Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

DANGER - High Voltage

Many vehicle recyclers are handling high voltage vehicles and are completely unaware of the risks they exposing themselves, their colleagues and their businesses to.

What will it take to make these recyclers realise the danger and the risk of these vehicles; to train their staff, purchase necessary personal protective equipment and tools and set up a best management practice for the business? I hope that they see the need before one of their employees, colleagues or friends gets killed!

Battery voltages are rising, with up to 400v DC now, 800v DC in the next 12 months and in excess of 1000v DC in the future - these batteries are lethal if not handled correctly.

Salvage Wire Managing Director, Andy Latham, is speaking at the International Battery Recycling Congress in Berlin and will be highlighting this issue to the assembled delegates.

Risks include electrocution, fire and physical injury caused by the weight of the batteries; basic training along with the purchase and use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment plus a decent best management process and the use of free resources from the IDIS system will be enough to keep employees safe, minimise fire risks and protect the business. 

Vehicle Recyclers and their national trade associations need to commit to training their employees and members on how to recognise these vehicles, understand the risks, and invest in the PPE and tools required to minimise or mitigate those risks before there is a fatality in the industry.

Andy will challenge the vehicle manufacturers to open up their training to technicians outside of their franchises, to first responders, recyclers and body repair centres, and will also ask them to continue to fit their vehicles with simple High Voltage disconnect devices because in an emergency situation easy access to a high voltage disconnect could be a life saver.

All vehicle recyclers can find a best management practice guide at and can book WAMITAB accredited, high voltage training designed specifically for vehicle recyclers, by emailing 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Step out of your comfort zone

“Peter, suddenly bold, said, ‘Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 

Many may know this quote from Matthew 14: 28 when Jesus appeared to his disciples walking on the water, and Peter decides to step out of the boat and walk on water as well.
It doesn’t go well - Peter starts to sink and needs extra help; the morale is that he tried, he stepped out of his comfort zone (he was a fisherman so boats were a large part of his life) and attempted something different.

The majority of the automotive recycling industry is also stuck ‘in the boat’; comfortable where they are and will only step out of their comfort zone to try something new or different when they absolutely have to.

This is especially true when dealing with high voltage electric and hybrid vehicles, and my major concern here is that it will take a life-changing or fatal injury to bring many to their senses and invest in training, education and protective equipment for members of their team.

It only takes 60volts and 1/2 an amp to kill - high voltage automotive batteries range from 120 to 400volts and anything up to 800amps; more than enough to cause some serious injuries or fatalities.
Salvage Wire are already on the case for the vehicle recycling industry with their WAMITAB accredited Safe Handling of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle training that has been specifically designed for vehicle recyclers.
This one-day training has been attended by over 200 delegates during the last three years; all of them leaving the day with an increased awareness of the risks, dangers and opportunities these vehicles bring, the knowledge to make these vehicles safe to transport, store and dismantle, and an accredited training qualification for their continual professional development.

Salvage Wire is bringing their training to Scotland on Wednesday 18 July and Warrington on Thursday 19 July, and there are places available on both dates for the very low price of £125 per delegate that includes all training workbooks, handouts, notes, lunch and a discount code for the purchase of high voltage tools and PPE.

Now is the time for automotive recycling professionals to step out of the boat, receive professional help and assistance to learn about the latest high voltage vehicles that will be coming into their yards now and in the future, grow, develop and seize the opportunities that these vehicles bring - book your training now or register an interest for training at another location at

Salvage Wire - Helping automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry -

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Don’t Ignore High Voltage Vehicles - they are out there and volumes are increasing!

Too many vehicle recyclers are sticking their head in the sand and not doing anything to understand high voltage technology; to understand the risks associated with electric and hybrid vehicles; to understand the opportunities that these vehicles bring them and to understand how their business needs to change and adapt to accommodate these vehicles.

Sales of Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug In Hybrid vehicles rose by 43% and 34% respectively across Europe in 2017, sales increases in the UK were 31% and 23% in both categories.

Vehicle manufacturers are predicting massive increases in sales volumes of these vehicles, with VW group expecting to annual sales of 2.5 million electric vehicles by 2025 and Bloomberg forecasting that full electric and plug in hybrid vehicles will form an ever larger percentage of vehicle sales in the coming years.

Why is this happening? Because vehicle manufacturers are being forced to reduce vehicle emissions; add in high oil prices, the decisions by many countries to ban the sale of new internal combustion engined vehicles at some stage in the future, the ever reducing cost of producing high voltage batteries, the increasing range that full electric vehicles offer, the increasing volume of charge points and the current debate around diesel vehicles and some could debate that the perfect storm has been created to condemn internal combustion engined vehicles.

These changes will have major knock-on effects to many different industries across the automotive marketplace, and the vehicle recycling industry will have to change and adapt to the new automotive landscape that will be created.
Progressive and forward thinking vehicle recyclers are already working on this, learning how the vehicles operate, looking at the opportunities this new technology brings, investigating the risks to their business, their staff and themselves, working out how to change, adapt, grow and minimise any risks, and how to provide the best service to their suppliers, customers and work providers.

You can find out more at the Salvage Wire Skills Lab at CARS on the 11 and 12 July, see for more details.

Salvage Wire also have training courses scheduled for July:
  • Wednesday 18 July in Edinburgh
  • Thursday 19 July in Warrington

Places are limited so contact Salvage Wire now to reserve your place

Helping Automotive Recyclers Become Leaders in Their Industry

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Do you want to grow your business?

I don’t think that any business owner or leader would turn down any opportunity to grow their business, especially if there was an added incentive to increase their own knowledge and expertise, plus the opportunity to regularly meet fellow professionals in the industry, enjoy a meal and a few drinks with them and talk about everything that is important to them.

Well, what are you all waiting for, join fellow vehicle recyclers in the Salvage Leader Mastermind group where you can develop and grow your business, learn from each other, enjoy times of fellowship and learning, become a leader in the vehicle recycling industry and see your own business expand, become more efficient and profitable, become a business that attracts and retains talented staff and becomes the wise choice for customers.

Join Salvage Leader now by contacting for full details and application form.

Salvage Wire - Helping Automotive Recyclers Become Leaders in Their Industry

Monday, 11 June 2018

Electric Vehicles are here - try to keep up!

“Don’t need to be trained as I refuse to accept them into the yard” was one response from a recycler I was talking to recently, “but we have a Honda Insight here” was their next comment!
So you do need to be trained, you do need to be aware of the dangers, you do need to have the appropriate protective equipment for your staff, but no, they didn’t want to invest in their business or their staff - some may call this irresponsible, I call it ignorance.

60 volts and 0.5 of an amp can kill - current electric and hybrid vehicles range from 120 to 400 volts, so there is a clear focus here, handle one of these wrongly and it will kill!
Going back to my friendly recycler that made the choice not to invest in their staff or their business and refused the training; if something goes wrong and they are the subject of an investigation by the Environment Agency or the Health and Safety Executive, they may regret not making that investment and learning about these vehicles, gaining the knowledge of how they work, what the risks are, how to research the vehicle and minimise the risks to themselves, their team and their business.

So book your training now! Salvage Wire’s WAMITAB accredited training is specifically designed for the vehicle recycling community and is suitable for all members of the business.
We can come to your yard and train your team, or you can send one of your team to our regular training days around the country.
Our next scheduled training days are:
  • Thursday 14 June in Lichfield where there are two spaces still available
  • Wednesday 20 June in Bridgend 
  • Wednesday 18 July in Edinburgh 
  • Thursday 19 July in Warrington
For more details contact

Salvage Wire - Helping vehicle recyclers become leaders in their industry

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Safe working on High Voltage vehicles

Tactile, beautiful to look at, safe and very colourful; not the latest product from Apple or Tesla, but the new high voltage tool packs from the EHV Safety team at Total Lockout.

Rated to 1000 volts, these tools are specifically made to keep technicians and engineers safe whilst working on high voltage vehicle components, especially vehicle batteries.
These tools have been available individually for nearly two years but very few vehicle technicians are aware of them or using them - WHY?

Is it going to take the death of a vehicle technician to make people aware of these tools and how a small investment could save a life? I hope not!

Having spent three days at The Battery Show recently it seems that leaders, engineers and managers are aware of the risks and talking about investing in tools and equipment to keep their teams safe, but talking is one thing, doing is another!
One technician recently advised me that he winds insulation tape around his screwdriver to stop him getting electrocuted when dismantling a high voltage battery - unbelievable when a screwdriver pack that includes tools designed, tested and certified to 1000 volts is available for less than £50. How this technician (or his manager) cannot invest a small amount of money to protect his own life is beyond me!

5 Tool kits are available from stock and with prices ranging from £300 to £5,000 will fit most budgets; the best bit is that the EHV Safety team can build bespoke kits for any customer, laser etch the whole kit with the customer’s name, the engineer’s name or a serial number that identifies the tool or the kit for added security and protection - check out for full price lists, stock availability and options, and adding the discount code SW1018 on checkout gives each customer an added 10% discount on the order.

If a full kit is not your choice then all the tools are available individually at so you can build your own kit along with every bit of PPE that each technical and engineer requires, including gloves, apron, face shield, floor mats and more - so be safe, stay alive, and purchase all your high voltage tools and PPE from

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Batteries Free of Charge

As a sound engineer in my spare time, I use an enormous amount of 9volt batteries in microphones and almost singlehandedly keep the local battery recycling bin full.
Fortunately the High Voltage batteries in vehicles don’t need changing as often, and at weights of anything up to 600kg that is probably a good thing!

Almost every week vehicle manufacturers are announcing new and updated vehicles with some form of electrification, from 48v mild hybrid systems to the latest technology with battery power at 800volts. Over time every single one of these vehicles will head towards a vehicle recycling yard, some after many years and others quite quickly after being involved in accident or incident, and vehicle recyclers need to know how to handle these vehicles so that they can keep themselves, their staff and their businesses safe.
An electric shock can have serious consequences - it only take 60volts and less than 1amp to kill - consequences that could also prove as devastating to the business where an electrocution occurs, because the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency will start to take a serious interest in the operation before the lawyers of the injured staff member take over.

Yard owners and managers have a couple of options available to them going forward and these include:
Doing nothing - not the smart choice, because many will not be in a position to turn these vehicles away and untrained, unaware employees handling these vehicles is a recipe for disaster.
Training themselves and their staff in awareness and understanding of these vehicles would be the first good decision, then they need to follow this up by putting best management practices into place that cover the collection, storage, de-pollution and dismantling of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Salvage Wire have a WAMITAB accredited Safe Handling of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle training course available that has been specifically designed for vehicle recyclers, the course covers all aspects of these vehicles and gives all delegates the information and confidence to collect, store, de-pollute and dismantle these vehicles and the high voltage components that come out of them.
There are three training courses scheduled over the coming weeks:
  • Thursday 7 June in Braintree
  • Thursday 14 June in Lichfield
  • Wednesday 20 June in Bridgend

Too book in contact Salvage Wire via the website

Battery storage is also very important - recyclers must have separate storage areas for each type of battery, making certain that the three different types of battery (Lead Acid, Nickel Metal Hydride and Lithium-Ion) are not stored together, and also that nothing can fall onto the batteries or that they cannot fall onto anything else.

Owners and mangers also need to invest in the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for their staff to keep them safe; this includes gloves, tools, voltage testers, signs and more; everything needed can be obtained from Total Lockout and readers of this blog can get a 10% discount by entering the code SW1018 when purchasing safety clothing, insulated tools, signs, accessories and high voltage kits at

Some vehicle recyclers are reporting difficulties in disposing of their high voltage batteries as their normal battery recycler either will not take these batteries or is charging for disposal. Working with Cawleys in Luton, Salvage Wire are developing a waste collection service for high voltage batteries (find out more at and investigating disposal solutions. Currently there are no facilities in the UK where these batteries can be recycled and the cells are being removed from the battery and shipped to Belgium for recycling. Obviously there will still be a cost but this will be minimised as much as possible with the Cawleys proposition - for more details and to arrange a quote please contact with details of the batteries you have available.

Many may consider that these vehicles are dangerous, but they are no less unsafe than conventional internal combustion engines with a tank of flammable liquid at the back of the vehicle that is piped to the front, injected into a cylinder at high pressure and then exploded multiple times a second - at the end of the day you are comfortable with what you understand!