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R.H. Willson Inc.

AUTOMOTIVE BLOG

The Rise and Fall of Salvage Yards

     I have been doing this blog for one year next month, and we have talked a lot about salvage yards. We talked about benefits, conditions, and aspects of the business, while explaining some common misconceptions dealing with recycling and the environment. My goal has always been to open people’s eyes about salvage yards; but with this month’s blog post, we are going to take a different approach. I am going to talk about the cold-hearted truth that “Salvage Yards” are vanishing all around the country and the world, but there is still hope for some.

     Why do you think salvage yards are closing down? Think about it a minute or two!  Well here are some answers. The economy goes down and up so many times that people do not have extra money to fix their project cars. Reason two is that there is the internet.  Everyone looks up what the part is online. They know the prices and details about the part. People want the cheapest price, and that is all that matters to them. They no longer care about the quality of the merchandise. Then you have all the aftermarket parts from China and different countries, which are cheaper.  You will have a customer for twenty years that no longer comes because they can get the parts they need from the internet. If you have ten of your customers doing that, then you will be losing a substantial profit.

     The third reason has to do with small business. Mom and Pop stores that service small towns are being bought up by big businesses that have stores in every city in the country. It is hard to compete with huge corporations with thousands of employees. They have the budget and the manpower that small businesses do not have.

     The fourth is that the price of scrap metal drops dramatically with no warning. You will have this huge amount of metal to scrap, and at the same time money continually going out. Then with no warning the price goes from $100 a ton to $20 a ton.

     The fifth and final reason is with the environment. People think that salvage yards hurt the land and the air, but some people make these accusations without getting all the facts. Yes, there are some places in the US that do not properly deal with oil, gasoline, and other liquids; which does leave a negative impact on the environment. But look at the salvage yard and get all your facts before making accusations about someone’s business.

     These are all serious reasons why salvage yards across the United States have either been forced to close down or close down because they are not making any money. It is so sad because salvage yards are a part of an era to many people, but I believe salvage yards are not over!

     A very important fact in staying open is being up to date with every possible regulation there is, especially the environmental ones. Recycling everything you can while staying on your toes. You can never be content with what the business is doing; you need to always push for more production and more customers. Always be on the lookout for new things to add to the business. We started off in 1954 by just selling auto parts, but look at us now. We continue to sell new and used parts; we have an auto repair.  We scrap junk cars and scrap metal, and we do town towing. That is just a list of the many things we do, but there is always more.

     Salvage yards still exist and are flourishing, but it will always be a struggle to get our name out there in a positive light. We will never give up the hope for salvage yards in the United Sates or the world. We will continue to push for the future of salvage yards everywhere.

 

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Winter Months at R.H. Willson

Hope everyone had a good holiday, but now we are getting back to the day to day. After vacation time and the holidays it is hard enough to get back to the swing of things. You eat so much more on the holidays, and you get to stay inside and relax. After those nice days reality comes and hits you in the face. You are back to work with no holiday break coming up for awhile. It also gets colder after Christmas. It is now freezing out, and the snow is piling up as we speak.  Everyone is back to work, but now we have to deal with the snow. It happens every winter in New England, but no one is ever truly ready for it.

R.H. Willson is open year round, rain or shine. That is what this month’s blog post is going to be about, the working conditions of the salvage yard in the winter months. The staff at R. H. Willson is committed to their customers.

Every time that it snows out, we have to clean the entire yard. The driveways need to be plowed and salted multiple times for our customers to safely enter and exit. A couple days later, we back plow the driveways. We use the loader with a plow on it because there is a lot of area to be covered. Back plowing is when we scrap the leftover snow and slush by dragging the plow backwards on the driveways. The building’s roofs and the cars all need to be shoveled. There are over 2,000 cars located at R. H. Willson so not all of them get shoveled off, but to sell the parts off the cars we need to be able to see the car. The crusher down back gets shoveled and whatever else it needs so it does not freeze. The building is concrete and metal so it takes awhile for the building to heat up, but all the heat comes from the recycled oil that goes into the furnace that recycles oil, which we talked about in another blog post. This is just what we go through with the equipment, but now we can talk about what the employees go through to get those parts.

The employees dress very warmly because the temperatures can get below zero. When someone goes out to get a part, they have to shovel off the cars and shovel the path to get to a certain vehicle. They do whatever is necessary to get to the car, but then they have to remove the part in the freezing temperatures with their bulky gloves and gear. This is just a normal routine for the staff because they have to get the parts for the customers.

Snow is snow, and there is a lot of it in New England during the winter months but we never know what the employees at business go through getting the inventory they need.

Every business is different, but you should take some time and think about how much really goes into getting a side mirror off a car in the dead of winter when there is a snow storm. These are the conditions that are inevitable, but we still have to work through them and produce the inventory necessary to sell.

This is just talking about the winter months, but every season has its obstacles for working indoor or outdoor. There are different precautions to take depending on the month and season. So take a moment and reflect because you never know what a business has to do to for even small parts.

A different approach then the normal blogs but with winter sometimes it is a good idea to discuss different situations that happen while working at any business especially salvage yards.

The Salvage Yard

     This month’s blog post is about R. H. Willson. The past blog posts focused on different ways that the salvage yard recycles.  There are always more ways and more items to recycle, but I just wanted to have this month’s post focus on the business.

     My grandfather opened this business in 1954. He started off by selling auto parts. Overtime the business grew to have up to three different buildings. Down the road my parents bought the business in 1996 and expanded even further. In 1998 they started an auto repair on the premises. Bringing in different customers and staying competitive in the industry. One big change was computerizing everything. Changing all the paperwork from pen and paper to computer generated slips. That was a big change for the industry and everyone working here. Overtime people learned to love computers because it made work faster and more organized. With the help of the computers, the parts industry expanded. Now people can buy their parts online, over the phone, or walking in. The expansion was a necessary progression, but there were other avenues the salvage yard also explored.

     The auto repair was another great expansion to the business.  Fixing cars and buying parts go hand in hand allowing for our customers to have faster service. Eventually we expanded by getting more mechanics, which allowed us to help more customers.

     Another aspect of R. H. Willson is town towing and picking up junk cars. The town towing allows us to be involved in the town and get exposure by doing it. It is very convenient because if a car needs to get fixed, there is an auto repair on the premises to fix the car. As I said in the beginning of the paragraph, we also pick up junk cars, which lead us to our last point.

     Not too long ago, the business got a scale for scrap metal. You come to the salvage yard and drive over the scale, which weighs how much the metal is. It opened up another avenue of the business completely. People bring their scrap metal here, and we pick up junked cars for scrap metal. Getting rid of the excess metal in people’s houses or business helps the environment and our salvage yard.

     R. H. Willson is constantly improving and making adjustments so we can better help our customers. We have been opened since 1954; I hope there will be many more wonderful years of being innovative for this salvage yard and all salvage yards out there.

Recycled Oil

     Last month’s blog post was well nothing. I didn’t post anything last month so everyone could take time to read the previous posts and digest them. Take some time to understand what this blog is really about, which is to open people’s eyes and minds about salvage yards. There is always more to things then people imagine.

     Saying that let’s dive right into this month’s blog post, which is OIL! Most people know exactly what oil is or have a common knowledge to describe the liquid. Oil is “a viscous liquid derived from petroleum, especially for use as a fuel or lubricant,” (Google.com, 1). That is a basic definition of the liquid because we know that oil can be used in cooking and painting as well. Oil has many vast uses, but for the purpose of this post we are going to stick to things that pertain to cars or heat. Now that we have some facts on the topic on hand, let’s discuss how oil is used differently at R. H. Willson.

     The obvious is that at a salvage yard cars are a very important part of the business. So, yes we use the oil where it is necessary in cars or vehicles, but when they are junked we take the appropriate precautions to drain the liquid. I am not going to go over the rest of the uses of oil pertaining to cars because I want to talk about a very important use of oil. More importantly how the yard does something different to obtain it. What is this very important thing, it is HEAT.

     A large amount of the population use oil to heat their homes or businesses, but R. H. Willson is a little different. We not only use oil to heat our business, but the oil that we use is recycled from the vehicles that we get.

     R. H. Willson has been aware of the environment and the effects of oil for a very long time. Saying that let’s get into our process of recycling the oil.

     It all starts with the cars that we pick up or are brought to the business. Once they are on the premise and determined junked, we take care of the liquids. The cars are then brought into our garage where we take great care into draining them. The oil from the car flows into drain buckets, and then is stored in 55 gallon drums that are leak proof and spill proof. I know it means the same thing, but it is very important component to why we use the drums we have and for storing oil. The oil drums are stored in a specific area designed for the storage of oil, and we follow all the used oil storage regulations.

     Now you ask how is the oil recycled to heat the building. Well the oil is transferred from the 55 gallon drum very carefully and efficiently into a Waste Oil Heater or Furnace. These furnaces are specifically for the reuse of used oil. We have had our furnace for over 30 years, and we have loved it every step of the way.

     You may think “ok” the furnace probably heats a tiny part of the building, but then you would be wrong! It heats not one but two steal buildings. We only use our Waste Oil Heater. It heats both the auto repair’s and the auto part’s buildings. Two very large buildings get their entire heat source from recycled oil. It is a cost effective way to recycle the oil back into our day to day process.

     R. H. Willson has always takes time to recycle and give back to their planet. One example is mention above with the Waste Oil Heater. I never even thought about how the business that I work at is getting their heat, but someone 30 years ago did and that is what matters. On a day-to-day basis, we all live in this world, which means that we all want what is best for the environment not only for ourselves but for the generations to come. Take a good look and realize that junk yards were the true recyclers before everyone knew what recycling was.

Works Cited

https://www.google.com

Recycle, Recycle, and Recycle

     This month’s blog post I want to focus on RECYCLING, but more importantly all the good R.H. Willson continues to do. For the September post I will not be explaining how the salvage yard recycles yet another liquid or part; I want to take some time to reflect on all the past posts, instead. Take the time for people to really understand all the good salvage yards do.

     The past five months I wrote about many different avenues that the salvage yard uses to recycle. Let me refresh your memory with a few, R. H. Willson recycles whole cars for scrap metal, gasoline, antifreeze, car parts, and lots more. These are just a few, which inadvertently do not even begin to skim the top of the surface, when it comes to how much the salvage yard really recycles.

     The word recycling has many definitions, but the one that pertains to our topic in hand is “to treat or process (used or waste materials)  so as to make suitable for reuse” (dictionary.com, 1). With that definition in mind, just think about how many times this establishment takes one item and reuses it for its exact purpose or for another completely different purpose.

     Even though I have not specifically dedicated a blog post to the recycling of oil, which spoil alert is going to be next month’s blog post, I would like to mention a fact that R.H. Willson uses the oil from the junked cars to heat the building. We do not allow the oil to leak from the car; but we use it for another purpose, which is cost-effective for the business and better for the environment. Using the definition from above, this is a prime example of re-using something for another purpose. Another example would be with last month’s blog post about recycled car parts because artists come to our specific salvage yard or any salvage yards and buy the parts for their art work. Taking the old and forgotten and turning it into new and beautiful masterpieces!!

     No matter what people think salvage yards have been around for a very long time. They may not have had the specific title of salvage or junk yard, but there has always been places where people brought their old or junked cars to spend their remaining days. There has always been a place for people to get auto parts or get their cars fixed. I do not want to say that every salvage yard recycles and goes above and beyond to protect the environment of their business because that is not true, but R.H. Willson does!

     People give salvage yards bad reputations and think if they know one salvage yard they know them all, but that is not true. We have been recycling a long time before people even started worrying about being green and knew what recycling really is. Recycling to this salvage yard is just the way we have always done things there. If you take pride in your business, then everything about it is going to be run in a clean and effective way. Do not just judge a book by its cover, but actually take time to read the book and understand it. Salvage yards are innovators, thinkers of their time and the future to come!

Works Cited

http://www.dictionary.com/

Recycling of Auto Parts

     In an earlier post, I mentioned junk cars. I talked about how we used them for scrap metal and the auto parts. So this month’s post is going to be about auto parts. When R.H.Willson opened back in 1954, its main operation was the selling of new or used auto parts, but it has come a long way since then.

     The salvage yard stills sells new and used auto parts, recycles the scrap metal, provides towing and auto repair. These are the main operations of the yard, but there is so much more underneath. One of the main concepts that I want to focus on is recycling, going into more depth the recycling of auto parts. Yes, there is a successful business of selling new or used auto parts, but like I mentioned early there is always more.

     The auto parts are brought to the salvage yard and inventoried. We inventory our parts to sell so we have a fresh sense of what is on hand.  Our computer system is kept up to date and organized to easily search when customers request a specific part.

     Now we can go into how we recycle the parts.  Well when you buy an auto part or reuse used auto parts that is recycling at a very basic level. Going a little further, some customers come into the salvage yard looking for specific parts to fix go-karts, four-wheelers, or just make a new motor with a combination of used parts. These used parts recycled back into different motors or vehicles creates a fun time for all to enjoy.

     Mentioned above are the self-explanatory ways that people recycle auto parts. A little more profound way is with art. We have had some people reuse the auto parts for their genuine beauty. Certain sculptors reuse auto parts to make beautiful pieces of art. Painters and photographers have come in and created unique one of a kind images. Some may ask what exactly is getting recycled, well the answer to that is the love and beauty of these old auto parts is being revived. Whatever car they were in earlier, they were used and enjoyed, then disregard. People start to forget about all the old parts until they are used again somehow.  Regenerating a feeling and shedding a whole new light on them.

     Auto Parts are more than just what meets the eye, and that is one of the reasons I do this blog. I want to shed some light on different aspects of a salvage yard all together. Each week I pick a certain aspect of R.H.Willson and expand upon it. Recycling is the main focus in each blog post. So continue to read for more ways R.H.Willson and it’s customers reuse, repurpose and reinvent with automotive parts and scrap metal!!

Hope you enjoy it!

 

Recycling of Antifreeze

     Antifreeze is an important fluid in the radiator of your car. The exact definition of antifreeze is; “a liquid used in the radiator of an internal-combustion engine to lower the freezing point of the cooling medium,” (dictionary.com). AdditionallyAntifreeze (engine coolant) performs several functions in addition to providing freeze protection. Antifreeze contains chemicals that inhibit corrosion and scale formation in the engine and radiator. Antifreeze (engine coolant) provides protection against boiling in the summer. At one atmosphere pressure pure water boils at 212 °F (100 °C) but a 50/50 blend of water/ethylene glycol boils at 223 °F (106 °C),” (www.eetcorp.com).

     So, we now understand that antifreeze is very important to your car, but what exactly is in antifreeze? Is it good or bad for the environment?

     “Almost all forms of coolants and heat transfer fluids rely on glycol antifreeze to lower the freezing point of the solution. Common nomenclature calls the resulting solution antifreeze as well. Technically, though, it is more appropriate to call these solutions engine coolants or heat transfer fluids. There are two varieties of glycol: ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. Both can be used in automotive or heavy-duty engine coolants or glycol-based heat transfer fluids. Modern engines use a mixture of glycol and water for coolant, with corrosion inhibitor chemicals and dyes included with the glycol,” (www.eetcorp.com). Yes, antifreeze is dangerous to the environment both land and aquatic. Plus, if the antifreeze is digested it acts as a poison and could harm someone.

     Knowing all that is stated above, you may ask why we still use antifreeze. To answer that question, we use it because the cooling system is extremely important in maintaining the temperature and preventing damage to your engine. Recycling antifreeze, by making sure it is handled and disposed of properly lowers the risks of it becoming a hazard to the environment.

     This blog post is to shed some light on yet another motor vehicle liquid that R. H. Willson recycles and handles with the upmost care. We drain the antifreeze from the cars and temporarily store it in special containers, where it is picked up by an authorized antifreeze recycling agent. We have been handling antifreeze in this manner for over 20 years, which is before the recycling trend started. That can only mean that R. H. Willson always goes above and beyond to protect the environment and the land that we are on.

Find out more about Antifreeze Recycling!!!!! http://www.mass.gov/eea/grants-and-tech-assistance/guidance-technical-assistance/agencies-and-divisions/ota/education-and-outreach/masscar/antifreeze-recycling.pdf

Works Cited

 http://www.eetcorp.com/antifreeze/antifreeze-faq.htm#q14

http://www.dictionary.com/

 

The Gas Buggy

The Gas Buggy

     This month’s blog post is going to talk about gasoline; more importantly it is going to talk about what happens to the gasoline and how it is recycled once it gets to the salvage yard.

     First of all let’s start with some basic knowledge about gasoline. The definition of gasoline is “A volatile, flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons, obtained from petroleum, and used as fuel for internal-combustion engines, as a solvent, etc,” (dictionary.com). Now that we know exactly what gasoline is we can move forward.

     Gas to most people is a liquid fuel that is a necessity so your vehicle will go from one point to another. Most people probably do not pay that much attention to gas unless your tank is running low. At R.H. Willson we do pay attention. This is important because gasoline can be a hazard for the environment. If it is not probably handled it could spill or leak and seep into the ground causing permanent damage. R.H. Willson takes extreme caution because we care about the environment, recycling efforts and our future generations. We take special measures to make sure that once any gasoline is brought onto the premise we handle it right away.

     Of course there are a lot of vehicles at the yard. Not only our company trucks for towing and delivery, but customer cars in for repair and employee vehicles are parked on the premises. Those cars are not typically prone to leaking. The cars I am talking about are the salvaged vehicles we recycle the gasoline from. Once we get a “Junk Car” in we prep it, so to speak. It will be dismantled and used for parts then the remains will be crushed for scrap metal. I am not going over every little detail involved in the prep process because we want you to follow the blog each month to find out more.

     Right now, I am focusing on the removal of gasoline from the scrap vehicles gas tank into the Gas-Buggy®. Yes, that is actually the name of the special equipment that we use. The fuel is pumped directly from the vehicle into the tank of the Gas-Buggy®. This self-contained unit has a 30-gallon capacity, with filter system, eliminating fumes and giving better protection from spillage.

     The “Junk Cars” do not typically come to the salvage yard with a full tank, maybe there is a couple gallons left, but we do not waste even the smallest amount of fuel. We rely on this recycled fuel to power equipment and vehicles used to get around the yard and haul parts.

     This is just one small step in the greater process of the R.H. Willson salvage yard. We always want to be sure not to allow for contamination of the environment or waste in our or day-to-day activities.

See our blog next month for more on the salvage process.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/gasoline

Recycling the Metal

     One of the biggest ways, the salvage yard recycles is with the buying and selling of metal.  R.H. Willson has a scale that allows us to weigh customer vehicles and scrap metal by the truck load. The weight of the metal determines how much money the customer gets. The price of metal changes quite frequently, so we always recommend calling ahead for current pricing.

     We also buy junk cars to salvage. Drive the car in or request a local pick-up.  Either way it can be weighed on the scale.  The cars get inspected and usable parts are dismantled for resale.  The remainder of the vehicle will eventually be crushed and sold as scrap steel.  Once the cars are considered “junked,” it means they are ready for the crusher. The cars are transported by a loader and put into the crusher where they will start to resemble a flat pancake.   Instead of leaving those pesky junked cars to rot away where it can seep into the ground creating permanent damage, you should call the salvage yard because we have people who specialize in removing those unwanted vehicles.

     Recycled metals must be separated by type.  We have containers to separate the metals. Number One metal, which is steel, is stored in one container, and Light Iron has its own spot and so forth. After everything is organized, we deal with certain companies that specialize in the removal of the metal. It goes to their facility where it is properly organized to be recycled.

    Little steps like the removal of the cars or extra metal actually help your environment a lot more then you know. That is also why R.H. Willson goes above and beyond to recycle as many things as we can. This is just one way that R.H. Willson recycles; you should stay tuned each month to see how many others ways that R.H. Willson recycles!

written by: Jayne Valle Lara

 

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