Summer 2013

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Locator UpFront

Begin Again

It is a partnership that was 25 years in the making. Mark Brown was an established auto recycler who enjoyed living and working in rural Vermont. John “J.C.” Cahill was a teenager working for his father’s auto recycling yard. Add two decades of experience to Cahill’s resume, plus plenty of time in big cities working for corporate operations, and the time was finally right. The partners officially joined forces in 2011, which allowed Cahill to fulfill his dream to own his own shop, and Brown to realize his desire to expand next to a major metropolitan market.

Lower Your Return Rates

A customer calls and asks for a fuel tank for a truck. The salespersonlooks at the computer screen and asks, “What’s the wheelbase?” The customer answers, “I don’t know? I just bought this truck for my fifth wheel.” Sales people sometimes are really good at selling, closing deals, juggling multiphone lines, flying through computer soft ware and smiling for the customers, but they haven’t a clue as to where to find codes and tags on vehicles.

Room To Move

B & R Auto Wrecking is a large company with a mom-and-pop feel. Headquartered in Corvallis, Ore., B & R Auto Wrecking boasts an impressive 10 locations in Oregon, Washington and Nevada. An 11th is set to open near Las Vegas, Nev. by the end of the year. The company employs 220 workers and processes 10,000 vehicles a year, but the owners and managers maintain the friendly, down-to-earth attitude that one would expect to find in a small, family-run business.

Perfect Pair

The co-owners of Wilken & Sons, Inc. work well together, whether they’re running one of the largest salvage operations in northeast Iowa or parenting their two little boys.

Far Reaching Success

After 34 years in the auto recycling industry, Junior Sinn decided to start his own business and was soon joined by his wife, Jane Sinn, and their son, Corey Sinn. Junior Sinn Auto Parts opened in 2000, in a workshop behind the family home. After 13 years, the business has grown to 23 employees in two buildings, with a salvage yard spreading on 20 acres of their family farm. The business specializes in half-ton and three-quarter- ton trucks, and is adding more late-model auto parts to meet demand.

Accident Prone

Workplace safety is a critical aspect of the work environment and is especially important in the auto recycling business. The point to remember is that accidents can happen anywhere or at any time. With good training and the proper working equipment most accidents can be prevented.

Core Value

Every time the auto industry engineers something new, you can bet auto recyclers will need to know how to deal with it at the vehicle’s end-of-life. The newest technology is lithium batteries, which powers some of the electric and hybrid vehicles manufactured since 2012. While nickel metal hydride (NMH) batteries have been around since 2000, (in vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Escape Hybrid), it’s this newest battery that can pose a bigger threat to an auto recycler’s safety and the environment if it’s not properly disposed of.

15 Minutes With Ginny Whelan

The frustrations with salvage procurement may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new program by ARA called ARADirect. The program eliminates the middleman in purchasing salvage. We sat down with Ginny Whelan, the industry consultant serving as director of procurement for ARADirect, to find out more.

Crappy Hires

Hiring a new employee can be a stressful process. You screen and pick a candidate, only to find a couple months down the road that your new employee is not going to work out. But, instead of starting the process all over again, you keep him or her on with the justification that a warm body is better than no body.

Public Pool

There were fewer than 100 industry advocates in the room the day we realized that the “public” in the salvage pool was not really John Q Public at all. Th e public would mean a person who was buying a vehicle for personal use, a soccer mom or perhaps a laborer who needed a truck to haul his tools. But in reality, the folks buying salvage vehicles at the auction were there to acquire parts cars and rebuilders to sell to a consumer for personal use. That sounds like the definition of a small business owner buying goods for resale.
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