Heavy equipment salvage yards carry a variety of vehicles and construction equipment. You can find an array of vehicles like bobcats, cranes, bulldozers, and other related heavy labor machines. You may even find some farming equipment on these lots. In this article, I will share my experience with the heavy equipment salvage yards near me.

Map of Heavy Equipment Salvage Yards Near Me – Use the Junkyard Locator

For “heavy equipment Salvage Yards Near Me” or “heavy equipment Junk Yards Near Me”, see the map below…


While finding full working machinery is possible, most are inoperable which makes them perfect for pulling parts from. It’s important to understand that due to the nature of these types of vehicles the parts may have excess hours on them under duress. This doesn’t mean you can’t find some heavy equipment gold in these junkyards.


The heavy equipment salvage yards near me, are located near a few stationery construction sites, like cement plants and a demotion company. Typically these related construction type business go hand and hand. You can try and check your local generic junk yard, but likely they will have cars and trucks. However if you call them they may be able to advise you where to find the type of used construction equipment like salvaged excavators.

Operations of Heavy Equipment Junkyards Near Me

These are locally run businesses that operate within state regulations, mostly related to recycling laws. Commonly they offer the ability to pull parts from junked construction equipment and they will negotiate to buy used one for their lot. One equipment junkyard near me, charges a small admission to walk the yard, while the other one is a straight pick and pull. The one that charges admission tends to have a higher quality inventory.


There are generally two sources that these salvos get their heavy equipment from. Private owners and commercial construction business. Generally equipment ends up getting junked for a reasons like interoperability, outdated technology or models, the cost of repair, or it’s only partially functional. Sometimes newer equipment gets junked when a construction company goes bankrupt and can’t find a buyer quick enough. Many companies will try and sell the equipment on their own, and then turn to the wrecking yard as a last resort for cash.


Depending on the equipment type, if it is claimed as “totaled” in an accident and it was insured, the insurance company, may sell the heavy equipment to the salvo. Most commonly you will see this will big rigs and flat beds, since they are on the road and more probable to be in an accident.

Heavy Construction Equipment  Salvage Yard Layouts

The way these yards are laid out is a mixed bag. There are a few in the US, that have great arrangements, where you can walk through and look for brands and vehicle type. Foe example, if you wanted to find a Caterpillar Crawler, you would find the CAT section and see all the models of crawlers together. Most yards however are mixed brands, but equipment types are generally together. The more organize the salvo is, the easier it is for you to quickly find the used parts you need and get out of there.


Now-a-days some heavy equipment scrap yards will keep an online database. This allows you to search for parts or vehicles online. For an extra fee you can have them pull the part for you and mail it. Alternatively you could at least see if they have what you need and then go visit the lot in person. If your local construction equipment junkyard, isn’t online, you can always call them. Here you can ask about parts or brands like “Do you have any Weller tractors on your lot”?

How Does a Heavy Equipment Junkyard Manage Their Inventory

When heavy equipment comes into the yard it needs to go through some processing first. This has to do with environmental regulations. The primary fluids get drained, and items like oild are recycled. Some of the old equipment may contain mercury or other dangerous chemicals that need special handling as to not contaminate the ground. Some of the liquids like gas may actually be siphoned and resold.


Depending on the battery type, the battery may get pulled for recharging, and reselling. Same with the motor, depending on the vehicle type, the motor may get extracted, rebuilt, and resold with a warranty.


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.

Specialized Heavy Equipment Salvage Yards Near Me

Some yards are mixed equipment where have many different vehicle types for vocational use. There are however yards you can find that specialize in either a class or a vehicle type. These yards serve a more niche audience. You will pay a little more for parts, but they are better for getting the hard to find parts. Here are some specialty yards you can check:

Heavy Equipment Parts

Selling Your Heavy Equipment to a Salvage Yard

If you are an equipment owner and thinking about junking it, I would urge you to think through the following scenarios first.

  1. Can the equipment be repaired? If so, for how much?
  2. How much is the equipment worth if the repairs are done?
  3. 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 (you can try sites like Craigslist and Ebay)
  • Don’t fix it and sell it yourself (may you can find someone you wants to buy it for parts)
  • Fix it and junk it for cash (call the junkyard first and find out what they will pay for it)
  • Don’t fix it and junk it for cash (call the junkyard first and find out what they will pay for it)

In my personal experience selling heavy equipment yourself gets you more for the vehicle then a salvage yard. This however is difficult if you don’t have the means, the market, or the know how on fairly pricing it. If you are a private owner and don’t know what its worth, you can call a local construction yard and see fi someone can make a professional value assessment for you.

Before You Junk Your Construction Equipment…

If after you have thought that through and are ready to junk it, do the following:

  • Return the plates to the DMV, if it is street legal
  • Cancel your registration and insurance
  • Siphon the gas, so you can use again yourself
  • Locate the title, because you will need to sign it over when junking it
  • Look up the value of your heavy equipment look up used prices here

No matter what you are selling to a junkyard, it is important to be completely honest about the condition. If you are doing a phone negotiations you may be asked to provide photographs with dated proof. Salvage yards are really good at this game so understand that you are dealing with people who are trying to get this equipment as cheap as possible.


The negotiation process itself can be a bit awkward. I am not saying they will always negotiate in good faith, but I am encouraging you to do that.

Heavy Equipment Salvage Yards Near Me

Used Heavy Equipment Parts in Scrap Yards

Pros of Buying Used Heavy Machinery Parts

The best part of buying parts from used equipment is of course the price. Generally used parts are extremely cheap. It’s almost more convenient then dealing with the manufacturer buying new parts which you may already be bolting onto a heavily abused piece of machinery.


In my experience with the construction equipment salvage yards near me, you can’t get part warranties. Some places may offer them and it’s worth asking. They will never give you cash back, but you can get a 30 day exchange or credit. I advise asking before you buy anything you feel is expensive.


Another thing I like is that you are often getting manufacturer installed and assembled parts. This will save you the time of having to have your mechanic fabricate some other brand to fit your needs.


For a list of tools, you should bring with you, go here.

Disadvantages of Buying Spare Parts from a Heavy Machinery Salvo

Quality is always the “X” factor. These heavy machines by nature are put under extreme stress and load capacity. Also they tend to have massive amounts of hours and mileage logged on them. You just can’t tell from a visual inspection if a part has reached it’s end of life. For parts like bulldozer treads or crane scoops, visual while suffice. Mechanical pieces are much tougher to assess. This is why I advise asking if the heavy machinery salvage yard offers a warranty.


I always find the yards themselves to be a disadvantage. Most places aren;t well arranged and organized which leads to a lot of wasting time searching for what you need. It’s helpful if you know a little bit about the manufacturer and similar machine models to what you own. For example Hitachi heavy machinery uses many of the same internal parts across years and models. You may be able to pull the part from a similar Hitachi machine if you can find one.


Another thing I find on these lots particular is fabricated parts. The previous owner already tried to patch the problem and custom fit a part to meet their needs. In most cases that is not a good part to pull.

Heavy Equipment Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion

If you have a construction company or a private owner of heavy machinery these junkyards are full of value. You can bypass after market parts, avoid paying full price from the manufacturer, and get what you need cheap. While there aren’t many of these places around, you can always try and call ahead to see if they have what you need. In some instances they may be able to pull the part for you and ship it. That’s what i have learned from the heavy equipment salvage yards near me.