If own Caterpillar equipment then you know how expensive replacing parts can be. This is when it is ideal to find these machines at heavy duty junkyards and pull used parts for huge discounts. These machines though are junked for a reason so you need to be wise about pulling parts. In the article below I will discuss where to find parts, tips for pulling, and how these yards operate. I will also share my experience with the Caterpillar salvage yards near me.
Find Caterpillar Salvage Yards Near Me – Use the CAT Junkyard Locator
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There are many heavy equipment and construction salvages across the US. Finding Caterpillar brand equipment isn’t all that difficult being they are one of the most popular American manufacturers of construction equipment. In fact it’s the largest global manufacturer of construction machinery.
How Do Caterpillar Salvage Yards Work?…
These salvage yards are locally run businesses that deal in heavy equipment. They take in junked construction equipment like dozers, backhoes, dump trucks, excavators, and the like and then sell the function parts for reuse on working machinery. Some yards will charge an admission to walk around. There are also yards that post their used parts online as well.
The construction equipment comes to the yard from various sources. This could be private owners, construction companies, government auctions, and insurance companies. The one thing they all have in common is they are junk and in many cases are inoperable. Much of what you find will be outdated, but you can find some newer equipment, if you know how to pick like a pro. This can happen when a construction company goes under in the equipment goes to auction, some of it could eventually end up at a salvage yard.
Heavy Equipment Salvage Yard Layouts
At most construction equipment salvage yards there is a structure to the organization. Some are laid out by equipment type, so for example the forklifts have a section, the dump trucks have a section, and so on. Other yards are laid out by manufacturer so you will have Caterpillar section, a Volvo section, a Hitachi section, etc.
Yards that are organized by manufacturer are easier to find parts at. This is because many manufacturers use the same parts across their models. Even at these yards inside of each section you may even find groupings. So if you were looking for a Caterpillar Crawler, you would find the CAT section and see all the models of crawlers together. The better the yard is arranged, the more efficient your trip will be.
In my experience at the Caterpillar salvage yards near me, the attendants are very knowledgeable. Instead of walking around I just ask if they have the equipment I need. They can often tell you were it is on the lot and what condition it is in. On the flip side if they don’t some know which machines have interchangeable parts or direct you to another junkyard to try and call.
How Does a Caterpillar Junkyard Manage Their Inventory
When a piece of Caterpillar machinery comes into the yard it needs to be prepped before parts can be pulled. There are environmental regulations that the junkyard must adhere to. This includes draining hazardous chemicals and fluids from the equipment. This process is done to prevent any dangerous liquids from leaking and contaminating the local ground water and eco-system.
Next certain parts are pre pulled. this may include the battery, motor, and/or transmission. It often depends on the condition. A motor or transmission may get rebuilt and sold with a warranty.
If the vehicle runs, it’s possible the mechanic at the salvage fixes whatever issues it has and then they sell the equipment with a salvage title. In some instances they will send it to auction. Most vehicles though go out to the junkyard for pick and pull. Eventually when it gets totally stripped of functioning parts, it will be sent off for scrap metal. Of course some yards just let the machinery sit and rust.
After all the prep work is done, the equipment can go out to the yard. Sometimes vehicles get sold outright, but it’s much more valuable to the salvage yard to sell it off as individual parts. Once a vehicle is completely stripped down, different scrap yards do different things. A well managed salvo will sell off what remains to a local scrap metal plant. A not so well managed yard, just lets the vehicle rust where they sit forever.
Selling Your Construction Machinery to a Salvage Yard
If you own heavy equipment and you think it is junk, consider the following before you call a salvage yard….
- Can the it be repaired? If so, for how much?
- How much is the equipment worth if the repairs are done?
- Does the equipment have any value in it’s current condition?
Answering these will help you figure out your best option. Like should you…
- Fix it and keep it.
- Fix it and sell it yourself.
- Don’t fix it and sell it yourself (maybe you can find a buyer who wants it for parts).
- Fix it and junk it for cash (call several junkyards and get offers both with and without repairs).
- Don’t fix it and junk it for cash (call around and several offers).
Selling your Caterpillar equipment independently will net you the most cash. The next best option is a salvage yard. Then a scrap metal yard is the least lucrative option. If the equipment still runs, negotiate up from the initial offer. Also remember that you may need to negotiate transport of the vehicle to the salvage yard.
Used Caterpillar Parts in Salvage Yards
Pros of Buying Salvage Caterpillar Machinery Parts
The best reason for salvage Caterpillar parts is of course saving money. You can get discounts between 60 and 75% off buying retail. For older machinery the salvage yard may be your only option since the parts may no longer be manufactured.
Another thing I like is that you will find OEM parts. Mostly everything will be installed and assembled by CAT. This is much better then getting after market pieces.
Lastly some yards, but not all, will offer the ability to add a warranty. You can get a 30 day part exchange or junkyard credit if the part you purchased doesn’t work. Not all yards do this and some only do this for specific parts like a transmission.
Disadvantages of Buying Spare Caterpillar Parts
Quality is of course the biggest risk involved. These are heavy duty pieces of equipment that may have 1000’s of hours on them under extreme duress. It is critical to inspect the parts both before and after you remove them. This is why I advise asking about a warranty, especially if the part you are buying is mechanical and on the expensive side.
While most of what you find will be OEM, you will run into fabricated parts or rigged pieces. Sometimes the previous owner will have done something to the part you need. In those instance move on and keep looking.
Caterpillar Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion
These yards are a gold mine for replacement parts and hard to find pieces. It beats paying retail prices especially when you can perfectly good functioning parts that have plenty of life left in them. My best advise is to call ahead to the yard and ask about what Caterpillar equipment they have. This will save you the time and effort of walking around aimlessly. That’s what i have learned from the Caterpillar salvage yards near me.