Salvage Wire

Salvage Wire
Helping Automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry

Friday 7 December 2012


One of the biggest issues I see when visiting the majority of auto recycling businesses is lack if vision. Most businesses lurch from one week or month, or year to the next with no real idea where their business is going, or what they will be doing, and this lack of leadership is reflected in the staff who are not motivated to do their best because they cannot see any benefit.

And this lack of vision makes it easier to remove someone from their job because they are demotivated and lacking in enthusiasm, so they are replaced and some time later the same problem returns with the new staff member.
In fact, the problems come from the manager or owner not having the ability to run a business, and get the best out of his or her staff.
This may require the manager or owner to change how they work, and I have seen many people resist that change with devastating effects to them, their business and their employees. They need to take a step away from the day to day operations and actually start to manage people, strategy and develop their business.
Too many owners of small auto recycling businesses are too heavily involved in the minutiae of the operation, they need to take a step back and become a leader who can delegate to, train, develop and grow their staff to get the best out of them and the best for the business.

One of the best pieces of advice I received when I left one company to take the position of After Sales Manager at another was 'take a few hours each week to sit back, think and make notes, and always use a pencil because you can rub these notes out!'
Wise words that are even more relevant today. Our business is becoming more complicated, more competitive, and the profit potential is getting squeezed daily for a variety of reasons, so you need to attract customers to your business by offering them something they cannot get elsewhere, and staff members are a crucial part of that offering.
There are many companies out there who will take loads of money from you to create a vision for your company, but it won't be 'your' vision, so the best advice I can give you is to set aside a regular time slot each week to plan out the future of your business; it could be every Tuesday morning, or after lunch on Thursday - whatever suits you. Start small, look at next week, or next month,and then start to think about next year, what do you want to be doing, how quickly can you do this?
Look at all the alternatives,  and don't be afraid to reflect on some radical options, including closing the business down and selling the land because that may be more profitable then trying to keep the operation running.

Salvage Wire can assist you in shaping the future of your business, we don't tell you what to do but we can give you the tools to make decisions, decisions for you, your family, your business and your future, contact us at

1953 Jaguar XK120 at auction

Currently at auction (closes Teusday 11th Dec), this 1953 Jaguar XK120, raced at Goodwood by Win Percy rebuilt by Nigel Webb who owns the Mike Hawthorn Memorial museum sent to Morocco after build in 1953 not known if raced in Moroccan GP The car has been converted from "race" to road going "rally" been on British and Spanish TV

Watch the bidding at

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Hybrid and EV Technology

Spent a few hours at the Bus and Coach Expo being held at the NEC in Birmingham this week, some very interesting stands especially Wrightbus who were displaying their new Hybrid Bus for London that replaces the iconic Routemaster and also their full EV bus.

This was my first opportunity to have a close inspection of the new Bus for London and I was impressed, 3 sets of doors, 2 stairwells, minimalist design and whilst thoroughly modern has enough references to the Routemaster to be a very believable big brother to the original.

They were not the only manufacturers displaying low or zero emission vehicles, and I discussed with most of them the life expectancy of the battery pack and return on investment.

Most agreed that it could take up to 5 years to recoup the additional cost of the battery pack and one manufacturer who shall remain nameless believes that after 5 years the battery pack on their full EV would be operating at 80% of its’ original capacity – dangerously close to many experts opinion that High Voltage batteries for Hybrid or EV use would be End of Life at 75% capacity.

600 of the new Bus for London have been ordered, hope that their battery packs last for more than 5 years!

None of the manufacturers could give me information on how to disable the battery packs in the event of an emergency situation, flood, fire or accident could require the battery pack to be isolated and the first question is where the fuses are, how can the high voltage system that runs at 600+ volts be made safe and what are the safety requirements?

Otherwise, a great show with lots of new innovations, especially loved the Volvo stand and the quality of some of the new coaches and buses is so high, travelling public are being spoilt!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

5th Asian Automotive Environmental Forum

The Auto Recyclers Association of Australia are proud to host the 5th Asian Automotive Environmental Forum from 29th November until 1st December.

The forum will be held at Hotel Grand Chancellor, Surfers Paradise and will include delegations from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Seminars will include:

  • Strategies to Strengthen Cooperation between Governments, vehicle Manufacturers and Auto Recyclers
  • Industry led initiatives to improve environmental outcomes from ELV processing
  • Future strategies to achieve 95% recycling of End-of-Life vehicles
  • Developments in the treatment of Automotive Shredder Resideu (ASR)
  • Environmental Compliance Standards for Auto Recyclers
  • and much more.

Full details of the programme, costs and to register for the Forum please see

Are you planning for 2013?

Under 2 months until the end of 2012 and there are many businesses working very hard to meet commitments and targets they set themselves at the start of the year, how many are taking some time out to plan for 2013?
One of the best things I have learnt this year is the word Clarity. Clarity is essential when you are giving instructions, planning, forecasting and so-on, and it is absolutely essential for staff so they know what is expected of them every day, what their targets are for the week, month, quarter and year, and also how they are going to reach those targets.
Are you building you plans so that all staff know what they have to do when they walk through the door on the 2nd January or will you ‘wing’ it again?
What are your targets for next year? Are they achievable? Do your staff know what the targets are?
 If the answer is yes, then well done, your business will have a good and profitable year (assuming the plans are well designed and accurate).
If you haven’t started working on your plans for 2013 then you still have time to develop them and motivate your team to adopt them as their plans and targets, but don’t waste too much time!
When writing the plans concentrate on what you can change or affect, there is too much happening in this world that you cannot change so don’t worry about political, population or economic changes, but concentrate on what you can change, create and develop.
Concentrate on what you are doing best and think through these questions:
Why do people do business with us?
Why don’t people do business with us?
The 3 most important things to do to grow our business next year are?

 Not much, but it is a start to understand why your customers keep coming back (what you are doing well, different or what nobody else does), why you lose customers (what they can get elsewhere better/cheaper/reliably…) and what you need to do to enhance the good and improve the negative.

 Give it a try, you may be surprised by the results!

Thursday 18 October 2012

Canada Cash For Clunkers

GM Canada has once again selected the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) to manage the vehicles generated by their Cash for Clunkers dealer incentive program across Canada. Starting October 2, 2012 and running to January 2, 2013, Canadians can turn in their older vehicles for a new GM vehicle and receive a cash incentive. Those retired vehicles will be picked up and processed by ARC Members accredited to the Canadian Auto Recyclers Environmental Code ( This network of 350 certified recyclers represents the largest recycler network in the nation. For more details about Auto Recycling Canada see:

Tuesday 9 October 2012


Throughout our lives we invest time in other people and have time and effort invested into our lives, this includes our working life. So let us ask some questions. Is the investment in you paying off? Are you giving a good return for what your team mates are investing in you? As a team leader the best thing I can do is invest in my team. I am also a team member so the best thing I can do is invest in my team. When everyone is investing then the benefits multiply - One horse can pull one ton, 2 horses can pull 4 tonnes. Where there is a will, there is a way, where there is a team there is more than one way! In the New Testament, Jesus sent his disciples out in teams of 2, because he recognised that they could do more as a pair than they could achieve on their own. (Mark 6: 7-13) Follow the golden rule - treat others as you would wish to be treated Take care of yourself Choose a positive attitude Have a personal growth plan Give more than you receive It all comes down to attitude, if you haven't pursued the opportunities to grow and develop then you need to change - grow all you can and give a good return on your investment. As Team leader I have to determine the environment and whether my team are investing in others, this investment can be completed in many ways but one simple method is mentoring. We need to mentor others as well as being mentored, we will all have opportunities to mentor and we all need to take those opportunities when they show themselves, it may be something just as simple as a cup of coffee every month, or it could mean an occasional meeting and meal, over the coming weeks many of us will have the opportunity to network, meet people and we could end up with one or two new mentors, or even one or two new mentorees - not sure if that is a word, but it is someone we are mentoring. Opportunities like this do not come along every day, so look afresh at each day, try to learn something new and reflect daily about what you have achieved.

Sunday 9 September 2012

New Web Site

Salvage Wire are pleased to announce the launch of their new look, fully refreshed web site at
We think it was well worth the effort and time and gives a new focus to our activities and the work that we can do for you.
We welcome your comments and feedback.

Monday 3 September 2012

New Look

Just redesigned the twitter page (@salvagewire), currently updating Blog page and web site, keep tuned for more updates and announcements.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Too Many midwives and not enough undertakers!

Over 700 delegates from all over the world arrived in Liverpool for the CARS Show featuring the International Round Table on Auto Recycling.
Guests from Japan, Malaysia, Australia, India, Brazil, US, Canada, Europe and the UK enjoyed Lancashire hospitality which included food, dink and plenty of rain.

Our International visitors were treated to a tour of the JCB World Headquarters. JCB is a UK success story, starting in 1945 with one product it is now a multi billion dollar business producing over 300 different models in factories all over the world, employing over 10,000 people it is still family owned and run.
JCB were the main sponsors of the CARS Show and once they had finished their demonstration and tour took some of the demonstration vehicles up to Hills Motors where the CARS Show was being hosted to be used during the show.
Once at the show visitors could walk around the indoor stands or go outside into the main demonstration area where vehicles could be seen being de-polluted, crushed, or in the ‘big boys toys’ arena, literally being pulled apart by Overtons Auto Dismantling System.
Every now and then there would be a loud bang as Autodrain fired another airbag with their deployment tool, wheel crushers were separating wheels and tyres almost constantly and Combilift lost count of how many times they re-arranged the same three cars on their racking system.
Training seminars gave visitors and guests lots of opportunities to hear some of the most knowledgeable people in the business talk about fuel safety, electric and hybrid vehicle dismantling, profit, sales, green parts and much more, and the show was supported by over 50 of the biggest names in the industry, including Manitou, Vortex Depollution, SEDA, Green Car Depollution, Crowe Environmental, Actual Systems, Car and more.
The International Round Table held 2 sessions during the event, receiving reports from country representatives and specialist reports.
It was during the country reports that probably the most memorable comment came, Captain Mohan Ram, representing India, spoke about his country’s desire to have a full end of life vehicle industry, explaining that India has many producers of vehicles but very few businesses that take vehicles out of use – too many midwives and not enough undertakers!
It was very clear that all the countries represented face very similar issues, lack of enforcement, poor legislation, and too many illegal operators who drive salvage values up. As an industry we need to take a stand locally, nationally and internationally to eradicate these undesirable activities, and failure to do this will impact all genuine law abiding auto recycling businesses. There is not one individual who could achieve this; rather it needs to be a collective effort from many to make a difference.
The specialist reports to the IRT included Paul Fox of EGARA highlighting how auto recycling could change in the next 10 years, and Anja Tomazic from GM Europe spoke about the information that manufacturers give to assist auto recyclers dismantle vehicles as well as focusing on the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera (Chevrolet Volt) and the recycling potential for this vehicle in 10 -12 years time.
Steve Fletcher from Auto Recycling Canada graciously accepted the request to chair the IRT meetings, and also provided an overview of the Canadian Auto Recyclers Environmental Code.
Minoru Gouku from Japan presented a short video that showed the effects of the Tsunami in 2011 and the combined efforts of so many businesses and individuals to clean up the affected areas. The whole meeting was very quiet and hushed as this video was playing, reflecting on the devastating affect this natural event had on people, families and communities.

Social activity was high on the agenda for the show, the organisers wanted to give everyone maximum opportunity for networking and relaxation. Friday evening found most of us sheltering from the rain and enjoying food and entertainment, our live band were enjoyed by many – especially after England beat Sweden in the Euro 2012 soccer championships.
That same evening an auction raised over £10,000 for our chosen charities, and by the end of the event other fundraising activities boosted that figure to nearly £14,000.
Football (sorry, Soccer) was the focus of our attention as we closed the whole show at Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club, the evening started with a tour of the ground followed by a meal and dancing to Imagine….The Beatles, an excellent tribute band that was enjoyed by over 150 delegates and guests.

This was the first time that a show of this type has ever been staged in the UK; one of the aims of the organisers when they started to put this show together was that it must be able to benefit the Auto Recycling industry. We received the following e-mail that shows we got it right.
Dear Andy & the CARS Team
Just wanted to congratulate you on the success of the CARS event.
It was fantastic to see the industry being pulled together from all dimensions.
The event gave us a good opportunity to explore and compare new equipment whilst proving a great networking opportunity. The seminars I managed to attend were also invaluable, hearing from such knowledgeable figures in the industry which really made me step back and evaluate the way in which we operate our business.
Both Steve and I left the show with a complete buzz not only from what we had learnt but of what we wanted to achieve.
Thank you so much and congratulations once again. The hard work really paid off!

I must also pay tribute to Ian Hill and all the staff at Hills Motors who hosted the event, they worked so hard to clear and clean the space for the show – they had to move over 900 motorbikes just to clear the indoor arena – erecting stands, hanging banners, cleaning, sweeping, and then emptying bins, welcoming delegates and guests and serving food and drink during the show, and not one of them ever complained or didn’t have a smile on their face. Every visitor commented on the quality of the yard, the operation and the staff, and those that were able to get on the yard tour were coming back eulogising about the operation that Ian has built, a set up that is possibly the best in the UK and certainly matches some of the best around the globe.

Please allow me to finish with the one word e-mail that we received from Steve Fletcher.


Monday 30 July 2012

Vehicle Identity Check Consultation

The UK Department for Transport has recently issued a consultation document on the future of the Vehicle Identity Check (VIC) scheme.

Some of the background details show that 717,000 checks have been completed at a cost of £30million to the UK motorist, and only 38 vehicles failed the check!
The VIC is designed to stop ‘ringers’ - vehicles that have had their identity changed from going into use – so the scheme has either been a colossal success because it has removed ringers from the road, or a complete waste of time because it hasn’t found as many as were expected, I will leave you to form your own opinion on this!

The consultation document highlights some future options and asks a number of questions that could be more interesting and wider ranging than the actual consultation.
These questions include:
• Can you provide figures associated with the costs and benefits of the current scheme (including costs to motorists and business, and effectiveness of the scheme as prevention of car crime)?
• Should the 4 salvage categories be retained as defined? Should they be amended?
• Do you think there are already other systems acting as deterrent to ringing?
• Can you suggest an alternative to deter ringing?

Sorry, but I thought that the DFT have already shown the costs, benefits and effectiveness of the scheme in the background details quoted above!

The consultation papers can be found at, responses are welcomed from individuals, businesses and organisations and the consultation closes on 22nd October 2012.

Monday 2 July 2012

Automotive recyclers come together in the U.K.

Salvage Wire are delighted to be able to copy the report from Japan Auto Recycling Association on their recent visit to the UK for IRT 2012

From June 14 -16, the international Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT) was held in Liverpool, the United Kingdom.
The 6th international conference was attended by 6 regional and national associations
of professional recyclers as well as industry officials from around the world to
discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the auto recycling business on a
global scale.
In addition to Country Reports from Australia, Canada, Europe, India, Japan, Malaysia and the U.S.A., the audience also heard about the effects of last year’s March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on the auto recycling industry.
Detailed video images stored on a DVD titled “375 Days of Disaster-Damaged Vehicle Recycling Activities in Tohoku,” which was created by the Super-Line Tohoku, were shown to delegates. Some of them couldn’t keep back their tears in front of the screen. The Japanese JARA Managing Director Sosho Kitajima introduced the report and thanked supports from overseas for the disaster relief efforts.
In the Country Reports, JARA Vice Chairman Minoru Gouko presented updates of Japan’s auto recycling industry. “Japanese recyclers have begun to expand their businesses to Asia,” he concluded. He also introduced JARA’s efforts to help protect the environment in developing countries.
The association won the Energy Globe award for the second straight year.
“One of the highlights of this year’s IRT was the emergence of the Indian industry.
Delegates from the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers attended and participated in all events,” said Steve Fletcher, IRT Chair and Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.
The auto recycling industry in India is highly fragmented and is in a position similar to the Canadian or U.S. market of 50 years ago. But like any great emerging nation, India will need to manage the development of a professional automotive recycling sector sooner than later. By participating in the IRT, India’s auto recyclers have seen a path forward that will ensure firm foundations are built for an important industry. “No country can be full of doctors and midwives without having a thriving undertaker. That is what India needs to develop: good undertakers for cars,” quipped Captain Mohan Ram of the SIAM.
The 2012 IRT wrapped up with a lively open discussion on the trends that all recyclers are seeing, such as increased total losses, the global emergence of the Green Recycled Parts brand, the thriving underground economy undermining legitimate
business everywhere and the need for more data and interaction with carmakers, insurers and repairers.
The next IRT will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in the U.S.A. in November 2013 as
part of the Automotive Recyclers Association Annual Convention.

Friday 22 June 2012

Prosecuting illegal scrap yards

Illegally dismantling vehicles and loading them for export has cost a Peterborough vehicle dismantler a fine of £2,000and a contribution to prosecution costs of £1,700.

A man, who operated an illegal scrap yard on land at Cemetery Road in Kearsley, has been ordered to pay £10,000 for his illegal operations after being prosecuted by the Environment Agency at Preston Crown court.

The owner of a Devon recycling company has been ordered to pay £2,590 in costs after he was caught illegally exporting used car tyres to Vietnam.

A Bristol man who ran an illegal scrapyard in the city has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £13,000 costs in a case brought by the Environment Agency.

A Harrogate man was remanded in custody yesterday (1 March), awaiting sentencing after being convicted of storing scrap cars

Just some of the successful prosecutions that the UK Environment Agency have brought against illegal operators so far this year, but is the message getting out to the Auto Recycling industry that flouting the law means they will be caught and prosecuted? I don’t think so.

This was all I could find on the Environment Agency site for this year – 5 successful prosecutions, and one of those is slightly dubious because it involves tyres and the vast majority of those tyres would have come from tyre shops rather than end of life vehicles!
And the level of prosecution – not enough, it won’t force these offenders to suddenly comply with the law and be fully regulated – it only means that they have lost a bit of profit and will go back to their normal practices as soon as possible. The exception is the Harrogate man who was held in custody, he is only there because it was his second offence!

More problematic is the length of time it takes to bring these cases to court, a number of them relate to offences committed during 2010 and one case goes back to 2007, and in most cases these operations will have continued in business.
I know that there is a need to build a suitable case for prosecution, but surely it is time to change the regulation of the industry and bring in quicker and more effective prosecutions.

If the Environment Agency finds an illegal scrapyard they should be able to apply a spot fine to the business that (at minimum) equals the cost of the appropriate licence that the business has avoided paying, and then there should be an enforcement notice that gives the owner a suitable period of time to clean up the operation – 14 days for example - followed by a site visit to check the clean up, and the authority to seal the gates of the yard shut immediately if no action has been taken. Then the E Agency can initiate the appropriate legal process.

So the illegal operator has been fined, given time to clean up his business, had his business shut down and taken to court, a sequence of events that reassures legal operators that the E Agency are proactive and determined to root out illegal operations, and either make them compliant or close them down.

Saturday 9 June 2012

I love the auto recycling you?

11 years ago I was offered the opportunity of a secondment within the auto recycling industry, as an automotive engineer who had been involved in the retail and insurance areas I thought that I knew everything I needed to know, in fact I found myself on a very steep learning curve as I realised that i knew very little -at the same time i started to fall in love with the business.

That secondment turned into a full time position, and I am still there now, burning with a passion to see the industry develop and grow. So what is it that keeps me going?I see family run businesses, sometimes third or even fourth generation that are expanding, that are profitable, that are clean, safe, and environmentally friendly, I see dedicated professionals who want to improve, and I see opportunities.The industry has changed over the last 10 years and will go through significant change in the coming 10, the march of technology will have a big impact as will legislation, and I am not talking about environmental or business laws, but the changes in the construction, use, repair and disposal of vehicles as required by legislation.
Companies that are prepared to change, adapt and evolve are the ones that will be profitable in 10 years time, but this will require consistent and effective leadership from owners and managers.
So how do you get from here to 2012?
The best leaders and entrepenuers do not have a crystal ball to see into the future, they just use their knowledge to open opportunities and then they minimise the risk to their business, the word failure is not in their vocabulary, if something doesnt work then they have knowledge that no-one else has!
So how do you start changing your business so that you are ready for the next 10 years?
One small step at a time!

You cannot think your way into the future, you have to move one small step at a time using the information, equipment and money you have available at the time. So what is the first step?This is sometimes the most difficult part, deciding to implement changes and step out of the comfort zone you are currently in can be very difficult. This could be the catalyst that the business needs to change and evolve, but one thing is certain, if the business does not change then it will not survive.

You remember I said that one of the pleasures I experience is seeing family businesses that are third or fourth generation. If you decided to write a history of one of these businesses there would be major differences between the original operation and today. It has been said that You cannot use one business model throughout your working life, but you have to reinvent yourself 5 times to keep on top of progress, the same is true of auto recycling yards.
2022 will be a very different world to the one we inhabit today, for a start I will be 10 years nearer my pension and I could be a grandparent! Motive power will be electricity, hydrogen, bio fuels and fossil fuels, cars could be obsolete after 5 years, advances in electrics will allow convoys of cars to travel major motorways and interstates all controlled by the lead vehicle, accidents will be minimised by the use of autonomous emergency braking and other advance electronic systems, fuel economy and emission legislation will mean smaller, lighter vehicles constructed with advanced metal and composites, vehicles will be more difficult and costly to repair with knock on impact to the supply of 'green' repair parts, and the overall cost of motoring in the western world will see reductions in the number of vehicles on the road along with reduction of the average annual mileage.
All of the above will drive change and will result in a very different industry to the one we know today, more vehicles will be stripped down to component parts for pure recycling, fewer parts will be retained for sale to repair other vehicles, and the traditional pull-a-part operation could be almost extinct.I love the auto recycling industry, because it will evolve, adapt and change, owners and managers are professional business people and entrepenuers who will make sure that their yard will be a sustainable and professional business in 10, 20, 30 years time.
The only question I have is, will you still be there?

Saturday 19 May 2012

Car Merchandise Recycling

As manufacturers constantly change their sales publicity many car dealers face increasing costs to dispose of obsolete posters, brochures and car display materials.

Salvage Wire are proud to offer a free of charge recycling service for all car posters, brochures and car display materials to car dealers and manufacturer agents.

All you have to do is phone or e-mail Salvage Wire and we will arrange free of charge collection of your unwanted posters, brochures and car display materials, saving you the time and cost of disposal.

Salvage Wire are committed to ethical recycling and will process each item to full environmental standards.

We look forward to your request, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Audi RS6 for sale

Bluecycle, the online auction specialist have a 2008 Audi RS6 (V10 Quattro) at auction now, to follow the auction.

1965 Ford Mustang for Sale

Bluecycle, the online auction experts have a road ready 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe at auction, to watch the auction.

Leadership in the Auto Recycling Industry

The world has seen many great leaders come and go, Nelson Mandella, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther-King to name a few. In a deliberate attempt to provoke discussion and comment I ask where are the leaders in the Auto Recycling industry? By its’ nature, the auto recycling industry is fragmented, lots of small family owned and run companies that are servicing an ever growing clientele – enabled by the internet, most companies can get access to a global marketplace. There are a few organisations that endeavour to bring the industry together – The Automotive Recycling Association based in the US is one example, Auto Recycling Canada another and there are many other similar organisations around the world that offer benefits for their members, but is there one person who has the ability to speak for the whole industry? Unfortunately not, the various rules and regulations in each country mean that most national organisations can only speak for the country they represent, and their comments do not always carry enough weight to be taken seriously by other countries. There is an opportunity to make a difference through the International Round Table on Auto Recycling which is taking place in Liverpool, England, in June of this year. The event is being hosted at Hills Motors and runs in conjunction with the CARS Expo, the chairman for the event with be Steve Fletcher, the respected head of Auto Recycling Canada and seen by many as the guardian of the International Round Table. Highlights of the event will include reports from each country represented, further discussions on areas of international interest and a full teaching and training programmes that are designed to bring benefit to all delegates attending and their businesses. You can see more information at and at , both web sites feature on-line booking as well as details of accommodation, seminars and training as well as live entertainment and other events.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Unlicensed Motor Salvage Operators face fines of £5000

Motor salvage operators who do not have a license or do not keep accurate records of their transactions could face fines of up to £5,000. The warning comes after Hertsmere Borough Council licensing and environmental health officers swooped down on a car repair and salvage site, Bushey Breakers, during an all-day raid on Wednesday, April 18. Four people were arrested during the raid which involved 140 police officers, as well as representatives from the UK Border Agency, Environment Agency, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Customs and Revenue. One man is being investigated by council officers for failing to keep complete records of vehicles that were in his possession. Gavin Burns, principal environmental health officer at the council said: "Under the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 and Motor Salvage Regulations Act 2002, it is a requirement by law to keep a record of the vehicle registration number, the make, model and colour of the vehicle, and the name, address and contact details of the supplier. If the vehicle is sold, the name, address and contact details of the buyer, must also be recorded. "Failure to do so is a criminal offence and carries a maximum fine of £2,500. Failure to register as a motor salvage operator carries a maximum fine of £5,000." Thanks to

Monday 30 April 2012

CARS Show, June 14-16 2012

The CARS show is getting close (June 14-16) and is on target to give metal merchants and auto recyclers just what they asked for - a show dedicated to the industry. With two days of seminars and training, and 70 exhibitors covering all aspects of auto and metals recycling, that’s just what they’re getting. Demonstration is a key element that makes CARS different - you get to see the latest equipment and find out if, and how it can improve your bottom line. To explain what we mean, consider Overton’s Auto Dismantling System. This excavator mounted ripper is one of the show’s stars and visitors will be able to see first hand how this machine can improve the return from elv’s by almost 25% - now that has to be worth looking at. The system will be working at CARS, along with many other machines so you can actually see it for yourself. The industry just hasn’t had opportunities like this before. Adding value is the big theme at CARS. One of the most practical ways to increase profit is to increase the return from the materials and vehicles already being processed. Just to give you the idea, here are a few examples of the equipment you’ll see at CARS. Hammel’s Red Giant Attractions at this year’s CARS show don’t come much bigger than Hammel’s latest tracked shredder - the Red Giant. This beast can chew its way through 60 tonnes of cars every hour or 50 tonnes of tyres. This is a multi-purpose shredder that can also be used for wood, domestic and industrial waste. Weighing in at 44 tonnes, fitted with crawler tracks and a beefy CAT C18 diesel power unit, the fully remote control Red Giant can discharge up to a height of 5 metres. This is one demonstration not to be missed by anyone interested in shredding scrap metal. Which one’s for you? That’s the question from Eriez when it comes to their next generation of Eddy Current Separators. The new range acknowledges that most customers’ separation needs are varied, and at CARS Eriez will display and run samples over their RevX-E LT Eddy Current Separator which is ideal for separating large pieces of nonferrous metal. They will also be promoting their RevX-E ST model for small non-ferrous particles and the LC model which is ideal for aluminium can separation. Also during the show, Eriez will showcase their new Shred 1 Ballistic Metal Separator which is ideally used post shredder. Adding value is what JMC is about JMC are a company that’s been around for a long, long time and we are all familiar with their non-ferrous cleaning and baling equipment. What visitors may be interested to see is just how far their product range extends. In fact, if it’s non-ferrous you’re processing, they’re more than likely to have a piece of kit for the job. At CARS this year they’re focussing on machinery that can add value to your product. On show will be a cable granulation system that’s aimed specifically at capitalising on vehicle wiring looms. Also, the Cat Comrade which can collect and recycle all the precious metal inside cats. It doesn’t stop there, they also plan to demonstrate their latest engine crusher which is powerful enough to completely break up whole engines, handling up to 5 tonnes of engines and gearboxes per hour. Well worth a visit for all those involved with non-ferrous and auto recycling. Busy couple of days for JCB
The show’s main sponsor, JCB will be demonstrating their impressive range of materials handlers during the two days as they move materials and elv’s too and from the working machines. JCB are famous for their demonstrations so these operations should be as impressive as any other part of CARS. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but if adding value through on-site processing isn’t for you, then getting the best price for the materials you trade should be. At CARS you have the opportunity to meet a large number of buyers and sellers under one roof. Whether that’s buying or selling whole shells or shifting engines, batteries and cats - CARS is a place for you to do business and get those profits up! They say information is king; well visitors should definitely come away with plenty of that. There are two jam packed days of training, seminars and forums where you will find out the latest developments and techniques that will make your business run sweeter. As Dave Morgan from Pinnacle put it, “If you leave with one new idea you will reap a real benefit”. And that’s just on increasing effectiveness through technology. There’s everything from processing hybrids and EV’s, business development, pitfalls of overseas trade, new material technologies, to operating in a cash free environment. Each and everyone of these seminars includes details to help you develop your business. The full programme will be on the website, shortly. Don’t forget the fun side too. CarTakeBack , the compliance specialists will be pitting us all against each other with their very own Gand Prix circuit (I am hoping all those hours on the scalextric as a kid will pay off) and many other stands are planning to do things that little bit different - after all, this is far more than a trade show. Where else do you get free beer? And because we all like to relax, the Friday night is party night. CARS is all about sharing time with like minded friends, family and colleagues and the Friday evening meal and band, set in a casual atmosphere (ties are banned) makes a great time to get together. Don’t forget all your food and drink is included and, there’s transport laid on to get you too and from the hotel - so you can have that extra pint! For further details about the CARS show, visit CAR - Complete Auto Recycling and Secondary Metals June 14-16, 2012 Hills Salvage and Recycling Ltd Skelmersdale WN8 9SU For further information contact: Chris Floate - 01544 267140

Saturday 28 April 2012

CARS Expo and International Round Table on Auto Recycling

Salvage Wire are proud to confirm that they are supporting the forthcoming CARS Expo and International Round Table for Auto Recycling to be held at Hills Motors in Skelmersdale, England, June 14th-16th 2012. The Cars Expo showcases all aspects of vehicle recycling, from the first collection of a damaged or End of Life Vehicle to the full scrapping and recycling. There will be lots of trade stands, seminars and live demonstrations. Full details are still being released, keep looking at the web site ( for updates. The International Round Table on Auto Recycling occurs every 2 years, attracting delegates from all over the world, and this takes place in conjunction with the CARS Expo in June, it has its own website ( with all the relevant information. On-Line booking is available from both web sites, don't forget to book your hotels for some memorable and very rewarding days, and the staff at Salvage Wire look forward to meeting you at the show.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Rover SD1 Yard Find

Rover SD1, seen last week buried in the corner of a salvage yard on the Channel Islands, was a lovely car in its time, see very few around now. Wonder why?

Monday 26 March 2012

Vehicle repair or scrap?

Motor vehicle engineers across the world have to make the decision on vehicle status following an accident or incident, can the vehicle be repaired, should it be sold as repairable salvage, or dealt with as junk/scrap and taken out of use?

Most cases are reasonably clear cut and easy to make, however there are a significant number of decisions made daily that could be challenged. The overriding factor in any engineering decision should be the safe future repair of the vehicle; can the vehicle be repaired to such a standard that in the event of another incident the occupants will experience a similar level of protection that they would have found if the vehicle was new?
Engineers need to look at could or should the vehicle be repaired?
Should is fairly easy, an extensively damaged vehicle involved in a fatal accident probably should not be repaired, likewise a vehicle with serious flood water damage, high enough, for example, to soak the airbags.
Could the vehicle be repaired is a more subjective argument, this is where a knowledge of vehicle repair techniques and standards come in, and this is becoming more important as vehicle manufacturers explore more ways of increasing vehicle strength whilst making vehicles as light as possible. High strength steels, aluminium, carbon fibre, laser welding on production lines, and much more – all making repair in local shops much more difficult without extensive knowledge and expensive equipment and increased cost.
Training and accreditation for vehicle assessors is highly recommended, and there are many in place throughout the world.
In the UK Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) sets the standard for body repair technicians, estimators and insurance assessors, I-CAR in the US follows similar principles and standards.
A main area of focus for all of these programmes is establishing the correct method of repair for any accident damaged vehicle, making sure that the repairs can be completed to the highest standards possible, standards that will protect any future owners and occupants of the vehicle if it is involved in another accident.
Any engineer signing vehicle disposal paperwork must be certain that the vehicle they are signing off can be repaired safely, because if it isn’t and the worst case scenario occurs, then that engineer could be held liable for the injuries sustained.
If the engineer feels that the vehicle cannot safely be repaired, then the vehicle must be dealt with a junk/scrap and taken out of use.

The Cycle of Recycle

We are delighted to publish an item by guest blogger David Vercauteren. With a background in Operations for the Marine Corps and Corporate Sales, David headed into Auto wrecking as a salesman with no experience. He says he found that his returns were way too high and couldn’t understand why. Later JC Cahill, his mentor at the time, would place David in the inventory department to learn more about the backside of the house. He noticed that salespeople, the front of the house, didn’t talk to inventory people and inventory people didn’t talk to salespeople. Why is that? With a background in international operations, sales, and business, he noticed quickly the pros and cons of the local operations for auto wrecking in the area; everything from small yards to corporate yards. David started to visit the yards to see what was working and not working.

The Cycle of Recycling:

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but in the business of auto wrecking, that’s what it all about. From beginning to end, we in the industry are challenged to deliver salvage that you can stand by, make a profit, and develop a trust that will keep your customer’s businesses running quickly and smoothly. If you went to an ATM and you wanted a hundred bucks for the night and it only spit out one dollar at a time, you might not go back to that ATM unless you were desperate, right? We are, by nature, creatures of habit and look for the most dependable and reliable sources to make our lives easier and in most cases, more profitable. This is why developing these habits among your employees is paramount to becoming a dependable and reliable asset to another business that drives your products. In my opinion, the cycle of recycling starts with Physics. Now most of you that do business everyday in the recycle industry are probably saying in your ‘my way or the highway voice’,” what the heck is he talking about.” Well I’m going to tell you.
When a buyer looks at a piece of salvage he must think about the ultimate questions. What happened and where did you come from? An answer might be, “You came from a person that was going about 30 mph and was hit on the front right side and really liked the color orange.” A person of Physics thinks in atoms and figure what was destroyed and bent. They will also know what was probably slightly bent and not worth including in their projections of profits. The sparkly orange is far from a stock color and not exactly worth what others might think the sheet metal is worth. Don’t be distracted by the spinner rims that are too cool for school. Bottom line, that sheet metal is a hard sell if you are in the business of making money. Then there is the question of; how bad do you need the high dollar items on the vehicle and will it be profitable to put in a high bid. A new 2012 Focus engine with 2k miles might not be needed for a few years, where as a 2002 Honda engine might move 3 to 4 times in one year. Do you want the engine that sits or the engine that you can sell? Think of it this way, every spot that has a location on the yard needs to be rotated as quickly as possible. Whether the parts are new or old, they need to move. There is logic to this theory and a buyer must understand this before purchasing everything under the sun. Hoarding parts is not profitable at all. So stop it, unless it’s your thing which leaves money on the table for the rest of us. Know what sells and leave the slugs to other buyers. How much, how fast!
Salvage is towed to the yard and the breakdown begins. Inventory‘s position is to critique the buy, not to find profit on the vehicle. Of course there is an exception in some hard to find parts, from high end vehicles that can turn a pretty bizarre profit if you know what they are. The inventory inspection must be very accurate with damage codes, with decoding parts and tags, and also looking over the salvage for anything the buyer may have missed. This requires someone who has integrity and truth written in their soul. This is important to the Cycle of Recycling because the customer expects the truth and if they do not get the truth, they will return it. One more time, they will return it. A good inventory person will also think about the Physics of the crash to reduce the amount of damaged parts inventoried, much like the buyer thought when he did his projection of profit. In some cases, an inventory person might not know if certain parts are undamaged and have the dismantler take a look to see if there is any damage. This is not a good idea unless the part is high dollar. You can’t expect a dismantler to make choices with an inspection eye if they are tearing apart vehicle after vehicle. Just don’t include the parts in the inventory and crush it. You’ll be glad you did. Now the vehicle is off to be dismantled.
Dismantling the vehicle is very important for further inspection of all engines, transmissions, transfer cases, axles, etc. Codes should be noted right then and there to avoid going back to the part to decode. This could be a super long section of recycling different metals, how to treat metals and oils, and where to put metals and fluids, but I’m not going to. What I’m going to talk about are doors, lids, hoods, and lights. These items are included in the projection of profit and should be treated with much care. If your dismantlers are lead by someone who cares about their day and cares about the Cycle of Recycle, the item should make it to the racks safely. This requires leadership. If you care about your dismantlers, they will care for the items they rack. Just the way it is. Is this impossible? Nope. It’s a matter of ergonomics. Put the racks in the right place and everything becomes easier for the puller. On a side note, any salesman will tell you they would rather have salvage that just got to the yard before dismantling rather than grabbing salvage that has been around too long. So take care of the sheet metal and profits will show. Buying sheet metal from another company is, in most cases, just too risky. Personally, I would avoid this practice unless you know for a fact that the Cycle of Recycling is alive and well at their yard. Headlights have become a personal interest of mine due to the fact they are not your everyday headlights anymore. They are expensive to replace, come with the salvage, and easy to repair if you know what you’re doing. Scan it to a location and let’s go!
The Parts Puller pulls; let’s say the door, from the rack to the beater truck. This is where things can get even trickier. They are pulling more than one part most of the time. With these high dollar doors, lids, and hoods, I would recommend sending the most caring puller to make quick single rides from the rack to QC, no doubt. Why risk it? QC inspects what the damage code is and looks over the sheet metal for damage. It’s important this person understands what damage codes are, what over spray looks like, what should be included on the door, and has a goal to send the “door” out, without it ever coming back. Ever! If something isn’t right with the part, it must not go out. The salesman should be called, emailed, instant messaged, so that they can then contact customer to inform them of the discovery. The QC person must know how to reach each salesman immediately. Doesn’t take that long to do and could save tons of time and money. Just need someone who cares about the Cycle of Recycle and understands how to communicate, what the return rates are daily, and can understand how inventory sees damage codes. A good leader will put these folks together and from time to time when codes don’t seem right; help get everyone back on the same page.
Next is delivery. Most doors, hoods, and lids don’t need tons of special care just strapped down properly. The ones that have been racked that we have been taking such good care of, need to have blankets and cushions, if possible, for two reasons; one, so the product isn’t damaged and doesn’t move around, and two, so that the customer sees how their eight hundred dollar doors were taken care of . If the door is treated like junk, it’ll be crushed like junk. Perception of the customer is everything. This is a great opportunity to make a customer’s day and for the delivery driver to be proud of the team they are on. A promotional item wouldn’t hurt either. In the Cycle of Recycling, a meeting once in awhile about customer service with truck drivers is also paramount to receiving return customers. Over 80% of people return to a business because of the way they were treated. Staggering isn’t it. Good way to get this message across is to be a good example. It’s the way you handle the get together with your employees. Why do baby sandwiches and sodas work? Your workers work hard and feel appreciated when someone goes the extra mile for them. Get them to tell stories and experiences. Let them know what to improve on and where the team is doing a great job. New strategies will appear and be shared. I guarantee it! At the end of the day we want good customers and to give good service to those good customers.
True this cycle of recycle ended with a happy customer, but we all know that the customer in this industry is rarely completely satisfied. If the customer somehow receives a “door” that has a parking ding that was on a white door or is fresh, the delivery driver must make a quick move to contact the salesman after inspecting the “door” him/herself. Driver must have the resources to do so. This is so critical at the point of sale because the product has gone through the cycle already. Get the salesman on the phone with the customer/owner of the door and train the salesman how to make the deal stick. It must stay gone. If the salesman sold it the first time, there must be a way to sell it a second time with a discount, a deal on the next purchase, a toaster, whatever. It must stay gone. There is nothing you can do if it’s the kind of customer that orders from three yards and picks the best ones, then sends the others back; however, that customer must be tracked where management can step in. The trick with this kind of customer is to make a trip to the shop with the idea, not to win the argument, but to successfully train the customer on how to treat you. The Cycle of Recycle is important, but not always to the customer if they don’t understand the process of getting the salvage to their shop.
If everyone is on the same page, amazing things can happen. As an inactive marine, former NCO of operations for heavy equipment, I can tell you that details, meetings, communication, leadership, and a steady staff are key to this process. At the Harvard business college they teach leaders to walk around and get to know how their employees think and how they operate on a daily basis because no matter what is going on in their lives, they are part of something important. The employee learns to know this to be true. Making the salesmen understand the back of the house and being able to ask questions will play a large part as well. If the salesman sells to win over the customer, rather than succeed with customers, it will be very expensive. If this should happen The Cycle of Recycle is used in vein. Sales are about truth to be successful in the auto wrecking industry. For a salesman to give the truth, he or she must have the best truth they can relay to the customer. To believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what they are selling them is what it will be. It will change the tone in their voice and create some serious cash flow. Salesmen love to tell the truth. The ones that lie are expensive to keep and become like a hamster on a wheel. Making money and blowing money.
In conclusion I thought it might be fun to just do some math because all this Cycle of Recycle might be worth reading one more time if you like the numbers. If your returns are at 35% and you’re selling 1 million a month, that is 350k in returns which hopefully will be turned and sold again, and that is one big maybe. 350k times 12 months is 4.2 million dollars. If you have an individual that has the leadership skills to make the Cycle of Recycle happen and got the return rate down to 20%, that would be 200k times 12 months, down to 2.4 million in returns. And if you really had someone who cared about the process, the people, the salvage, training, and leadership and got it down to 10%, never mind, that’s pretty impossible, or is it?
Authored by: David Vercauteren

Thursday 15 March 2012

International Round Table on Auto Recycling 2012

On-Line payments are now up and running for the International Round Table on Auto Recycling to be held in Liverpool, England, from June 14-16th 2012.

2 years after 100+ delegates gathered in Quebec, Liverpool is proud to host the 2012 Round Table event. Running in conjunction with the CARS expo this is going to be one of the stand out events of the year for the global auto recycling and motor salvage industries.
Delegates and exhibitors from around the world will come together for seminars, training, networking and social events in one of the most historic cities in England. Home to The Beatles, two of the UK's biggest Football teams, and two cathedrals Liverpool offers something for everyone.
Full details are available at including registration and booking details, hotels and more, look forward to seeing you all in Liverpool in June.

Friday 17 February 2012

Repair Standards of Salvage Vehicles

12 million vehicles are scrapped every year in the USA, about 5% of a total fleet of around 250 million vehicles, and many of these vehicles are used to repair other vehicles and keep them on the road.

But how safe are these repaired vehicles?

I would happily let my wife and children drive a car that I have repaired, because I know the standards that I have applied to the repair, and I am confident in my ability and knowledge to complete the job correctly, but I would not let them drive a car where I had no knowledge of any repair that had been completed.

The newer the car, the worse it gets. In their quest to reduce weight whilst increasing strength vehicle manufacturers are turning to more exotic metals, including Aluminium and Ultra High Strength Steels, metals that cannot be sectioned and welded in the way that mild steel has been in the past. These metals are very heat sensitive, and too much heat can destroy the integrity of the metal, and this becomes an issue when the crash structure of a motor vehicle is analysed. Ultra High Strength Steels are used in areas of the vehicle body where occupant protection is of paramount importance, and a poor repair could be the difference between walking away from an accident and leaving on a stretcher or in a body bag.

But it is not just the metals used, it is also the knowledge and expertise of the technician completing the repair, do they recognise the type of metal used and adopt the most appropriate repair technique for the vehicle? Do they know what parts can be sectioned or repaired and which parts need replacing, and when replacing structural parts are they using the recommended welding or bonding techniques and materials? Techniques that maintain the strength of welded joints, the correct bonding material applied in the correct quantities using the right tools?

As an auto recycler and parts retailer do you know what areas of a vehicle body are Mild Steel, Aluminium, High Strength Steel or Ultra High Strength Steel? Does the customer purchasing that section or clip have the technical skills or knowledge to repair the vehicle correctly and safely with the parts you have supplied him? If the repaired vehicle was involved in another accident and an innocent person was killed or injured because parts supplied by you were not fitted correctly would you be hauled into court to answer some difficult questions? Even if you didn’t appear in court would you still be able to sleep at night knowing what had happened?

If you are employed in the body repair industry and haven’t received training updates in the recent 5 years then you need to be investing in training to make certain that you can repair a vehicle properly and not put innocent people at risk, and if you are authorising and paying for body repairs then you need to be certain that the technicians working on that vehicle have the correct training, expertise and tools to complete the work to the necessary standard.

I-CAR training ( is an industry leading programme that reflects all of the latest body structures, materials and repair techniques that are needed in today’s body repair establishment, technicians trained under this programme will be to the highest available standard in the USA, and will also have access to the latest vehicle data and information.

Where do auto recyclers stand in all of this? I believe that there is a duty of care to make sure that any safety related areas of vehicle repair are completed by qualified technicians, and this includes body ‘clips’ or sections. Purchasers of these parts must be able to show that they are capable of completing a safe repair, that can either be their own qualifications or the use of an approved body repairer, and if they cannot then they are not able to purchase the part in question and are restricted to ‘bolt on’ parts only.

I know that there will be objections to this, and many will look at the possible loss of revenue that may occur, but the safety of other road users outweighs the financial penalty, and allows auto recyclers the comfort of knowing that they are doing the best for everyone.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Complete Auto Recycling Show – Why it cannot be missed!

The difference between succeeding or failing in business is narrowing all the time, smart owners and operators are always looking for the competitive edge that will lift them above their opposition, or drive cost out of the operation and improve efficiency.

A day at the Complete Auto Recycling Show to be held in Skelmersdale in June 2012 could be one of the best investments that can be put into your business this year. The show brings all areas of the Auto recycling industry together, from vehicle collection, through de-pollution and dismantling, stock management and sales, crushing and shredding operators will all be showcasing their products and services. Insurers, Health and Safety, ‘Green’ Parts, Hybrids and Electric vehicles, and much more will be discussed during the show, and networking opportunities with delegates from all over the world will give valuable insight into best practices and tried and trusted techniques that could make the difference to your business..

More details can be found at and for those interested in attending from outside of the United Kingdom.
Don’t keep it to yourself though, bring your family and your staff, use the show to learn, network, meet, and go away energised to develop your business and operation, improve efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

Friday 20 January 2012

Mercedes ML280CDI at auction

If you need space for the children and the dog and the Audi R8 isn't practical enough for you, what about this Mercedes ML? Like the Audi, it is ready to drive away (just add insurance and road tax) and is at auction right now on
Watch the auction at, join in the bidding if you are a registered customer.

Audi R8 4.2 Quattro for sale

Currently at auction on, this ready for retail Audi R8 4.2 Quattro, Manual, less than 10,000 miles, black, with black wheels, cream leather interior, sat nav, new rear tyres and 1 year MOT Certificate. Watch the bidding at

Thursday 5 January 2012

Vehicle Damage Assessor - The Result

Got the result of all that training, investment and time today, I passed, so I am now an accredited Vehicle Damage Assessor under the Institute of the Motor Industry Automotive technician Accreditation scheme.