Diesel truck salvage yards are great places to find cheap parts for vocational vehicles. Whether you have a lite, medium, or heavy-duty truck, if it runs on diesel, you can find parts at one of these elusive junkyards. These junkyards take in junked diesel trucks and sell off the functioning used parts. It is a great benefit to both the consumer and the environment because it serves a role in the vehicle recycling process. Below I will share how these salvos work, where to find one, and my experience with the Diesel truck salvage yards near me.

Map of Diesel Truck Salvage Yards Near Me

For “Diesel Truck Salvage Yards Near Me” or “Diesel Truck Junkyards Near Me”, see the map below…

Diesel truck salvages are a sub-genre of truck salvos. You will find more yards dedicated to trucks which may carry some diesel engine vehicles as well.

Operations of Diesel Truck Junkyards Near Me

These yards that deal mostly in vocational trucks operate on a local level. They are not state run, but must adhere to state laws like taxes and certain environmental regulations. These salvage yards work by purchasing broken-down diesel trucks and then selling the functioning parts back into circulation.

There are various ways and reasons these vehicles come into the yard. Some have reached their end of service life, some from accidents, some from insurance companies, and some from business liquidation auctions. In most cases though these vehicles are in fairly bad shape and not running. That doesn’t mean though there aren’t valuable components.

The salvage yard actually purchases these junked diesel trucks because of their ability to sell off the parts that still work. They will get more money from the parts than they would if they sold the truck with a salvage title.

Operations of Diesel Truck Junkyards Near Me

If the Truck Runs, They Might Auction It

In some cases, they come across a truck that is either drivable or repairable. By taking it to auction and putting it in with a lot of other salvage title vehicles they can get a greater profit.

It is an important concept to grasp because if you sell a working diesel truck to a salvage, they may flip it at auction for much more than they paid you. This is why I always encourage negotiating a higher sale price for any vehicle that still runs.

If the truck is truly junk, then it will be put out for pick and pull or have salvage parts stripped and sold online.

Before It Goes Out to The Salvage Yard, It Gets Processed…

Diesel’s that are being junked can’t go straight to the yard. There are state environmental regulations that need to be met and the yard needs to prep the truck to get the most profit from it. This process entails draining and recycling fluids like gas, oil, and other fluids that would be harmful to the environment if they got into the local ground water. There are also parts like alternators, starters, and batteries, that get pulled before they go in the yard.

It is in the best interest of the salvage to pull any parts that deteriorate out in the weather. If they pull out those parts they can stop the corrosion process and ensure they get the most money for them on the second hand market.

How Diesel Truck Salvage Yards Are Arranged

The diesel truck salvage yards near me have some organization to them. The vehicles are put out in the yard by the manufacturer and class. So for example you can find a medium duty Frieghtiner section, and even a section of school buses. You may also find sections for diesel models of Ford Super Duty and Dodge Ram. The more organized the yard is, the better your experience will be. I personally like when a junkyard keeps vehicle manufacturers grouped together because even if you can’t find the model of vehicle you need, you can pull the same part of some other model from the same make.

Finding the Salvage Parts You Need…

Some yards will actually feature a computerized searchable inventory. For certain yards, you can search all the way down from make, model, year, and part. Others aren’t that granular, but you can see the year, make, and model of what is in the junkyard lot currently.

Depending on the diesel junkyard you visit, there are some slight operational differences between them. Yards can be self-service pick and pull, full service where they get parts for you, or parts only where you order the parts you need. Self-service pick and pulls typically have lower quality parts, older, inventory, and cheaper prices. Full service and salvage part warehouses are of higher quality, later models, and higher prices.

The diesel truck salvage yards near me are self-service and charge a small admission fee to walk around. You go in the yard, pull your parts, and just pay for whatever diesel engine parts you need.

What Kind of Parts Can You Find for Diesel Trucks

Anything you can find on a diesel truck you can find in a salvage lot. It’s just a matter of what condition you find it in. Mostly you see vocational vehicles at these yards of varying sizes and vehicle classes. You can also find bucket trucks, cranes, forklifts, etc…

Parts you will find diesel engines, pipes, wheels, exhausts, cabs, doors, beds, bed liners, seats, hitches, wenches, snow plow attachments, etc. Whatever doesn’t sell from pick and pull will be crushed and the steel will be sold for scrap metal.

Sometimes the diesel engines will be pre-pulled from the vehicles. The salvo will rebuild the engine and sell it with a warranty.

Diesel Truck Salvage Yards Near Me

Salvage Diesel Truck Parts – Pros and Cons

Advantages of Used Diesel Truck Parts at Salvage Yards

The diesel truck junkyards near me have used parts well below retail prices. You can get truck batteries for $20, alternators for $18, and panels and doors for under $100. Every truck salvage charges differently, but you will save money versus going to the manufacturer for parts or getting aftermarket pieces.

Sometimes if your truck is old enough salvage parts are your only option anyway. This also makes these places ideal for diesel truck restoration projects. One of the best perks is that the parts you pull and find will most likely be OEM and manufacturer-installed and assembled.

Disadvantages of Buying Used Diesel Truck Parts

The quality of the parts is always the biggest question mark. Considering most parts are from vocational vehicles these have been subject to heavy load capacity, long hours, and extreme duress. No matter how well you visually inspect a part, you can never be sure of the quality. Not all diesel salvages will offer a warranty on parts, but ask if you don’t trust the quality.

Diesel Truck Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion

These yards are not always easy to find. They are scattered throughout the US. If you’re having trouble finding diesel truck junkyards, expand your search to truck junkyards or yards that go by vehicle class. Many yards that carry semi-truck for example, will also have diesel vocational trucks and related industrial equipment. Worse case you can just call your local auto junker and see what they have or ask them for advice on where to find the specific parts you need. In my experience, these folks are really helpful and have the knowledge of who has what and where. That’s my experience from the diesel truck salvage yards near me.


James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.