Dec 12th, 2018
What is a wrecking yard?
A wrecking yard is a place of business where wrecked, unused and decommissioned cars are disassembled and the parts are sold. The usable car parts are sold to people or car parts companies for use in the repair of vehicles that are still working. The unusable parts, which are scrap metal parts, are sold to companies for metal recycling. Other names for wrecking yards are wreck yard, salvage yard, wrecker's yard, junkyard, and scrapheap. The name may vary from place to place.
How does a wrecking yard work?
Most localities have wrecking yards. When a car is wrecked beyond repair, has some faults that cannot be fixed, or is not worth the money required to fix it, the owner might sell it to a wrecking yard. Wrecking yards are quite flexible in how they run the dynamics of their buying and selling activities. Below are some of the most common practices you will observe in a wrecking yard:
1. Owners bring and sell their damaged cars to the yard
Cars that are wrecked and damaged beyond repair, rundown vehicles sold by the police from their impound lots, and damaged cars from insurance tow yards are brought to the yard by interested sellers who want to dispose of their junks and make money at the same time.
2. Wreckers buy junked cars from the owners as is where is
In some cases, a car is too damaged for its owner to tow to the wrecking yard, so it’s left where it is. The owner might sell it to a wrecking yard under an “as is where is” agreement. This means that it’s the buyer’s responsibility to haul the wrecked car from its location and that the buyer accepts its present condition at the time of the sale.
3. Cars are sorted, recorded, and systematically arranged
The damaged cars are arranged in rows and on top of each other. A well-organised yard will keep a record of the damaged parts in all the cars and their location in the yard. This makes their job systematic and finding a particular part when they need one will be so much easier. These records are kept in their office, and some yards have computerised systems for easy access to information. All vehicles and cars brought to the yard have about 75% of their parts used for the repair of other cars or are recycled.
4. Wreckers coordinate with a satellite part finder service
Satellite part finders have become necessary and are extremely useful in finding wrecking yards from a single source. Buyers don’t need to search wrecking yards one by one anymore because they can now use the services of part finders. Before now, this service was provided by call centers, which charged a premium call rate to various wrecking yards to know if they have the needed parts in their warehouse. Now, these services are found on the internet with their various website. They also use email services to get instant feedback on the available parts in the wrecking yard.
5. Keep a warehouse for pre-removed high-value car parts
Most times in-demand car parts are removed from cars and kept in wrecking yards warehouse. This makes the parts more accessible to workers at the wrecking yards when a customer orders for such parts.
6. Operate as a “you pull it” yard
Some wrecking yards might give a discount to customers who will opt to remove the needed parts from the car themselves. Others operate solely in this manner, and for which reason, they’re commonly referred to as “You Pull It” yard.
7. Render installation services if needed
Sometimes customers do call in to see if the specific items or parts needed are available at the wrecking yards. If the needed part is available, the customer has to make a deposit and pick the part at another time. It is common to see wrecking yards with installation services, but most times the customer brings in his installation agent.
8. Sell parts to rebuilders
The parts disassembled from damaged cars are those that can be used and resold by the wrecking yards. Some late model vehicles will have their entire halves or body portions removed and stored while other parts like the engine are removed and sold out. These parts are usually sold to auto parts companies that rebuild the parts and sell it with a guarantee. They may choose to see the component as-is in used condition—this is usually done without a guarantee. Windshields and windows are usually removed and resold.
9. Sell old-model cars to collectors
Aside from selling damaged but repairable cars to amateur motor builders, wrecking yards also dispose old car models to collectors, who may choose to repair the cars for their personal use and entertainment or for resale.
Can two or more wrecking yards work together?
We have talked about what a wrecking yard is and how it operates. Can two or more yards work together and benefit in the arrangement? Yes, they can. In fact it will improve customer service, benefit both parties, and bring them even more profits.
What are the benefits of working together?
1. Increase creativity and learning
Creativity is optimised when two wrecking yards work together to improve their services. When they brainstorm on ideas together, there will be no room for stale viewpoints as what normally happens when working alone. For example, wrecker A finds a better way of removing parts from cars (i.e., easier and faster method) and shares it with wrecker B—and vice versa— productivity is increased for both. This sharing of best practices and continuous learning will increase their income, strengthen their alliance, benefit their members, and sustain their business.
2. Complement each other’s resources
What one wrecking yard lacks could be abundant in the other yard. By complementing each other, they multiply their resources and overcome their weaknesses. Wrecking yard A might want to tow a vehicle as-is where-is but has no available towing vehicle at the moment. Instead of losing that deal, what he can do is borrow from wrecking yard B an available towing vehicle and this should be enough to keep the deal!
3. Increase the chance of success
Sharing resources and ideas will help both businesses keep up with innovations and the demands of changing times.
4. Enhance conflict resolution skills
In a highly-competitive industry, conflict becomes a day-to-day thing. Supporters from different yards compete for the same customers, so conflict is inevitable. With an alliance or network, both parties will have a mechanism for sorting differences.
5. Save on promotional campaigns
With two (or more) pockets to dip funds from, the cost of advertising and marketing will be significantly reduced. Marketing is inherent to any business—especially the auto parts industry—and this alone already eats a big chunk off the budget.
Together we’re stronger
The idea of two or more companies in the same line of business working together may sound strange at first. Wreckers have proven, however, that there are countless benefits to gain by working side by side towards the same goals instead of pitting against each other.