techniques – the use of steel instead of timber for building bracing


Pryda was a reliable supplier for builders, homeowners and European migrants across Australia, who throughout the decade were:

  • Revitalising worn out homes in undesirable areas, attracting new residents.
  • Establishing cafes, delicatessens and other businesses, lending new vibrancy to inner city suburbs.

Pryda milestones

  • Significantly speeding up truss manufacture with the launch of the company’s signature Claw® Nail nailplate, which uses hydraulic pressing equipment instead of hand driving knuckle nailplates. It has proven to be a robust and reliable product, having been used to assemble several million trusses worldwide and is in service constructing roofs all over Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Revolutionising the industry in 1989 with Pryda’s Computa-Roof software, enabling truss design from first principles. It opens the door for Pryda fabricators to tackle all sorts of roofs themselves that previously required special engineering designs.
  • Moving forward with Ray Turner selling his business to a publically listed New Zealand/Australian company.


Australians continued to pursue the great Aussie dream of building a house, with an historic peak of more than 170,000 new homes built in 19943. Aussies were:

  • Building larger homes (with fewer people living in them) and decreasing the size of front and back yards.
  • Continuing the push to create environmentally friendly homes, including those with alternative energy source, low impact building materials and appropriate insulation.
  • Contributing to urban sprawl as new homes are built at the edge of major cities.

Pryda milestones

  • Winning an Australian Design Award in 1992 for Pryda Computa-Roof V3.
  • Launching Wall Builder in 1994, a world leader in wall detailing software.
  • Revolutionising timber cutting efficiencies within Australian truss plants, with the launch of Auto Omni.
  • Launching Pryda Roof in 1997, the world’s first automated roof plane solving software.

The notion of what a ‘home’ looks and feels like is changing, with Australians:

  • Experimenting with apartment, villa, warehouse and townhouse-style living, alongside traditional stand-alone homes.
  • Watching a raft of construction and decoration type television shows, such as The Block,Renovation Rescue, Better Homes and Gardens
    Pryda milestones

    • Fully designing a house lot of trusses in less than a minute, thanks to a innovative design process than the one achievable 50 years ago.
    • Launching Pryda Build truss design software in 2007. For the first time the software was able to bundle roof trusses, wall framing, floor trusses and various framing components into an integrated software suite.
    • Joining the ITW stable in 2004, making it the second largest nailplate supplier in the world.

    Did you know

    • In the late 1960s and early 1970s, one Pryda truss took more than two hours to be designed, drawn up and posted to the fabricator. Today, this same process takes a matter of seconds.
    • Around a third of all truss and frame fabricators in Australia today use the Pryda system.
    • The majority of Pryda’s timber connectors and truss nailplate range are manufactured in Melbourne.
    • In Norwegian, the word ‘pryda’ means ‘to adorn’
    • Pryda’s first ever customers in Australia were John Danks, Adelaide Steamship Company, Myer and McEwans.
    • Basic materials used to construct a house haven’t really changed since the 1950s: timber, nails, bricks and mortar.